1377 - The Papal See was transferred from Avignon in France back to Rome.
1773 - Captain Cook's Resolution became the first ship to cross the Antarctic Circle.
1795 - The Dudingston Curling Society was organized in Edinburgh, Scotland.
1852 - The independence of the Transvaal Boers was recognized by Britain.
1871 - Andrew S. Hallidie received a patent for a cable car system.
1882 - Thomas Edison's exhibit opened the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London.
1893 - Hawaii's monarchy was overthrown when a group of businessmen and sugar planters forced Queen Liliuokalani to abdicate.
1912 - English explorer Robert Falcon Scott reached the South Pole. Norwegian Roald Amundsen had beaten him there by one month. Scott and his party died during the return trip.
1945 - Soviet and Polish forces liberated Warsaw during World War II.
1945 - Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg disappeared in Hungary while in Soviet custody. Wallenberg was credited with saving tens of thousands of Jews.
1946 - The United Nations Security Council held its first meeting.
1991 - Coalition airstrikes began against Iraq after negotiations failed to get Iraq to retreat from the country of Kuwait.
1997 - A court in Ireland granted the first divorce in the Roman Catholic country's history.
1997 - Israel gave over 80% of Hebron to Palestinian rule, but held the remainder where several hundred Jewish settlers lived among 20,000 Palestinians.
2000 - British pharmaceutical companies Glaxo Wellcome PLC and SmithKline Beecham PLC agreed to a merger that created the world's largest drugmaker.