- 31 BC – Final War of the Roman Republic: Battle of Actium – off the western coast of Greece, forces of Octavian defeat troops under Mark Antony and Cleopatra.
- 1666 - The Great Fire of London breaks out and burns for three days, destroying 10,000 buildings including St. Paul's Cathedral.
- 1752 – Great Britain adopts the Gregorian calendar, nearly two centuries later than most of Western Europe.
- 1859 – A solar super storm affects electrical telegraph service.
- 1864 – American Civil War: Union forces enter Atlanta, Georgia a day after the Confederate defenders flee the city.
- 1885 - In Rock Springs, Wyoming, 150 white miners, who were struggling to unionize so they could strike for better wages and work conditions, attack their Chinese fellow workers, killing 28, wounding 15, and forcing several hundred more out of town.
- 1925 - The U.S. Zeppelin the USS Shenandoah crashes, killing 14.
- 1945 - Combat in World War II ends in the Pacific Theater: The final official surrender of Japan is accepted aboard the battleship USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
- 1945 - Vietnam declares its independence, forming the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (North Vietnam).