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- 1409 – The University of Leipzig opens.
- 1755 – The second Eddystone Lighthouse is destroyed by fire.
- 1763 – Dedication of the Touro Synagogue, in Newport, Rhode Island, the first synagogue in what became the United States.
- 1775 – The becomes the first vessel to fly the Grand Union Flag (the precursor to the Stars and Stripes); the flag is hoisted by John Paul Jones.
- 1804 – At Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, Napoleon Bonaparte crowns himself Emperor of the French, the first French Emperor in a thousand years.
- 1805 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Austerlitz – French troops under Napoleon Bonaparte defeat a joint Russo-Austrian force.
- 1823 – Monroe Doctrine: US President James Monroe delivers a speech establishing American neutrality in future European conflicts.
- 1845 – Manifest Destiny: US President James K. Polk announces to Congress that the United States should aggressively expand into the West.
- 1848 – Franz Josef I becomes Emperor of Austria.
- 1851 – French President Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte overthrows the Second Republic.
- 1852 – Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte becomes Emperor of the French (Napoleon III).
- 1859 – Militant abolitionist leader John Brown is hanged for his October 16th raid on Harper's Ferry.
- 1867 – At Tremont Temple in Boston, British author Charles Dickens gives his first public reading in the United States.
- 1899 – Philippine-American War: The Battle of Tirad Pass, termed "The Filipino Thermopylae", is fought.
- 1908 – Child Emperor Pu Yi ascends the Chinese throne at the age of two
- 1917 – An armistice is signed between Russia and the Central Powers at Brest-Litovsk and peace talks leading to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk began.
- 1920 – Following more than a month of Turkish-Armenian War, the Turkish dictated Treaty of Alexandropol is concluded.
- 1927 – Following 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Model A as its new automobile.
- 1930 – Great Depression: US President Herbert Hoover goes before the United States Congress and asks for a US$150 million public works program to help generate jobs and stimulate the economy.
- 1939 – New York City's La Guardia Airport opens.
- 1942 – Manhattan Project: A team led by Enrico Fermi initiates the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction.
- 1943 – A Luftwaffe bombing raid on the harbour of Bari, Italy, sinks numerous cargo and transport ships, including an American Liberty ship, the John Harvey, with a stockpile of World War I-era mustard gas.
- 1946 – The British Government invites four Indian leaders, Nehru, Baldev Singh, Jinnah and Liaquat Ali Khan to obtain the participation of all parties in the Constituent Assembly.
- 1947 – Jerusalem Riots of 1947: Riots break out in Jerusalem in response to the approval of the 1947 UN Partition Plan.
- 1954 – Red Scare: The United States Senate votes 65 to 22 to condemn Joseph McCarthy for "conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute".
- 1954 – The Sino-American Mutual Defense Treaty, between the United States and the Republic of China, is signed in Washington, D.C..
- 1956 – The Granma yacht reaches the shores of Cuba's Oriente province and Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and 80 other members of the 26th of July Movement disembark to initiate the Cuban Revolution.
- 1961 – In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader Fidel Castro declares that he is a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism.
- 1962 – Vietnam War: After a trip to Vietnam at the request of US President John F. Kennedy, US Senate Majority Leader Mike Mansfield becomes the first American official not to make an optimistic public comment on the war's progress.
- 1970 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency begins operations.
- 1971 – Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Fujairah, Sharjah, Dubai, and Umm Al Quwain form the United Arab Emirates.
- 1975 – Pathet Lao seizes power in Laos, and establishes the Lao People's Democratic Republic.
- 1976 – Fidel Castro becomes President of Cuba replacing Osvaldo Dorticós Torrado.
- 1980 – Four U.S. nuns and churchwomen, Ita Ford, Maura Clarke, Jean Donovan, and Dorothy Kazel, are murdered by a death squad in El Salvador.
- 1982 – At the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.
- 1988 – Benazir Bhutto is sworn in as Prime Minister of Pakistan, becoming the first woman to head the government of an Islam-dominated state.
- 1993 – Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar is shot and killed in Medellín.
- 1993 – Space Shuttle program: STS-61 – NASA launches the Space Shuttle Endeavour on a mission to repair the Hubble Space Telescope.
- 1999 – Glenbrook rail accident near Sydney, New South Wales.
- 1999 – The United Kingdom devolves political power in Northern Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive.
- 2001 – Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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- imieniny: Aurelia, Bibiana, Bibianna, Blanka, Budzisław, Budzisława, Jan, Ludwina, Maria, Paulina, Rafał, Sulisław, Sylwan, Sylweriusz, Walenty, Walentyn, Wiktoryn i Zbylut.
- Laos - Święto Republiki
- Zjednoczone Emiraty Arabskie - Rocznica Proklamowania Federacji
- ONZ - Międzynarodowy Dzień Upamiętniający Zniesienie Niewolnictwa
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