- 1649 – King Charles I of England was beheaded for treason by order of Parliament under the direction of Oliver Cromwell, leader of the Puritan Revolution.
- 1835 – President Andrew Jackson survived the first assassination attempt on a U.S. President. While leaving the House of Representatives Chamber, an insane would-be assassin fired two pistol shots at him, however both pistols misfired and the president was unharmed.
- 1847 – Yerba Buena, California is renamed San Francisco.
- 1862 – The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor is launched.1933 – Adolf Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.
- 1945 – 9,400 people die in the deadliest maritime disaster in history. The “Wilhelm Gustloff” was sunk by a Soviet submarine during World War II.
- 1948 – Civil rights leader Mohandas Gandhi is assassinated.
- 1968 – Beginning of the Tet Offensive in Vietnam as North Vietnamese troops attacked 36 provincial capitals and 5 major cities in South Vietnam, including an attack on the U.S. Embassy in Saigon and the presidential palace. Although U.S. forces eventually fended off the massive surprise attack and achieved a military victory, Tet became a propaganda victory for the Vietnamese due in part to graphic news reports on television which helped turn U.S. public opinion against continuation of the Vietnam war.
- 1969 – The Beatles give their last public performance. The concert was played on the rooftop of the Apple Corps building at 3 Savile Row in London.
- 1972 – In Londonderry, Northern Ireland, 13 Roman Catholics were killed by British troops during a banned civil rights march. The event became known as Bloody Sunday.
- 1973 – During the Watergate scandal, Gordon Liddy and James McCord were convicted of burglary, wire-tapping and attempted bugging of the Democratic headquarters inside the Watergate building in Washington, D.C.
- 1982 – The first computer virus is released “into the wild”. Elk Cloner was created by 15-year-old Richard Skrenta as a practical joke.
- 1992 – Argentina allowed access to numerous files of Nazis who had fled to South America from Germany after World War II, thus aiding the hunt for Nazi war criminals.
- 1994 – Peter Leko becomes the youngest grand master in chess.
- 1852 – Ion Luca Caragiale (Romanian playwright, poet)
- 1882 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt (32nd US President)
- 1931 – Gene Hackman (Actor)
- 1937 – Vanessa Redgrave (Actress)
- 1941 – Dick Chaney (US Vice-President)
- 1951 – Phil Collins (Singer)
- 1974 – Christian Bale (Actor)
- 1649 – Charles I of England
- 1948 – Orville Wright (American aviation pioneer)
- 1951 – Ferdinand Porsche (Austrian/German engineer, businessman, founded Porsche)
- 1963 – Francis Poulenc (French composer)
- 2001 – Johnnie Johnson (English pilot)