- 1805 Battle of Trafalgar: British Admiral Horatio Nelson defeats combined French and Spanish fleet. Nelson shot and killed during battle.
- 1854 Florence Nightingale with a staff of 38 nurses is sent to the Crimean War
- 1944 World War II: US troops capture Aachen, 1st large German city to fall
- 1948 UN rejects Russian proposal to destroy atomic weapons
- 1950 Chinese forces occupy Tibet
- 1993 Military coup by Burundi President Ndadaye; 525,000 Hutus flee
Explorer Ferdinand Magellan and his fleet reach Cape Virgenes and become the first Europeans to sail into the Pacific Ocean
On October 21, 1520