- 1522 – Ferdinand Magellan’s ship, the Victoria, returns to Spain. It is the first ship to circumnavigate the world.
- 1620 – The Pilgrims sail in the Mayflower from Plymouth, England to settle in North America.
- 1870 – A woman casts her vote in the US for the first time. Louisa Ann Swain voted during state elections in the state of Wyoming. Although women weren’t extended the right to vote in the US until 1920, the governor of Wyoming, John A. Campbell, had signed a bill that gave women the right to vote on December 13, 1869. This meant that women could vote in local and state elections, but not country-wide elections.
- 1915 – British Army tests the first prototype army tank.
- 1968 – Swaziland gains independence from the British. The Southern African state became a British protectorate in 1902 after the Anglo-Boer war. King Sobhuza became the head of the nation in and reigned even after independence until 1982. He was succeeded by Mswati III, his son, who currently rules the country.
- 1991 – Leningrad was renamed Saint Petersburg by Russian legislators following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Russia’s second largest city had been known as Leningrad for 67 years in honor of Vladimir Lenin, founder of the Soviet Union.
- 1995 – Cal Ripken Jr. breaks the record of 2,130 consecutive Major League Baseball games played
- 1999 – Suai Church Massacre. More than 200 people who had found refuge in a church in Suai, East Timor, were killed by pro-Indonesia militia after the results of an independence referendum came out.
- 2007 – Israel Conducts Operation Orchard. The military operation was conducted by the Israeli air force to destroy a suspected nuclear reactor in the Deir el-Zor region of Syria.
- 1757 – Marquis de Lafayette (General – French Revolution)
- 1860 – Pioneering American social worker Jane Addams (1860-1935) was born in Cedarville, Illinois. In 1883, she toured the great European cities to study famous historic sites but was deeply moved by the hunger and misery she found among the common people. She then founded Hull House in Chicago to serve the sick and poor and managed the settlement for the next 46 years.
- 1944 – Swoozie Kurtz (Actress)
- 1945 – Go Nagai (Japanese illustrator, author)
- 1947 – Jane Curtain (Actress)
- 1958 – Jeff Foxworthy (Comedian)
- 1963 – Geert Wilders (Dutch politician)
- 1964 – Rosie Perez (Actress)
- 1969 – CeCe Peniston (merican singer-songwriter, actress)
- 1972 – Idris Elba (English/American actor)
- 1990 – John Wall (Basketball player)
- 1919 – Lord Charles Beresford (Irish Admiral, politician)
- 1966 – Margaret Sanger (American activist)
- 1990 – Len Hutton (English cricketer)
- 1998 – Akira Kurosawa (Japanese director, screenwriter, producer)
- 2007 – Luciano Pavarotti (Italian tenor)