0871 - England's King Alfred defeated the Danes at the Battle of Ashdown.
1205 - Philip of Swabia was crowned as King of the Romans.
1453 - Frederick III erected Austria into an Archduchy.
1540 - King Henry VIII of England was married to Anne of Cleves, his fourth wife.
1838 - Samuel Morse publicly demonstrated the telegraph for the first time.
1931 - Thomas Edison executed his last patent application.
1942 - The first commercial around-the-world airline flight took place. Pan American Airlines was the company that made history with the feat.
1945 - The Battle of the Bulge ended with 130,000 German and 77,000 Allied casualties.
1950 - Britain recognized the Communist government of China.
1952 - "Peanuts" debuted in Sunday papers across the U.S.
1610 - Galileo Galilei sighted four of Jupiter's moons. He named them Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto.
1782 - The Bank of North America opened in Philadelphia. It was the first commercial bank in the U.S.
1785 - French aeronaut/balloonist Jean-Pierre Blanchard successfully made the first air-crossing of the English Channel from the English coast to France.
1887 - Thomas Stevens completed the first worldwide bicycle trip. He started his trip in April 1884. Stevens and his bike traveled 13,500 miles in almost three years time.
1894 - W.K. Dickson received a patent for motion picture film.
1904 - The distress signal "CQD" was established. Two years later "SOS" became the radio distress signal because it was quicker to send by wireless radio.
1927 - Transatlantic telephone service Service began between New York and London. 31 calls were made on this first day.
1932 - Chancellor Heinrich Brüning declared that Germany cannot, and will not, resume reparations payments.
1935 - French Foreign Minister Pierre Laval and Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini signed the Italo-French agreements.
1942 - The World War II siege of Bataan began.
1949 - The announcement of the first photograph of genes was shown at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
1953 - U.S. President Harry Truman announced the development of the hydrogen bomb.
1954 - The Duoscopic TV receiver was unveiled this day. The TV set allowed the watching of two different shows at the same time.
1959 - The United States recognized Fidel Castro's new government in Cuba.
1979 - Vietnamese forces captured the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, overthrowing the Khmer Rouge government.
1989 - Crown Prince Akihito became the emperor of Japan following the death of his father, Emperor Hirohito.
1990 - The Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed to the public. The accelerated rate of "leaning" raised fears for the safety of its visitors.