- 1305 – William Wallace, Scottish patriot, is hanged, drawn and quartered for high treason by Edward I of England.
1775 – King George III declares that the American colonies exist in a state of open and avowed rebellion.
- 1784 – Western North Carolina (now eastern Tennessee) declares itself an independent state under the name of Franklin; it wasn’t accepted into the United States, and only lasted for four years.
- 1839 – The United Kingdom captures Hong Kong as a base as it prepares for war with Qing China. The ensuing 3-year conflict will later be known as the First Opium War.
1864 – The Union Navy captures Fort Morgan, Alabama, thus breaking Confederate dominance of all ports on the Gulf of Mexico.
- 1939 – World War II: Germany and the Soviet Union sign a non-aggression treaty, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact. In a secret addition to the pact, the Baltic states, Finland, Romania, and Poland are divided between the two nations.
- 1954 – First flight of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.
- 1966 – Lunar Orbiter 1 takes the first photograph of Earth from orbit around the Moon.