- 1715 – Louis XIV of France, the "Sun King", died after a reign of 72 years, longer than any other French or other major European monarch at the time.
- 1763 – Catherine II of Russia endorsed educator Ivan Betskoy's plans for the Moscow Orphanage, an ambitious, state-run, experimental Russian Enlightenment project to educate orphans into ideal citizens.
- 1804 – German astronomer Karl Ludwig Harding discovered one of the largest main belt asteroids, naming it Juno after the Roman goddess.
- 1862 – American Civil War: Confederate forces attacked retreating Union Army troops at the Battle of Chantilly during a rainstorm in Chantilly, Virginia, but the fighting ended up being tactically inconclusive.
- 1920 – The Fountain of Time opened as a tribute to the 100 years of peace between the United States and Great Britain following the Treaty of Ghent.
- 1923 – The Great Kanto earthquake, measuring between about 7.9 and 8.4 on the Richter magnitude scale, struck the Kanto region of Japan, devastating Tokyo and Yokohama, and killing over an estimated 100,000 people.
- 1939 – Nazi Germany invaded Poland at Wielun and Westerplatte, starting World War II in Europe.
- 1951 – Australia, New Zealand and the United States signed a mutual defence pact known as the ANZUS Treaty in San Francisco, agreeing to cooperate on defence matters in the Pacific Ocean area.
- 1969 – A bloodless coup d'état led by Muammar al-Gaddafi overthrew Idris I of Libya.
- 1983 – Soviet jet interceptors shot down the civilian airliner Korean Air Lines Flight 007 near Sakhalin Island in the North Pacific, killing all 246 passengers and 23 crew on board.
- 2006 – Luxembourg became the first country to complete the transition from analog to digital television broadcasting.
- 31 BC – Final War of the Roman Republic: Troops supporting Octavian defeated the forces of Mark Antony and Cleopatra in the naval Battle of Actium on the Ionian Sea near Actium in Greece.
- 1649 – Forces loyal to Pope Innocent X destroyed the Italian ancient city of Castro, ending the Wars of Castro.
- 1666 – A large fire began on London's Pudding Lane and burned the city for three days, destroying St Paul's Cathedral and the homes of 70,000 of the city's 80,000 inhabitants.
- 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: Prussian forces captured Napoleon III of France in Sedan, France; the Second French Empire collapsed within days.
- 1898 – Mahdist War: Forces led by Horatio Kitchener defeated Sudanese tribesmen at the Battle of Omdurman in Omdurman, Khartoum, Sudan, establishing British dominance in northeastern Africa.
- 1901 – U.S. Vice President Theodore Roosevelt first uttered the famous phrase "speak softly and carry a big stick" at the Minnesota State Fair, describing his philosophy of negotiating peacefully while simultaneously threatening to use military force.
- 1935 – The Labour Day Hurricane struck the Florida Keys, killing at least 423 people.
- 1945 – On the deck of the United States Navy battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay, representatives from the Empire of Japan and several Allied Powers signed the Japanese Instrument of Surrender, formally ending World War II.
- 1957 – President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam became the first foreign head of state to make a state visit to Australia.
- 1967 – Paddy Roy Bates proclaimed HM Fort Roughs, a former World War II Maunsell Sea Fort in the North Sea off the coast of Suffolk, England, as an independent sovereign state: the Principality of Sealand.
- 1990 – Transnistria unilaterally declared its independence from what was then the Moldavian SSR of the Soviet Union, but independence has only been recognised by Abkhazia and South Ossetia, who are also partially recognised states.
- 1998 – Swissair Flight 111, en route from New York City to Geneva, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 229 people on board.
- 2009 – Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy, the Chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, India, was killed in a helicopter crash.
- 301 – San Marino, one of the smallest nations in the world and the world's oldest republic still in existence, was founded by Saint Marinus.
- 590 – Gregory I became pope, the first one to come from a monastic background.
- 1189 – Richard the Lionheart was crowned King of England in Westminster.
- 1260 – Egyptian Mamluks defeated the Mongols at the Battle of Ain Jalut in Palestine.
- 1783 – Great Britain and the United States signed the Treaty of Paris, formally ending the American Revolutionary War.
- 1878 – The passenger steamship Princess Alice sunk in the River Thames after colliding with a collier, killing over 600 people.
- 1901 – The National Flag of Australia, a Blue Ensign defaced with the Commonwealth Star and the Southern Cross, flew for the first time atop the Royal Exhibition Building in Melbourne.
- 1950 – Giuseppe Farina became the first Formula One world champion.
- 1967 – Dagen H: All non-essential traffic was banned from roads in Sweden while workers switched them from driving on the left-hand side of the road to the right.
- 1976 – The NASA Viking 2 spacecraft landed at Utopia Planitia on Mars.
- 1991 – The Hamlet chicken processing plant fire killed 25 people locked inside a burning chicken plant in Hamlet, North Carolina, US.
- 476 – Germanic leader Odoacer captured Ravenna and deposed Romulus Augustus, Emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
- 1260 – Wars of the Guelphs and Ghibellines: The Siena Ghibellines defeated the Florence Guelphs at the Battle of Montaperti outside of Siena, present-day Italy.
- 1781 – Los Angeles was founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles del Río de Porciúncula by 44 Spanish settlers.
- 1843 – Teresa Cristina of the Kingdom of Two Sicilies married Pedro II of Brazil at a state ceremony.
- 1886 – After over 25 years of fighting against the United States Army and the armed forces of Mexico, Geronimo of the Chiricahua Apache surrendered at Skeleton Canyon in Arizona.
- 1888 – American inventor George Eastman registered the trademark "Kodak" after receiving a patent for his roll film camera.
- 1957 – The Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel.
- 1957 – Defying the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus deployed the Arkansas National Guard to prevent African American students from attending Little Rock's Central High School.
- 1971 – Alaska Airlines Flight 1866 crashed near Juneau, Alaska, killing all 111 people on board.
- 1984 – The Progressive Conservative Party led by Brian Mulroney won the largest majority government by total number of seats in Canadian history during the federal election.
- 1998 – Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded the company Google in Menlo Park, California, US, to promote the web search engine that they developed as a research project while attending Stanford University.
- 1774 – In response to the British Parliament enacting the Intolerable Acts, representatives from twelve of Britain's North American colonies convened the First Continental Congress at Carpenters' Hall in Philadelphia.
- 1793 – French Revolution: The National Convention began "The Reign of Terror", a ten-month period of systematic repression and mass executions by guillotine of perceived enemies within the country.
- 1836 – Sam Houston was elected as President of the Republic of Texas.
- 1905 – Under the mediation of U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, the Russo-Japanese War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Portsmouth at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard near Portsmouth, New Hampshire, US.
- 1914 – World War I: The First Battle of the Marne began with French forces engaging the advancing German army at the Marne River near Paris.
- 1943 – World War II: American and Australian forces made an airborne landing at Nadzab as part of the New Guinea campaign against Imperial Japan.
- 1945 – Cold War: Soviet cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko defected to Canada with over 100 documents on Soviet espionage activities and sleeper agents.
- 1972 – The Palestinian militant group Black September took hostage eleven Israeli athletes and coaches at the Olympic Summer Games in Munich, West Germany; all of the hostages were killed less than 24 hours later.
- 1977 – NASA launched the robotic space probe Voyager 1, currently the man-made object most distant from Earth.
- 1980 – The St. Gotthard Tunnel opened in Switzerland as the world's longest highway tunnel at 24.51 km (15.3 miles) stretching from Goschenen to Airolo.
- 1991 – The current international treaty defending indigenous peoples, Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention, 1989, came into force.
- 394 – Forces of the Eastern Roman Emperor Theodosius I defeated Eugenius, the usurper of the Western Roman Empire, at the Battle of the Frigidus near modern-day Vipava, Slovenia.
- 1522 – The Victoria returned to Sanlúcar de Barrameda, Spain, with Basque explorer Juan Sebastián Elcano and 17 other survivors of Ferdinand Magellan's 265-man expedition, becoming the first ship to circumnavigate the globe.
- 1885 – Eastern Rumelia declared its union with Bulgaria.
- 1901 – U.S. President William McKinley was fatally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
- 1948 – Juliana became Queen of the Netherlands following the abdication of her mother Wilhelmina.
- 1955 – An overwhelming Turkish mob attacked ethnic Greeks in Istanbul, killing over 13 people, wounding over thirty others, and damaging over 5,000 Greek-owned homes and businesses.
- 1963 – The Krulak Mendenhall mission, led by U.S. Marine Corps Major General Victor Krulak and U.S. Foreign Service Officer Joseph Mendenhall, was launched by the Kennedy administration to assess the progress of the Vietnam War, and the viability of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem against the backdrop of the Buddhist crisis and Xa Loi Pagoda raids.
- 1970 – Members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine hijacked four jet aircraft en route from Europe to New York City, landing two of them at Dawson's Field in Zerqa, Jordan, and one plane in Beirut, Lebanon. The fourth hijacking was successfully foiled.
- 1995 – Baltimore Oriole shortstop Cal Ripken, Jr. played his 2131st consecutive major league baseball game, breaking the 56-year old record set by New York Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig.
- 2000 – The Millennium Summit, a meeting of world leaders to discuss the role of the United Nations at the turn of the 21st century, opened in New York City.
- 1191 – Third Crusade: Forces under Richard I of England defeated Ayyubid troops under Saladin in Arsuf, present-day Israel.
- 1776 – Turtle became the world's first submarine used in battle.
- 1812 – Napoleonic Wars: The French Grande Armée forced the Russians to withdraw at the Battle of Borodino.
- 1901 – With Peking occupied by foreign troops from the Eight-Nation Alliance, Qing China was forced to sign the Boxer Protocol, an unequal treaty ending the Boxer Rebellion.
- 1936 – The last thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) died in captivity in Hobart Zoo in Australia.
- 1940 – World War II: The German Luftwaffe changed their strategy in the Battle of Britain and began bombing London and other British cities and towns for over 50 consecutive nights.
- 1977 – Panamanian de facto leader Omar Torrijos and U.S. President Jimmy Carter signed the Torrijos–Carter Treaties, agreeing that the United States would transfer control of the Panama Canal to Panama at the end of the 20th century.
- 1979 – The cable television network ESPN made its debut, broadcasting and producing sports-related programming 24 hours a day.
- 1986 – Desmond Tutu became the first black person to lead the Church of the Province of Southern Africa.
- 1997 – The first test flight of the F-22 Raptor took place.
- 1331 – Stefan Uroš IV Dušan of the House of Nemanjic was crowned King of Serbia.
- 1504 – David, a marble sculpture by Michelangelo portraying the biblical King David in the nude, was unveiled in Florence, Italy.
- 1514 – Muscovite–Lithuanian Wars: The combined forces of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and the Kingdom of Poland defeated the larger army of the Grand Duchy of Moscow in Orsha, present-day Belarus.
- 1796 – French Revolutionary War: The French defeated Austrian forces in Bassano, Venetia, present-day Italy.
- 1888 – The inaugural season of The Football League in England, the oldest professional league competition in world football (soccer), began with twelve member clubs.
- 1900 – The Great Galveston Hurricane, one of the deadliest Atlantic hurricanes with estimated winds of 135 miles per hour (215 km/h) at landfall, struck Galveston, Texas, US, killing at least 6,000 people.
- 1923 – Twenty-three sailors died when nine U.S. Navy destroyers ran aground off the coast of California in the Honda Point Disaster.
- 1966 – The American science fiction show Star Trek premiered on the NBC television network, launching a media franchise that has since created a cult phenomenon and has influenced the design of many current technologies.
- 1974 – Watergate scandal: U.S. President Gerald Ford gave recently resigned U.S. President Richard Nixon a full and unconditional, but controversial, pardon for any crimes he committed while in office.
- 1978 – Iranian Revolution: After the government of the Iranian Shah declared martial law in response to protests, about eighty-eight demonstrators in Tehran were killed on Black Friday.
- 9 – Germanic Wars: An alliance of Germanic tribes led by Arminius engaged Roman forces led by Publius Quinctilius Varus at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, defeating three of the legions within the next few days.
- 1000 – King Olaf I of Norway fell overboard during the Battle of Svolder and disappeared in the Baltic Sea.
- 1493 – Ottoman Empire forces defeated the Croatian army at the Battle of Krbava field.
- 1513 – War of the League of Cambrai: King James IV of Scotland was killed at the Battle of Flodden Field in Northumberland while leading an invasion of England.
- 1739 – The Stono Rebellion, the largest slave uprising to date in the Thirteen Colonies of British America, erupted near Charleston, South Carolina.
- 1850 – As per the conditions of the Compromise of 1850, California was admitted into the United States as a free state, despite the fact that Southern California was south of the parallel 36°30' north.
- 1944 – With the help of the advancing forces of the Soviet Red Army, the Bulgarian government of Konstantin Muraviev was overthrown and replaced with a government of the Fatherland Front.
- 1971 – Prisoners rioted and seized control of the Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York, US, taking thirty-three guards hostage. The uprising ended four days later after state police and guards raided the prison, leaving almost 40 hostages and inmates dead from the ensuing gunfire.
- 2001 – Ahmad Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance, was assassinated in Afghanistan.
- 2004 – A car bomb exploded outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing at least nine people and injuring over 150 others.
- 1547 – Anglo-Scottish Wars: English forces defeated the Scots at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh near Musselburgh, Lothian, Scotland.
- 1798 – At the Battle of St. George's Caye, a small force of British settlers called Baymen defeated an invading force from Mexico who were attempting to claim what is now Belize for Spain.
- 1813 – War of 1812: American forces led by Oliver Hazard Perry defeated the British on Lake Erie near Put-in-Bay, Ohio.
- 1897 – A peaceful labour demonstration made up of mostly Polish and Slovak anthracite coal miners in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, US, was fired upon by a sheriff's posse comitatus in the Lattimer Massacre.
- 1898 – In an act of "propaganda of the deed", Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni fatally stabbed Empress Elisabeth of Austria in Geneva, Switzerland.
- 1945 – Mike the Headless Chicken was decapitated in a farm in Colorado; he survived another 18 months as part of sideshows before choking to death in Phoenix, Arizona.
- 1960 – Mickey Mantle hit what was originally thought to be the longest home run in major league baseball, an estimated 643 feet.
- 1977 – Hamida Djandoubi became the last person to be guillotined in France, the official method of execution in that country. France would later abolish the death penalty in 1981.
- 1990 – Pope John Paul II consecrated the Basilica of Our Lady of Peace in Yamoussoukro, Côte d'Ivoire, one of the largest churches in the world.
- 2003 – Anna Lindh, the foreign minister of Sweden, was fatally stabbed in a Stockholm department store.
- 2008 – CERN's Large Hadron Collider, the world's largest and highest-energy particle accelerator, was first powered up beneath the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva.
- 1297 – First War of Scottish Independence: The Scots under Andrew Moray and William Wallace defeated English troops at the Battle of Stirling Bridge on the River Forth near Stirling.
- 1649 – Cromwellian conquest of Ireland: Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army ended the Siege of Drogheda, took over the town and massacred its garrison.
- 1697 – Great Turkish War: Forces led by Prince Eugene of Savoy decisively defeated the Ottoman troops near Senta, present-day Serbia, ending the Turkish threat to Europe.
- 1709 – An allied British-Dutch-Austrian force defeated the French at the Battle of Malplaquet, one of the bloodiest battles of the War of the Spanish Succession.
- 1789 – U.S. Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, co-writer of the Federalist Papers, became the first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.
- 1857 – At Mountain Meadows, Utah Territory, USA, a local brigade of the Mormon militia led a massacre of about 120 California-bound pioneers from Arkansas.
- 1911 – During World War I, the Australian Naval and Military Expeditionary Force invaded German New Guinea, winning the Battle of Bita Paka.
- 1945 – The Japanese-run camp at Batu Lintang, Sarawak in Borneo was liberated by the Australian 9th Division, averting the planned massacre of its 2,000-plus Allied POWs and civilian internees by four days.
- 1955 – The Bern Switzerland Temple, the first Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Europe, was dedicated.
- 1961 – The World Wide Fund for Nature, the world's largest independent conservation organisation, was founded in Morges, Switzerland.
- 1973 – A coup d'état in Chile led by General Augusto Pinochet overthrew the government of President Salvador Allende and established an anti-communist military dictatorship.
- 1992 – The eye of Hurricane Iniki, the most powerful hurricane to strike the state of Hawaii and the Hawaiian Islands in recorded history, passed directly over the island of Kauai, killing six people and causing around USD$1.8 billion dollars in damage.
- 2001 – September 11 attacks: Al-Qaeda terrorists hijacked four passenger airliners, intentionally crashing two of them into the World Trade Centre in New York City and one plane into the Pentagon near Washington, D.C. The fourth aircraft crashed in Pennsylvania after its passengers mounted an assault against their hijackers.
- 1609 – While sailing aboard the Halve Maen, English explorer Henry Hudson began his exploration of the Hudson River, laying the foundation for Dutch colonisation of present-day New York.
- 1683 – Great Turkish War: Polish troops led by John III Sobieski joined forces with a Habsburg army to defeat the Ottoman Empire at the Battle of Vienna.
- 1848 – Switzerland became a federal state with the adoption of a new constitution.
- 1910 – Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 8 was first performed in Munich.
- 1940 – Four teenagers discovered the Lascaux caves near Montignac, in the Dordogne département of France, containing cave paintings that are estimated to be 17,300 years old.
- 1942 – The Laconia incident: A U-boat sank RMS Laconia with a torpedo off the coast of West Africa and attempted to rescue the passengers, which included some 80 civilians, 160 Polish and 268 British soldiers and about 1800 Italian POWs.
- 1974 – Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia, considered to be the religious symbol for God incarnate among the Rastafari movement, was deposed in a coup d'état by the Derg, a military junta.
- 1977 – South African anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko was killed in police custody.
- 1990 – The Two Plus Four Agreement was signed in Moscow, paving the way for German reunification.
- 1992 – Abimael Guzmán, leader of the Peruvian Maoist guerrilla organisation Shining Path, was captured in Lima.
- 1992 – Aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour, the 50th mission of the Space Shuttle programme, American Mae Carol Jemison became the first Black woman in space.
- 533 – Belisarius and his legions defeated Gelimer and the Vandals at the Battle of Ad Decimum near Carthage, and began the "Reconquest of the West" under Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I.
- 1759 – Seven Years' War: British forces defeated the French at the Battle of the Plains of Abraham near Quebec City, New France, though General James Wolfe was mortally wounded.
- 1808 – Finnish War: Swedish forces under Lieutenant General Georg Carl von Döbeln defeated the Russians at the Battle of Jutas.
- 1814 – War of 1812: Fort McHenry in Baltimore's Inner Harbour was attacked by British forces during the Battle of Baltimore, later inspiring Francis Scott Key to write "The Star-Spangled Banner," which later became the national anthem of the United States.
- 1847 – Mexican-American War: Six teenagers known as Los Niños Héroes fought to their death defending the military academy at Castillo de Chapultepec in Mexico City during the Battle of Chapultepec.
- 1848 – American railroad worker Phineas Gage survived an accident in which a large iron rod was driven completely through his head and destroyed areas of his brain's frontal lobes.
- 1956 – IBM unveiled the 305 RAMAC (Random Access Method of Accounting and Control), the first commercial computer that used magnetic disk storage.
- 1964 – South Vietnamese Generals Lam Van Phat and Duong Van Duc staged a coup attempt after junta leader Nguyen Khanh demoted them.
- 1987 – A radioactive item was scavenged from an abandoned hospital in Goiânia, Brazil, resulting in four deaths and serious contamination in 249 others.
- 1988 – Hurricane Gilbert reached a minimum pressure of 888 mb (26.22 inHg) with sustained flight-level winds of 185 mph (295 km/h), making it the most intense Atlantic hurricane on record at the time.
- 1993 – After rounds of secret negotiations in Norway, PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin formally signed the Oslo Peace Accords.
- 2007 – The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, setting out the individual and collective rights of indigenous peoples, as well as their rights to culture, identity, language, employment, health, education and other issues.
- 786 – Harun al-Rashid became the Abbasid caliph upon the death of his brother al-Hadi.
- 1607 – Flight of the Earls: Hugh O'Neill, 2nd Earl of Tyrone, Rory O'Donnell, 1st Earl of Tyrconnell, and their families and followers departed Ireland for Spain.
- 1752 – In adopting the Gregorian calendar under the terms of the Calendar (New Style) Act 1750, the British Empire skipped eleven days (September 2 was followed directly by September 14).
- 1812 – The French invasion of Russia: Following the Battle of Borodino seven days earlier, Napoleon and his Grande Armée captured Moscow, only to find the city deserted and burning.
- 1901 – Theodore Roosevelt became President of the United States at age 42, the youngest person ever to do so, eight days after William McKinley was fatally wounded in Buffalo, New York.
- 1911 – Prime Minister of Russia Pyotr Stolypin was mortally shot at the Kiev Opera House.
- 1927 – In a freak automobile accident, dancer Isadora Duncan was strangled to death in Nice, France by her scarf after it got caught on the wheel of a car in which she was a passenger.
- 1944 – World War II: Grand Admiral Karl Donitz of Germany authorised a campaign of submarine attacks in Australian waters.
- 1959 – The Soviet spacecraft Luna 2 crashed onto and became the first man-made object to reach the Moon.
- 1960 – At a conference held in Baghdad, the governments of Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela founded OPEC to help unify and coordinate their petroleum policies.
- 1975 – Elizabeth Ann Seton became the first native-born citizen of the United States to be canonised.
- 668 – Constans II, Emperor of the Byzantine Empire, was assassinated in his bath.
- 1644 – Giovanni Battista Pamphili became Pope Innocent X.
- 1762 – British forces defeated the French at the Battle of Signal Hill in St. John's, Newfoundland (island), the final and decisive battle of the French and Indian War.
- 1830 – During the opening of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, British Member of Parliament William Huskisson was struck and killed by the steam locomotive Rocket.
- 1831 – The John Bull, currently the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world, ran for the first time in New Jersey on the Camden and Amboy Railroad.
- 1835 – During the second voyage of HMS Beagle, Charles Darwin reached the Galápagos Islands, where he further developed his theories of evolution.
- 1916 – Tanks, the "secret weapons" of the British Army during World War I, were first used in combat at the Battle of the Somme in Somme, Picardy, France, leading to strategic Allied victory.
- 1935 – Nazi Germany enacted the Nuremberg Laws, which deprived German Jews of citizenship, and adopted a new national flag emblazoned with a swastika.
- 1944 – World War II: American and Australian forces landed on an island occupied by Japanese forces, starting the Battle of Morotai.
- 1950 – Korean and American troops landed at Incheon, Korea, in an amphibious assault, starting the Battle of Incheon, a decisive United Nations military forces victory during the Korean War.
- 1963 – A bomb planted by members of the Ku Klux Klan exploded in the 16th Street Baptist Church, an African American Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, US, killing four children and injuring at least 22 others.
- 2008 – The financial crisis of 2007–2010: The global financial-services firm Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy while holding over US$600 billion in assets, the largest such filing in U.S. history.
- 1400 – Owain Glyndwr was proclaimed Prince of Wales and instigated a revolt against the rule of Henry IV of England.
- 1701 – Prince James Francis Edward Stuart, more commonly referred to as the "Old Pretender", became the Jacobite claimant of the thrones of England and Scotland.
- 1776 – American Revolutionary War: On hearing the British troops sounding their bugles as if it were a fox hunt, the Americans held their ground and achieved a victory at the Battle of Harlem Heights in present-day New York City.
- 1810 – Miguel Hidalgo, the parish priest in Dolores, Guanajuato, delivered the Grito de Dolores to his congregation, instigating the Mexican War of Independence against Spain.
- 1863 – Robert College of Istanbul, the first American educational institution outside the United States, was founded.
- 1920 – A bomb in a horse wagon exploded in front of the J.P.Morgan building in New York City, killing 38 people and injuring 400 others.
- 1941 – Shah Reza Pahlavi of Iran was forced to abdicate in favour of his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
- 1963 – Malaya, Singapore, North Borneo (present-day Sabah), and Sarawak merged to form Malaysia.
- 1982 – A Lebanese militia under the direct command of Elie Hobeika carried out a massacre in the Palestinian refugee camp of Sabra and Shatila, killing at least 700 civilians.
- 1987 – The Montreal Protocol, an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of a number of substances believed to be responsible for ozone depletion, opened for signature.
- 1992 – The British pound was forced out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism on Black Wednesday, and suffered a major devaluation.
- 1176 – Byzantine–Seljuk wars: The Seljuk Turks prevented the Byzantines from taking the interior of Anatolia at the Battle of Myriokephalon in Phrygia.
- 1787 – The text of the United States Constitution was finalised at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
- 1809 – The Treaty of Fredrikshamn concluded the Finnish War between Russia and Sweden, with present-day Finland becoming an autonomous Grand Duchy under Tsar Alexander I.
- 1862 – American Civil War: Almost 23,000 total casualties were suffered at the Battle of Antietam near Sharpsburg, Maryland, where Confederate and Union troops fought to a tactical stalemate.
- 1894 – The Imperial Japanese Navy defeated the Beiyang Fleet of Qing China in the Battle of the Yalu River at the mouth of the Yalu River in Korea Bay, the largest naval engagement of the First Sino-Japanese War.
- 1916 – World War I: Manfred von Richthofen ("The Red Baron"), a flying ace of the German Luftstreitkräfte, won his first aerial combat near Cambrai, France.
- 1939 – World War II: The Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east, sixteen days after Nazi Germany's attack on that country from the west.
- 1976 – Enterprise, the first Space Shuttle built for NASA, was rolled out of the manufacturing facilities in Palmdale, California.
- 1978 – President Anwar Al Sadat of Egypt and Prime Minister Menachem Begin of Israel signed the Camp David Accords after twelve days of secret negotiations at Camp David.
- 96 – Following the assassination of Roman Emperor Domitian, the Roman Senate appointed Nerva, the first of the Five Good Emperors, to succeed him.
- 324 – Constantine the Great decisively defeated Licinius in the Battle of Chrysopolis, establishing Constantine's sole control over the Roman Empire, and ultimately leading to the conversion of the whole empire to Christianity.
- 1809 – The second theatre of the Royal Opera House in London opened after a fire destroyed the original theatre one year earlier.
- 1810 – Patria Vieja, the first stage of the Chilean War of Independence, began.
- 1850 – The United States Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act, which declared that all runaway slaves be brought back to their masters.
- 1851 – The New York Times, the largest metropolitan newspaper in the United States, began publishing.
- 1895 – Daniel David Palmer gave the first chiropractic adjustment to deaf janitor Harvey Lillard.
- 1931 – The Mukden Incident: A section of the Japanese-built South Manchuria Railway was destroyed, providing an excuse for the Japanese to blame the act on Chinese dissidents, and thus giving a pretext for the Japanese occupation of Manchuria.
- 1948 – The Donald Bradman-led Australian cricket team completed the unprecedented feat of going through an English summer without defeat.
- 1961 – En route to negotiate a ceasefire between Katanga troops and United Nations forces, the plane carrying UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld crashed under mysterious circumstances near Ndola in Northern Rhodesia, killing him and 15 others on board.
- 1998 – The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), a non-profit organisation that manages the assignment of domain names and IP addresses in the Internet, was established.
- 1356 – Hundred Years' War: English forces led by Edward the Black Prince decisively won the Battle of Poitiers and captured King Jean II of France.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: British troops engaged American forces at the first Battle of Saratoga in New York.
- 1796 – George Washington's Farewell Address was published in many American newspapers, warning citizens, among others, about the dangers of political factionalism and to avoid permanent alliances with foreign powers.
- 1893 – New Zealand became the first country to introduce universal suffrage, following the women's suffrage movement led by Kate Sheppard.
- 1944 – Finland and the Soviet Union signed the Moscow Armistice to end the Continuation War.
- 1964 – An armed revolt by Montagnards serving in the Army of the Republic of Vietnam against the rule of Nguyen Khanh led to the deaths of 70 ethnic Vietnamese soldiers.
- 1982 – "🙂" and "🙁" were first proposed by Scott Fahlman for use as emoticons .
- 1985 – An 8.1 ML earthquake struck Mexico City, killing at least nine thousand people and leaving up to 100,000 homeless.
- 1991 – Ötzi the Iceman, a well-preserved natural mummy of a man from about 3300 BC, was discovered by two German tourists.
- 1995 – The Manifesto of "Unabomber" Ted Kaczynski was published in The Washington Post and The New York Times, almost three months after it was submitted.
- 2006 – The Royal Thai Army overthrew the elected government of Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra while he was in New York City for a meeting of the United Nations General Assembly.
- 1378 – Papal Schism: Unhappy with Pope Urban VI, a group of cardinals started a rival papacy with the election of Antipope Clement VII, throwing the Roman Catholic Church into turmoil.
- 1596 – An expedition of twelve families led by Diego de Montemayor founded Monterrey in New Spain.
- 1697 – The Treaty of Ryswick was signed by France, England, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and the Dutch Republic, ending the Nine Years' War.
- 1854 – The Crimean War began with a Franco-British victory over Russian forces at the Battle of Alma near the River Alma in Crimea.
- 1870 – The Bersaglieri entered Rome through the Porta Pia, ending the temporal power of the Pope and completing the unification of Italy.
- 1906 – The ocean liner RMS Mauretania, the largest and fastest ship in the world at the time, was launched.
- 1946 – World War II: Australian troops defeated Imperial Japanese forces at the Battle of Kaiapit in New Guinea.
- 1946 – The first Cannes Film Festival opened in Cannes, France, with eleven films eventually sharing the Palme d'Or award, then known as the Grand Prize of the Festival, that year.
- 1973 – Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs in straight sets before 30,492 spectators at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, in an internationally televised tennis match dubbed "The Battle of the Sexes".
- 1979 – Jean-Bédel Bokassa, ruler of the Central African Republic, was ousted in a coup d'état backed by the French government.
- 2001 – During a televised address to a joint session of the United States Congress, U.S. President George W. Bush declared a "war on terror" against Al-Qaeda and other global terrorist groups.
- 2009 – Tadhg Kennelly became the first person to win the top prizes in both Australian rules football and Gaelic football by winning the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final with Kerry.
- 454 – Roman Emperor Valentinian III killed Aetius in Ravenna.
- 1745 – The Jacobite Risings: Jacobite troops led by Charles Edward Stuart defeated the Hanoverians in Prestonpans, East Lothian, Scotland.
- 1792 – French Revolution: The National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy, and proclaimed the First Republic.
- 1897 – The New York Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper, published an editorial by Francis Pharcellus Church entitled "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus" that become a part of popular Christmas lore.
- 1898 – The Hundred Days' Reform in China was abruptly terminated when Empress Dowager Cixi forced the reform-minded Guangxu Emperor into seclusion and took over the government as regent.
- 1937 – J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, a predecessor to The Lord of the Rings, was first published.
- 1938 – The Great New England Hurricane made landfall on Long Island, New York, US, killing at least 500 people and injuring about 700 others.
- 1939 – Romanian Prime Minister Armand Calinescu was assassinated in Bucharest by pro-Nazi members of the Iron Guard.
- 1942 – The prototype model of the Boeing B-29 Superfortress, a four-engine heavy bomber that became one of the largest aircraft to see service during World War II, flew for the first time.
- 1999 – A 7.6 Mw earthquake struck Jiji, Nantou County, Taiwan, killing 2,416 people, injuring over 11,000 others and causing about NT$300 billion in damage.
- 66 – Emperor Nero established the Roman legion Legio I Italica.
- 1692 – Last people hanged for witchcraft in the United States.
- 1776 – Captain Nathan Hale, an American Revolutionary spy from the Continental Army, was hanged by British forces.
- 1792 – The epoch of the French Republican Calendar occurred, marking the first full day of the newly proclaimed French First Republic.
- 1827 – According to his own record of his early life, Latter Day Saint movement founder Joseph Smith, Jr. obtained the golden plates, a set of engraved plates that he said was his source material for the Book of Mormon.
- 1862 – Slavery in the United States: President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, declaring the freedom of all slaves in Confederate territory by January 1, 1863.
- 1869 – Das Rheingold, the first of four operas in Der Ring des Nibelungen by German composer Richard Wagner, was first performed in Munich.
- 1914 – In World War I, German naval forces bombard Papeete in French Polynesia.
- 1939 – A joint military parade by the troops of Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union took place in Brest-Litovsk to celebrate their partition of Poland.
- 1961 – The U.S. Congress authorised President John F. Kennedy's executive order to establish the Peace Corps. Within two years, over 7,300 Peace Corps volunteers were serving in 44 countries.
- 1965 – The United Nations Security Council unanimously passed a resolution calling for an unconditional ceasefire in the Indo-Pakistani War.
- 1979 – The Vela Incident: An American Vela satellite detected an unidentified flash of light, thought to be a nuclear weapons test.
- 1980 – Iraq launched an invasion of Iran, starting the Iran-Iraq War.
- 1459 – Yorkist forces led by Richard Neville defeated Lancastrian troops at the Battle of Blore Heath in Staffordshire, England, the first major battle of the Wars of the Roses.
- 1803 – Maratha troops were beaten by British forces at the Battle of Assaye, one of the decisive battles of the Second Anglo-Maratha War.
- 1845 – American bookseller Alexander Cartwright founded the New York Knickerbockers, one of the first organised baseball teams, as well as formalising a set of rules that became the basis for the rules of the modern game.
- 1846 – Using mathematical predictions by French mathematician Urbain Le Verrier, German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle became the first person to observe Neptune and recognise it as a hitherto unknown planet.
- 1868 – Ramón Emeterio Betances led the Grito de Lares, a revolt against Spanish rule in Puerto Rico.
- 1875 – Billy the Kid was arrested for the first time after stealing clothes from a laundryman, beginning his life as an infamous American outlaw and gunman.
- 1889 – Fusajiro Yamauchi founded Nintendo in Kyoto, Japan, to produce handmade hanafuda cards.
- 1932 – Hejaz and Nejd merged and were renamed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with Ibn Saud as the first monarch and Riyadh as the capital city.
- 1952 – In one of the first political uses of television to appeal directly to the populace, Republican vice presidential candidate Richard Nixon delivered the "Checkers speech", refuting accusations of improprieties with contributions to his campaign.
- 622 – Muhammad and his followers completed their Hijra from Mecca to Medina to escape religious persecution.
- 1180 – The Byzantine Empire was weakened by the death of Emperor Manuel I Komnenos.
- 1789 – The First United States Congress passed the Judiciary Act of 1789, establishing the U.S. federal judiciary and setting the number of Supreme Court Justices.
- 1841 – The Sultan of Brunei granted Sarawak to British adventurer James Brooke.
- 1869 – Jay Gould, James Fisk and other speculators plotted but failed to control the gold market in the U.S., causing gold prices to plummet on "Black Friday".
- 1877 – The Imperial Japanese Army led by Kawamura Sumiyoshi defeated Saigo Takamori and the Satsuma clan samurai at the Battle of Shiroyama in Kagoshima, the decisive engagement of the Satsuma Rebellion.
- 1903 – Alfred Deakin becume the second Prime Minister of Australia, succeeding Edmund Barton who left office to become a founding justice of the High Court of Australia.
- 1948 – Mechanic Soichiro Honda founded the Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and began manufacturing motorcycles, eventually turning his company into a billion-dollar multinational corporation.
- 1957 – Barcelona's Camp Nou, currently the largest stadium in Europe with a seating capacity of 98,787, opened.
- 1964 – The Warren Commission released its report, concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy.
- 1988 – Canadian Ben Johnson finished the 100 m sprint at the Seoul Olympics in a world record time of 9.79 seconds, ahead of rivals Carl Lewis and Linford Christie, but was later disqualified for doping.
- 1066 – Harold Godwinson of England defeated Harald Hardråde of Norway in Yorkshire at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, marking the end of the Viking invasion of England.
- 1396 – Ottoman wars in Europe: Ottoman forces under Bayezid I defeated a Christian alliance led by Sigismund of Hungary in the Battle of Nicopolis near present-day Nikopol, Bulgaria.
- 1513 – Conquistador Vasco Núñez de Balboa, upon a peak in present-day Darién, Panama, became the first European known to have seen the Pacific Ocean from the New World, naming it Mar del Sur, or South Sea, a few days later.
- 1555 – Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and the forces of the Schmalkaldic League signed the Peace of Augsburg, ending the religious struggle between the two groups and made the legal division of Christendom permanent within the Holy Roman Empire.
- 1944 – World War II: British troops began their withdrawal from the Battle of Arnhem in the Netherlands, ending the Allies' Operation Market Garden in defeat.
- 1955 – The Royal Jordanian Air Force, the Aviation branch of the Jordanian Armed Forces, was founded.
- 1957 – Little Rock Nine: Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, was integrated through the use of United States Army troops.
- 1962 – The People's Democratic Republic of Algeria was formally proclaimed. Ferhat Abbas was elected President of the provisional government, with Ahmed Ben Bella as Prime Minister.
- 1977 – About 4,200 people took part in the first running of the Chicago Marathon.
- 1981 – Sandra Day O'Connor became the first female Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
- 1983 – In one of the largest prison escapes in British history, 38 Provisional Irish Republican Army prisoners hijacked a prison meals lorry and smashed their way out of HM Prison Maze in County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
- 1996 – The last Magdalene Asylum, an institution to rehabilitate so-called "fallen" women, in Ireland was closed.
- 1580 – The Golden Hind sailed into Plymouth, England, as explorer Francis Drake completed his circumnavigation of the globe.
- 1687 – The Parthenon in Athens was partially destroyed during an armed conflict between the Venetians under Francesco Morosini and Ottoman forces.
- 1789 – For his presidential administration, George Washington appointed Thomas Jefferson as the first U.S. Secretary of State, John Jay as the first Chief Justice, Samuel Osgood as the first Postmaster General, and Edmund Randolph as the first Attorney General.
- 1810 – The Riksdag of the Estates adopted a new Act of Succession to regulate the right of members of the House of Bernadotte to accede to the Swedish throne.
- 1907 – Newfoundland and New Zealand became dominions within the British Empire.
- 1914 – The Federal Trade Commission, an independent agency of the United States government to promote consumer protection, was established.
- 1918 – World War I: The Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the bloodiest single battle in American history, began.
- 1934 – The ocean liner RMS Queen Mary was launched in Clydebank, Scotland.
- 1957 – West Side Story, a musical written by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim and based loosely on Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, made its debut on Broadway.
- 1960 – More than 70 million people watched U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy and U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon in the first ever televised U.S. presidential election debate.
- 1969 – Abbey Road, the final album recorded by The Beatles before publicly announcing their breakup, was released.
- 1983 – Soviet Lieutenant Colonel Stanislav Petrov averted a possible worldwide nuclear war by deliberately certifying what otherwise appeared to be an impending attack by the United States as a false alarm.
- 1540 – Pope Paul III issued the papal bull Regimini militantis, approving the formation of the Society of Jesus, a Christian religious order of the Roman Catholic Church, by St. Ignatius of Loyola.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: Lancaster, Pennsylvania, became the capital of the United States for one day as members of the Continental Congress fled Philadelphia, which had been captured by the British.
- 1825 – Locomotion No. 1 hauled the first train on opening day of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, one of the first railways to use steam locomotives and carry passengers.
- 1903 – The Old 97, a Southern Railway train, derailed near Danville, Virginia, inspiring a famous railroad ballad.
- 1905 – The physics journal Annalen der Physik published Albert Einstein's fourth Annus Mirabilis paper "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content?", which introduced the equation E = mc2.
- 1908 – The first production of the Ford Model T automobile was built at the Piquette Plant in Detroit.
- 1937 – The Bali Tiger, a small subspecies of tiger found solely on the small Indonesian island of Bali, was officially declared extinct.
- 1940 – World War II: Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and the Empire of Japan signed the Tripartite Pact in Berlin, officially forming a military alliance known as the Axis powers.
- 1964 – The Warren Commission released its report, concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone in the assassination of United States President John F. Kennedy.
- 1983 – Software developer Richard Stallman announced plans for the Unix-like GNU operating system, the first free software developed by the GNU Project.
- 1988 – Led by pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi, the political party National League for Democracy was founded in Burma.
- 2008 – During the Shenzhou 7 mission, Zhai Zhigang became the first Chinese citizen to carry out a spacewalk.
- 48 BC – Pompey the Great was assassinated on orders of King Ptolemy of Egypt after landing in Egypt following a decisive defeat by Julius Caesar at the Battle of Pharsalus.
- 1066 – William the Conqueror and his fleet of around 600 ships landed at Pevensey, Sussex, beginning the Norman conquest of England.
- 1106 – Henry I of England decisively defeated his older brother Robert Curthose, the Duke of Normandy in the Battle of Tinchebray, and claimed Normandy as a possession of the English crown.
- 1542 – Portuguese explorer Juan Rodríguez Cabrillo, the first European to travel along the coast of California, landed on what is now the City of San Diego.
- 1708 – Great Northern War: Russia defeated Sweden at the Battle of Lesnaya on the Russian–Polish border in present-day Belarus.
- 1891 – Railway workers in Montevideo, Uruguay, founded the Central Uruguay Railway Cricket Club, which later became officially known as C.A. Peñarol.
- 1928 – Scottish biologist and pharmacologist Alexander Fleming noticed a bacteria-killing mould growing in his laboratory, discovering what became known as penicillin.
- 1962 – A fire destroyed the Paddington tram depot and 65 trams in Brisbane, Australia.
- 1972 – Paul Henderson scored the game-winning goal against Vladislav Tretiak, securing a Canadian victory in the Summit Series over the Soviet ice hockey team.
- 1978 – Pope John Paul I died only 33 days after his papal election due to an apparent myocardial infarction, resulting in the most recent Year of Three Popes.
- 1994 – The ferry MS Estonia sank while commuting between Tallinn, Estonia, and Stockholm, Sweden, claiming 852 lives in one of the worst maritime accidents in the Baltic Sea.
- 1995 – Over 30 mercenaries led by Bob Denard landed on the Comoros in an attempted coup, his fourth one on the African island nation since 1975.
- 61 BC – In Rome, Pompey the Great celebrated triumphs over pirates in the eastern Mediterranean Sea and in the war against king Mithridates VI of Pontus in Asia Minor, with enormous parades of spoils, prisoners, army and banners depicting battle scenes.
- 1364 – English forces defeated the French at the Battle of Auray in the French town of Auray, the decisive confrontation of the Breton War of Succession, a part of the Hundred Years' War.
- 1829 – The Metropolitan Police of Greater London, originally headquartered in Great Scotland Yard, Westminster, was founded.
- 1885 – The Blackpool tramway, one of the first practical electric tramways in the world, opened in Blackpool, Lancashire, England.
- 1907 – Construction work began on the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and then completed on the same day 83 years later in 1990.
- 1938 – At a conference in Munich, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, and French Prime Minister Édouard Daladier reached a settlement, signing it at about 1:30 am the next day, stipulating that Czechoslovakia must cede the Sudetenland to Germany.
- 1941 – The Holocaust: German Nazis aided by their collaborators began the Babi Yar massacre in Kiev, Ukraine, killing over 30,000 Jewish civilians in two days and thousands more in the months that followed.
- 1954 – In Major League Baseball, Willie Mays of the New York Giants made "The Catch" against the Cleveland Indians at the Polo Grounds in Game 1 of the World Series.
- 1954 – Twelve countries signed a convention establishing the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), currently the world's largest particle physics laboratory.
- 1962 – Alouette 1, Canada's first satellite, and the first satellite operated by a country other than the Soviet Union or the United States, was launched.
- 1963 – The University of East Anglia was founded in Norwich, England, after talk of establishing such a university in the city began as early as the 19th century.
- 1964 – Mafalda, a comic strip by Quino, was first published in newspapers in Argentina.
- 1972 – Sino-Japanese relations: Japan established diplomatic relations with the People's Republic of China, breaking official ties with the Republic of China.
- 2005 – John G. Roberts became the 17th Chief Justice of the United States.
- 2006 – Gol Transportes Aéreos Flight 1907 collided in mid-air with an Embraer Legacy business jet near Peixoto de Azevedo, Mato Grosso, Brazil, killing 154 total people, and triggering a Brazilian aviation crisis.
- 1399 – Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, deposed Richard II to become Henry IV of England, merging the Duchy of Lancaster with the crown.
- 1744 – War of the Austrian Succession: The armies of France and Spain won a pyrrhic victory over the Kingdom of Sardinia at the Battle of Madonna dell'Olmo near Cuneo, Italy.
- 1791 – The Magic Flute, one of the last operas composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, premiered at Theatre auf der Wieden in Vienna, Austria.
- 1939 – World War II: General Wladyslaw Sikorski became Prime Minister of the Polish government-in-exile.
- 1955 – Film actor James Dean suffered fatal injuries in a head-on car accident near Cholame, California, US.
- 1966 – Seretse Khama became the first President of Botswana when the Bechuanaland Protectorate gained independence from the United Kingdom.
- 1980 – Xerox, Intel and Digital Equipment Corporation published the first Ethernet specifications, currently the most widespread wired local area network (LAN) technology.
- 1982 – Tylenol Crisis: Cyanide-laced Tylenol killed a total of seven people in the Chicago area.
- 1982 – The sitcom Cheers was first broadcast on American television.
- 1991 – Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was overthrown in a coup d'état and replaced by General Raoul Cédras. A large-scale exodus of boat people ensued.
- 2005 – The Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten published controversial editorial cartoons depicting Muhammad, sparking protests across the Muslim world by many who viewed them as Islamophobic and blasphemous.
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