- 1685 – The Edict of Nantes was revoked by King Louis XIV of France thus depriving Protestant Huguenots of all religious and civil liberties previously granted to them by Henry IV in 1598.
- 1851 – Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville, is first published
- 1867 – United States purchases Alaska from Russia for $7.2M. This day is celebrated annually as Alaska Day.
- 1898 – United States takes possession of Puerto Rico.
- 1925 – The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN opens.
- 1945 – The Nuremberg War Crimes Trial began with indictments against 24 former Nazi leaders including Hermann Göring and Albert Speer. The trial lasted 10 months, with delivery of the judgment completed on October 1, 1946. Twelve Nazis were sentenced to death by hanging, three to life imprisonment, four to lesser prison terms, and three were acquitted.
- 1954 – Texas Instruments announces the first Transistor radio
- 1967 – First Space Probe to Enter the Atmosphere of Another Planet. The Soviet Probe Venera 4 entered Venus’ atmosphere and sent back information to Earth for about 90 minutes before it lost contact. When Venera 7 landed on Venus a few years later, it became the first probe to land on another planet.
- 1968 – Bob Beamon makes an amazing long jump and sets a world record of 8.90m
- 1977 – Reggie Jackson hits three consecutive home runs in a baseball game.
- 1998 – Jesse Pipeline Explosion in Nigeria Kills Over 200. The oil pipeline, which was owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, was situated just outside the city of Lagos. Over 200 people died in the resulting fire that raged for 6 days before it could be put out.
- 2007 – Benazir Bhutto returns to Pakistan. The former Prime Minister of Pakistan and daughter of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the 9th PM of Pakistan, Benazir returned to Pakistan after living 8 years in London and Dubai in a self-imposed exile. Two months later she was assassinated in a bombing while campaigning for the forthcoming elections.
- 1919 – Pierre Trudeau (Canadian politician, 15th Prime Minister of Canada)
- 1921 – Jesse Helms (American politician)
- 1926 – Chuck Berry (Singer)
- 1928 – Keith Jackson (Sports Commentator)
- 1935 – Peter Boyle (Actor)
- 1939 – Mike Ditka (Former NFL Football Coach)
- 1939 – Lee Harvey Oswald (Assassin of President Kennedy)
- 1956 – Martina Navratilova (Tennis Player)
- 1960 – Jean-Claude Van Damme (Belgian martial artist, actor, director)
- 1984 – Lindsey Vonn (Gold Medal Skier)
- 1987 – Zac Efron (Actor)
- 1541 – Margaret Tudor (English wife of James IV of Scotland)