326 – Old St. Peter’s Basilica was consecrated.
1105 – Maginulf elected the Antipope Sylvester the IV.
1210 – Pope Innocent III excommunicated Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV.
1302 – Pope Boniface VIII issued the Papal bull Unam sanctam (One Faith).
1307 – William Tell shot an apple off of his son’s head.
1477 – William Caxton produced Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres, the first book printed on a printing press in England.
1493 – Christopher Columbus first sighted Puerto Rico.
1626 – St. Peter’s Basilica was consecrated.
1686 – Charles Francois Felix operated on King Louis XIV’s anal fistula after practicing the surgery on several peasants.
1730 – Frederick II (Frederick the Great), King of Prussia, was granted a royal pardon and released from confinement.
1785 David Wilkie, British artist, was born (d. 1841).
1803 – The Battle of Vertières, the last major battle of the Haitian Revolution, leading to the establishment of the Republic of Haiti, the first black republic in the Western Hemisphere.
1865 – Mark Twain’s story The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County was published in the New York Saturday Press.
1874 – En route to Auckland with immigrants, the Cospatrick caught fire and sank off South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.
1883 – American and Canadian railroads instituted five standard continental time zones, ending the confusion of thousands of local times.
1903 – The Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty was signed by the United States and Panama, giving the United States exclusive rights over the Panama Canal Zone.
1904 – General Esteban Huertas step down after the government of Panama fears he wants to stage a coup.
1905 – Prince Carl of Denmark became King Haakon VII of Norway.
1909 – Two United States warships were sent to Nicaragua after 500 revolutionaries (including two Americans) were executed by order of José Santos Zelaya.
1918 – Latvia declared its independence from Russia.
1926 – George Bernard Shaw refused to accept the money for his Nobel Prize, saying, “I can forgive Alfred Nobel for inventing dynamite, but only a fiend in human form could have invented the Nobel Prize.”
1928 – Release of the animated short Steamboat Willie, the first fully synchronized sound cartoon, directed by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks, featuring the third appearances of cartoon characters Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
1929 – 1929 Grand Banks earthquake: a Richter magnitude 7.2 submarine earthquake, centered on Grand Banks, broke 12 submarine transatlantic telegraph cables and triggered a tsunami that destroyed many south coast communities in the Burin Peninsula.
1930 – Sōka Kyōiku Gakkai, a Buddhist association later renamed Soka Gakkai, was founded by Japanese educators Tsunesaburo Makiguchi and Josei Toda.
1938 – Trade union members elected John L. Lewis as the first president of the Congress of Industrial Organisations.
1939 Margaret Atwood, Canadian writer, was born.
1940 – World War II: German leader Adolf Hitler and Italian Foreign Minister Galeazzo Ciano met to discuss Benito Mussolini’s disastrous invasion of Greece.
1940 – New York City’s Mad Bomber placed his first bomb at a Manhattan office building used by Consolidated Edison.
1942 – Susan Sullivan, American actress, was born.
1943 – World War II: Battle of Berlin: 440 Royal Air Force planes bombed Berlin causing only light damage and killing 131. The RAF lost nine aircraft and 53 air crew.
1947 – The Ballantyne’s Department Store fire in Christchurch killed 41.
1949 – The Iva Valley Shootin after the coal miners of Enugu, Nigeria struck over withheld wages; 21 miners were shot dead and 51 wounded by police under the supervision of the British colonial administration of Nigeria.
1961 – United States President John F. Kennedy sent 18,000 military advisors to South Vietnam.
1963 – The first push-button telephone went into service.
1967 – The United Kingdom government devalued the Pound sterling from $2.80 to £2.40.
1970 – U.S. President Richard Nixon asked the U.S. Congress for $155 million USD in supplemental aid for the Cambodian government.
1978 – Jim Jones led his Peoples Temple cult to a mass murder-suicide that claimed 918 lives in all, 909 of them in Jonestown itself, including over 270 children. Congressman Leo J. Ryan was murdered by members of the Peoples Temple hours earlier.
1983 Jon Johansen, Norwegian software developer, was born.
1987 – King’s Cross fire: 31 people died in a fire at the city’s busiest underground station at King’s Cross St Pancras.
1988 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan signed a bill into law allowing the death penalty for drug traffickers.
1991 – The Croatian city of Vukovar capitulates to the besieging Yugoslav People’s Army and allied Serb paramilitary forces.
1993 – North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was ratified by the USA House of Representatives.
1999 – In College Station, Texas, 12 were killed and 27 injured at Texas A&M University when the 59-foot-tall (18 m) Aggie Bonfire, under construction for the annual football game against the University of Texas, collapsed at 2:42am.
2002 – Iraq disarmament crisis: United Nations weapons inspectors led by Hans Blix arrived in Iraq.
2003 – In a 50-page, 4–3 decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that the state may not “deny the protections, benefits and obligations conferred by civil marriage to two individuals of the same sex who wish to marry.”
2004 – The Clinton Presidential Centre was opened in Little Rock, Arkansas, containing 2 million photographs and 80 million documents.
2013 – NASA launched the MAVEN probe to Mars.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia