1205 - John Grey, Bishop of Norwich, elected Archbishop of Canterbury
1792 - King Louis XVI of France goes on trial for treason
1816 - Indiana becomes the 19th U.S. state.
1816 - Citizens of Geneva, Switzerland repel attack by Savoy
1901 - Guglielmo Marconi sends the first trans-Atlantic radio signal, from Cornwall to Newfoundland
1917 - Lithuania declares its independence from the Soviet Union
1931 - Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland and Newfoundland
1937 - Edward VIII's abdication as King of the United Kingdom becomes effective.
1937 - Italy leaves the League of Nations
1941 - Germany and Italy declare war on the United States
1946 - The United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) is established.
1958 - Upper Volta declares its independence from France
1971 - The United States Libertarian Party is formed.
1972 - Apollo 17 lands on the Moon
1981 - Muhammad Ali's last fight – he loses to Trevor Berbick
1981 - Javier Prez de Cullar of Peru becomes UN Secretary-General
1981 - The Salvadoran armed forces massacre 900 villagers in the El Mozote massacre
1994 - Boris Yeltsin orders Russian troops into Chechnya
1994 - A small bomb explodes on Philippine Airlines Flight 434, killing a Japanese businessman. The bombing was a field test done by Ramzi Yousef to test explosives that would have been used in Project Bojinka, a terrorist attack plan that would be exposed after an apartment fire.
1998 - A Thai Airways Airbus A310-200 crashes just short of runway at Surat Thani airport, located in southern Thailand, killing 101.
2001 - DrinkOrDie raids.
2001 - The People's Republic of China joins the World Trade Organization
1475 - Pope Leo X (d. 1521)
1725 - George Mason, U.S. patriot, "Father of the Bill of Rights" (d. 1792)
1781 - Sir David Brewster, physicist (d. 1868)
1801 - Christian Dietrich Grabbe, writer (d. 1836)
1803 - Hector Berlioz, composer (d. 1869)
1810 - Alfred de Musset, poet (d. 1857)
1843 - Robert Koch, bacteriologist and 1905 Nobel laureate (d. 1910)
1873 - Josip Plemelj, mathematician (d. 1967)
1882 - Max Born, physicist and 1954 Nobel laureate (d. 1970)
1882 - Fiorello LaGuardia, mayor of New York City (d. 1947)
1882 - Subramanya Bharathy, a Tamil Indian poet (d. 1921)
1883 - Victor McLaglen, actor (d. 1959)
1890 - Mark Tobey, painter (d. 1976)
1905 - Gilbert Roland, actor (d. 1994)
1911 - Naguib Mahfouz, Egyptian novelist, 1988 Nobel laureate
1913 - Jean Marais, actor (d. 1998)
1913 - Carlo Ponti, director
1918 - Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Russian author, 1970 Nobel laureate
1919 - Marie Windsor, actress (d. 2000)
1920 - Big Mama Thornton, singer (d. 1984)
1924 - Doc Blanchard, Heisman Trophy winner
1930 - Jean-Louis Trintignant, actor
1931 - Rita Moreno, singer, dancer, actress
1939 - Tom Hayden, American radical and politician
1943 - John Kerry, US politician
1944 - Booker T. Jones, musician
1944 - Brenda Lee, singer
1950 - Christina Onassis shipowner (d. 1988)
1954 - Jermaine Jackson, musician
1958 - Nikki Sixx, musician
384 - St. Damasus, Pope
1282 - Llywelyn the Last, Prince of Wales
1945 - Charles Fabry, physicist
1964 - Sam Cooke (b. 1931)
1996 - Willie Rushton, UK comedian, satirist, actor and cartoonist (b. 1937)