- 1692 - Salem witch trials: In Salem, Massachusetts, Province of Massachusetts Bay five people, one woman and four men, including a clergyman, are executed after being convicted of witchcraft.
- 1812 - War of 1812: American frigate USS Constitution defeats the British frigate HMS Guerrière off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada earning her nickname "Old Ironsides".
- 1919 - Afghanistan gains full independence from the United Kingdom.
- 1934 - The creation of the position Führer approved by the German electorate with 89.9% of the popular vote.
- 1937 - A German Ministry of Interior decree permits only Jews to buy from Jewish bookstores. Also Jewish owned bookstores are forbidden to sell works by German/Aryan authors.
- 1945 - Vietnam War: Viet Minh led by Ho Chi Minh take power in Hanoi, Vietnam.
- 1953 - Cold War: The CIA helps to overthrow the government of Mohammed Mossadegh in Iran and reinstate the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
- 1991 - Collapse of the Soviet Union, August Coup: Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev placed under house arrest while on holiday in the town of Foros, Crimea.
- 1999 - In Belgrade, tens of thousands of Serbians rally to demand the resignation of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia President Slobodan Milošević.