1715 – A total solar eclipse was visible across northern Europe, and northern Asia, as predicted by Edmond Halley to within 4 minutes accuracy.
1703 – Tsar Peter the Great founds the city of Saint Petersburg.
1609 – Shakespeare’s sonnets are first published in London, perhaps illicitly, by the publisher Thomas Thorpe.
1861 – The Great Comet of 1861 is discovered by John Tebbutt of Windsor, New South Wales, Australia.
1682 – Louis XIV of France moves his court to the Palace of Versailles.
1429 – Joan of Arc arrives to relieve the Siege of Orléans.
1876 – The first game in the history of the National League was played at the Jefferson Street Grounds in Philadelphia. This game is often pointed to as the beginning of the MLB.
1755 – Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London.
1740 – War of Jenkins’ Ear: Three British ships capture the Spanish third-rate Princesa, taken into service as HMS Princess.
1545 – Potosí is founded after the discovery of huge silver deposits in the area.
1655 – Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is discovered by Christiaan Huygens.
AD 37 – The Roman Senate annuls Tiberius’s will and proclaims Caligula emperor.
222 – Emperor Elagabalus is assassinated, along with his mother, Julia Soaemias, by the Praetorian Guard during a revolt. Their mutilated bodies are dragged through the streets of Rome before being thrown into the Tiber.
1519 – Hernán Cortés arrives in Mexico in search of the Aztec civilization and its wealth.
1836 – Samuel Colt is granted a United States patent for the Colt revolver.
1878 – John Tunstall is murdered by outlaw Jesse Evans, sparking the Lincoln County War in Lincoln County, New Mexico.
AD 55 – Tiberius Claudius Caesar Britannicus, heir to the Roman emperorship, dies under mysterious circumstances in Rome. This clears the way for Nero to become Emperor.
1703 – In Edo (now Tokyo), 46 of the Forty-seven Ronin commit seppuku (ritual suicide) as recompense for avenging their master’s death.
1069 – Robert de Comines, the Earl of Northumbria, is killed while attempting to subdue rebels in Durham, England. This leads to the Harrying of the North by William the Conqueror.
1789 – The first American novel, The Power of Sympathy or the Triumph of Nature Founded in Truth, is printed in Boston.