97 – Emperor Nerva is forced by the Praetorian Guard to adopt general Marcus Ulpius Trajanus as his heir and successor.
306 – Maxentius is proclaimed Roman emperor.
312 – Battle of the Milvian Bridge: Constantine I defeats Maxentius, becoming the sole Roman emperor in the West.
456 – The Visigoths brutally sack the Suebi’s capital of Braga (Portugal), and the town’s churches are burnt to the ground.
969 – Byzantine general Michael Bourtzes seizes one of Antioch’s main wall towers, which he defends against repeated attacks for three days until the reinforcements led by the stratopedarches Peter arrive and secure the city for the Byzantines.
1061 – Empress Agnes, acting as regent for her son, brings about the election of bishop Cadalus, the antipope Honorius II.
1344 – The lower town of Smyrna is captured by Crusaders.
1420 – Beijing is officially designated the capital of the Ming dynasty on the same year that the Forbidden City, the seat of government, is completed.
1449 – Christian I is crowned king of Denmark.
1492 – Christopher Columbus discovered Cuba on his first voyage to the New World.
1516 – Battle of Yaunis Khan: Turkish forces under the Grand Vizier Sinan Pasha defeat the Mamluks near Gaza.
1531 – Battle of Amba Sel: Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi again defeats the army of Lebna Dengel, Emperor of Ethiopia. The southern part of Ethiopia falls under Imam Ahmad’s control.
1538 – The first university in the New World (in present-day Dominican Republic), the Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino, is established.
1628 – French Wars of Religion: The Siege of La Rochelle, which had lasted for 14 months, ends with the surrender of the Huguenots.
1636 – A vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony establishes the first college in what would become the United States, today known as Harvard University.
1664 – The Duke of York and Albany’s Maritime Regiment of Foot, later to be known as the Royal Marines, is established.
1707 – The 1707 Hōei earthquake causes more than 5,000 deaths in Honshu, Shikoku and Kyūshū, Japan
1775 – American Revolutionary War: A British proclamation forbids residents from leaving Boston.
1776 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of White Plains: British Army forces arrive at White Plains, attack and capture Chatterton Hill from the Americans.
1834 – The Pinjarra massacre occurred in the Swan River Colony at present-day Pinjarra, Western Australia. An estimated 30 Noongar people were killed by British colonists.
1835 – The United Tribes of New Zealand is established with the signature of the Declaration of Independence.
1864 – American Civil War: The Battle of Fair Oaks & Darbytown Road (also known as the Second Battle of Fair Oaks) ends: Union forces under General Ulysses S. Grant withdraw from Fair Oaks, Virginia, after failing to breach the Confederate defenses around Richmond, Virginia.
1904 – Panama and Uruguay establish diplomatic links.
1918 – World War I: Czechoslovakia declares independence from Austria-Hungary marking the beginning of an independent Czechoslovak state, after 300 years.
1918 – A new Polish government in western Galicia is established, triggering the Polish–Ukrainian War.
1919 – The U.S. Congress passes the Volstead Act over President Woodrow Wilson’s veto, paving the way for Prohibition to begin the following January.
1922 – Italian fascists led by Benito Mussolini march on Rome and take over the Italian government.
1940 – World War II: Greece rejects Italy’s ultimatum. So, Greco-Italian War began. Italy invades Greece through Albania, marking Greece’s entry into World War II.
1942 – The Alaska Highway (Alcan Highway) is completed through Canada to Fairbanks, Alaska.
1949 – An Air France Lockheed Constellation crashes in the Azores killing all people on board, including the French former middleweight world champion boxer Marcel Cerdan and French violinist Ginette Neveu
1962 – End of Cuban Missile Crisis: Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev orders the removal of Soviet missiles from Cuba.
1964 – Vietnam War: U.S. officials deny any involvement in bombing North Vietnam.
1971 – Britain launches the satellite Prospero into low Earth orbit atop a Black Arrow carrier rocket from Launch Area 5B at Woomera, South Australia, the only British satellite to date launched by a British rocket.
2007 – Cristina Fernández de Kirchner becomes the first woman elected President of Argentina.
2009 – NASA successfully launches the Ares I-X mission, the only rocket launch for its later-cancelled Constellation program.
2014 – An unmanned Antares rocket carrying NASA’s Cygnus CRS Orb-3 resupply mission to the International Space Station explodes seconds after taking off from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport in Virginia.