Thomas Paine publishes Common Sense, a scathing attack on King George III's reign over the colonies and a call for complete independence.
Jean Pierre Blanchard makes the first balloon flight in North America.
Southern shellfire stops the Union supply ship Star of the West from entering Charleston Harbor on her way to Fort Sumter.
Mississippi secedes from the Union.
A Polar exploration team lead by Ernest Shackleton reaches 88 degrees, 23 minutes south longitude, 162 degrees east latitude. They are 97 nautical miles short of the South Pole, but the weather is too severe to continue.
Colonel Theodore Roosevelt announces that he will run for president if asked.
Pancho Villa signs a treaty with the United States, halting border conflicts.
Soviet planes drop leaflets on the surrounded Germans in Stalingrad requesting their surrender with humane terms. The Germans refuse.
Jackie Robinson becomes the highest paid player in Brooklyn Dodger history.
The Assembly of the Serb People in Bosnia and Herzegovina proclaims the creation of a new state within Yugoslavia, the Rupublika Srpska.
A raid by Chechen separatists in the city of Kizlyar turns into a hostage crisis involving thousands of civilians.
The Comprehensive Peace Agreement to end the Second Sudanese Civil War is signed by the Government of Sudan and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement.
Mahmoud Abbas wins election to replace Yasser Arafat as President of the Palestinian National Authority.