1488 - The Portuguese navigator Bartholomeu Diaz landed at Mossal Bay in the Cape, the first European known to have landed on the southern extremity of Africa.
1783 - Spain recognized the independence of the United States.
1815 - The world's first commercial cheese factory was established in Switzerland.
1941 - In Vichy, France, the Nazis used force to restore Pierre Laval to office.
1945 - Russia agreed to enter World War II against Japan.
1966 - The first rocket-assisted controlled landing on the Moon was made by the Soviet space vehicle Luna IX.
1969 - At the Palestinian National Congress in Cairo, Yasser Arafat was appointed leader of the PLO.
1972 - The first Winter Olympics in Asia were held at Sapporo, Japan.
1984 - Challenger 4 was launched as the tenth space shuttle mission.