- 1812 -- The beginning of the War of 1812 -- United States President James Madison declares war against Britain, starting a two-year war and resulting in heavy losses for the United States troops.
- 1815 -- Battle of Waterloo leads to Napoleon Bonaparte abdicating the French throne for a second time.
- 1858 -- Charles Darwin receives from Alfred Russel Wallace a paper that included nearly identical conclusions about the evolution as Darwin's own. This prompted Darwin to publish his theory
- 1928 -- Roald Amundsen dies in the Arctic Ocean
- 1942 -- Roger Ebert (film reviewer for the Chicago Sun Times, co-host of long-running show Siskel and Ebert at the Movies, now [after Siskel's death] renamed to "Ebert and Roeper at the Movies"
- 1942 -- Paul McCartney (singer, bassist, pianist, guitarist for The Beatles and Wings)
- 1952 -- Isabella Rossellini (actress)