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- 455 – Roman military commander Avitus is proclaimed emperor of the Western Roman Empire.
- 1357 5:31 AM – Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor assisted laying the foundation stone of Charles Bridge in Prague.
- 1540 – Henry VIII of England annulled his marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.
- 1749 – Naval settlement of Halifax, Nova Scotia founded as British answer to Louisbourg.
- 1755 – French and Indian War: Braddock Expedition – British troops and colonial militiamen are ambushed and suffer a devastating defeat to French and Native American forces. During the battle, British General Edward Braddock is mortally wounded. Colonel George Washington survives.
- 1789 – In Versailles, the National Assembly reconstitutes itself as the National Constituent Assembly and begins preparations for a French constitution.
- 1790 – Russo-Swedish War: Second Battle of Svensksund – In the Baltic Sea, the Swedish Navy captures one third of the Russian fleet.
- 1793 – Act Against Slavery passed in Upper Canada and importation of slaves into Lower Canada is prohibited.
- 1815 – Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Benevente becomes Prime Minister of France
- 1816 – Argentina declares independence from Spain.
- 1846 – By an Act of Congress, the Washington, DC area south of the Potomac River (39 mi² or about 100 km²) is returned to Virginia.
- 1850 – US President Zachary Taylor dies and Millard Fillmore becomes the 13th President of the United States.
- 1896 – William Jennings Bryan delivers his Cross of gold speech.
- 1900 – Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom gives royal assent to an act creating the Commonwealth of Australia thus uniting separate colonies on the continent under one federal government.
- 1918 – Great train wreck of 1918: In Nashville, Tennessee, an inbound local train collides with an outbound express killing 101 and injuring 171 people, making it the deadliest rail accident in United States history.
- 1922 – Johnny Weissmuller swims the 100 meters freestyle in 58.6 seconds, breaking a world swimming record and the 'minute barrier'.
- 1942 – Holocaust: Anne Frank's family goes into hiding in an attic above her father's office in an Amsterdam warehouse.
- 1943 – World War II: Operation Husky – Allied forces perform an amphibious invasion of Sicily.
- 1944 – World War II: Battle of Normandy – British and Canadian forces capture Caen, France.
- 1945 – A forest fire breaks out in the Tillamook Burn, the third fire in that area since 1933.
- 1955 – The Russell-Einstein Manifesto is released by Bertrand Russell in London.
- 1968 – Official opening of Hayward Gallery on London's South Bank.
- 1979 – A car bomb destroys a Renault owned by famed "Nazi hunters" Serge and Beate Klarsfeld at their home in France. A note purportedly from ODESSA claims responsibility.
- 1982 – A Boeing 727 carrying Pan Am Flight 759 crashes in Kenner, Louisiana killing all 146 people on board and eight others on the ground.
- 1989 – Two bombs explode in Mecca, killing one pilgrim and wounding 16 others.
- 1991 – International Human Rights Federation cites human rights violations committed by police and military personnel during Oka crisis in Quebec, Canada.
- 1991 – South Africa is reintroduced into the Olympic movement after 30 years of exclusion.
- 1992 – Democratic presidential nominee Bill Clinton announces that Tennessee Senator Al Gore will be his running mate.
- 1997 – Mike Tyson's boxing license is suspended for at least a year and he is fined $3 million for biting Evander Holyfield's ear in a televised match.
- 1999 – Days of student protests begins after Iranian police and hardliners attack a student dormitory of University of Tehran
- 2002 – The African Union is established in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The first chairman is Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa.
- 2004 – After José Manuel Durão Barroso's appointment to the European Commission, Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio announces that he will invite the second-in-line leader of PSD, Pedro Santana Lopes to form government.
- 2006 – A plane crash in Irkutsk, Siberia kills 122 people.
- 2006 – Italy wins the FIFA World Cup for a fourth time, by beating France on penalties. The game is most remembered for Zinedine Zidane's headbut on Marco Materazzi.
- 2007 – Argentina's capital city Buenos Aires is hit by its first snowfall since 1918.
- 2011 – South Sudan declares independence from Sudan, after a majority of 'yes' votes in a referendum the previous January. Salva Kiir Mayardit becomes the new nation's President.
- 1578 – Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1637)
- 1654 – Emperor Reigen of Japan (d. 1732)
- 1819 – Elias Howe, American inventor (d. 1867)
- 1834 – Jan Neruda, Czech poet (d. 1891)
- 1858 – Franz Boas, German anthropologist (d. 1942)
- 1894 – Pyotr Leonidovich Kapitsa, Russian physicist (d. 1984)
- 1896 – Maria Gomes Valentim, Brazilian supercentenarian (d. 2011)
- 1901 – Barbara Cartland, British novelist (d. 2000)
- 1910 – Govan Mbeki, South African anti-Apartheid activist (d. 2001)
- 1911 – John Archibald Wheeler, American physicist (d. 2008)
- 1911 – Mervyn Peake, British writer and illustrator (d. 1968)
- 1914 – Willi Stoph, East German politician (d. 1999)
- 1916 – Edward Heath, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (d. 2005)
- 1926 – Ben Roy Mottelson, American-born physicist
- 1927 – Ed Ames, American singer and actor
- 1929 – Lee Hazlewood, American singer and songwriter (d. 2007)
- 1929 – King Hassan II of Morocco (d. 1999)
- 1932 – Donald Rumsfeld, American politician
- 1933 – Oliver Sacks, British neurologist and writer
- 1935 – Wim Duisenberg, Dutch economist and politician (d. 2005)
- 1935 – Mercedes Sosa, Argentine singer (d. 2009)
- 1937 – David Hockney, British artist and photographer
- 1945 – Dean R. Koontz, American writer
- 1947 – Mitch Mitchell, English drummer (d. 2008)
- 1947 – O. J. Simpson, American football player, actor and criminal
- 1950 – Viktor Yanukovich, President of Ukraine
- 1955 – Steve Coppell, English football manager
- 1956 – Tom Hanks, American actor
- 1957 – Paul Merton, English comedian
- 1959 – Jim Kerr, Scottish singer (Simple Minds)
- 1964 – Courtney Love, American musician, singer and actress
- 1964 – Gianluca Vialli, Italian footballer
- 1968 – Paolo Di Canio, Italian footballer
- 1975 – Jack White, American singer (The White Stripes)
- 1976 – Fred Savage, American actor
- 1984 – Hannah R. Hall, American actress
- 1985 – Ashley Young, English footballer
- 1991 – Spencer Elden, baby on Nirvana's Nevermind album cover
- 1995 – Georgie Henley, British actress
- 1746 – King Philip V of Spain (b. 1683)
- 1797 – Edmund Burke, English writer, philosopher and politician (b. 1729)
- 1850 – The Bab, founder of the Baha'i religion (b. 1819)
- 1850 – Zachary Taylor, 12th President of the United States (b. 1784)
- 1856 – Amedeo Avogadro, Italian chemist (b. 1776)
- 1974 – Earl Warren, American jurist (b. 1891)
- 1977 – Alice Paul, American activist (b. 1885)
- 1985 – Charlotte, Grand Duchess of Luxembourg (b. 1896)
- 2002 – Rod Steiger, American actor (b. 1925)
- 2005 – Yevgeny Grishin, Russian figure skater (b. 1931)