1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots, is executed on suspicion of having been involved in the Babington Plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I.
1590 – Luis de Carabajal the younger is tortured by the Inquisition in Mexico City.
1693 – The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, is granted a charter by King William III and Queen Mary II.
1887 – The Dawes Act authorizes the President of the United States to survey Native American tribal land and divide it into individual allotments.
1915 – D. W. Griffith’s controversial film The Birth of a Nation premieres in Los Angeles.
1922 – President Warren G. Harding introduces the first radio set in the White House.
1924 – Capital punishment: The first state execution in the United States by gas chamber takes place in Nevada.
1950 – The Stasi, the secret police of East Germany, is established.
1952 – Elizabeth II is proclaimed Queen of the United Kingdom.
1963 – Travel, financial and commercial transactions by United States citizens to Cuba are made illegal by the Kennedy administration.
1974 – After 84 days in space, the crew of Skylab 4, the last crew to visit American space station Skylab, returns to Earth.
1993 – General Motors sues NBC after Dateline NBC allegedly rigs two crashes intended to demonstrate that some GM pickups can easily catch fire if hit in certain places. NBC settles the lawsuit the next day.
2013 – A blizzard disrupts transportation and leaves hundreds of thousands of people without electricity in the Northeastern United States and parts of Canada.
120 – Vettius Valens, Greek astronomer, mathematician, and astrologer (d. 175)
1700 – Daniel Bernoulli, Dutch-Swiss mathematician and physicist (d. 171820 – William Tecumseh Sherman, American general (d. 1891)
1828 – Jules Verne, French author, poet, and playwright (d. 1905)
1925 – Jack Lemmon, American actor (d. 2001)
1696 – Ivan V of Russia (b. 1666)
1725 – Peter the Great, Russian emperor (b. 1672)
1936 – Charles Curtis, American lawyer and politician, 31st Vice President of the United States (b. 1860)
1957 – John von Neumann, Hungarian-American mathematician and physicist (b. 1903)
1999 – Iris Murdoch, Irish-born British novelist and philosopher (b. 1919)
This list is compiled from many internet and other sources of information including wikipedia, the New York Times, a multitude of websites and old books.