355 Roman Emperor Constantius II promoted his cousin Julian to the rank of Caesar, entrusting him with the government of the Prefecture of the Gauls.
1528 Shipwrecked Spanish conquistador Álvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca became the first known European to set foot in Texas.
1632 Thirty years war: Battle of Lützen was fought, the Swedes were victorius but the King of Sweden, Gustavus Adolphus died in the battle.
1789 Pope Pius VI appointed Father John Carroll as the first Catholic bishop in the United States.
1844 The first constitution of the Dominican Republic was adopted.
1851 Charles Dow, American journalist and economist, was born (d. 1902).
1856 Scenes of Clerical Life, the first work of fiction by the author later known as George Eliot, was submitted for publication.
1861 American Civil War: Jefferson Davis was elected president of the Confederate States of America.
1861 James Naismith, Canadian inventor of basketball, was born (d. 1939).
1865 American Civil War: CSS Shenandoah was the last Confederate combat unit to surrender after circumnavigating the globe on a cruise on which it sank or captured 37 vessels.
1908 Prime Minister Sir Joseph Ward ceremonially opened the North Island main trunk railway line by driving home a final polished silver spike at Manganuioteao, between National Park and Ohakune.
1913 Mohandas Gandhi was arrested while leading a march of Indian miners in South Africa.
1918 The Second Polish Republic was proclaimed in Poland.
1925 Secret agent Sidney Reilly was executed by the OGPU, the secret police of the Soviet Union.
1928 Sweden began a tradition of eating Gustavus Adolphus pastries to commemorate the king.
1935 Edwin Armstrong presented his paper “A Method of Reducing Disturbances in Radio Signaling by a System of Frequency Modulation” to the New York section of the Institute of Radio Engineers.
1935 First flight of the Hawker Hurricane.
1939 World War II: Sonderaktion Krakau took place.
1941 World War II: Soviet leader Joseph Stalin addressed the Soviet Union for only the second time during his three-decade rule. He stated that even though 350,000 troops were killed in German attacks so far, the Germans had lost 4.5 million soldiers and that Soviet victory was near.
1942 World War II: Carlson’s patrol during the Guadalcanal Campaign began.
1943 World War II: the Soviet Red Army recaptured Kiev.
1944 Plutonium was first produced at the Hanford Atomic Facility.
1946 Sally Field, American actress, was born.
1947 – George Young, Australian musician (Easybeats), was born.
1947 Meet the Press made its television debut (the show went to a weekly schedule on September 12, 1948).
1948 Glenn Frey, American singer (Eagles), was born.
1949 Nigel Havers, English actor, was born.
1962 Apartheid: The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution condemning South Africa’s racist apartheid policies and calls for all UN member states to cease military and economic relations with the nation.
1963 General Duong Van Minh took over leadership of South Vietnam.
1965 Cuba and the United States formally agreed to begin an airlift for Cubans who want to go to the United States.
1970 Ethan Hawke, American actor, was born.
1971 The United States Atomic Energy Commission tested the largest U.S. underground hydrogen bomb, code-named Cannikin, on Amchitka Island in the Aleutians.
1975 Green March began: 300,000 unarmed Moroccans converged on the southern city of Tarfaya and waited for a signal from King Hassan II of Morocco to cross into Western Sahara.
1977 The Kelly Barnes Dam, located above Toccoa Falls, Georgia, failed, killing 39.
1985 Leftist guerrillas of the April 19 Movement seized control of the Palace of Justice in Bogotá, eventually killing 115 people, 11 of them Supreme Court justices.
1986 Sumburgh disaster – A British International Helicopters Boeing 234LR Chinook crashed 2.5 miles east of Sumburgh Airport killing 45 people.
1999 Australians voted to keep the Head of the Commonwealth as their head of state in the Australian republic referendum.
2004 An express train collided with a stationary carriage near the village of Ufton Nervet, England, killing 7 and injuring 150.
2005 The Evansville Tornado of November 2005 killed 25 in Northwestern Kentucky and Southwestern Indiana.
2012 – Tammy Baldwin, became the first openly gay politician to be elected to the United States Senate.
Sourced from NZ History Online and Wikipedia.