20 BC coronation ceremony of Liu Bang as Emperor Gaozu of Han takes place, initiating four centuries of the Han Dynasty‘s rule over China.
870 The Fourth Council of Constantinople closed.
1261 Margaret of Scotland, queen of Norway, was born (d. 1283).
1638 The Scottish National Covenant was signed in Edinburgh.
1710 In the Battle of Helsingborg, 14,000 Danish invaders under Jørgen Rantzau were decisively defeated by an equally sized Swedish force under Magnus Stenbock.
1784 John Wesley chartered the Methodist Church.
1787 The charter establishing the institution now known as the University of Pittsburgh was granted.
1824 Blondin, French tightrope walker, was born (d. 1897).
1827 The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was incorporated, becoming the first railroad in America offering commercial transportation of both people and freight.
1844 A gun on USS Princeton exploded while the boat was on a Potomac River cruise, killing eight people, including two United States Cabinet members.
1849 Regular steamboat service from the west to the east coast of the United States began with the arrival of the SS California in San Francisco Bay, 4 months 21 days after leaving New York Harbour.
1865 Wilfred Grenfell, medical missionary, was born (d. 1940).
1870 The Bulgarian Exarchate was established by decree of Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz of the Ottoman Empire.
1883 The first vaudeville theatre opened in Boston, Massachusetts.
1897 Queen Ranavalona III, the last monarch of Madagascar, was deposed by a French military force.
1900 The Second Boer War: The 118-day “Siege of Ladysmith” was lifted.
1912 Clara Petacci, Italian mistress of Benito Mussolini, was born (d. 1945).
1914 The Autonomous Republic of Northern Epirus was proclaimed in Gjirokastër, by the Greeks living in southern Albania.
1922 The United Kingdom accepted the independence of Egypt.
1925 Harry H Corbett, English actor, was born (d. 1982).
1928 C.V. Raman discovered Raman effect.
1933 Gleichschaltung: The Reichstag Fire Decree was passed in Germany a day after the Reichstag fire.
1935 DuPont scientist Wallace Carothers invented Nylon.
1939 The first issue of Serbian weekly magazine Politikin zabavnik was published.
1939 – The erroneous word “Dord” was discovered in the Webster’s New International Dictionary, Second Edition, prompting an investigation.
1942 Brian Jones, English musician (The Rolling Stones), was born (d. 1969).
1942 The heavy cruiser USS Houston (CA-30) was sunk in the Battle of Sunda Strait with 693 crew members killed.
1943 Charles Bernstein, American composer, was born.
1945 New Zealand soldier David Russell was executed by a Nazi firing squad in Italy.
1946 Robin Cook, British politician, was born.
1947 228 Incident: In Taiwan, civil disorder is put down with the loss of 30,000 civilian lives.
1953 Paul Krugman, American economist, Nobel laureate, was born.
1957 Cindy Wilson, American singer (The B-52′s), was born.
1958 A school bus in Floyd County, Kentucky hits a wrecker truck and plunged down an embankment into the rain-swollen Levisa Fork River. The driver and 26 children died in what remains the worst school bus accident in U.S. history.
1970 Daniel Handler, American writer, better known as Lemony Snicket, was born.
1972 The Asama-Sanso incident ended in Japan.
1972 The United States and People’s Republic of China signed the Shanghai Communiqué.
1974 Moana Mackey, New Zealand politician, was born.
1975 A major tube train crash at Moorgate station, London killed 43 people.
1985 The Provisional Irish Republican Army carried out a mortar attack on the Royal Ulster Constabulary police station at Newry, killing nine officers in the highest loss of life for the RUC on a single day.
1986 Olof Palme, Prime Minister of Sweden was assassinated in Stockholm.
1991 The first Gulf War ended.
1993 Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents raided the Branch Davidian church in Waco, Texas with a warrant to arrest the group’s leader David Koresh. Four BATF agents and five Davidians die in the initial raid, starting a 51-day standoff.
1995 Denver International Airport officially opened in Denver, Colorado to replace Stapleton International Airport
1997 – The North Hollywood shootout took place.
1998 – First flight of RQ-4 Global Hawk, the first unmanned aerial vehicle certified to file its own flight plans and fly regularly in U.S. civilian airspace.
1998 – Kosovo War: Serbian police begin the offensive against the Kosovo Liberation Army in Kosovo.
2001 – The Nisqually Earthquake measuring 6.8 on the Richter Scale hits the Nisqually Valley and the Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia area of the U.S. state of Washington.
2001 – Six passengers and four railway staff are killed and a further 82 people suffer serious injuries in the Selby rail crash.
200 More than 1 million Taiwanese participating in the 228 Hand-in-Hand Rally formed a 500-kilometre (300-mile) long human chain to commemorate the 228 Incident in 1947.
2005 Lebanon‘s pro-Syrian prime minister, Omar Karami, resigned amid large anti-Syria street demonstrations in Beirut.
2005 A suicide bombing at a police recruiting centre in Al Hillah, Iraq killed 127.
2007 Jupiter flyby of the New Horizons Pluto-observer spacecraft.
2013 – Pope Benedict XVI resigned as the pope of the Catholic Church becoming the first pope to do so since 1415.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia