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- 1799 – War of the Second Coalition: Battle of Wiesloch, Austrian Lieutenant Field Marshal Sztáray de Nagy-Mihaly defeats the French at Wiesloch.
- 1800 – War of the Second Coalition: Battle of Hohenlinden, French General Moreau defeats the Austrian Archduke John near Munich decisively, coupled with First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte's victory at Marengo effectively forcing the Austrians to sign an armistice and ending the war.
- 1818 – Illinois becomes the 21st U.S. state.
- 1834 – The Zollverein (German Customs Union) begins the first regular census in Germany.
- 1854 – Eureka Stockade: In what is claimed by many to be the birth of Australian democracy, more than 20 gold miners at Ballarat, Victoria, Australia are killed by state troopers in an uprising over mining licences.
- 1901 – US President Theodore Roosevelt delivers a 20,000-word speech to the House of Representatives asking the Congress to curb the power of trusts "within reasonable limits".
- 1904 – The Jovian moon Himalia is discovered by Charles Dillon Perrine at California's Lick Observatory.
- 1910 – Modern neon lighting is first demonstrated by Georges Claude at the Paris Motor Show.
- 1912 – Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia (the Balkan League) sign an armistice with Turkey, ending the two-month long First Balkan War.
- 1912 – First Balkan War: The Naval Battle of Elli takes place.
- 1917 – After nearly 20 years of planning and construction, including two collapses causing 89 deaths, the Quebec Bridge opens to traffic.
- 1927 – Putting Pants on Philip, the first Laurel and Hardy film, is released.
- 1944 – Greek Civil War: Fighting breaks out in Athens between the ELAS and government forces supported by the British Army.
- 1959 – The current flag of Singapore is adopted, six months after Singapore became self-governing within the British Empire.
- 1960 – The musical Camelot debuted at the Majestic Theatre on Broadway, and would become associated with the Kennedy administration.
- 1964 – Berkeley Free Speech Movement: Police arrest over 800 students at the University of California, Berkeley, following their takeover and sit-in at the administration building in protest at the UC Regents' decision to forbid protests on UC property.
- 1967 – At Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, South Africa, a transplant team headed by Christiaan Barnard carries out the first heart transplant on a human (53-year-old Louis Washkansky).
- 1970 – October Crisis: In Montreal, Quebec, kidnapped British Trade Commissioner James Cross is released by the Front de libération du Québec terrorist group after being held hostage for 60 days. Police negotiate his release and in return the Canadian government grants five terrorists from the FLQ's Chenier Cell their request for safe passage to Cuba.
- 1971 – Indo-Pakistani War of 1971: Pakistan launches pre-emptive strike against India and a full scale war begins claiming hundreds of lives.
- 1973 – Pioneer program: Pioneer 10 sends back the first close-up images of Jupiter.
- 1976 – An assassination attempt is made on Bob Marley. He is shot twice, but plays a concert two days later.
- 1979 – In Cincinnati, Ohio, 11 fans are suffocated in a crush for seats on the concourse outside Riverfront Coliseum before a Who concert.
- 1982 – A soil sample is taken from Times Beach, Missouri that will be found to contain 300 times the safe level of dioxin.
- 1984 – Bhopal Disaster: A methyl isocyanate leak from a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, kills more than 3,800 people outright and injures 150,000–600,000 others (some 6,000 of whom would later die from their injuries) in one of the worst industrial disasters in history.
- 1989 – Cold War: In a meeting off the coast of Malta, US President George H. W. Bush and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev release statements indicating that the cold war between Nato and The Soviet Union may be coming to an end.
- 1990 – At Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Northwest Airlines Flight 1482 collides with Northwest Airlines Flight 299 on the runway, killing 7 passengers and 1 crew member aboard flight 1482.
- 1992 – UN Security Council Resolution 794 is unanimously passed, approving a coalition of United Nations peacekeepers led by the United States to form UNITAF, with the task of establishing peace and ensuring that humanitarian aid is distributed in Somalia.
- 1992 – The Greek oil tanker Aegean Sea, carrying 80,000 tonnes of crude oil, runs aground in a storm while approaching La Coruña, Spain, and spills much of its cargo.
- 1992 – A test engineer for Sema Group uses a personal computer to send the world's first text message via the Vodafone network to the phone of a colleague.
- 1997 – In Ottawa, Canada, representatives from 121 countries sign The Ottawa treaty prohibiting manufacture and deployment of anti-personnel landmines. The United States, People's Republic of China, and Russia do not sign the treaty, however.
- 1999 – NASA loses radio contact with the Mars Polar Lander moments before the spacecraft enters the Martian atmosphere.
- 1999 – Six firefighters are killed in the Worcester Cold Storage Warehouse fire in Worcester, Massachusetts.
- 2005 – XCOR Aerospace makes first manned rocket aircraft delivery of US Mail in Mojave, California.
- 2007 – Winter storms cause the Chehalis River to flood many cities in Lewis County, Washington, also closing a 20-mile portion of Interstate 5 for several days. At least eight deaths and billions of dollars in damages are blamed on the floods.
- 2009 – A suicide bombing in Mogadishu, Somalia, claims the lives of 25 people, including three ministers of the Transitional Federal Government.
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