- 1555 - The English Parliament re-establishes Catholicism in England.
- 1918 - Austria becomes a republic.
- 1927 - Leon Trotsky is expelled from the Soviet Communist Party, leaving Joseph Stalin in undisputed control of the Soviet Union.
- 1938 - Hermann Göring announces plans to make Madagascar the "Jewish homeland", an idea that was first considered by 19th century Zionist Theodor Herzl.
- 1942 - World War II: The Naval Battle of Guadalcanal between Japanese and American forces begins near Guadalcanal, which would last for three days.
- 1948 - In Tokyo, an international war crimes tribunal sentences seven Japanese military and government officials to death, including General Hideki Tojo, for their roles in World War II.
- 1969 - Vietnam War: My Lai Massacre - journalist Seymour Hersh breaks the My Lai story.
- 1982 - In the Soviet Union, Yuri Andropov becomes the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee, succeeding Leonid I. Brezhnev.
- 1997 - Ramzi Yousef is found guilty of masterminding the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
- 1998 - Daimler-Benz completes a merger with Chrysler to form Daimler-Chrysler.
- 2001 - 2001 Attack on Afghanistan: Taliban forces abandon Kabul, Afghanistan, ahead of advancing Afghan Northern Alliance troops.
- 2006 - The former Soviet republic of South Ossetia holds a referendum on independence from Georgia.