1498 - Vasco de Gama landed at what is now Mozambique on his way to India.
1562 - In Vassy, France, Catholics massacred over 1,000 Huguenots. The event started the First War of Religion.
1692 - In Salem Village, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Salem witch trials began. Four women were the first to be charged.
1784 - In Great Britain, E. Kidner opened the first cooking school.
1790 - The U.S. Congress authorized the first U.S. census.
1810 - Sweden became the first country to appoint an Ombudsman, Lars August Mannerheim.
1811 - Egyptian ruler Mohammed Ali massacred the leaders of the Mameluke dynasty.
1815 - Napoleon returned to France from the island of Elba. He had been forced to abdicate in April of 1814.
1862 - Prussia formally recognized the Kingdom of Italy.
1872 - The U.S. Congress authorized the creation of Yellowstone National Park. It was the world's first national park.
1896 - The Battle of Adowa began in Ethiopia between the forces of Emperor Menelik II and Italian troops. The Italians were defeated.
1900 - In South Africa, Ladysmith was relieved by British troops after being under siege by the Boers for more than four months.
1907 - In Spain, a royal decree abolished civil marriages.
1912 - Captain Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.
1947 - The International Monetary Fund began operations.
1950 - Klaus Fuchs was convicted of giving U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.
1954 - The United States announced that it had conducted a hydrogen bomb test on the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean.
1962 - Pakistan announced that it had a new constitution that set up a presidential system of government.
1966 - The Soviet probe, Venera 3 crashed on the planet Venus. It was the first unmanned spacecraft to land on the surface of another planet.
1988 - Soviet troops were sent into Azerbaijan after ethnic riots between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.
1992 - Bosnian Serb snipers fired upon civilians after a majority of the Moslem and Croatian communities voted in favor of Bosnia's independence.
1992 - Bosnian Muslims and Croats voted to secede from Yugoslavia.
1994 - Israel released about 500 Arab prisoners in an effort to placate Palestinians over the Hebron massacre.
1995 - The European Parliament rejected legislation that would have allowed biotechnology companies to patent new life forms.
1995 - Yahoo! was incorporated.
2002 - Operation Anaconda began in eastern Afghanistan. Allied forces were fighting against Taliban and Al Quaida fighters.