1899 – The Boers begin their 118-day siege of British-held Ladysmith during the Second Boer War.
1912 – Bulgaria defeats the Ottoman Empire in the Battle of Lule Burgas, the bloodiest battle of the First Balkan War, which opens her way to Constantinople.
1914 – World War I: The Russian Empire declares war on the Ottoman Empire and the Dardanelles are subsequently closed.
1917 – The Balfour Declaration proclaims British support for the "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people" with the clear understanding "that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities".
1917 – The Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet, in charge of preparation and carrying out the Russian Revolution, holds its first meeting.
1920 – In the United States, KDKA of Pittsburgh starts broadcasting as the first commercial radio station. The first broadcast is the result of the 1920 United States presidential election.
1936 – The British Broadcasting Corporation initiates the BBC Television Service, the world's first regular, "high-definition" (then defined as at least 200 lines) service. Renamed BBC1 in 1964, the channel still runs to this day.
1940 – World War II: First day of Battle of Elaia–Kalamas between the Greeks and the Italians.
1947 – In California, designer Howard Hughes performs the maiden (and only) flight of the Hughes H-4 Hercules (also known as the "Spruce Goose"), the largest fixed-wing aircraft ever built.
1949 – The Dutch–Indonesian Round Table Conference ends with the Netherlands agreeing to transfer sovereignty of the Dutch East Indies to the United States of Indonesia.
1951 – Six thousand British troops arrive in Suez after the Egyptian government abrogates the Anglo-Egyptian treaty of 1936.
1951 – Canada in the Korean War: A platoon of The Royal Canadian Regiment defends a vital area against a full battalion of Chinese troops in the Battle of the Song-gok Spur. The engagement lasts into the early hours the next day.
1956 – Hungarian Revolution: Imre Nagy requests UN aid for Hungary. Nikita Khrushchev meets with leaders of other Communist countries to seek their advice on the situation in Hungary, selecting János Kádár as the country's next leader on the advice of Josip Broz Tito.
1956 – Suez Crisis: Israel occupies the Gaza Strip.
1959 – Quiz show scandals: Twenty-Onegame show contestant Charles Van Doren admits to a Congressional committee that he had been given questions and answers in advance.
1959 – The first section of the M1 motorway, the first inter-urban motorway in the United Kingdom, is opened between the present junctions 5 and 18, along with the M10 motorway and M45 motorway.
1960 – Penguin Books is found not guilty of obscenity in the trial R v Penguin Books Ltd, the Lady Chatterley's Lover case.
1963 – South Vietnamese President Ngô Đình Diệm is assassinated following a military coup.
1964 – King Saud of Saudi Arabia is deposed by a family coup, and replaced by his half-brother Faisal.
1965 – Norman Morrison, a 31-year-old Quaker, sets himself on fire in front of the river entrance to the Pentagon to protest the use of napalm in the Vietnam war.
1966 – The Cuban Adjustment Act comes into force, allowing 123,000 Cubans the opportunity to apply for permanent residence in the United States.
1967 – Vietnam War: US President Lyndon B. Johnson and "The Wise Men" conclude that the American people should be given more optimistic reports on the progress of the war.
1983 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan signs a bill creating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
1984 – Capital punishment: Velma Barfield becomes the first woman executed in the United States since 1962.
1986 – U.S. hostage David Jacobsen is released in Beirut after 17 months in captivity.
1988 – The Morris worm, the first Internet-distributed computer worm to gain significant mainstream media attention, is launched from MIT.
1990 – British Satellite Broadcasting and Sky Television plc merge to form BSkyB as a result of massive losses.
1999 – Xerox murders: In the worst mass murder in the history of Hawaii, a gunman shoots at eight people in his workplace, killing seven.
2016 – The Chicago Cubs defeat the Cleveland Indians in the World Series, ending the longest Major League Baseball championship drought at 108 years.
2018 – The Milwaukee Streetcar begins service in Milwaukee.
682 – Umar II, Arabian caliph (d. 720)
971 – Mahmud of Ghazni (d. 1030)
1154 – Constance, Queen of Sicily, wife of Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1198)
1235 – Henry of Almain, King of the Romans (d. 1271)
1418 – Gaspare Nadi, Italian builder and writer (d. 1504)
1428 – Yolande, Duchess of Lorraine (d. 1483)
1470 – Edward V of England (d. 1483)
1475 – Anne of York, Fifth daughter of King Edward IV of England and Elizabeth Woodville (d. 1511)
1549 – Anna of Austria, Queen of Spain (d. 1580)
1553 – Magdalene of Jülich-Cleves-Berg (d. 1633)
1636 – Edward Colston, English merchant and politician (d. 1721)
1649 – Esmé Stewart, 2nd Duke of Richmond (d. 1660)
1692 – Unico Wilhelm van Wassenaer, Dutch composer and diplomat (d. 1766)
1696 – Conrad Weiser, American soldier, monk, and judge (d. 1760)
1699 – Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin, French painter and educator (d. 1779)
1709 – Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange (d. 1759)
1734 – Daniel Boone, American hunter and explorer (d. 1820)
1739 – Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Austrian violinist and composer (d. 1799)
1741 – Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol, Dutch lawyer and politician (d. 1784)
1754 – Gaspard de Bernard de Marigny, French general (d. 1794)
1755 – Marie Antoinette, Austrian-French queen consort of Louis XVI of France (d. 1793)
1766 – Joseph Radetzky von Radetz, Austrian field marshal (d. 1858)
1777 – Fortunat Alojzy Gonzaga Żółkowski, Polish actor and translator (d. 1822)
1795 – James K. Polk, American lawyer and politician, 11th President of the United States (d. 1849)
1799 – John Light Atlee, American physician and surgeon (d. 1885)
1799 – Titian Peale, American entomologist and photographer (d. 1885)
1808 – Jules Amédée Barbey d'Aurevilly, French author and critic (d. 1889)
1815 – George Boole, English mathematician and philosopher (d. 1864)
1821 – George Bowen, Irish-English diplomat, 5th Governor-General of New Zealand (d. 1899)
1833 – Mahendralal Sarkar, Indian physician and academic (d. 1904)
1837 – Émile Bayard, French illustrator and painter (d. 1891)
1844 – Mehmed V, Ottoman sultan (d. 1918)
1844 – John J. Loud, American inventor (d. 1916)
1847 – Georges Sorel, French philosopher and author (d. 1922)
1855 – Henrik Schück, Swedish historian, author, and academic (d. 1947)
1865 – Warren G. Harding, American journalist and politician, 29th President of the United States (d. 1923)
1877 – Joseph De Piro, Maltese priest and missionary (d. 1933)
1877 – Aga Khan III, Indian 48th Shia Imam (d. 1957)
1877 – Victor Trumper, Australian cricketer (d. 1915)
1878 – Ōkido Moriemon, Japanese sumo wrestler, the 23rd Yokozuna (d. 1930)
1879 – Marion Jones Farquhar, American tennis player and violinist (d. 1965)
1883 – Jean-Marie-Rodrigue Villeneuve, Canadian cardinal (d. 1947)
1885 – Harlow Shapley, American astronomer and academic (d. 1972)
1886 – Dhirendranath Datta, Pakistani lawyer and politician (d. 1971)
1890 – Nishinoumi Kajirō III, Japanese sumo wrestler, the 30th Yokozuna (d. 1933)
1890 – Moa Martinson, Swedish author (d. 1964)
1891 – David Townsend, American art director and set decorator (d. 1935)