1760 - The church (later cathedral) of "Our Lady of Candlemas of Mayagüez (Puerto Rico)" is founded, establishing the basis for the founding of the city.
1770 - James Cook formally claims eastern Australia for Great Britain, naming it New South Wales.
1808 - Battle of Vimeiro: British and Portuguese forces led by General Arthur Wellesley defeat French force under Major-General Jean-Andoche Junot near the village of Vimeiro, Portugal, the first Anglo-Portuguese victory of the Peninsular War.
1810 - Jean-Baptiste Bernadotte, Marshal of France, is elected Crown Prince of Sweden by the Swedish Riksdag of the Estates.
1821 - Jarvis Island is discovered by the crew of the ship, Eliza Frances.
1831 - Nat Turner leads black slaves and free blacks in a rebellion.
1879 - The Virgin Mary, along with St. Joseph and St. John the Evangelist, reportedly appears to the people of Knock, County Mayo, Ireland.
1888 - The first successful adding machine in the United States is patented by William Seward Burroughs.
1911 - The Mona Lisa is stolen by a Louvre employee.
1928 - WRNY began regularly scheduled television broadcasts in New York City.
1942 - World War II: the Battle of Stalingrad begins.
1942 - World War II: a Nazi flag is installed atop the Mount Elbrus.
1942 - World War II: Allied forces involved in the Guadalcanal campaign defeated an attack by Imperial Japanese Army soldiers in the Battle of the Tenaru.
1944 - Dumbarton Oaks Conference, prelude to the United Nations, begins.
1959 - President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs an executive order proclaiming Hawaii the 50th state of the union.
1963 - Xa Loi Pagoda raids: the Army of the Republic of Vietnam Special Forces loyal to Ngo Dinh Nhu, brother of President Ngo Dinh Diem, vandalises Buddhist pagodas across the country, arresting thousands and leaving an estimated hundreds dead.
1968 - Soviet Union-dominated Warsaw Pact troops invade Czechoslovakia, crushing the Prague Spring; on the same day, Nicolae Ceauşescu, leader of Communist Romania, publicly condemns the Soviet maneuver, encouraging the Romanian population to arm itself against possible Soviet reprisals.
1968 - James Anderson, Jr. posthumously receives the first Medal of Honor to be awarded to an African American U.S. Marine.
1969 - An Australian, Michael Dennis Rohan, sets the Al-Aqsa Mosque on fire
1971 - A bomb exploded in the Liberal Party campaign rally in Plaza Miranda, Manila, Philippines with several anti-Marcos political candidates injured.
1976 - Operation Paul Bunyan at Panmunjeom, Korea.
1983 - Philippine opposition leader Benigno Aquino, Jr. is assassinated at the Manila International Airport (now renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport).
1986 - Carbon dioxide gas erupts from volcanic Lake Nyos in Cameroon, killing up to 1,800 people within a 20-kilometer range.
1991 - Latvia declares renewal of its full independence after the occupation of Soviet Union.
1991 - Coup attempt against Mikhail Gorbachev collapses.
1993 - NASA loses contact with the Mars Observer spacecraft.
2001 - NATO decides to send a peace-keeping force to the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
2001 - The Red Cross announces that a famine is striking Tajikistan, and calls for international financial aid for Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
2007 - Hurricane Dean makes its first landfall in Costa Maya, Mexico with winds at 165 mph. Dean is the first storm since Hurricane Andrew to make landfall as a Category 5.