1854 – Charles Dickens' novel Hard Times begins serialisation in his magazine Household Words.
1873 – The White Star steamer RMS Atlantic sinks off Nova Scotia, killing 547 in one of the worst marine disasters of the 19th century.
1883 – Lon Chaney, American actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 1930) is born.
1889 – The University of Northern Colorado was established, as the Colorado State Normal School.
1891 – The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago, Illinois.
1893 – The rank of Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy is established.
1917 – Sydney Newman, Canadian screenwriter and producer, co-created Doctor Who (d. 1997) is born.
1924 – Adolf Hitler is sentenced to five years imprisonment for his participation in the "Beer Hall Putsch" but spends only nine months in jail; during this time he writes Mein Kampf.
1945 – World War II: Operation Iceberg: United States troops land on Okinawa in the last major campaign of the war.
1954 – United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.
1960 – The TIROS-1 satellite transmits the first television picture from space.
1970 – President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, requiring the Surgeon General's warnings on tobacco products and banning cigarette advertising on television and radio in the United States, effective 1 January 1971.
1976 – Apple Inc. is formed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in Cupertino, California, USA.
1984 – Marvin Gaye, American singer-songwriter (b. 1939) dies.
2001 – An EP-3E United States Navy surveillance aircraft collides with a Chinese People's Liberation Army Shenyang J-8 fighter jet. The Navy crew makes an emergency landing in Hainan, China and is detained.
2001 – Same-sex marriage becomes legal in the Netherlands, the first contemporary country to allow it.
2004 – Google announces Gmail to the public.