The Guatemalan government signed a peace agreement with rebel leaders, ending the 35-year civil war
Death of Frank Zappa, American rock musician and composer .
Death of Benjamin Britten, British composer
American surfer Greg Noll (Da Bull) rode a 65-foot (19.8m) wave at Makaha, Oahu, Hawaii thought to be the biggest wave ever surfed
Two members of the Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton and Mark Clark, were shot and killed during a police raid in Chicago
The 'pill' becomes available on the NHS
Dahomey (now Benin) became a self-governing country within the French Community.
Lewisham rail disaster – 90 killed as two trains collide in thick fog and a viaduct collapses on top of them
Great smog hits London
The Dandy first published
Death of Stefan George, German poet .
Birth of Alfred Hershey, American bacteriologist, Nobel Prize winner .
American ship Mary Celeste is found abandoned by the British brig Dei Gratia in the Atlantic Ocean – the ship was unmanned but under full sail – she was recovered and used again for another 12 years or so
Napoleon Bonaparte abolished the Spanish Inquisition .
First publication of The Observer – world's oldest Sunday newspaper
Jeremiah Horrocks makes the first observation of a transit of Venus
Colonists from Berkeley Parish in England disembark in Virginia and give thanks to God (considered by many to be the first Thanksgiving in the Americas)
Death of Alexander Hume, Scottish religious poet
Treaty of Paris between Henry III and Louis IX of France – Henry agreed to renounce control of Normandy (except for the Channel Islands), Maine, Anjou and Poitou, which had been lost under the reign of King John. He was able to keep Gascony and parts of A