1648 Eighty Years’ War: The Treaty of Münster and Osnabrück was signed, ending the conflict between the Netherlands and Spain.
1649 King Charles I of England was beheaded.
1661 Oliver Cromwell, was ritually executed two years after his death, on the anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.
1790 The first boat specializing as a lifeboat was tested on the River Tyne.
1806 The original Lower Trenton Bridge (also called the Trenton Makes the World Takes Bridge), was opened.
1820 Edward Bransfield sighted the Trinity Peninsula and claimed the discovery of Antarctica.
1826 The Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the world’s first modern suspension bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales, opened.
1835 In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempted to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but failed and was subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen.
1841 A fire destroyed two-thirds of Mayagüez, Puerto Rico.
1847 Yerba Buena, California was renamed San Francisco.
1858 The first Hallé concert was given in Manchester marking the official founding of the Hallé Orchestra as a full-time, professional orchestra.
1862 The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor was launched.
1882 Franklin D. Roosevelt, 32nd President of the United States, was born (d. 1945).
1889 – Archduke Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, was found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera in Mayerling.
1911 An amendment to the Gaming Act at the end of 1910 banned bookmakers from racecourses in New Zealand. Bookies were officially farewelled at the now defunct Takapuna racecourse.
1911 The destroyer USS Terry (DD-25) made the first airplane rescue at sea saving the life of James McCurdy 10 miles from Havana.
1911 – The Canadian Naval Service became the Royal Canadian Navy.
1913 The House of Lords rejected the Irish Home Rule Bill.
1925 The Government of Turkey threw Patriarch Constantine VI out of Istanbul.
1929 Lucille Teasdale-Corti, Canadian surgeon and international aid worker, was born (d. 1945).
1930 Gene Hackman, American actor, was born.
1930 The world’s second radiosonde is launched in Pavlovsk USSR.
1931 Shirley Hazzard, Australian-born author, was born.
1933 Adolf Hitler was sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.
1937 Vanessa Redgrave, English actress, was born.
1941 – Dick Cheney, 46th Vice President of the United States, was born.
1945 World War II: The Wilhelm Gustloff, overfilled with refugees, sunk in the Baltic Sea after being torpedoed by a Soviet submarine, leading to the deadliest known maritime disaster, killing approximately 9,000 people.
1945 Raid at Cabanatuan: 126 American Rangers and Filipino resistance liberated 500 prisoners from the Cabanatuan POW camp.
1945 Hitler gave his last ever public address, a radio address on the 12th anniversary of his coming to power. (
1947 Steve Marriott, English musician (Humble Pie, The Small Faces), was born (d. 1991).
1948 – Indian pacifist and leader Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist.
1951 Phil Collins, English musician, was born.
1954 Queens EliZabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh left New Zealand, bringing to an end the first tour by a ruling monarch.
1956 American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.‘s home is bombed in retaliation for the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
1960 The African National Party was founded in Chad through the merger of traditionalist parties.
1960 Lily Potter, (fictional character) Mother of Harry J. Potter and Member of The Order of the Phoenix, was born.
1962 King Abdullah II of Jordan, was born.
1964 Ranger 6 was launched.
1968 Prince Felipe of Spain, was born.
1969 The Beatles‘ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London.
1971 Carole King’s Tapestry album was released, it became the longest charting album by a female solo artist and sold 24 million copies worldwide.
1972 Bloody Sunday: British Paratroopers killed 14 unarmed civil rights/anti internment marchers in Northern Ireland.
1972 Pakistan withdrew from the Commonwealth of Nations.
1979 Varig 707-323C freighter, disappeared over the Pacific Ocean 30 minutes after taking off from Tokyo.
1982 Richard Skrenta wrote the first PC virus code, which was 400 lines long and disguised as an Apple boot programme called “Elk Cloner”.
1989 The American embassy in Kabul closed.
1994 Péter Lékó became the youngest chess grand master.
1995 Workers from the National Institutes of Health announced the success of clinical trials testing the first preventive treatment for sickle-cell disease.
1996 Gino Gallagher, the suspected leader of the Irish National Liberation Army, was killed while waiting in line for his unemployment benefit.
1996 – Comet Hyakutake was discovered by Japanese amateur astronomer Yuji Hyakutake.
2000 Off the coast of Ivory Coast, Kenya Airways Flight 431 crashed into the Atlantic killing 169.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.