537 The Hagia Sophia was completed.
1571 Johannes Kepler, German astronomer, was born (d. 1630).
1773 George Cayley, English scientist, inventor, and politician, was born (d. 1857).
1822 Louis Pasteur, French scientist, was born (d. 1895).
1831 Charles Darwin embarked on his journey aboard the HMS Beagle.
1836 The worst ever avalanche in England occurred at Lewes, Sussex, killing 8 people.
1845 Ether anesthetic was used for childbirth for the first time by Dr. Crawford Williamson Long in Jefferson, Georgia.
1901 Marlene Dietrich, German actress and singer, was born (d. 1992).
1915 William Masters, American gynecologist, was born (d. 2001).
1918 The Great Poland Uprising against the Germans began.
1922 Japanese aircraft carrier Hōshō became the first purpose built aircraft carrier to be commissioned in the world.
1932 Radio City Music Hall opened in New York City.
1941 Michael Pinder, British musician (Moody Blues), was born .
1943 Joan Manuel Serrat, Spanish musician, was born.
1945 The World Bank was created with the signing of an agreement by 28 nations.
1948 Gérard Depardieu, French actor, was born.
1949 Indonesian National Revolution: The Netherlands officially recognised Indonesian independence.
1968 Apollo Program: Apollo 8 splashed down in the Pacific Ocean, ending the first orbital manned mission to the Moon.
1951 Ernesto Zedillo, President of Mexico, was born.
1955 Brad Murphey, Australian racing driver, was born.
1978 Spain became a democracy after 40 years of dictatorship.
1979 Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan.
1987 Rewi Alley, friend of China, died of heart failure and cerebral thrombosis at his Beijing residence.
2001 The People’s Republic of China was granted permanent normal trade relations with the United States.
2004 Radiation from an explosion on the magnetar SGR 1806-20 reachedEarth – the brightest extrasolar event known to have been witnessed on the planet.
2007 – Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was assassinated by a suicide bomber.
2008 – Israel launched 3-week operation on Gaza – Operation Cast Lead.
2009 – On the Day of Ashura in Tehran, government security forces fired upon demonstrators.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.