- 1529 – Sancti Spiritu, the first European settlement in Argentina, was destroyed by Amerindians.
- 1804 – German astronomer Karl Ludwig Harding discovered one of the largest main belt asteroids, naming it Juno after the Roman goddess.
- 1939 – German forces attacked multiple locations in Poland, including Wieluń and Westerplatte, starting World War II in Europe.
- 1969 – Muammar Gaddafi (pictured in 1972) led a coup d'état to overthrow Idris I of Libya.
- 1983 – A Soviet jet interceptor shot down the civilian Korean Air Lines Flight 007 near the island of Sakhalin in the north Pacific, killing all 246 passengers and 23 crew on board.
- 1666 – A large fire began in London's Pudding Lane and burned the city for five days (depicted), destroying St Paul's Cathedral and the homes of 70,000 of the city's 80,000 inhabitants.
- 1870 – Franco-Prussian War: Prussian forces captured Napoleon III in Sedan, France; the Second French Empire collapsed within days.
- 1912 – Arthur Rose Eldred became the first person to attain the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America.
- 1985 – Hurricane Elena, an unpredictable and damaging tropical cyclone that affected eastern and central portions of the United States Gulf Coast, made landfall near Biloxi, Mississippi, as a Category 3 major hurricane.
- 2011 – Bad weather caused a Chilean Air Force plane to crash in the Pacific Ocean, killing all 21 people on board.
- 1651 – English Parliamentarian forces under Oliver Cromwell won the Battle of Worcester, the final battle of the English Civil War.
- 1878 – The passenger steamship SS Princess Alice sank in the River Thames after colliding (pictured) with a collier, killing more than 600 people.
- 1918 – The Bolshevik government of Russia published the first official announcement of the Red Terror, a period of repression against political opponents.
- 1950 – Winning the Italian Grand Prix, Giuseppe Farina became the first Formula One world champion.
- 2001 – The Troubles: On the first day of the school year, Protestant loyalists resumed a picket outside a Catholic primary school for girls in the Protestant portion of Ardoyne, Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- 476 – Germanic leader Odoacer captured Ravenna and deposed Emperor Romulus Augustus, marking the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
- 1781 – Los Angeles (downtown pictured) was founded as El Pueblo de Nuestra Señora la Reina de los Ángeles by forty-four Spanish settlers.
- 1839 – First Opium War: British vessels opened fire on Chinese war junks enforcing a food sales embargo on the British community in China.
- 1912 – The Albanian revolt of 1912 came to an end when the Ottoman government agreed to meet most of the rebels' demands.
- 2010 – A 7.1 Mw earthquake struck the South Island of New Zealand, causing up to NZ$40 billion in damages.
- 917 – Liu Yan declared himself emperor, establishing the Southern Han state in southern China, at his capital of Panyu (present-day Guangzhou).
- 1807 – Gunboat War: The Royal Navy concluded their bombardment of Copenhagen and captured the Dano-Norwegian navy, leading to the term "Copenhagenization".
- 1877 – Oglala Lakota war leader Crazy Horse (pictured) was fatally wounded after surrendering while allegedly resisting imprisonment at Camp Robinson in present-day Nebraska, U.S.
- 1905 – Under the mediation of U.S. president Theodore Roosevelt, the Russo-Japanese War officially ended with the signing of a treaty at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire.
- 1943 – World War II: American and Australian airborne forces landed at Nadzab as part of the New Guinea campaign against Japan.
- 1901 – U.S. president William McKinley was fatally wounded by anarchist Leon Czolgosz at the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
- 1944 – World War II: Soviet forces captured the city of Tartu on their way to re-establishing their rule in Estonia.
- 1970 – The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) hijacked four airliners, landing two of them (pictured) at Dawson's Field in Zarqa, Jordan, and one in Beirut, with the last hijacking attempt foiled.
- 1976 – Soviet pilot Viktor Belenko landed his MiG-25 in Hakodate, Japan, declaring his intention to defect.
- 2007 – The Israeli Air Force carried out an airstrike on a suspected nuclear reactor in the Deir ez-Zor Governorate of Syria.
- 1191 – Third Crusade: Forces under Richard I of England defeated Ayyubid troops under Saladin in Arsuf, present-day Israel.
- 1778 – Anglo-French War: France invaded the island of Dominica (depicted) and captured its British fort before the latter even learned that France had allied with the United States.
- 1901 – With Beijing occupied by foreign troops from the Eight-Nation Alliance, Qing China was forced to sign the Boxer Protocol, an unequal treaty ending the Boxer Rebellion.
- 1999 – Three weeks after an earthquake struck northwestern Turkey, a second earthquake struck Athens, causing Greece and Turkey to initiate "earthquake diplomacy".
- 2004 – Hurricane Ivan made landfall on Grenada and devastated at least 85 percent of buildings on the island.
- 1755 – French and Indian War: Despite being ambushed at the start of the Battle of Lake George, British colonial troops and their Mohawk allies were able to defeat French and Canadien troops and their Indian allies.
- 1831 – William IV and Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen were crowned king and queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
- 1900 – The Great Galveston hurricane, the deadliest disaster in U.S. history, struck Galveston, Texas, with estimated winds of 135 miles per hour (215 km/h) at landfall, killing at least 6,000 people.
- 1966 – Queen Elizabeth II opened the Severn Bridge (pictured), suggesting that it marked the dawn of a new economic era for South Wales.
- 1994 – USAir Flight 427 crashed on approach to Pittsburgh International Airport, resulting in 132 deaths and the longest accident investigation in the history of the National Transportation Safety Board.
- 1320 – Byzantine–Latin Wars: Byzantine forces defeated Achaean troops in the Battle of Saint George, taking control of the Arcadia region of Greece.
- 1493 – Ottoman wars in Europe: At the Battle of Krbava Field, a large Croatian army intercepted an Ottoman force returning to the Sanjak of Bosnia, but was defeated.
- 1892 – At the Lick Observatory in California, Edward Emerson Barnard discovered Amalthea (pictured), a moon of Jupiter and the last natural satellite discovered by visual observation.
- 1969 – Allegheny Airlines Flight 853 collided in mid-air with a Piper PA-28 Cherokee flown by a student pilot near Fairland, Indiana, destroying both aeroplanes and killing all 83 occupants of both aircraft.
- 2001 – Ahmad Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance, was assassinated in Afghanistan.
- 1509 – A strong earthquake occurred in the Sea of Marmara, devastating much of Constantinople and causing at least 1,000 deaths.
- 1547 – Anglo-Scottish Wars: English forces defeated the Scots at the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh near Musselburgh, Lothian, Scotland.
- 1946 – While riding a train to Darjeeling, Sister Teresa Bojaxhiu, later Mother Teresa (pictured), experienced what she later described as "the call within the call", directing her to "leave the convent and help the poor while living among them".
- 1960 – Running barefoot in the marathon event at the Rome Olympics, Abebe Bikila became the first person from sub-Saharan Africa to win an Olympic gold medal.
- 2000 – Operation Barras freed six British soldiers held captive for more than two weeks, contributing to the end of the Sierra Leone Civil War.
- 1780 – American Revolutionary War: Approximately ten American soldiers were killed by Loyalists and their Native American allies in the Sugarloaf massacre in Luzerne County, Pennsylvania.
- 1897 – Gaki Sherocho was captured by the forces of Ethiopian emperor Menelik II, bringing an end to the Kingdom of Kaffa.
- 1924 – French composer Gabriel Fauré (portrait pictured) finished his last composition, a string quartet, before dying two months later.
- 1965 – Indo-Pakistani War: Indian infantry captured the town of Burki near Lahore, Pakistan.
- 2012 – The American consulate and CIA annex in Libya were attacked by a heavily armed group, resulting in the deaths of U.S. ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans.
- 1309 – Reconquista: Castilian forces captured Gibraltar from the Emirate of Granada, although they lost control of it 24 years later.
- 1848 – Switzerland became a federal state with the adoption of a new constitution.
- 1942 – RMS Laconia was sunk by a U-boat off the coast of West Africa, which then attempted to rescue the passengers as it was acting under the old prize rules.
- 1962 – At Rice Stadium in Houston, U.S. president John F. Kennedy made a speech later known by the line "We choose to go to the Moon" (video featured).
- 2015 – An explosion involving illegally stored mining detonators in Petlawad, in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, killed 104 people and injured more than 150 others.
- 1814 – War of 1812: Fort McHenry in Baltimore's Inner Harbor was attacked by British forces during the Battle of Baltimore, inspiring Francis Scott Key to write "Defence of Fort McHenry", which was later used as the lyrics to the United States' national anthem.
- 1899 – An expedition led by Halford Mackinder made the first ascent of Mount Kenya (pictured), the second-highest mountain in Africa.
- 1959 – Soviet spacecraft Luna 2 impacted the Moon, becoming the first spacecraft to reach another celestial body.
- 1985 – Super Mario Bros., one of the best-selling and most influential video games of all time, was first released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in Japan.
- 919 – A coalition of native Irish, led by Niall Glúndub, failed in their attempt to drive the Vikings of the Uí Ímair from Ireland.
- 1723 – António Manoel de Vilhena, Grand Master of the Knights Hospitaller, laid the first stone of Fort Manoel (pictured) in Malta.
- 1943 – World War II: Nazi forces began a mass extermination campaign against the civilian residents of around 20 villages on the Greek island of Crete, eventually killing more than 500 men.
- 1979 – Afghan president Nur Muhammad Taraki was overthrown and later killed, on the orders of Hafizullah Amin, who succeeded him.
- 2003 – President Kumba Ialá of Guinea-Bissau was deposed in a bloodless military coup.
- 1530 – According to the Dominican Order, three mysterious women brought the painting of Saint Dominic in Soriano to a friary in Soriano Calabro, Italy.
- 1831 – The John Bull (pictured), the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world, ran for the first time in New Jersey on the Camden and Amboy Railroad.
- 1944 – World War II: American and Australian forces landed on the Japanese-occupied island of Morotai.
- 1959 – Nikita Khrushchev began a state visit to the United States, becoming the first Soviet leader to do so.
- 2008 – Financial crisis of 2007–2008: The global financial services firm Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy while holding over $600 billion in assets, the largest such filing in U.S. history.
- 1776 – American Revolutionary War: American colonists defeated British troops at the Battle of Harlem Heights on the island of Manhattan.
- 1940 – Second World War: Italy captured the town of Sidi Barrani, but its invasion of Egypt (Italian tanks pictured) progressed no further.
- 1961 – The United States' National Hurricane Research Project sought to weaken Hurricane Esther by seeding it with silver iodide, leading to the establishment of Project Stormfury.
- 1979 – Eight people escaped from East Germany to the West in a home-made hot air balloon.
- 2013 – A lone gunman fatally shot twelve people and injured three others in a mass shooting at the headquarters of the Naval Sea Systems Command in Washington, D.C.
- 1658 – Portuguese Restoration War: Having crossed the Minho and entered Portuguese territory, a Spanish army was victorious in the Battle of Vilanova.
- 1793 – War of the Pyrenees: Forces from the French Army of the Eastern Pyrenees defeated two divisions of the Army of Catalonia, marking the high point of the Spanish invasion of Roussillon.
- 1914 – Andrew Fisher, whose previous term as prime minister of Australia oversaw a period of reform unmatched in the Commonwealth until the 1940s, became prime minister for the third time.
- 1939 – World War II: The Soviet Union invaded Poland from the east, sixteen days after Nazi Germany's attack on the country from the west.
- 1970 – The Jordanian Army commenced operations to oust Palestinian fedayeen from Jordan, in what became known as Black September (smoke rising above Amman pictured).
- AD 96 – Following the assassination of Roman emperor Domitian, the Roman Senate appointed Nerva (bust pictured), the first of the "Five Good Emperors", to succeed him.
- 1809 – The second theatre of the Royal Opera House in London opened after a fire destroyed the original theatre one year earlier.
- 1851 – The New York Times, the largest metropolitan newspaper in the United States, was founded.
- 1948 – The Australian cricket team's Invincibles tour of England concluded; they had played thirty-four matches, including five Tests, without defeat.
- 2014 – Scotland voted against independence from the United Kingdom.
- 1863 – American Civil War: The Battle of Chickamauga began in northwestern Georgia and would end in the most significant Union defeat in the Western Theater.
- 1893 – New Zealand became the first country to introduce universal suffrage, following the women's suffrage movement led by Kate Sheppard.
- 1944 – World War II: Finland, the Soviet Union, and the United Kingdom signed the Moscow Armistice to end the Continuation War.
- 1985 – An 8.0 Mw earthquake struck Mexico City (damage pictured), killing at least 9,000 people and leaving up to 100,000 homeless.
- 2011 – Mariano Rivera surpassed Trevor Hoffman to become Major League Baseball's all-time saves leader.
- 1260 – The second of two major uprisings by the Old Prussians, a Baltic tribe, began against the Teutonic Knights.
- 1697 – The first of a series of treaties comprising the Peace of Ryswick was signed between France and the Grand Alliance, ending the Nine Years' War.
- 1944 – Second World War: Allied forces captured San Marino from the German Army.
- 1973 – Billie Jean King defeated Bobby Riggs (both pictured) in straight sets at the Astrodome in Houston, Texas, in an internationally televised tennis match dubbed the "Battle of the Sexes".
- 2000 – The Real Irish Republican Army carried out a rocket launcher attack on the headquarters of MI6 in Vauxhall, London, but the building suffered little damage and there were no casualties.
- 1745 – Jacobite risings: Jacobite troops led by Charles Edward Stuart defeated the Hanoverians in Prestonpans, Scotland.
- 1776 – American Revolutionary War: The Great Fire of New York (depiction shown) broke out during the British occupation of New York City, destroying up to 1,000 buildings.
- 1939 – Romanian prime minister Armand Călinescu was assassinated in Bucharest by pro-Nazi members of the Iron Guard.
- 1968 – The Soviet Zond 5 landed in the Indian Ocean, becoming the first spacecraft to safely return to Earth after circling the Moon.
- 1999 – A 7.7 Mw earthquake struck Jiji, Taiwan, killing 2,415 people, injuring more than 11,000 others and causing about NT$300 billion (US$10 billion) in damage across the island.
- 1586 – Eighty Years' War: Spanish forces were victorious against a combined Anglo-Dutch army in the Battle of Zutphen.
- 1869 – Das Rheingold, the first of four operas in Der Ring des Nibelungen by German composer Richard Wagner (pictured), was first performed in Munich.
- 1914 – First World War: The German submarine U-9 sank three Royal Navy cruisers, resulting in approximately 1,450 deaths.
- 1979 – An American Vela satellite detected an unidentified flash of light near the Prince Edward Islands in the Indian Ocean, thought to be a nuclear weapons test.
- 2013 – Two suicide bombers attacked a church in Peshawar, Pakistan.
- 1780 – American Revolutionary War: British officer John André was captured by Patriot forces, thereby revealing a plot by Continental Army General Benedict Arnold to hand over West Point, New York.
- 1803 – Maratha troops were defeated by forces of the British East India Company at the Battle of Assaye, one of the decisive battles of the Second Anglo-Maratha War.
- 1952 – U.S. vice-presidential candidate Richard Nixon delivered the "Checkers speech" (pictured), one of the first political uses of television to appeal directly to the populace.
- 2002 – The initial version of the Firefox web browser was released by the Mozilla Organization.
- 2016 – Following a number of high-profile sexual assaults, major reforms were enacted to strengthen laws related to rape in Germany.
- 1841 – Raja Muda Hashim, uncle of the sultan of Brunei, granted Sarawak to British adventurer James Brooke.
- 1869 – Jay Gould, James Fisk and other speculators plotted but failed to control the gold market in the U.S., causing gold prices to plummet on "Black Friday".
- 1911 – His Majesty's Airship No. 1, Britain's first rigid airship, was wrecked by strong winds before her maiden flight at Barrow-in-Furness.
- 1946 – Cathay Pacific (aircraft pictured), the de facto international flag carrier of Hong Kong, was founded by Roy Farrell and Sydney de Kantzow.
- 1975 – Dougal Haston and Doug Scott on the Southwest Face expedition became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest by ascending one of its faces.
- 844 – A Viking fleet arrived near Seville, then part of the Emirate of Córdoba, starting a raid of the city that was eventually repelled by its Muslim defenders.
- 1775 – Ethan Allen and a small force of American and Quebec militia failed in their attempt to capture Montreal from British forces.
- 1944 – Second World War: British troops began their withdrawal from the Battle of Arnhem in the Netherlands, ending the Allies' Operation Market Garden in defeat.
- 1964 – Unrest and frustration amongst many indigenous Mozambican populations against Portuguese rule erupted in a war for independence that lasted ten years.
- 1996 – The last Irish Magdalene asylum (example pictured), an institution to rehabilitate so-called "fallen women", was closed.
- 1087 – William II, son of William the Conqueror, was crowned king of England.
- 1687 – The Parthenon in Athens was partly destroyed (painting of ruins shown) in an explosion while being used as a gunpowder magazine by Ottoman forces during an armed conflict against the Venetians.
- 1959 – Japan was struck by Typhoon Vera, the strongest and deadliest typhoon on record to make landfall on the country, causing damage in excess of US$261 million and over 5,000 deaths.
- 1968 – The Beatles completed the recording of John Lennon's song "Happiness Is a Warm Gun", regarded by all the band members as their favourite on the album The Beatles.
- 2014 – Forty-three students of the Ayotzinapa Rural Teachers' College in Iguala, Mexico, were kidnapped and probably later killed.
- 1422 – The Treaty of Melno was signed, establishing the Prussian–Lithuanian border, which afterwards remained unchanged for about 500 years.
- 1822 – In a letter to the Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres in Paris, Jean-François Champollion announced his initial successes in deciphering Egyptian hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone.
- 1949 – Members of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference unanimously selected Zeng Liansong's design for the flag of China (pictured).
- 2014 – Mount Ontake in central Japan unexpectedly erupted, killing 63 people in the nation's deadliest eruption in more than 100 years.
- 1106 – In the Battle of Tinchebray in Normandy, the invading King Henry I of England captured his brother Robert Curthose.
- 1821 – The Declaration of Independence of the Mexican Empire from Spain was drafted in the National Palace in Mexico City.
- 1928 – Scottish biologist and pharmacologist Alexander Fleming (pictured) discovered penicillin when he noticed a bacteria-killing mould growing in his laboratory.
- 1975 – An attempted robbery of the Spaghetti House restaurant in Knightsbridge, London, went wrong, becoming a six-day hostage situation.
- 2009 – A protest held by 50,000 people in Conakry, Guinea, was forcefully disrupted by the military junta, resulting in at least 157 deaths and over 1,200 injuries.
- 1923 – The Mandate for Palestine came into effect, officially creating the protectorates of Palestine under British administration and Transjordan as a separate emirate under Abdullah I.
- 1941 – The Holocaust: Nazi forces, aided by local collaborators, began the Babi Yar massacre in Kiev, Ukraine, killing over 30,000 Jewish civilians in two days and thousands more in the months that followed.
- 1954 – Willie Mays (pictured) of Major League Baseball's New York Giants made one of the most famous defensive plays in baseball history, known as "The Catch".
- 1963 – The University of East Anglia was founded in Norwich, England, after talk of establishing such a university in the city began as early as the 19th century.
- 1990 – The Lockheed YF-22, the prototype for the F-22 Raptor, made its first flight.
- 737 – Muslim conquest of Transoxiana: Türgesh tribes attacked the exposed baggage train of the Umayyads, which had been sent ahead of the main force, and captured it.
- 1551 – Sue Takafusa, a military leader for the Ōuchi clan in western Japan, led a coup against the daimyō, Ōuchi Yoshitaka, leading to the latter's forced suicide.
- 1882 – The Vulcan Street Plant, the first hydroelectric central station to serve a system of private and commercial customers in North America, went on line in Appleton, Wisconsin.
- 1939 – NBC broadcast the first televised American football game, between the Fordham Rams and the Waynesburg Yellow Jackets.
- 2009 – A 7.6 MW earthquake struck off the southern coast of Sumatra, Indonesia (damage pictured), killing 1,115 and impacting an estimated 1.2 million people.