971 – In China, the war elephant corps of the Southern Han were soundly defeated at Shao by crossbow fire from Song Dynasty troops. The Southern Han state was forced to submit to the Song Dynasty, ending not only Southern Han rule, but also the first regular war elephant corps employed in a Chinese army that had gained the Southern Han victories throughout the 10th century.
1368 Zhu Yuanzhang ascended to the throne of China as the Hongwu Emperor, initiating Ming Dynasty rule over China that lasted for three centuries.
1510 Henry VIII, then 18 years old, appeared incognito in the lists at Richmond, and was applauded for his jousting before he reveals his identity.
1556 The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hit Shaanxi province, China. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000.
1570 The assassination of regent James Stewart, 1st Earl of Moray threw Scotland into civil war.
1571 The Royal Exchange opened in London.
1579 The Union of Utrecht formed a Protestant republic in the Netherlands.
1656 Blaise Pascal published the first of his Lettres provinciales.
1719 The Principality of Liechtenstein was created within the Holy Roman Empire.
1789 Georgetown College, the first Roman Catholic college in the United States, was founded.
1793 Second Partition of Poland: Russia and Prussia partitioned Poland for the second time.
1813 Camilla Collett, Norwegian writer and feminist, was born (d. 1895).
1849 Elizabeth Blackwell the USA’s first female doctor, was awarded her M.D. by the Medical Institute of Geneva, New York.
1855 John Moses Browning, American inventor, was born (d. 1926).
1855 A magnitude 8.2 earthquake hit the Wellington region.
1855 The first bridge over the Mississippi River opened.
1870 U.S. cavalrymen killed 173 Native Americans, mostly women and children, in the Marias Massacre.
1897 Sir William Samuel Stephenson, Canadian soldier, W.W.II codename, Intrepid. Inspiration for James Bond., was born (d. 1989).
1897 Elva Zona Heaster was found dead.The resulting murder trial of her husband is perhaps the only case in United States history where the alleged testimony of a ghost helped secure a conviction.
1899 Emilio Aguinaldo was sworn in as President of the First Philippine Republic.
1904 Ålesund Fire: the Norwegian coastal town Ålesund was devastated by fire, leaving 10,000 people homeless and one person dead.
1907 Charles Curtis of Kansas became the first Native American U.S. Senator.
1912 The International Opium Convention was signed at The Hague.
1920 The Netherlands refused to surrender ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany to the Allies.
1943 Troops of Montgomery‘s 8th Army captured Tripoli from the German-Italian Panzer Army.
1943 World War II: Australian and American forces defeated the Japanese army in Papua. This turning point in the Pacific War marked the beginning of the end of Japanese aggression.
1943 Duke Ellington played at Carnegie Hall for the first time.
1948 Anita Pointer, American singer (Pointer Sisters), was born.
1950 – The Knesset passed a resolution that stated Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
1951 Yachts left Wellington bound for Lyttelton in an ocean yacht race to celebrate Canterbury’s centenary. Only one, Tawhiri, officially finished the race. Two other yachts, Husky and Argo, were lost along with their 10 crew members.
1951 – Chesley Sullenberger
, Captain of US Airways Flight 1549, a flight that successfully ditched into the Hudson River, was born.
1960 The bathyscaphe USS Trieste broke a depth record by descending to 10,911 m (35,798 feet) in the Pacific Ocean.
1964 The 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution, prohibiting the use of poll taxes in national elections, was ratified.
1973 President Richard Nixon announced that a peace accord has been reached in Vietnam.
1973 A volcanic eruption devastated Heimaey in the Vestmannaeyjar chain of islands off the south coast of Iceland.
1985 O.J. Simpson became the first Heisman Trophy winner elected to the Football Hall of Fame.
1986 The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its first members: Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, the Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley.
1997 Madeleine Albright became the first woman to serve as United States Secretary of State.
2003 Final communication between Earth and Pioneer 10
2009 Dendermonde nursery attack in Dendermonde, Belgium.
2010 – Protests took place in 60 Canadian cities against the prorogation of the 40th Canadian Parliament.
2012 – A group of Gaddafi loyalists took control of part of the town of Bani Walid and flew the green flag after a battle with NTC forces left 5 dead and 20 injured.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.