1607 – An estimated 200 square miles along the coasts of the Bristol Channel and Severn Estuary in England are destroyed by massive flooding, resulting in an estimated 2,000 deaths.
1649 – King Charles I of England is beheaded.
1661 – Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, is ritually executed more than two years after his death, on the 12th anniversary of the execution of the monarch he himself deposed.
1703 – The Forty-seven Ronin, under the command of Ōishi Kuranosuke, avenge the death of their master.
1806 – The original Lower Trenton Bridge, which spans the Delaware River between Morrisville, Pennsylvania and Trenton, New Jersey, is opened.
1820 – Edward Bransfield sights the Trinity Peninsula and claims the discovery of Antarctica.
1826 – The Menai Suspension Bridge, considered the world’s first modern suspension bridge, connecting the Isle of Anglesey to the north West coast of Wales, is opened.
1835 – In the first assassination attempt against a President of the United States, Richard Lawrence attempts to shoot president Andrew Jackson, but fails and is subdued by a crowd, including several congressmen as well as Jackson himself.
1862 – The first American ironclad warship, the USS Monitor is launched.
1933 – Adolf Hitler is sworn in as Chancellor of Germany.
1948 – Mahatma Gandhi is assassinated by Nathuram Godse, a Hindu extremist.
1959 – MS Hans Hedtoft, said to be the safest ship afloat and “unsinkable” like the RMS Titanic, strikes an iceberg on her maiden voyage and sinks, killing all 95 aboard. The only piece of wreckage ever found was a lifebelt.
1969 – The Beatles’ last public performance, on the roof of Apple Records in London. The impromptu concert is broken up by the police.
Click here to watch them on the roof. Don’t Let Me Down
1882 – Franklin D. Roosevelt, politician, 32nd President of the United States (d. 1945)
1901 – Rudolf Caracciola, German race car driver (d. 1959)
1912 – Barbara W. Tuchman, American historian and author (d. 1989)
1927 – Olof Palme, Swedish captain and politician, 26th Prime Minister of Sweden (d. 1986)
1928 – Harold Prince, American director and producer
1937 – Boris Spassky, Russian chess player and theoretician
1941 – Dick Cheney, 46th Vice President of the United States
1649 – Charles I of England (b. 1600)
1836 – Betsy Ross, American seamstress, said to have designed the American Flag (b. 1752)
1934 – Frank Nelson Doubleday, American publisher, founded the Doubleday Publishing Company (b. 1862)
1951 – Ferdinand Porsche, Austrian-German engineer and businessman, founded Porsche (b. 1875)
2006 – Coretta Scott King, American author and activist (b. 1927)