1041 - Empress Zoe of Byzantium elevates her adoptive son to the throne of the Eastern Roman Empire as Michael V.
1817 - Mississippi becomes the 20th U.S. state.
1836 - Emory College, now Emory University, is chartered in Oxford, Georgia.
1864 - William Tecumseh Sherman reaches Savannah, Georgia, ending his "March to the Sea".
1869 - Wyoming grants women the right to vote
1898 - A treaty is signed in Paris that officially ends the Spanish-American War.
1901 - First Nobel Prizes awarded
1906 - Theodore Roosevelt wins the Nobel Peace Prize
1941 - Japanese forces land in the Philippines, capture Guam and sink the British ships HMS Prince of Wales and HMS Repulse
1948 - The UN General Assembly adopts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
1949 - Chinese Civil War: The Red Army begins its siege of Chengdu, the last KMT-held city on mainland China. Chiang Kai-shek leaves for Taiwan.
1953 - Dr. Albert Schweitzer is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
1965 - The Grateful Dead play their first concert, at the Fillmore in San Francisco.
1975 - Andrei Sakharov wins the Nobel Peace Prize. The prize is accepted by his wife, Yelena Bonner
1978 - Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat win the Nobel Peace Prize
1983 - Lech Walesa wins the Nobel Peace Prize. The prize is accepted by his wife, Danuta.
1984 - Desmond Tutu wins the Nobel Peace Prize
1986 - Elie Wiesel wins the Nobel Peace Prize
1993 - Shareware version of Doom is released
2002 - High Court of Australia handed down its judgement in the Internet defamation dispute in the case of Gutnick v. Dow Jones
1787 - Thomas Gallaudet, educator (d. 1851)
1805 - William Lloyd Garrison, abolitionist, journalist (d. 1879)
1815 - Ada Lovelace, first computer programmer (d. 1852)
1822 - Csar Franck, composer and organist (d. 1890)
1830 - Emily Dickinson, poet (d. 1886)
1845 - Wilhelm von Bode, art historian (d. 1929)
1851 - Melvil Dewey, librarian, creator of the Dewey Decimal Classification system (d. 1931)
1870 - Adolf Loos, architect (d. 1933)
1882 - Otto Neurath, philosopher (d. 1945)
1891 - Nelly Sachs, writer and recipient of the Nobel Prize in literature 1966 (d. 1970)
1903 - Una Merkel, actress (d. 1986)
1907 - Rumer Godden, writer (d. 1998)
1908 - Olivier Messiaen, composer and ornithologist (d. 1992)
1909 - Hermes Pan, choreographer, dancer (d. 1990)
1910 - John Hammond, music producer (d. 1987)
1911 - Chet Huntley, journalist (d. 1974)
1912 - Philip A. Hart, US senator (d. 1976)
1914 - Dorothy Lamour, actress (d. 1996)
1921 - Christine Brckner, author (d. 1996)
1928 - Dan Blocker, actor (d. 1972)
1948 - Jessica Cleaves, musician (P Funk)
1952 - Susan Dey, actress
1957 - Michael Clarke Duncan, actor
1960 - Kenneth Branagh, actor, film director
1966 - Doob Age, doobster
1984 - Andrs Ispani, actor
1985 - Raven-Symone, actress
2003 - Rebeca Martinez, first person to be born with two heads (d. 2004)
1865 - King Leopold I of Belgium (b. 1790)
1896 - Alfred Nobel, chemist, founder of the Nobel Prize (b. 1833)
1911 - Joseph Dalton Hooker, botanist (b. 1817)
1917 - Sir Mackenzie Bowell, fifth Prime Minister of Canada (b. 1823)
1928 - Charles Rennie Mackintosh, architect, designer and illustrator (b. 1868)
1946 - Damon Runyon, writer (b. 1884)
1951 - Algernon Blackwood, writer (b. 1869)
1967 - Otis Redding, singer (b. 1941)
1982 - Freeman F. Gosden, actor (b. 1899)
1996 - Faron Young, country music singer
1999 - Franjo Tudjman, president of Croatia (b. 1922)
2000 - Marie Windsor, actress
2001 - Ashok Kumar, actor, India