1170 Thomas Becket: Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, was assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II; he subsequently becomes a saint and martyr in the Anglican Church and the Roman Catholic Church.
1721 Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV of France, was born (d. 1764).
1800 Charles Goodyear, American inventor, was born (d. 1860).
1809 William Ewart Gladstone, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1898).
1835 The Treaty of New Echota was signed, ceding all the lands of the Cherokee east of the Mississippi River to the United States.
1876 The Ashtabula River Railroad bridge disaster left 64 injured and 92 dead at Ashtabula, Ohio.
1880 Tuhiata, or Tuhi, was hanged in Wellington for the murder of the artist Mary Dobie at Te Namu Bay, Opunake. Tuhi wrote to the Governor days before his execution asking that ‘my bad companions, your children, beer, rum and other spirits die with me’.
1911 Sun Yat-sen became the provisional President of the Republic of China.
1911 Mongolia gained independence from the Qing dynasty.
1936 Mary Tyler Moore, American actress was born.
1939 First flight of the Consolidated B-24.
1975 A bomb exploded at La Guardia Airport in New York City, killing 11 people and injuring 74.
1889 1989 Václav Havel was elected president of Czechoslovakia – the first non-Communist to attain the post in more than four decades.
1997 – Hong Kong began to kill all the nation’s 1.25 million chickens to stop the spread of a potentially deadly influenza strain.
1998 Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologised for the 1970s genocide in Cambodia that claimed over 1 million.
2003 The last known speaker of Akkala Sami – died, rendering the language that was spoken in the Sami villages of A´kkel and Ču´kksuâl, in the inland parts of the Kola Peninsula in Russia extinct.
Sourced from NZ HIstory Online & Wikipedia.