1577 - Five ships under the command of Sir Francis Drake left Plymouth, England, to embark on Drake's circumnavigation of the globe. The journey took almost three years.
1642 - New Zealand was discovered by Dutch navigator Abel Tasman.
1913 - It was announced by authorities in Florence, Italy, that the "Mona Lisa" had been recovered. The work was stolen from the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1911.
1918 - U.S. President Wilson arrived in France, becoming the first chief executive to visit a European country while holding office.
1921 - Britain, France, Japan and the United States signed the Pacific Treaty.
1937 - Japanese forces took the Chinese city of Nanking (Nanjing).
1944 - During World War II, the U.S. cruiser Nashville was badly damaged in a Japanese kamikaze suicide attack. 138 people were killed in the attack.
1981 - Authorities in Poland imposed martial law in an attempt to crackdown on the Solidarity labor movement. Martial law ended formally in 1983.
1988 - PLO chairman Yasser Arafat addressed the U.N. General Assembly in Geneva, were it had reconvened after the United States had refused to grant Arafat a visa to visit New York.
1989 - South African President F.W. de Klerk met for the first time with imprisoned African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela, at de Klerk's office in Cape Town.
1991 - North Korea and South Korea signed a historic non-aggression agreement.