211 Roman Emperor Septimius Severus died, leaving the Roman Empire in the hands of his two quarrelsome sons, Caracalla and Geta.
960 The coronation of Zhao Kuangyin as Emperor Taizu of Song, initiating the Song Dynasty period.
1677 Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer, was born (d. 1731).
1703 In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin commited seppuku(ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.
1789 George Washington was unanimously elected as the first President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
1792 George Washington was unanimously elected to a second term as President of the United States by the U.S. Electoral College.
1794 The French legislature abolished slavery throughout all territories of the French Republic.
1810 The Royal Navy seized Guadeloupe.
1820 The Chilean Navy under the command of Lord Thomas Cochrane, 10th Earl of Dundonald completed the 2 day long capture of Valdivia with just 300 men and 2 ships.
1825 The Ohio Legislature authorizes the construction of the Ohio and Erie Canal and the Miami and Erie Canal.
1859 The Codex Sinaiticus was discovered in Egypt.
1902 Charles Lindbergh, American pilot, was born (d. 1974).
1905 Hylda Baker, English comedy actress, was born (d. 1986).
1913 Rosa Parks, American civil rights activist was, born (d. 2005).
1915 – Ray Evans, American songwriter with Jay Livingston, was born.
1915 – Norman Wisdom, English actor and comedian, was born (d. 2007).
1921 – Betty Friedan, American feminist, was born (d. 2006).
1921 – Lotfi Asker Zadeh, American-Iranian/Russian mathematician and computer scientist and the father of fuzzy logic., was born.
1936 Radium became the first radioactive element to be made synthetically.
1941 The United Service Organization (USO) was created to entertain American troops.
1941 – John Steel, British musician (The Animals), was born.
1945 World War II: The Yalta Conference began.
1947 Dan Quayle, 44th Vice President of the United States, was born.
1948 Alice Cooper, American musician, was born.
1948 Ceylon (later renamed Sri Lanka) became independent.
1952 – Dame Jenny Shipley, New Zealand’s first female Prime Minister, was born.
1957 The first nuclear-powered submarine, the USS Nautilus (SSN-571), logged its 60,000th nautical mile, matching the endurance of the fictionalNautilus described in Jules Verne‘s novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”.
1966 All Nippon Airways Boeing 727 jet plunged into Tokyo Bay, killing 133.
1967 Lunar Orbiter 3 lifted off from Cape Canaveral’s Launch Complex 13 on its mission to identify possible landing sites for the Surveyor and Apollo spacecraft.
1969 Yasser Arafat took over as chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
1974 The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnapped Patty Hearst in Berkeley, California.
1975 American Lynne Cox became the first woman to swim Cook Straitwhen she swam from the North Island to the South in a time of 12 hours 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
1975 Haicheng earthquake (magnitude 7.3 on the Richter scale) occurs in Haicheng, Liaoning, China.
1976 In Guatemala and Honduras an earthquake killed more than 22,000.
1980 Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini named Abolhassan Banisadr as president of Iran.
1985 The New Zealand Labour government refused the USS Buchananentry to the country on the grounds that the United States would neither confirm nor deny that the ship had nuclear capability.
1992 A Coup d’état led by Hugo Chávez Frías, against Venezuelan President Carlos Andrés Pérez.
1996 Major snowstorm paralysed Midwestern United States, Milwaukee, Wisconsin tied all-time record low temperature at -26°F (-32.2°C)
1997 Two Israeli Sikorsky CH-53 troop-transport helicopters collided in mid-air over northern Galilee, Israel killing 73.
1997 Serbian President Slobodan Milošević recognised opposition victories in the November 1996 elections.
1998 An earthquake measuring 6.1 on the Richter Scale in northeast Afghanistan killed more than 5,000.
1999 Unarmed West African immigrant Amadou Diallo was shot dead by four plainclothes New York City police officers on an urelated stake-out, inflaming race-relations in the city.
1999 The New Carissa ran aground near Coos Bay, Oregon.
2003 The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was officially renamed Serbia and Montenegro and adopted a new constitution.
2004 Facebook, an online social network was founded by Mark Zuckerberg.
2006 A stampede occured in the ULTRA Stadium near Manila killing 71.
2008 – The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) scheme began to operate.
2010 – The Federal Court of Australia’s ruling in Roadshow Films v iiNetset a precedent that Internet service providers (ISPs) were not responsible for what their users do with the services the ISPs provide them.
2015 – A TransAsia Airways aircraft with 58 people on board, en route from the Taiwanese capital Taipei to Kinmen, crashed into the Keelung River just after take-off, killing at least 31 people.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.