1521 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, opened the Diet of Worms.
1561 Sir Francis Bacon, English philosopher, was born (d. 1626).
1824 – Ashantis defeated British forces in the Gold Coast.
1840 The New Zealand Company’s first settler ship, the Aurora, arrived at Petone, marking the official commencement of the settlement that would eventually become Wellington.
1889 Columbia Phonograph was formed in Washington, D.C.
1899 Leaders of six Australian colonies met in Melbourne to discuss confederation.
1901 Edward VII was proclaimed King after the death of his mother, Queen Victoria.
1905 Bloody Sunday in St. Petersburg, beginning of the 1905 revolution.
1906 SS Valencia ran aground on rocks on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, killing more than 130.
1924 Ramsay MacDonald became the first Labour Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
1931 Sir Isaac Isaacs was sworn in as the first Australian-born Governor-General of Australia.
1934 Graham Kerr, British-born, New Zealand chef, was born.
1940 John Hurt, English actor, was born.
1941 British and Commonwealth troops captured Tobruk from Italian forces during Operation Compass.
1946 Iran: Qazi Muhammad declared the independent people’s Republic of Mahabad at Chuwarchira Square in the Kurdish city of Mahabad. He was the new president; Hadschi Baba Scheich was the prime minister.
1946 – Creation of the Central Intelligence Group, forerunner of the Central Intelligence Agency.
1957 The New York City “Mad Bomber”, George P. Metesky, was arrested and charged with planting more than 30 bombs.
1959 Knox Mine Disaster: Water breaches the River Slope Mine near Pittston City, Pennsylvania in Port Griffith; 12 miners are killed.
1960 Michael Hutchence, Australian singer (INXS), was born (d. 1997).
1965 Steven Adler, American drummer (Guns N’ Roses), was born.
1968 Apollo 5 lifted off carrying the first Lunar module into space.
1973 The Supreme Court of the United States delivered its decision in Roe v. Wade, legalizing elective abortion in all fifty states.
1984 The Apple Macintosh, the first consumer computer to popularize the computer mouse and the graphical user interface, was introduced during Super Bowl XVIII with its famous “1984″ television commercial.
1987 Pennsylvania politician R. Budd Dwyer shot and killed himself at a press conference on live national television, leading to debates on boundaries in journalism.
1992 Space Shuttle programme: STS-42 Mission – Dr. Roberta Bondar became the first Canadian woman in space.
1999 Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two sons were burned alive by radical Hindus while sleeping in their car in Eastern India.
2002 Kmart Corp beccame the largest retailer in United States history to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
2007 – At least 88 people were killed when two car bombs explode in the Bab Al-Sharqi market in central Baghdad, Iraq.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.