778 The Battle of Roncevaux Pass, at which Roland was killed.
927 The Saracens conquered and destroy Taranto.
982 Holy Roman Emperor Otto II was defeated by the Saracens in the battle of Capo Colonna.
1018 Byzantine general Eustathios Daphnomeles blinded and capturedIbatzes of Bulgaria by a ruse, ending Bulgarian resistance against Emperor Basil II’s conquest of Bulgaria.
1040 King Duncan I was killed in battle against his first cousin and rivalMacbeth.
1057 King Macbeth was killed at the Battle of Lumphanan by the forces of Máel Coluim mac Donnchada.
1185 The cave city of Vardzia was consecrated by Queen Tamar of Georgia.
1248 The foundation stone of Cologne Cathedral, built to house the relics of the Three Wise Men, was laid.
1261 Michael VIII Palaeologus was crowned Byzantine emperor.
1309 The city of Rhodes surrendered to the forces of the Knights of St. John, completing their conquest of Rhodes. The knights establish their headquarters on the island and renamed themselves the Knights of Rhodes.
1461 The Empire of Trebizond surrendered to the forces of Sultan Mehmet II – regarded by some historians as the real end of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor David was exiled.
1534 Saint Ignatius of Loyola and six classmates took initial vows, leading to the creation of the Society of Jesus in September 1540.
1599 Nine Years War: Battle of Curlew Pass – Irish forces led by Hugh Roe O’Donnell successfully ambushed English forces, led by Sir Conyers Clifford, sent to relieve Collooney Castle.
1717 – Blind Jack, (John Metcalf ), English engineer, was born (d. 1810).
1760 Seven Years’ War: Battle of Liegnitz – Frederick the Great’s victory over the Austrians under Ernst von Laudon.
1769 Napoléon Bonaparte, Emperor of France, was born (d. 1821).
1771 Sir Walter Scott, Scottish novelist and poet, was born (d. 1832).
1807 – Jules Grévy, French lawyer and politician, 4th President of the French Republic, was born (d. 1891).
1824 Freed American slaves founded Liberia.
1843 The Cathedral of Our Lady of Peace in Honolulu, Hawaii was dedicated.
1843 Tivoli Gardens amusement park opened in Copenhagen.
1858 – E. Nesbit, English author and poet was born (d. 1924).
1869 Henrietta Vinton Davis, American elocutionist, was born (d. 1941).
1863 The Anglo-Satsuma War began between the Satsuma Domain of Japan and the United Kingdom.
1875 Samuel Coleridge-Taylor , English composer, was born (d. 1912).
1881 – Helen Connon became the first woman in the British Empire to gain her Master of Arts degree.
1893 Leslie Comrie, New Zealand astronomer and computing pioneer, was born (d. 1950).
1907 Ordination in Constantinople of Fr. Raphael Morgan, first African-American Orthodox priest, “Priest-Apostolic” to America and the West Indies.
1909 A group of mid-level Greek Army officers launched the Goudi coup, seeking wide-ranging reforms.
1912 Julia Child, American cook (d. 2004)
1912 – Dame Wendy Hiller, English actress (d. 2003).
1914 Julian Carlton, servant of American architect Frank Lloyd Wright, set fire to the living quarters of the architect’s home, Taliesin, and murdered seven people.
1914 The Panama Canal opened to traffic with the transit of the cargo ship Ancon.
1917 – Jack Lynch, Irish footballer and politician, 5th Taoiseach of Ireland, was born (d. 1999).
1924 Robert Bolt, English playwright and screenwriter, was born (d. 1995).
1935 Will Rogers and Wiley Post were killed after their aircraft develops engine problems during takeoff.
1939 13 Stukas dived into the ground during a disastrous air-practice at Neuhammer.
1940 An Italian submarine torpedoed and sank the Greek cruiser Elli at Tinos harbour, marking the most serious Italian provocation prior to the outbreak of the Greco-Italian War in October.
1941 Corporal Josef Jakobs was executed by firing squad at the Tower of London making him the last person to be executed at the Tower for treason.
1942 Operation Pedestal – The SS Ohio reached the island of Malta barely afloat carrying vital fuel supplies for the island’s defenses.
1944 : Operation Dragoon – Allied forces landed in southern France.
1945 Victory over Japan Day – Japan surrendered.
In New Zealand VJ Day was celebrated. Sirens immediately sounded, a national ceremony was held, and the local celebrations followed.
1945 – World War II: Korean Liberation Day.
1947 India gained independence from the United Kingdom and becomes an independent nation within the Commonwealth.
1947 – Founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah was sworn in as first Governor General of Pakistan at Karachi.
1948 The Republic of Korea was established south of the 38th parallel north.
1950 Princess Anne, Princess Royal, was born.
1951 The troop ship Wahine was wrecked en route to the Korean War.
1952 – A flash flood in Lynmouth,Devon, killed 34 people.
1954 Stieg Larsson, Swedish writer, was born (d. 2004).
1954 Alfredo Stroessner began his dictatorship in Paraguay.
1958 – Simon Baron-Cohen, English-Canadian psychiatrist and author, was born.
1960 Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville) became independent from France.
1961 – Conrad Schumann fled from East Germany while on duty guarding the construction of the Berlin Wall.
1962 James Joseph Dresnok defected to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea after running across the Korean DMZ.
1963 Execution of Henry John Burnett, the last man to be hanged in Scotland.
1963 President Fulbert Youlou was overthrown in the Republic of Congo, after a three-day uprising in the capital.
1964 – Melinda Gates, American businesswoman and philanthropist, co-founded the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was born.
1965 – The Beatles played to nearly 60,000 fans at Shea Stadium in New York City, in an event later seen as marking the birth of stadium rock.
1969 The Woodstock Music and Art Festival opened.
1971 President Richard Nixon completed the break from the gold standard by ending convertibility of the United States dollar into gold by foreign investors.
1972 Ben Affleck, American actor, was born.
1973 – Vietnam War: The United States bombing of Cambodia ended.
1974 Yuk Young-soo, First Lady of South Korea, was killed during an apparent assassination attempt on President Park Chung-hee.
1975 Bangladesh’s founder Sheikh Mujibur Rehman and most members of his family were killed during a military coup.
1975 Miki Takeo made the first official pilgrimage to Yasukuni Shrine by an incumbent prime minister on the anniversary of the end of World War II.
1977 The Big Ear, a radio telescope operated by Ohio State University received a radio signal from deep space; the event is named the “Wow! signal” from the notation made by a volunteer on the project.
1984– The Kurdistan Workers’ Party in Turkey started a campaign of armed attacks upon the Turkish military with an attack on police and gendarmerie bases in Şemdinli and Eruh
1998 Omagh bomb in Northern Ireland, the worst terrorist incident of The Troubles.
1999 – Beni Ounif massacre ; some 29 people were killed at a false roadblock near the Moroccan border.
2007 An 8.0-magnitude earthquake off the Pacific coast devastated Ica and various regions of Peru killing 514 and injuring 1,090.
2013 – At least 27 people were killed and 226 injured in an explosion in southern Beirut near a complex used by Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon. A previously unknown Syrian Sunni group claimed responsibility in an online video.
2013 – The Smithsonian announced the discovery of the olinguito, the first new carnivorous species found in the Americas in 35 years.
2015 – North Korea moved its clock back half an hour to introduce Pyongyang Time, 8½ hours ahead of UTC.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia