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Up to 1900
- 48 BC – Battle of Dyrrhachium, Caesar barely avoids a catastrophic defeat to Pompey in Macedonia.
- 1212 - London is almost completely destroyed by fire.
- 1460 - Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick defeats the King's Lancastrian forces and takes King Henry VI of England prisoner in the Battle of Northampton.
- 1499 - Portuguese explorer Nicolau Coelho returns to Lisbon, after discovering the sea route to India as a companion to Vasco da Gama, who died on December 24 the previous year.
- 1519 - Zhu Chenhao declares the Ming Dynasty Zhengde Emperor as a usurper, beginning the Prince of Ning rebellion, and leads his army north in an attempt to capture Nanjing.
- 1553 - Lady Jane Grey takes the English throne following the death of 15-year-old King Edward VI of England on July 6. She becomes known as the "Nine-day queen".
- 1584 – William I of Orange is assassinated in Delft by Balthasar Gérard.
- 1645 - English Civil War: The Battle of Langport takes place.
- 1778 – American Revolution: Louis XVI of France declares war on the Kingdom of Great Britain.
- 1789 – Alexander Mackenzie reaches the Mackenzie River Delta.
- 1821 – The United States takes possession of its newly bought territory of Florida from Spain.
- 1832 – US President Andrew Jackson vetoes a bill that would re-charter the Second Bank of the United States.
- 1850 – Millard Fillmore is inaugurated as the 13th President of the United States.
- 1882 - War of the Pacific: Chile suffers its last military defeat in the Battle of La Concepcion when a garrison of 77 men is virtually wiped out by a 1,300-strong Peruvian force, many of them armed with spears.
- 1890 – Wyoming is admitted as the 44th U.S. state.
1901 – 1950
- 1908 - Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes manages to turn helium into liquid.
- 1913 – Death Valley, California hits 134 °F (~56.7 °C) which is the highest temperature recorded in the United States. In 2012 it is also recognized as the hottest-recorded temperature in the world after a record set in Libya in 1922 is discredited.
- 1921 - Belfast's Bloody Sunday: 16 people are killed and 161 houses are destroyed during rioting and gun battles.
- 1925 - Meher Baba begins his 44-year silence.
- 1925 – The Telegraph Agency of the Soviet Union (TASS), the official news agency of the Soviet Union, is established.
- 1925 – Scopes Trial: In Dayton, Tennessee, the so-called "Monkey Trial" begins with John T. Scopes, a young high school science teacher, accused of teaching evolution in violation of a Tennessee state law.
- 1938 – Howard Hughes sets a new record by completing a 91 hour airplane flight around the world.
- 1940 – World War II: Vichy France government established.
- 1940 – World War II: Battle of Britain – The German Luftwaffe begin to hit British convoys in the English Channel thus starting the battle (this start date is contested, though).
- 1942 - The Netherlands and Soviet Union start diplomatic relations.
- 1943 - World War II: Operation Husky - British, American and Canadian troops land on Sicily.
- 1945 - Saarland changes its occupying force from American to French.
- 1946 - A hyperinflation (a big and quick increase in prices) record is set in Hungary.
- 1947 - Muhammad Ali Jinnah is recommended as the first Governor-General of Pakistan by British Prime Minister Clement Attlee.
1951 – 2000
- 1951 – Korean War: At Kaesong, armistice negotiations begin.
- 1951 – Randy Turpin becomes the middleweight boxing champion after defeating Sugar Ray Robinson.
- 1962 – Telstar, the world's first communications satellite, is launched into orbit.
- 1967 – Uruguay becomes a member of the Berne Convention copyright treaty.
- 1968 – Maurice Couve de Murville becomes Prime Minister of France
- 1973 – The Bahamas gain full independence within the British Commonwealth.
- 1973 - The National Assembly of Pakistan passes a resolution on the recognition of Bangladesh as an independent state.
- 1976 - An environmental disaster occurs at a chemical plant in Seveso, Italy.
- 1978 - Moktar Ould Daddah is ousted in a coup as President of Mauritania.
- 1980 - London's Alexandra Palace burns down for a second time.
- 1985 – Greenpeace vessel Rainbow Warrior is bombed and sunk in Auckland, New Zealand Harbor by French DGSE agents.
- 1985 – In response to market demand, Coca-Cola re-introduces its old formula cola as "Coca-Cola Classic" (see New Coke).
- 1991 – Boris Yeltsin begins his 5-year term as the first elected President of Russia.
- 1991 - The South African cricket team is re-admitted to the International Cricket Council after being banned for its Apartheid policy.
- 1992 – In Miami, Florida, former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega is sentenced to 40 years in prison for drug and racketeering violations.
- 1997 – London, scientists report their DNA analysis findings from a Neandertal skeleton which support the out of Africa theory of human evolution placing an "African Eve" at 100,000 to 200,000 years ago.
- 1998 – The remains of United States Air Force 1st Lt. Michael Joseph Blassie are returned to his family in St. Louis, Missouri from the Tomb of the Unknowns upon identification through DNA analysis. The remains had been in the first tomb since 1984.
- 1998 – Catholic priests' sex abuse scandal: The Diocese of Dallas agrees to pay $23.4 million to nine former altar boys who claimed they were sexually abused by former priest Rudolph Kos.
- 2000 – A leaking southern Nigerian petroleum pipeline explodes, killing about 250 villagers scavenging gasoline.
- 2000 – EADS, the world's second largest aerospace group, is formed by the merger of Aérospatiale-Matra, DASA, and CASA.
- 2002 – At a Sotheby's auction, Peter Paul Rubens' painting "The Massacre of the Innocents" is sold for £49.5 million (US$76.2 million) to Lord Kenneth Thomson.
- 2003 – A Neoplan bus, owned by Kowloon Motor Bus, collides with a truck, falls off a bridge on Tuen Mun Road, Hong Kong, and plunges into the underlying valley, killing 21 people. This is the deadliest bus accident to date in Hong Kong.
- 2003 – Wikibooks, a project of the Wikimedia Foundation, is created.
- 2006 - For the first time in history, the positions of President and Prime Minister in a country are held by twin brothers (In Poland, with Lech Kaczynski and Jaroslaw Kaczynski respectively).
- 2010 – A week-long manhunt comes to an end in Northumberland, England, when fugitive criminal Raoul Moat commits suicide by gunshot after a stand-off with police.
- 2011 – British Sunday tabloid newspaper, The News of the World, ends publication after a major phone-hacking scandal.
- 2011 - Russian river cruiser Bulgaria sinks on the Volga River, killing over 100 people.
Up to 1900
- 1419 - Emperor Go-Hanazono of Japan (d. 1471)
- 1451 – King James III of Scotland (d. 1488)
- 1509 – John Calvin, Swiss reformer (d. 1564)
- 1517 - Odet de Coligny, French cardinal (d. 1571)
- 1592 - Pierre d'Hozier, French genealogist (d. 1660)
- 1625 - Jean Herauld Gourville, French adventurer (d. 1703)
- 1640 - Aphra Behn, English writer, spy and feminist (d. 1689)
- 1682 - Roger Cotes, English mathematician (d. 1716)
- 1723 - William Blackstone, English jurist, professor and politician (d. 1780)
- 1736 - Maria, Duchess of Gloucester and Edinburgh (d. 1807)
- 1792 - George M. Dallas, 11th Vice President of the United States (d. 1864)
- 1804 - Emma Smith, American religious leader (d. 1879)
- 1830 – Camille Pissarro, French painter (d. 1903)
- 1832 – Alvan Graham Clark, American telescope maker and astronomer (d. 1897)
- 1834 – James McNeill Whistler, American painter (d. 1903)
- 1835 – Henryk Wieniawski, Polish composer (d. 1880)
- 1842 – Adolphus Busch, German-born brewer (d. 1913)
- 1849 - John W. Griggs, American politician (d. 1927)
- 1856 – Nikola Tesla, Serbian physicist and inventor (d. 1943)
- 1867 – Prince Maximilian of Baden, Chancellor of Germany (d. 1929)
- 1871 – Marcel Proust, French writer (d. 1922)
- 1871 - Hugh M. Dorsey, American politician, Governor of Georgia (d. 1948)
- 1872 - Ivar Wickman, Swedish physician (d. 1914)
- 1874 - Sergey Konenkov, Russian sculptor (d. 1971)
- 1875 – Mary McLeod Bethune, American educator (d. 1955)
- 1877 - Helene Dutrieux, Belgian pilot (d. 1961)
- 1883 - Friedrich Flick, German industrialist and Nazi war criminal (d. 1972)
- 1888 – Giorgio Chirico, Italian painter (d. 1978)
- 1888 - Toyohiko Kagawa, Japanese evangelist, author and activist (d. 1960)
- 1894 - Jimmy McHugh, American composer (d. 1969)
- 1895 – Carl Orff, German composer (d. 1982)
- 1895 - Nahum Goldmann, founder of the World Jewish Congress (d. 1982)
- 1897 - Karl Plagge, German army officer, engineer and humanitarian (d. 1957)
- 1899 – John Gilbert, American actor (d. 1936)
- 1899 - Heiri Suter, Swiss cyclist (d. 1978)
1901 – 1950
- 1902 – Kurt Alder, German chemist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1958)
- 1903 – John Wyndham, British writer (d. 1969)
- 1903 - Werner Best, German SS officer (d. 1989)
- 1904 - Lili Damita, French-American actress (d. 1994)
- 1905 - Wolfram Sievers, German Nazi physician (d. 1948)
- 1907 - Blind Boy Fuller, American singer and guitarist (d. 1941)
- 1914 – Joe Shuster, Canadian cartoonist (d. 1992)
- 1917 - Don Herbert, American television host and producer (d. 2007)
- 1917 - Reg Smythe, English cartoonist (d. 1998)
- 1920 – David Brinkley, American television reporter (d. 2003)
- 1920 – Owen Chamberlain, American physicist, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2006)
- 1921 – Harvey Ball, American inventor (d. 2001)
- 1921 – Jake LaMotta, American boxer
- 1921 – Eunice Kennedy Shriver, American activist (d. 2009)
- 1922 - Herb McKenley, Jamaican sprinter (d. 2007)
- 1923 – Jean Kerr, American writer (d. 2003)
- 1923 – Earl Hamner Jr., American writer and television producer
- 1924 - Johnny Bach, American basketball player and coach
- 1924 - Bobo Brazil, American wrestler (d. 1998)
- 1925 - Mahathir bin Mohamad, 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia
- 1926 – Fred Gwynne, American actor (d. 1993)
- 1927 - Grigory Barenblatt, Russian mathematician
- 1927 - David Dinkins, 106th Mayor of New York City
- 1929 - Winnie Ewing, Scottish lawyer and politician
- 1929 - Moe Norman, Canadian golfer (d. 2004)
- 1930 - Susan Cummings, German-American actress
- 1931 – Nick Adams, American actor (d. 1968)
- 1931 – Alice Munro, Canadian writer
- 1932 - Carlo Maria Abate, Italian racing driver
- 1933 - C.K. Yang, Taiwanese decathlete and pole vaulter (d. 2007)
- 1934 - Alfred Biolek, German entertainer
- 1934 - Jerry Nelson, American puppeteer and voice actor (d. 2012)
- 1938 – Paul Andreu, French architect
- 1939 – Ahmet Taner Kışlalı, Turkish politician, journalist, and educator (d. 1999)
- 1940 - Meghnad Desai, Baron Desai, Indian-English economist and politician
- 1940 - Tom Farmer, Scottish businessman
- 1940 – Helen Donath, American soprano
- 1942 – Pyotr Klimuk, Soviet cosmonaut
- 1942 - Sixto Rodriguez, Mexican-American folk musician and singer-songwriter
- 1942 – Ronnie James Dio, American musician (d. 2010)
- 1943 - Nasr Abu Zayd, Egyptian-Dutch academic (d. 2010)
- 1943 – Arthur Ashe, American tennis player (d. 1993)
- 1945 – Virginia Wade, English tennis player
- 1945 - Ron Glass, American actor
- 1945 - John Motson, English sports broadcaster
- 1946 - Sue Lyon, American actress
- 1947 – Arlo Guthrie, American musician
1951 – 1975
- 1951 – Cheryl Wheeler, American singer and songwriter
- 1952 - Lee Hae-chan, former Prime Minister of South Korea
- 1954 – Neil Tennant, British musician (Pet Shop Boys)
- 1957 - Cindy Sheehan, American activist
- 1958 - Fiona Shaw, Irish actress
- 1958 - Bela Fleck, American musician
- 1965 - Princess Alexa of Greece and Denmark
- 1968 – Hassiba Boulmerka, Algerian athlete
- 1970 – John Simm, English actor
- 1970 - Jason Orange, English singer (Take That)
- 1970 - Lisa Coleman, English actress
- 1971 - Adam Foote, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1972 – Peter Serafinowicz, English comedian
- 1972 - Sofia Vergara, Colombian actress
- 1973 - Annie Mumolo, American actress, screenwriter and producer
- 1974 - Imelda May, Irish singer-songwriter
- 1975 - Andrew Firestone, American businessman
- 1975 - Alain Nasreddine, Canadian ice hockey player and coach
- 1975 - Stefan Karl Stefansson, Icelandic actor
- 1976 – Ludovic Giuly, French footballer
- 1976 – Adrian Grenier, American actor
- 1976 – Lars Ricken, German footballer
- 1977 – Schapelle Corby, Australian criminal
- 1977 - Chiwetel Ejiofor, British actor
- 1977 – Levan Kobiashvili, Georgian footballer
- 1979 - Tobias Unger, German athlete
- 1980 - Alejandro Millan, Mexican singer-songwriter and keyboardist
- 1980 - Thomas Ian Nicholas, British actor
- 1980 – Adam Petty, American race car driver (d. 2000)
- 1980 - James Rolfe, American actor, director and producer
- 1980 – Jessica Simpson, American singer
- 1983 - Kim Heechul, South Korean singer and actor
- 1984 - Maria Julia Mantilla, Peruvian model
- 1985 - Park Chu-young, South Korean footballer
- 1985 – Mario Gomez, German footballer
- 1989 - Carlo Zambrano, Peruvian footballer
- 1990 - Sung Joon, South Korean model and actress
- 1991 - Matsuko Maeda, Japanese singer and actress (AKB48)
- 1993 - Perrie Edwards, English singer (Little Mix)
- 1998 - Haley Pullos, American actress
Up to 1900
- 138 – Hadrian, Roman Emperor (b. 76)
- 649 - Emperor Taizong of Tang of China (b. 598)
- 1103 – King Eric I of Denmark
- 1290 - King Ladislaus II of Hungary (b. 1262)
- 1461 - Stephen Thomas of Bosnia (b. 1412)
- 1559 – Henry II of France (b. 1519)
- 1584 – William the Silent (William of Orange), Dutch leader (b. 1533)
- 1590 – Archduke Charles II of Austria, regent of Inner Austria (b. 1540)
- 1806 – George Stubbs, British painter (b. 1724)
- 1851 - Louis Daguerre, French photographer and physicist (b. 1787)
- 1881 - Georg Hermann Nicolai, German architect and educator (b. 1812)
- 1884 – Paul Morphy, American chess player (b. 1837)
1901 – 2000
- 1908 - Phoebe Knapp, American organist and composer (b. 1839)
- 1910 - Johann Gottfried Galle, German astronomer (b. 1812)
- 1920 – Jackie Fisher, British admiral (b. 1841)
- 1941 – Jelly Roll Morton, American jazz musician (b. 1890)
- 1970 – Bjarni Benediktsson, Prime Minister of Iceland (b. 1908)
- 1972 - Lovie Austin, American pianist, composer and bandleader (b. 1887)
- 1978 – John D Rockefeller III, American businessman (b. 1906)
- 1978 – Joe Davis, English snooker player (b. 1901)
- 1979 – Arthur Fiedler, American conductor (b. 1894)
- 1985 – Fernando Pereira, Portuguese-Dutch photographer (b. 1950)
- 1987 – John Hammond, American record producer (b. 1910)
- 1989 – Mel Blanc, American voice actor (b. 1908)
- 2003 – Lord Shawcross, Britain's chief prosecutor at the Nuremberg Trials (b. 1902)
- 2003 – Winston Graham, English writer (b. 1908)
- 2004 - Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo, Portuguese politician (b. 1930)
- 2004 - Inge Meysel, German actress (b. 1910)
- 2008 - Hiroaki Aoki, Japanese-American wrestler and businessman (b. 1938)
- 2010 – Raoul Moat, British fugitive criminal (b. 1973)
- 2010 – Sugar Minott, Jamaican musician (b. 1956)
- 2011 – Roland Petit, French choreographer (b. 1924)
- 2012 - Lol Coxhill, English saxophonist (b. 1933)
- 2013 - Concha Garcia Campoy, Spanish journalist (b. 1958)
- 2013 - Ibrahim Youssef, Egyptian footballer (b. 1959)
- 2014 - Zohra Sehgal, Indian actress and choreographer (b. 1912)