1327 – The teenaged Edward III is crowned King of England, but the country is ruled by his mother Queen Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer.
1662 – The Chinese general Koxinga seizes the island of Taiwan after a nine-month siege.
1861 – American Civil War: Texas secedes from the United States.
1865 – Abraham Lincoln signs the Thirteenth Amendment to the US Constitution.
1884 – The first volume (A to Ant) of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.
1893 – Thomas A. Edison finishes construction of the first motion picture studio, in West Orange, New Jersey.
1895 – Fountains Valley, Pretoria, the oldest nature reserve in Africa, is proclaimed by President Paul Kruger.
1960 – Four black students stage the first of the Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
1964 – The Beatles have their first number one hit in the United States with “I Want to Hold Your Hand“.
1968 – Vietnam War: The execution of Viet Cong officer Nguyễn Văn Lém by South Vietnamese National Police Chief Nguyễn Ngọc Loan is recorded on motion picture film, as well as in an iconic still photograph taken by Eddie Adams.
1968 – The New York Central Railroad and the Pennsylvania Railroad are merged to form Penn Central Transportation.
1979 – Iranian Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returns to Tehran after nearly 15 years of exile.
2002 – Daniel Pearl, American journalist and South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, kidnapped January 23, 2002, is beheaded and mutilated by his captors.
2003 – Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrats during the reentry of mission STS-107 into the Earth’s atmosphere, killing all seven astronauts aboard.
2013 – The Shard, the tallest building in the European Union, is opened to the public.
1894 – John Ford, American director and producer (d. 1973)
1901 – Clark Gable, American actor (d. 1960)
1902 – Langston Hughes, American poet, social activist, novelist, and playwright (d. 1967)
1904 – S.J. Perelman, American humorist and screenwriter (d. 1979)
1931 – Boris Yeltsin, Russian politician, 1st President of Russia (d. 2007)
1969 – Andrew Breitbart, American publisher (d. 2012)
772 – Pope Stephen III (b. 720)
1691 – Pope Alexander VIII (b. 1610)
1924 – Maurice Prendergast, American painter (b. 1858)