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- 451 – Attila the Hun sacks the town of Metz and attacks other cities in Gaul.
- 529 – First draft of the Corpus Juris Civilis (a fundamental work in jurisprudence) is issued by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I.
- 1348 – Charles University is founded in Prague.
- 1521 – Ferdinand Magellan arrives at Cebu.
- 1541 – Francis Xavier leaves Lisbon on a mission to the Portuguese East Indies.
- 1724 – Premiere performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's St John Passion BWV 245 at St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig.
- 1767 – End of Burmese–Siamese War (1765–1767)
- 1776 – Captain John Barry and the captures the Edward.
- 1788 – American Pioneers to the Northwest Territory arrive at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, establishing Marietta, Ohio, as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory, and opening the westward expansion of the new country.
- 1798 – The Mississippi Territory is organized from disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain. It is expanded in 1804 and again in 1812.
- 1805 – Lewis and Clark Expedition: The Corps of Discovery breaks camp among the Mandan tribe and resumes its journey West along the Missouri River.
- 1827 – John Walker, an English chemist, sells the first friction match that he had invented the previous year.
- 1829 – Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, commences translation of the Book of Mormon, with Oliver Cowdery as his scribe.
- 1831 – D. Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil, resigns. He goes to his native Portugal to become King D. Pedro IV.
- 1862 – American Civil War: Battle of Shiloh ends – the Union Army under General Ulysses S. Grant defeats the Confederates near Shiloh, Tennessee.
- 1868 – Thomas D'Arcy McGee, one of the Canadian Fathers of Confederation is assassinated by the Irish, in one of the few Canadian political assassinations, and the only one of a federal politician.
- 1890 – Completion of the first Lake Biwa Canal.
- 1906 – Mount Vesuvius erupts and devastates Naples.
- 1906 – The Algeciras Conference gives France and Spain control over Morocco.
- 1908 – H. H. Asquith of the Liberal Party takes office as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, succeeding Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman
- 1922 – Teapot Dome scandal: United States Secretary of the Interior leases Teapot Dome petroleum reserves in Wyoming.
- 1927 – First distance public television broadcast (from Washington, D.C., to New York City, displaying the image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover).
- 1933 – Prohibition is repealed for beer of no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight, eight months before the ratification of the XXI amendment.
- 1939 – World War II: Italy invades Albania.
- 1940 – Booker T. Washington becomes the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.
- 1943 – Holocaust: In Terebovlia, Ukraine, Germans order 1,100 Jews to undress to their underwear and march through the city of Terebovlia to the nearby village of Plebanivka where they are shot dead and buried in ditches.
- 1943 – Ioannis Rallis becomes collaborationist Prime Minister of Greece during the WWII Axis Occupation.
- 1945 – World War II: The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, is sunk by American planes 200 miles north of Okinawa while en-route to a suicide mission in Operation Ten-Go.
- 1945 – World War II: Visoko is liberated by the 7th, 9th, and 17th Krajina brigades from the Tenth division of Yugoslav Partisan forces.
- 1946 – Syria's independence from France is officially recognised.
- 1948 – The World Health Organization is established by the United Nations.
- 1948 – A Buddhist monastery burns in Shanghai, China, leaving twenty monks dead.
- 1954 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his "domino theory" speech during a news conference.
- 1956 – Spain relinquishes its protectorate in Morocco.
- 1964 – IBM announces the System/360.
- 1967 – Film critic Roger Ebert published his very first film review in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- 1969 – The Internet's symbolic birth date: publication of RFC 1.
- 1971 – President Richard Nixon announces his decision to increase the rate of American troop withdrawals from Vietnam.
- 1976 – Former British Cabinet Minister John Stonehouse resigns from the Labour Party.
- 1977 – German Federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback and his driver are shot by two Red Army Faction members while waiting at a red light.
- 1978 – Development of the neutron bomb is canceled by President Jimmy Carter.
- 1983 – During STS-6, astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson perform the first space shuttle spacewalk.
- 1985 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declares a moratorium on the deployment of middle-range missiles in Europe.
- 1989 – Soviet submarine Komsomolets sinks in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway killing 42 sailors.
- 1990 – Iran Contra Affair: John Poindexter is found guilty of five charges for his part in the scandal (the conviction is later reversed on appeal).
- 1990 – A fire breaks out on the passenger ferry M/S Scandinavian Star, killing 158 people.
- 1992 – Republika Srpska announces its independence.
- 1994 – Rwandan Genocide: Massacres of Tutsis begin in Kigali, Rwanda.
- 1994 – Auburn Calloway attempts to hijack FedEx Express Flight 705 and crash it to insure his family with his life insurance policy. The crew subdues him and lands the aircraft safely.
- 1995 – First Chechen War: Russian paramilitary troops begin a massacre of civilians in Samashki, Chechnya.
- 1999 – The World Trade Organization rules in favor of the United States in its long-running trade dispute with the European Union over bananas.
- 2001 – Mars Odyssey is launched.
- 2003 – U.S. troops capture Baghdad; Saddam Hussein's regime falls two days later.
- 2009 – Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori is sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering killings and kidnappings by security forces.
- 2009 – Mass protests begin across Moldova under the belief that results from the parliamentary election are fraudulent.
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