- 1498 – Michelangelo is commissioned to carve the Pietà.
- 1748 – The first Lutheran denomination in North America, the Pennsylvania Ministerium, is founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- 1768 – Captain James Cook sets sail from England on board HMS Endeavour.
- 1789 – The Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen is approved by the National Constituent Assembly of France.
- 1791 – John Fitch is granted a United States patent for the steamboat.
- 1883 – The 1883 eruption of Krakatoa begins its final, paroxysmal, stage.
- 1920 – The 19th amendment to United States Constitution takes effect, giving women the right to vote.
- 1942 – Holocaust in Chortkiav, western Ukraine: At 2.30 am the German Schutzpolizei starts driving Jews out of their houses, divides them into groups of 120, packs them in freight cars and deports 2000 to Belzec death camp. 500 of the sick and children are murdered on the spot.
- 1944 – World War II: Charles de Gaulle enters Paris.
- 1970 – The then new feminist movement, led by Betty Friedan, leads a nation-wide Women's Strike for Equality.
- 1977 – The Charter of the French Language is adopted by the National Assembly of Quebec
- 2002 – Earth Summit 2002 begins in Johannesburg, South Africa
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