557 – Constantinople was severely damaged by an earthquake.
835 – Sweet Dew Incident: Emperor Wenzong of the Tang Dynasty conspired to kill the powerful eunuchs of the Tang court, but the plot is foiled.
1503 Nostradamus, French astrologer, was born (d. 1566).
1542 Princess Mary Stuart became Queen Mary I of Scotland.
1751 The Theresian Military Academy was founded as the first Military Academy in the world.
1782 The Montgolfier brothers’ first balloon lifts on its first test flight.
1843 The first Auckland A&P Show was held.
1895 King George VI was born (d. 1952).
1896 The Glasgow Underground Railway was opened by the Glasgow District Subway Company.
1902 The Commercial Pacific Cable Company laid the first Pacific telegraph cable, from Ocean Beach, San Francisco to Honolulu, Hawaii.
1903 The Wright Brothers made their first attempt to fly with the Wright Flyer at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.
1918 Friedrich Karl von Hessen, a German prince elected by the Parliament of Finland to become King Väinö I, renounces the Finnish throne.
1932 Charlie Rich, American musician, was born (d. 1995).
1946 Patty Duke, American actress, was born.
1948 Kim Beazley, Australian politician, was born.
1949 Cliff Williams, English bassist (AC/DC), was born.
1951 – Lindsay Perigo, New Zealand broadcaster, first leader of Libertarianz Party, was born.
1958 Scottish singer-songwriter Mike Scott, (The Waterboys), was born.
1958 Spider Stacy, English musician (The Pogues), was born.
1962 NASA‘s Mariner 2 became the first spacecraft to fly by Venus.
1963 – Baldwin Hills Reservoir wall burst, killing five people and damaging hundreds of homes in Los Angeles.
1972 Apollo programme: Eugene Cernan was the last person to walk on the moon, after he and Harrison Schmitt completed the third and final Extra-vehicular activity (EVA) of Apollo 17. This was the last manned mission to the moon of the 20th century.
2008 President George W. Bush made his fourth and final (planned) trip to Iraq as president and almost got struck by two shoes thrown at him by Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi during a farewell conference in Baghdad.
2012 – 28 people, including the gunman, were killed in a mass shooting in Sandy Hook village, Newtown, Connecticut.
2013 – A reported coup attempt in South Sudan led to continued fighting and hundreds of casualties.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.