141 BC Liu Che, posthumously known as Emperor Wu of Han, assumed the throne over the Han Dynasty of China.
1230 AD – Bulgarian tsar Ivan Asen II defeated Theodore of Epirus in the Battle of Klokotnitsa.
1276 Augsburg became an Imperial Free City.
1500 The fleet of Pedro Alvares Cabral left Lisbon for the Indies.
1566 David Rizzio, the private secretary to Mary, Queen of Scots was murdered.
1765 After a campaign by the writer Voltaire, judges in Paris posthumously exonerated Jean Calas of murdering his son. Calas had been tortured and executed in 1762 on the charge, though his son may have actually committed suicide.
1796 Napoléon Bonaparte married his first wife, Joséphine de Beauharnais.
1841 The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that captive Africans who had seized control of the ship carrying them had been taken into slavery illegally.
1847 Mexican-American War: The first large-scale amphibious assault in U.S. history was launched in the Siege of Veracruz
1862 The USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fought to a draw in the Battle of Hampton Roads, the first fight between two ironclad warships.
1892 Vita Sackville-West, English writer and gardener, was born (d. 1962).
1896 Prime Minister Francesco Crispi resigned following the Italian defeat at the Battle of Adowa.
1910 Westmoreland County Coal Strike, involving 15,000 coal miners began.
1916 Pancho Villa led nearly 500 Mexican raiders in an attack against Columbus, New Mexico.
1918 Mickey Spillane, American writer, was born (d. 2006).
1925 Pink’s War: The first Royal Air Force operation conducted independently of the British Army or Royal Navy began.
1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt submitted the Emergency Banking Act to the Congress, the first of his New Deal policies.
1934 Yuri Gagarin, Soviet cosmonaut and the first human in space, was born (d. 1968).
1947 Keri Hulme, New Zealand writer, was born.
1954 Bobby Sands, IRA member, was born (d. 1981).
1956 Soviet military suppressesed mass demonstrations in the Georgian SSR, reacting to Khrushchev’s de-Stalinization policy.
1956, Opononi George or Opo, also known as the ‘gay dolphin’, died.
1957 A magnitude 8.3 earthquake in the Andreanof Islands, Alaska triggered a Pacific-wide tsunami causing extensive damage to Hawaii and Oahu.
1959 The Barbie doll made its debut at the American International Toy Fair in New York.
1963 David Pogue, Technology columnist and musician, was born.
1976 – Forty-two people died in the 1976 Cavalese cable-car disaster, the worst cable-car accident to date.
1977 The Hanafi Muslim Siege: In a thirty-nine hour standoff, armed Hanafi Muslims seized three Washington, D.C., buildings, killing two and taking 149 hostage.
1990 Dr. Antonia Novello was sworn in as Surgeon General of the United States, becoming the first female and Hispanic American to serve in that position.
1991 Massive demonstrations were held against Slobodan Milošević in Belgrade. Two people were killed.
1997 Observers in China, Mongolia and eastern Siberia were treated to a rare double feature as an eclipse permitted Comet Hale-Bopp to be seen during the day.
2010 – The first same-sex marriages in Washington, D.C., took place.
2011 – Space Shuttle Discovery made its final landing after 39 flights.
2012 – Polish mountaineers Adam Bielecki and Janusz Gołąb make the first winter ascent of Gasherbrum I.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia