1002 – English king Æthelred II ordered the killing of all Danes in England, in the St. Brice’s Day massacre.
1715 Dorothea Erxleben, first German female medical doctor, was born (d. 1762).
1841 – James Braid first saw a demonstration of animal magnetism, which led to his study of the subject he eventually called hypnotism.
1850 Robert Louis Stevenson, Scottish writer, was born (d. 1894).
1851 – The Denny Party landed at Alki Point, the first settlers in what would become Seattle, Washington.
1864 – The new Constitution of Greece was adopted.
1887 – Bloody Sunday clashes in central London.
1901 – The 1901 Caister Lifeboat Disaster.
1906 Eva Zeisel, American industrial designer, was born (d. 2011).
1916 – Prime Minister of Australia Billy Hughes was expelled from the Labor Party over his support for conscription.
1927 – The Holland Tunnel opened to traffic as the first Hudson River vehicle tunnel linking New Jersey to New York City.
1934 – Peter Arnett, New Zealand-born American journalist, was born.
1941 – World War II: The aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal was torpedoed by U 81.
1942 – World War II: Naval Battle of Guadalcanal – U.S. and Japanese ships engaged in an intense, close-quarters surface naval engagement.
1947 – Russia completed development of the AK-47, one of the first proper assault rifles.
1950 – General Carlos Delgado Chalbaud, President of Venezuela, was assassinated.
1954 – Great Britain defeated France to capture the first ever Rugby League World Cup in Paris.
1955 Whoopi Goldberg, American actress, comedian, and singer, was born.
1956 – The United States Supreme Court declared Alabama and Montgomery, Alabama laws requiring segregated buses illegal, ending the Montgomery Bus Boycott.
1965 – The SS Yarmouth Castle burned and sanks60 miles off Nassau with the loss of 90 lives.
1969 – Vietnam War: Anti-war protesters in Washington, D.C. staged a symbolic March Against Death.
1970 – Bhola cyclone: A 150-mph tropical cyclone hit the Ganges Delta region of East Pakistan (now Bangladesh), killing an estimated 500,000 people in one night. This is regarded as the 20th century’s worst natural disaster.
1971 – The American space probe, Mariner 9, became the first spacecraft to orbit another planet successfully, swinging into its planned trajectory around Mars.
1982 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans.
1985 – The volcano Nevado del Ruiz erupted and melted a glacier, causing a lahar that buried Armero, Colombia, killing approximately 23,000 people.
1985 – Xavier Suarez was sworn in as Miami, Florida’s first Cuban-born mayor.
1988 – Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian law student in Portland, Oregon was beaten to death by members of the Neo-Nazi group East Side White Pride.
1990 – David Gray shot dead 13 people, in the Aramoana Massacre.
1992 – The High Court of Australia ruled in Dietrich v The Queen that although there was no absolute right to have publicly funded counsel, in most circumstances a judge should grant any request for an adjournment or stay when an accused was unrepresented.
1994 – In a referendum voters in Sweden decided to join the European Union.
1995 – A truck-bomb exploded outside a US-operated Saudi Arabian National Guard training center in Riyadh, killing five Americans and two Indians.
2001 – War on Terrorism: US President George W. Bush signs an executive order allowing military tribunals against foreigners suspected of connections to terrorist acts or planned acts on the United States.
2002 – The oil tanker Prestige sank off the Galician coast and causes a huge oil spill.
2005 – Andrew Stimpson, a 25-year old British man, was reported as the first person proven to have been “cured” of HIV.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia