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- 451 - The Battle of Avarayr between Armenian rebels and the Sassanid Empire takes place. The Armenians are defeated militarily but are guaranteed freedom to openly practice Christianity.
- 1293 - An earthquake strikes Kamakura, Japan, killing about 30,000.
- 1328 - William of Ockham, Franciscan Minister-General Michael of Cesena and two other Franciscan leaders secretly leave Avignon, fearing a death sentence from Pope John XXII.
- 1538 - Geneva expels John Calvin and his followers from the city. Calvin lives in exile in Strasbourg for the next three years.
- 1637 - Pequot War: A combined Protestant and Mohegan force under German Captain John Mason attacks a Pequot village in Connecticut, massacring approximately 500 Native Americans.
- 1647 - Alse Young becomes the first person executed as a witch in the American colonies, when she is hanged in Hartford, Connecticut.
- 1670 - In Dover, England, Charles II of Great Britain and Louis XIV of France sign the Secret Treaty of Dover.
- 1736 - Battle of Ackia: British and Chickasaw soldiers repel a French and Choctaw attack on the Chickasaw village of Ackia, near present-day Tupelo, Mississippi. The French, under Louisiana governor Jean Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville, had sought to link Louisiana with Acadia and the other northern colonies of New France.
- 1770 - The Orlov Revolt, a first attempt to revolt against the Turks before the Greek War of Independence ends in disaster for the Greeks.
- 1805 - Napoléon Bonaparte assumes the title of King of Italy and is crowned with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Duomo di Milano gothic cathedral in Milan.
- 1828 - Mysterious feral child Kaspar Hauser is discovered wandering the streets of Nuremberg.
- 1830 - The Indian Removal Act is passed by the U.S. Congress; it is signed into law by President Andrew Jackson two days later.
- 1857 - Dred Scott is emancipated by the Blow family, his original owners.
- 1864 - Montana is organized as a United States territory.
- 1865 - American Civil War: Confederate General Edmund Kirby Smith, commander of the Confederate Trans-Mississippi division, is the last general of the Confederate Army to surrender, at Galveston, Texas.
- 1868 - The impeachment trial of U.S. President Andrew Johnson ends, with Johnson being found not guilty by one vote.
- 1869 - Boston University is chartered by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- 1879 - Russia and the United Kingdom sign the Treaty of Gandamak establishing an Afghan state.
- 1889 - Opening of the first Eiffel Tower elevator to the public.
- 1894 - Nicholas II becomes Tsar of Russia.
- 1896 - Charles Dow publishes the first edition of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
- 1896 - James Dunham murders six people in Campbell, California.
- 1906 - Vauxhall Bridge is opened in London.
- 1908 - At Masjed Soleyman (مسجد سليمان) in southwest Persia, the first major commercial oil strike in the Middle East is made. The rights to the resource are quickly acquired by the United Kingdom.
- 1913 - Emily Duncan becomes Great Britain's first woman magistrate.
- 1917 - A powerful F4 tornado rips Mattoon, Illinois apart, killing 101 people and injuring 689. It was the world's longest-lasting tornado, lasting for over 7 hours and traveling 293 miles, spreading death and destruction along its path.
- 1918 - Armenia defeats the Ottoman Army in the Battle of Sardarapat.
- 1918 - The Democratic Republic of Georgia is established.
- 1928 - The first motion picture is projected publicly in Athens, Greece.
- 1936 - In the House of Commons of Northern Ireland, Tommy Henderson begins speaking on the Appropriation Bill. By the time he sits down in the early hours of the following morning, he spoke for 10 hours.
- 1938 - The House Un-American Activities Committee begins its first session.
- 1940 - World War II: Battle of Dunkirk – In France, Allied forces begin a massive evacuation from Dunkirk, France.
- 1942 - World War II: The Battle of Bir Hakeim takes place.
- 1948 - The U.S. Congress passes Public Law 557 which permanently establishes the Civil Air Patrol as an auxiliary of the United States Air Force.
- 1966 - British Guiana gains independence, becoming Guyana.
- 1969 - Apollo program: Apollo 10 returns to earth after a successful eight-day test of all the components needed for the forthcoming first manned moon landing.
- 1970 - The Soviet Tupolev Tu-144 becomes the first commercial transport to exceed Mach 2.
- 1972 - Willandra National Park is established in Australia.
- 1972 - The United States and the Soviet Union sign the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty.
- 1972 - The British state-owned travel firm Thomas Cook & Son is sold to a consortium of private businesses headed by the Midland Bank.
- 1977 - George Willig climbs the South Tower of New York City's World Trade Center.
- 1978 - In Atlantic City, New Jersey, Resorts International, the first legal casino in the eastern United States, opens.
- 1981 - The Italian Prime Minister Arnaldo Forlani and his coalition cabinet resign following a scandal over membership of the pseudo-masonic lodge P2 (Propaganda Due).
- 1983 - A strong 7.7 magnitude earthquake strikes Japan, triggering a tsunami that kills at least 104 people, injures thousands. Many people go missing and thousands of buildings are destroyed.
- 1986 - The European Community adopts the European flag.
- 1991 - Zviad Gamsakhurdia becomes the first democratically elected President of the Republic of Georgia in the post-Soviet era.
- 1991 - Lauda Air Flight 004 explodes over rural Thailand, killing 223.
- 1992 - Charles Geschke, co-founder of Adobe Systems, Inc. is kidnapped at gunpoint from the Adobe parking lot in Mountain View, California for $650,000 and is held hostage in a rented house in Hollister, California. The FBI rescues him four days later.
- 1998 - The United States Supreme Court rules that Ellis Island, the historic gateway for millions of immigrants, is mainly in the state of New Jersey, not New York.
- 2002 - The Mars Odyssey finds signs of large ice deposits on the planet Mars.
- 2002 - Álvaro Uribe becomes President of Colombia.
- 2003 - Only three days after a previous record, Sherpa Lakpa Gelu climbs Mount Everest in 10 hours 56 minutes. The tourism ministry of Nepal confirms this record in July that year.
- 2004 - The New York Times publishes an admission of journalistic failings, claiming that its flawed reporting and lack of skeptism towards sources during the buildup to the 2003 war in Iraq helped promote the belief that Iraq possessed large stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction.
- 2004 - The United States Army veteran Terry Nichols is found guilty of 161 state murder charges for helping carry out the Oklahoma City bombing.
- 2006 - The May 2006 Java earthquake kills over 5,700 people, leaves 200,000 homeless.
- 1264 - Prince Koreyasu, Japanese shogun (d. 1326)
- 1478 - Pope Clement VII (d. 1534)
- 1566 - Mehmed III, Ottoman Emperor (d. 1603)
- 1602 - Philippe de Champaigne, French painter (d. 1674)
- 1650 - John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, British general (d. 1722)
- 1667 - Abraham de Moivre, French mathematician (d. 1754)
- 1669 - Sébastien Vaillant, French botanist (d. 1722)
- 1689 - Lady Mary Wortley Montagu, English writer (d. 1762)
- 1700 - Nicolaus Ludwig Zinzendorf, German religious and social reformer (d. 1760)
- 1764 - Edward Livingston, American jurist and statesman (d. 1836)
- 1799 - Aleksandr Pushkin, Russian author (d. 1837)
- 1822 - Edmond de Goncourt, French writer (d. 1896)
- 1863 - Robert Fitzsimmons, Boxing champion (d. 1917)
- 1865 - Robert W. Chambers, American artist (d. 1933)
- 1867 - Mary of Teck, wife of George V of the United Kingdom (d. 1953)
- 1873 - Olaf Gulbransson, Norwegian artist (d. 1958)
- 1883 - Mamie Smith, American singer (d. 1946)
- 1886 - Al Jolson, American singer (d. 1950)
- 1893 - Norma Talmadge, American actress (d. 1957)
- 1893 - Eugène Aynsley Goossens, English conductor and composer (d. 1962)
- 1895 - Dorothea Lange, American photographer (d. 1965)
- 1895 - Paul Lukas, Hungarian actor (d. 1971)
- 1899 - Antonio Barrette, French Canadian politician (d. 1968)
- 1904 - George Formby, English singer and comedian (d. 1961)
- 1904 - Vlado Perlemuter, Polish pianist (d. 2002)
- 1907 - Jean Bernard, French physician (d. 2006)
- 1907 - John Wayne, American actor (d. 1979)
- 1908 - Robert Morley, English actor (d. 1992)
- 1908 - Nguyen Ngoc Tho, Prime Minister of South Vietnam
- 1909 - Sir Matt Busby, Scottish footballer and manager (d. 1994)
- 1909 - Nikolay Guryanov, Russian Orthodox Christian mystic and priest (d. 2002)
- 1909 - Adolfo López Mateos, President of Mexico (d. 1969)
- 1911 - Ben Alexander, American actor (d. 1969)
- 1912 - János Kádár, Prime minister of Hungary (d. 1989)
- 1912 - Jay Silverheels, American actor (d. 1980)
- 1913 - Peter Cushing, English actor (d. 1994)
- 1914 - Frankie Manning, American Lindy Hop dancer
- 1915 - Sam Edwards, American actor (d. 2004)
- 1915 - Antonia Forest, British children's author (d. 2003)
- 1916 - Moondog, American composer, musician and poet (d. 1999)
- 1916 - Henriette Roosenburg, Dutch journalist (d. 1972)
- 1917 - Eva Szorenyi, Hungarian actress, freedom activist for Hungary
- 1918 - Anton Christoforidis, Greek boxer (d. 1985)
- 1920 - Peggy Lee, American singer (d. 2002)
- 1923 - James Arness, American actor
- 1923 - Roy Dotrice, British actor
- 1932 - Grigor Vachkov, Bulgarian actor (d. 1980)
- 1935 - Sheila Steafel, South African-born British actress
- 1938 - William Bolcom, American composer
- 1938 - Pauline Parker, New-Zealandic murderess
- 1938 - Lyudmila Petrushevskaya, Russian playwright and novelist
- 1938 - Teresa Stratas, Canadian soprano
- 1939 - Merab Kostava, Georgian anti-Soviet leader
- 1939 - Brent Musburger, American sports broadcaster
- 1940 - Monique Gagnon-Tremblay, French Canadian politician
- 1940 - Levon Helm, American musician (The Band)
- 1941 - Reg Bundy, British performer (d. 2003)
- 1941 - Cliff Drysdale, South African tennis player
- 1941 - John Kaufman, sculptor
- 1943 - Erica Terpstra, President of the Dutch Olympic Committee
- 1944 - Sam Posey, American race car driver, TV commentator and author
- 1945 - Garry Peterson, Canadian drummer (The Guess Who)
- 1946 - Neshka Robeva, Bulgarian Rhythmic gymnas and coach.
- 1946 - Mick Ronson, English musician (d. 1993)
- 1948 - Stevie Nicks, American songwriter
- 1949 - Ward Cunningham, American computer programmer and inventor
- 1949 - Pam Grier, American actress
- 1949 - Philip Michael Thomas, American actor
- 1949 - Hank Williams Jr., American singer
- 1951 - Sally Ride, American astronaut
- 1951 - Madeleine Taylor-Quinn, Irish politician
- 1952 - David Meece, Christian musician
- 1953 - Michael Portillo, British politician
- 1954 - Alan Hollinghurst, British novelist
- 1954 - Danny Rolling, American murderer (d. 2006)
- 1955 - Masaharu Morimoto, Japanese chef
- 1955 - Wesley Walker, American football player
- 1956 - Frédéric Dutoit, French politician
- 1957 - Margaret Colin, American actress
- 1957 - François Legault, French Canadian politician
- 1957 - Kristina Olsen, American musician
- 1957 - Roberto Ravaglia, Italian racing driver
- 1957 - Pontso S.M. Sekatle, Lesotho academic and politician
- 1959 - Steve Hanley, English musician (The Fall, Tom Hingley and the Lovers)
- 1959 - Ole Bornedal, Danish film director, actor and producer
- 1960 - Masahiro Matsunaga, Japanese racing driver
- 1960 - Rob Murphy, American baseball player
- 1961 - Tarsem Singh, Indian film director
- 1962 - Genie Francis, American actress
- 1962 - Bobcat Goldthwait, American actor
- 1962 - Colin Vearncombe, English singer,(Black)
- 1964 - Caitlín R. Kiernan, Irish-American writer
- 1964 - Lenny Kravitz, American musician
- 1965 - Hazel Irvine, British television presenter
- 1966 - Helena Bonham Carter, English actress
- 1966 - Zola Budd, South African athlete
- 1967 - Phil Doyle, Australian writer
- 1968 - Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark
- 1968 - Pat Kenney, American professional wrestler
- 1968 - Fernando León de Aranoa, Spanish film director
- 1968 - Steve Sedgley, English footballer
- 1969 - John Baird, Canadian politician
- 1969 - Musetta Vander, South African actress
- 1970 - Nobuhiro Watsuki, Japanese cartoonist
- 1971 - Matt Stone, American television producer
- 1972 - Patsy Palmer, British actress
- 1974 - Lars Frölander, Swedish swimmer
- 1975 - Travis Lee, American baseball player
- 1976 - Justin Pierre, American singer (Motion City Soundtrack)
- 1977 - Mark Hunter, American musician (Chimaira)
- 1977 - Misaki Ito, Japanese actress
- 1977 - Luca Toni, Italian footballer
- 1978 - Phil Elverum, American singer-songwriter
- 1979 - Elisabeth Harnois, American actress
- 1979 - Mehmet Okur (Memo), Turkish basketball player
- 1979 - Ashley Massaro, American model and professional wrestler
- 1981 - Eda-Ines Etti, Estonian singer
- 1981 - Irini Merkouri, Greek singer
- 1982 - Yoko Matsugane, Japanese model
- 1988 - Joel Selwood, Australian footballer
- 1991 - Julianna Rose Mauriello, American actress
- 604 - Augustine of Canterbury, Archbishop of Canterbury
- 818 - Ali ar-Rida, Shia Imam (b. 766)
- 946 - King Edmund I of England (b. 921)
- 1055 - Margrave Adalbert of Austria
- 1421 - Mehmed I, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1389)
- 1512 - Bayezid II, Ottoman Sultan
- 1536 - Francesco Berni, Italian poet
- 1595 - Philip Neri, Italian churchman (b. 1515)
- 1647 - Alse Young, American "witch"
- 1648 - Vincent Voiture, French poet (b. 1597)
- 1653 - Robert Filmer, English writer (b. 1588)
- 1679 - Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria (b. 1636)
- 1685 - Karl II, Elector Palatine (b. 1651)
- 1703 - Samuel Pepys, English civil servant and diarist (b. 1633)
- 1742 - Pylyp Orlyk, Ukrainian Zaporozhian Cossack starshina, diplomat (b. 1672)
- 1762 - Alexander Gottlieb Baumgarten, German philosopher (b. 1714)
- 1799 - James Burnett, Lord Monboddo, Scottish judge (b. 1714)
- 1814 - Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, officially named the Guillotine (b. 1789)
- 1824 - Capel Lofft, English writer (b. 1751)
- 1831 - Ciro Menotti, Italian patriot (b. 1798)
- 1840 - Sidney Smith, British admiral (b. 1764)
- 1881 - Jakob Bernays, German philologist (b. 1824)
- 1883 - Abd al-Qadir, Algerian political and military leader (b. 1808)
- 1883 - Edward Sabine, Irish astronomer (b. 1788)
- 1902 - Almon Strowger, American inventor (b. 1839)
- 1904 - Georges Gilles de la Tourette, French neurologist (b. 1857)
- 1907 - Ida McKinley, First Lady of the United States (b. 1847)
- 1908 - Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, founder of the Ahmadiyya movement in Islam (b. 1835)
- 1924 - Victor Herbert, Irish composer (b. 1859)
- 1926 - Simon Petlyura, Ukrainian independence fighter (b. 1879)
- 1933 - Horatio Bottomley, British financier and politician (b. 1860)
- 1933 - Jimmie Rodgers, American singer (b. 1897)
- 1939 - Charles Horace Mayo, American medical practitioner (Mayo Clinic) (b. 1865)
- 1943 - Edsel Ford, American automobile executive (b. 1893)
- 1948 - Theodore Morell, Hitler's personal physician (b. 1886)
- 1951 - Lincoln Ellsworth, American scientist (b. 1880)
- 1954 - Lionel Conacher, Canadian athlete (b. 1900)
- 1955 - Alberto Ascari, Italian race car driver and two-time F1 world champion (b. 1918)
- 1968 - Little Willie John, American singer (b. 1937)
- 1969 - Paul Hawkins, Australian racing driver (b. 1937)
- 1969 - Allan H. Loughead, American aviation pioneer (Lockheed Corporation; b. 1889)
- 1974 - Silvio Moser, Swiss racing driver (b. 1941)
- 1976 - Martin Heidegger, German philosopher (b. 1889)
- 1976 - Juan Maino, Chilean leader of MAPU, "disappeared"
- 1977 - William Powell, American singer (The O'Jays) (b. 1942)
- 1978 - Cybele, Greek actress (b. 1887)
- 1979 - George Brent, British actor (b. 1899)
- 1989 - Don Revie, Former footballer and England and Leeds United Manager (b. 1927)
- 1999 - Paul Sacher, Swiss conductor (b. 1906)
- 1999 - Waldo Semon, American inventor (b. 1898)
- 2001 - Vittorio Brambilla, Italian racing driver (b. 1937)
- 2001 - Anne Haney, American actress (b. 1934)
- 2001 - Moven Enock Mahachi, Defence Minister of Zimbabwe (b. 1952)
- 2002 - Mamo Wolde, Ethiopian runner (b. 1932)
- 2003 - Kathleen Winsor, American writer (b. 1919)
- 2004 - Nikolai Stepanovich Chernykh, Russian astronomer (b. 1931)
- 2004 - Dullah Omar, South African lawyer (b. 1934)
- 2005 - Eddie Albert, American actor (b. 1906)
- 2005 - Chico Carrasquel, Venezuelan baseball player (b. 1928)
- 2006 - Édouard Michelin, CEO of Michelin (b. 1963)
- 2006 - Kevin O'Flanagan, Irish athlete and physician (b. 1919)
- 2007 - J Edward Oliver, cartoonist and composer (b. 1942)
- 2008 - Sydney Pollack, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (b. 1934)
Holidays and observances
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