- 1880 – Thomas Edison files a patent for the light bulb.
- 1888 – National Geographic Society is founded.
- 1926 – First television broadcast is demonstrated
- 1943 – During WWII, the U.S. 8th Air Force conducted the first all-American bombing raid on Germany as 55 bombers targeted Wilhelmshaven, losing three planes while claiming to have shot down 22 German fighters. The success of this first mission encouraged U.S. military planners to begin regular daylight bombing raids, which eventually resulted in high casualty rates for the American crewmen involved.
- 1944 – World War II: The two-year Siege of Leningrad is lifted. This event is invariably referred to as The 900 Day Siege.
- 1945 – The Russian Army liberated Auschwitz death camp near Krakow in Poland, where the Nazis had systematically murdered an estimated 2,000,000 persons, including 1,500,000 Jews.
- 1967 – Three American astronauts were killed as a fire erupted inside Apollo 1 during a launch simulation test at Cape Kennedy, Florida.
- 1967 – U.S., U.K. and Soviet Union sign the Outer Space Treaty. The treaty bans the deployment of nuclear weapons in outer space and limits the use of the Moon to peaceful purposes.
- 1973 – Paris Peace Accords officially end the Vietnam War.
- 1983 – The first shaft of the world’s longest tunnel is completed. The Seikan Tunnel, 53.85 km (33.46 mi) in length, connects the Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido.
- 1756 – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Classic Composer)
- 1850 – Labor leader Samuel Gompers (1850-1924) was born in London. He emigrated to America at age 13, worked in a cigar factory, eventually becoming head of the Cigar Workers’ Union. He later brought together several national unions under the name American Federation of Labor and became its first president.
- 1859 – Kaiser Wilhem II (German Emperor)
- 1832 – Lewis Carroll (Author – Alice in Wonderland)
- 1908 – William Randolf Hearst Jr. (Media Mogul)
- 1944 – Mairead Maguire (Irish activist, Nobel Prize laureate1948 Mikhail Baryshnikov (Ballet Dancer and Actor)
- 1964 – Bridget Fonda (Actress)
- 1974 – Ole Einar Bjørndalen (Norwegian biathlete)
- 1901 – Giuseppe Verdi (Italian composer)
- 2008 – Suharto (Indonesian soldier, politician, 2nd President of Indonesia)
- 2009 – John Updike (American author, poet, critic)
- 2010 – J. D. Salinger (American author)
- 2014 – Pete Seeger (American singer-songwriter, guitarist)