1489 - Catherine Cornaro, Queen of Cyprus, sold her kingdom to Venice. She was the last of the Lusignan dynasty.
1629 - A Royal charter was granted to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1647 - During the Thirty Years War, France, Sweden, Bavaria and Cologne signed a Treaty of Neutrality.
1743 - First American town meeting was held at Boston's Faneuil Hall.
1757 - British Admiral John Byng was executed by a firing squad on board HMS Monarch for neglect of duty.
1794 - Eli Whitney received a patent for his cotton gin.
1864 - Samuel Baker discovered another source of the Nile in East Africa. He named it Lake Albert Nyanza.
1891 - The submarine Monarch laid telephone cable along the bottom of the English Channel to prepare for the first telephone links across the Channel.
1900 - U.S. currency went on the gold standard with the ratification of the Gold Standard Act.
1900 - In Holland, Botanist Hugo de Vries rediscovered Mendel's laws of heredity.
1901 - Utah Governor Heber M. Wells vetoed a bill that would have relaxed restrictions on polygamy.
1903 - The U.S. Senate ratified the Hay-Herran Treaty that guaranteed the U.S. the right to build a canal at Panama. The Columbian Senate rejected the treaty.
1904 - The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the governments claim that the Northern Securities Company was an illegal merger between the Great Northern and Northern Pacific Railway companies.
1905 - French bankers refused to lend money to Russia until after their war.
1905 - The British House of Commons cited a need to compete with Germany in naval strength.
1906 - The island of Ustica was devastated by an earthquake.
1912 - An anarchist named Antonio Dalba unsuccessfully attempted to kill Italy's King Victor Emmanuel III in Rome.
1914 - Henry Ford announced the new continuous motion method to assemble cars. The process decreased the time to make a car from 12½ hours to 93 minutes.
1915 - The British Navy sank the German battleship Dresden off the Chilean coast.