1409 – The University of Leipzig opened.
1755 – The second Eddystone Lighthouse was destroyed by fire.
1763 – Dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport, Rhode Island, the first synagogue in the United States.
1775 – The USS Alfred became the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes); the flag is hoisted by John Paul Jones.
1804 – At Notre Dame Cathedral Napoleon Bonaparte crowned himself Emperor of the French, the first French Emperor in a thousand years.
1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Austerlitz – French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte defeated a joint Russo-Austrian force.
1823 – Monroe Doctrine: US President James Monroe delivered a speech establishing American neutrality in future European conflicts.
1845 – Manifest Destiny: US President James K. Polk announced to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West.
1851 – French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte overthrew the Second Republic.
1852 – Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte became Emperor of the French (Napoleon III).
1859 – Georges Seurat, French painter was born (d. 1891).
1859 – Militant abolitionist leader John Brown was hanged for his October 16th raid on Harper’s Ferry.
1867 – At Tremont Temple in Boston, British author Charles Dickens gave his first public reading in the United States.
1884 – Sir Erima Harvey Northcroft, New Zealand lawyer and judge, was born (d. 1953).
1899 – Philippine-American War: The Battle of Tirad Pass, termed “The Filipino Thermopylae”, was fought.
1908 – Child Emperor Pu Yi ascended the Chinese throne at the age of two.
1917 – Six p.m. closing of pubs was introduced in New Zealand as a ‘temporary’ wartime measure. It ushered in what became know as the ‘six o’clock swill’, as patrons aimed to get their fill before closing time.
1917 – An armistice was signed between Russia and the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk and peace talks leading to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk began.
1920 – Following more than a month of Turkish-Armenian War, the Turkish dictated Treaty of Alexandropol is concluded.
1924 – Alexander Haig, American soldier and politician, was born (d. 2010).
1927 – Following 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveiled the Ford Model A .
1930 – Great Depression: US President Herbert Hoover went before the United States Congress and asked for a US$150 million public works programme to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy.
1939 – New York City’s La Guardia Airport opened.
1942 – Manhattan Project: A team led by Enrico Fermi initiated the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.
1943 – A Luftwaffe bombing raid on the harbour of Bari, Italy, sinks numerous cargo and transport ships, including an American Liberty ship, the John Harvey, with a stockpile of World War I-era mustard gas.
1946 – The British Government invited four Indian leaders, Nehru, Baldev Singh, Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan to obtain the participation of all parties in the Constituent Assembly.
1947 – Jerusalem Riots of 1947: Riots broke out in Jerusalem in response to the approval of the 1947 UN Partition Plan.
1954 – Red Scare: The United States Senate voted 65 to 22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute”.
1954 – The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and China, was signed in Washington, D.C..
1956 – The Granma yacht reached the shores of Cuba’s Oriente province and Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement disembark to initiate the Cuban Revolution.
1961 – In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declared that he was a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba was going to adopt Communism.
1970 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency began operations.
1971 – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm Al Quwain formed the United Arab Emirates.
1972 – Gough Whitlam became the first Labor Prime Minister of Australia for 23 years.
1975 – Pathet Lao seized power in Laos, and establishes the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.
1976 – Fidel Castro became President of Cuba replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado.
1977 – The first World Series Cricket “supertest” match played between Australia and West Indies.
1980 – Four U.S. nuns and churchwomen, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, and Dorothy Kazel, were murdered by a death squad in El Salvador.
1988 – Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of an Islam-dominated state.
1990 – A coalition led by Chancellor Helmut Kohl won the first free all-German elections since 1932.
1993 – Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar was shot and killed in Medellín.
1993 – STS-61 – NASA launched the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
1999 – Glenbrook rail accident near Sydney.
1999 – The United Kingdom devolved political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive.
2001 – Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
2008 – Thai Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat resigned after the 2008 Thailand political crisis.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia