- 1002 – English king Ethelred orders the killing of all Danes in England, known today as the St. Brice's Day Massacre.
- 1775 – American Revolutionary War: Patriot revolutionary forces under Col. Ethan Allen attack Montreal, Quebec defended by British General Guy Carleton.
- 1851 - The Denny Party lands at Alki Point, the first White settlers of what would become Seattle, Washington.
- 1918 - Allied troops occupy Constantinople the capital of the Ottoman Empire.
- 1942 – World War II: Naval Battle of Guadalcanal – U.S. and Japanese ships engage in an intense, close-quarters surface naval engagement during the Battle of Guadalcanal.
- 1982 – The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C. after a march to its site by thousands of Vietnam War veterans.
- 1985 – The volcano Nevado del Ruiz erupts and melts a glacier, causing a lahar (volcanic mudslide) that buries Armero, Colombia, killing approximately 23,000 people.
- 1988 – Mulugeta Seraw, an Ethiopian law student in Portland, Oregon is beaten to death by members of East Side White Pride.
- 1990 - The World Wide Web first began.
- 1994 - Voters in Sweden decide to join the European Union in a referendum.