871 – Alfred the Great led a West Saxon army to repel an invasion by Danelaw Vikings.
1455 – The Romanus Pontifex was written.
1697 – Last execution for blasphemy in Britain; of Thomas Aikenhead, student, at Edinburgh.
1734 Premiere of George Frideric Handel’s Ariodante at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden.
1746 Second Jacobite Rising: Bonnie Prince Charlie occupied Stirling.
1835 The United States national debt was 0 for the only time.
1862 Frank Nelson Doubleday, American publisher, was born (d. 1934).
1863 Geologist Julius von Haast led an exploratory expedition in search of a route from the east to the west coasts of the South Island.
1867 African American men were granted the right to vote in Washington, D.C.
1867 Emily Greene Balch, American writer and pacifist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was born (d. 1961).
1900 Dame Merlyn Myer, Australian philanthropist, was born (d. 1982).
1908 – William Hartnell, British actor, was born(d. 1975)
1911 – Gypsy Rose Lee, American actress and entertainer, was born (d. 1970).
1912 The African National Congress was founded.
1926 Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud became the King of Hejaz and renamed it Saudi Arabia.
1926 Soupy Sales, American comedian, was born(d. 2009).
1937 – Dame Shirley Bassey, Welsh singer, was born.
1940 Britain introduced food rationing.
1941 Graham Chapman, British comedian, was born (d. 1989).
1946 Robby Krieger, American musician (The Doors), was born.
1947 David Bowie, English musician, was born.
1959 – Fidel Castro‘s Cuban Revolution was completed with the take over of Santiago de Cuba.
1959 Paul Hester, Australian drummer (Crowded House), was born (d. 2005).
1962 – The Harmelen train disaster killed 93 people in The Netherlands.
1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a “War on Poverty” in the United States.
1973 – Soviet space mission Luna 21 was launched.
1975 Ella Grasso became Governor of Connecticut, becoming the first woman to serve as a Governor in the United States other than by succeeding her husband .
2004 The RMS Queen Mary 2, the largest passenger ship ever built, was christened by her namesake’s granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
2005 – The nuclear sub USS San Francisco collided at full speed with an undersea mountain south of Guam. One man was killed, but the sub surfaces and was repaired.
2010 – Gunmen from an offshoot the Front for the Liberation of the Enclave of Cabinda attacked the bus carrying the Togo national football team on its way to the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations, killing three.
2011 – An attempted assassination of Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and subsequent shooting in Casas Adobes, Arizona at a Safeway grocery store killed 6 people and wounded 13, including Giffords.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.