1138 Cardinal Gregorio Conti was elected Antipope as Victor IV.
1639 Harvard College was named for clergyman John Harvard.
1764 Earl Grey, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1845).
1781 William Herschel discovered Uranus.
1809 Gustav IV Adolf of Sweden was deposed in a coup d’état.
1845 Felix Mendelssohn‘s Violin Concerto received its première performance in Leipzig with Ferdinand David as soloist.
1862 The U.S. federal government forbade all Union army officers from returning fugitive slaves, thus effectively annulling the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850 and setting the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.
1881 Alexander II of Russia was killed when a bomb was thrown at him.
1884 Sir Hugh Walpole, English novelist, was born (d. 1941).
1884 The Siege of Khartoum, Sudan began.
1897 San Diego State University was founded.
1900 British forces occupied Bloemfontein, Orange Free State.
1900 The length of the workday for women and children is limited by law to 11 hours in France.
1920 The Kapp Putsch briefly ousted the Weimar Republic government from Berlin.
1921 Mongolia, under Baron Roman Ungern von Sternberg, declared its independence from China.
1925 Scopes Trial: A law in Tennessee banned the teaching of evolution.
1930 The news of the discovery of Pluto was telegraphed to the Harvard College Observatory.
1933 Banks in the U.S. began to re-open after President Franklin D. Roosevelt mandated a “bank holiday“.
1938 – Anschluss of Austria to the Third Reich.
1939 Neil Sedaka, American singer and songwriter, was born.
1943 German forces destroyed the Jewish ghetto in Kraków.
1954 Battle of Điện Biên Phủ: Viet Minh forces attacked the French.
1956 – New Zealand won its first cricket test – playing against the West Indies at Eden Park.
1957 Cuban student revolutionaries stormed the presidential palace in Havana in a failed attempt on the life of President Fulgencio Batista.
1960 Adam Clayton, Irish bassist (U2), was born.
1969 Apollo 9 returned safely to Earth after testing the Lunar Module.
1979 The New Jewel Movement, headed by Maurice Bishop, ousted Prime Minister Eric Gairy in a nearly bloodless coup d’etat in Grenada.
1986 Microsoft had its initial public offering.
1989 A geomagnetic storm caused the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power grid.
1991 The United States Department of Justice announced that Exxon had agreed to pay $1 billion for the clean-up of the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska.
1992 An earthquake registering 6.8 on the Richter scale killed more than 500 in Erzincan, eastern Turkey.
1996 Dunblane massacre: 16 children and 1 teacher were shot dead by Thomas Watt Hamilton who then committed suicide.
1997 India’s Missionaries of Charity chose Sister Nirmala to succeed Mother Teresa as its leader.
1997 The Phoenix lights were seen over Phoenix, Arizona by hundreds of people, and by millions on television.
2003 The journal Nature reported that 350,000-year-old footprints of an upright-walking human had been found in Italy.
2005 Terry Ratzmann shot and killed six members of the Living Church of God and the minister before killing himself.
2008 Gold prices on the New York Mercantile Exchange hit $1,000 per ounce for the first time.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia