- 307 – After divorcing his wife Minervina, Constantine marries Fausta, the daughter of the retired Roman Emperor Maximian.
- 627 – Battle of the Trench: Muhammad undergoes a 14-day siege at Medina (Saudi Arabia) by Meccan forces under Abu Sufyan.
- 1822 – The massacre of the population of the Greek island of Chios by soldiers of the Ottoman Empire following an attempted rebellion, depicted by the French artist Eugène Delacroix.
- 1889 – The Eiffel Tower is officially opened.
- 1913 – The Vienna Concert Society rioted during a performance of modernist music by Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Alexander von Zemlinsky, and Anton von Webern, causing a premature end to the concert due to violence; this concert became known as theSkandalkonzert.
- 1959 – The 14th Dalai Lama, crosses the border into India and is granted political asylum.
- 1499 – Pope Pius IV (d. 1565)
- 1596 – René Descartes, French mathematician and philosopher (d. 1650)
- 1675 – Pope Benedict XIV (d. 1758)
- 1685 – Johann Sebastian Bach, German organist and composer (d. 1750)
- 1732 – Joseph Haydn, Austrian composer (d. 1809)
- 1809 – Nikolai Gogol, Ukrainian-Russian author and playwright (d. 1852)
- 1872 – Sergei Diaghilev, Russian ballet manager and critic, founded the Ballets Russes (d. 1929)
- 1914 – Octavio Paz, Mexican author, poet, and diplomat, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1998)
- 1938 – Arthur B. Rubinstein, American pianist, composer, and conductor (The Beepers)
- 1948 – Al Gore, American politician, 45th Vice President of the United States and Nobel Prize laureate
- 1968 – Yves Joris, risk manager with too much spare time wasted on blogging 😉
- 1631 – John Donne, English lawyer and poet (b. 1572)
- 1837 – John Constable, English painter (b. 1776)
- 1855 – Charlotte Brontë, English author (b. 1816)
- 1877 – Antoine Augustin Cournot, French mathematician (b. 1801)
- 1913 – J. P. Morgan, American banker and financier, founded J.P. Morgan & Co. (b. 1837)
- 2011 – Vassili Kononov, Russian criminal (b. 1923)
- 2014 – Roger Somville, Belgian painter (b. 1923)