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- 1604 – German astronomer Johannes Kepler began observations of an exceptionally bright object, now known as Kepler's Supernova, which had suddenly appeared in the constellation Ophiuchus earlier in the month.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: General John Burgoyne's Saratoga campaign ended with his surrender to the Americans, which later convinced France to enter the war in alliance with the United States.
- 1814 – A wooden beer fermenting vat in London burst, destroying a second vat and causing a flood of at least 128,000 imperial gallons (580,000 l; 154,000 US gal) of porter that killed eight people.
- 1969 – The Caravaggio painting Nativity with St. Francis and St. Lawrence (shown) was stolen from the Oratory of Saint Lawrence in Palermo, Italy.
- 1 Today's anniversaries
- 2 Selected anniversaries for January
- 3 Selected anniversaries for February
- 4 Selected anniversaries for March
- 5 Selected anniversaries for April
- 6 Selected anniversaries for May
- 7 Selected anniversaries for June
- 8 Selected anniversaries for July
- 9 Selected anniversaries for August
- 10 Selected anniversaries for September
- 11 Selected anniversaries for October
- 12 Selected anniversaries for November
- 13 Selected anniversaries for December
Selected anniversaries for January
- 417 – Galla Placidia was forced by her brother Honorius into marriage with his magister militum, Constantius III.
- 1773 – The hymn "Amazing Grace" was probably first used in a prayer meeting in Olney, England, without the music familiar to modern listeners.
- 1801 – Italian astronomer Giuseppe Piazzi discovered the dwarf planet Ceres (pictured), naming it after the Roman goddess of agriculture and of motherly love.
- 1945 – World War II: In retaliation for the massacre of captured Americans by Waffen SS soldiers, U.S. Army personnel killed an estimated 80 Wehrmacht prisoners near Chenogne, Belgium.
- 2011 – A bomb exploded at a Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, Egypt, killing 23 people.
- 533 – Mercurius became Pope John II, possibly the first pope to adopt a regnal name upon elevation to the papacy.
- 1680 – Trunajaya rebellion: Amangkurat II of Mataram of Java and his courtiers stabbed Trunajaya to death a week after the rebel leader surrendered to the Dutch.
- 1920 – Under the leadership of U.S. Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer (pictured), Department of Justice agents launched a series of raids against radical leftists and anarchists in more than 30 cities and towns in 23 states.
- 1981 – English serial killer Peter Sutcliffe, the "Yorkshire Ripper", was arrested in Sheffield, which eventually ended one of the largest police investigations in British history.
- 2016 – Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia cleric in Saudi Arabia, was executed by the Saudi government along with 46 others.
- 1749 – The first issue of Berlingske, Denmark's oldest continually operating newspaper, was published.
- 1888 – The 36-inch (91 cm) refracting telescope (pictured) at the Lick Observatory near San Jose, California, the largest in the world until 1897, was used for the first time.
- 1919 – Emir Faisal of Iraq signed an agreement with Zionist leader Chaim Weizmann on the development of a Jewish homeland in Palestine and an Arab nation in a large part of the Middle East.
- 1961 – Twenty-five people died in Finland's worst civilian air accident when Aero Flight 311 crashed near Kvevlax.
- 2009 – The bitcoin cryptocurrency network was created when Satoshi Nakamoto mined the first block of the chain.
- 46 BC – Caesar's Civil War: Forces loyal to Julius Caesar were defeated in the Battle of Ruspina by the Republican forces of the Optimates.
- 1698 – Most of London's Palace of Whitehall, from 1530 the main residence of the English monarchs, was destroyed by fire.
- 1798 – After his investiture as Prince of Wallachia, Constantine Hangerli (pictured) arrived in Bucharest to assume the throne.
- 1951 – Korean War: Chinese and North Korean troops captured Seoul.
- 1989 – Two American F-14 Tomcats shot down two Libyan MiG-23 Floggers that appeared to be attempting to engage them over the Gulf of Sirte in the Mediterranean Sea.
- 1757 – Louis XV of France survived an assassination attempt by Robert-François Damiens, who later became the last person to be executed in the country by drawing and quartering.
- 1875 – The Palais Garnier opera house (pictured) in Paris was formally inaugurated.
- 1919 – The German Workers' Party, the forerunner to the Nazi Party, was founded by Anton Drexler.
- 1975 – The bulk carrier Lake Illawarra struck a bridge over the River Derwent in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia, causing the deaths of seven of the ship's crewmen and five motorists on the bridge.
- 2000 – Sri Lankan politician Kumar Ponnambalam was killed in an assassination blamed on President Chandrika Kumaratunga.
- 1066 – Harold Godwinson, the last Anglo-Saxon king before the Norman conquest, was crowned King of England.
- 1540 – King Henry VIII of England married Anne of Cleves, but the marriage was annulled six months later.
- 1907 – Italian educator Maria Montessori (pictured) opened her first school and day-care centre for working-class children in Rome, employing the philosophy of education that now bears her name.
- 1960 – National Airlines Flight 2511, traveling from New York City to Miami, exploded in midair due to a bomb placed by an unknown party, resulting in the deaths of all 34 people on board.
- 1977 – The record label EMI ended its contract with the English punk rock band Sex Pistols in response to its members' disruptive behaviour at Heathrow Airport two days earlier.
- 1782 – The Bank of North America opened in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as the United States' first de facto central bank.
- 1797 – The first official Italian tricolour (pictured) was adopted by the government of the Cispadane Republic.
- 1939 – The French physicist Marguerite Perey identified francium, the last element first discovered in nature, rather than by synthesis.
- 1979 – The People's Army of Vietnam captured Phnom Penh, which marked the end of large-scale fighting in the Cambodian–Vietnamese War.
- 1989 – Representatives of Ruhollah Khomeini delivered a letter to Mikhail Gorbachev, inviting him to consider Islam as an alternative to communism, and predicting the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc.
- 1198 – Lotario de Conti was elected as Pope Innocent III; he later worked to restore papal power in Rome.
- 1735 – The opera Ariodante by George Frideric Handel was first performed in the Covent Garden Theatre, London.
- 1904 – Blackstone Library, the first branch of the Chicago Public Library system, was dedicated.
- 1977 – Three bombs attributed to Armenian nationalists exploded across Moscow, killing 7 people and injuring 37.
- 2004 – RMS Queen Mary 2 (pictured), at the time the longest, widest and tallest passenger ship ever built, was christened by her namesake's granddaughter, Queen Elizabeth II.
- 475 – Basiliscus became Byzantine Emperor after Zeno was forced to flee Constantinople.
- 1857 – A 7.9 Mw earthquake ruptured part of the San Andreas Fault in California.
- 1917 – First World War: Troops of the British Empire defeated Ottoman forces at the Battle of Rafa on the Sinai–Palestine border in present-day Rafah.
- 1981 – U.S. Representative Raymond Lederer (pictured) was convicted of bribery and conspiracy for his role in the Abscam scandal, but continued to serve his term for three more months.
- 1992 – Radio astronomers Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail announced the discovery of two planets orbiting the pulsar PSR B1257+12, generally considered the first definitive detection of exoplanets.
- 9 – The Western Han dynasty of China ended after the throne was usurped by Wang Mang, who founded the Xin dynasty.
- 1863 – Service began on the Metropolitan Railway (construction pictured) between Paddington and Farringdon Street, today the oldest segment of the London Underground.
- 1927 – The science fiction film Metropolis, directed by Fritz Lang, was released in Germany.
- 1941 – Greco-Italian War: The Greek army captured the strategically important Klisura Pass in Albania.
- 2007 – A general strike began in Guinea as an attempt to force President Lansana Conté to resign, eventually resulting in the appointment of two new prime ministers.
- 1693 – An intensity XI earthquake, the most powerful in Italian history, struck the island of Sicily.
- 1787 – German-born British astronomer William Herschel discovered two Uranian moons, later named by his son as Oberon and Titania.
- 1923 – Troops from France (pictured) and Belgium invaded the Ruhr to force the German Weimar Republic to pay its reparations in the aftermath of World War I.
- 1964 – In a landmark report, U.S. Surgeon General Luther Terry issued the warning that smoking may be hazardous to people's health, concluding that it has a causative role in lung cancer, chronic bronchitis, and other illnesses.
- 2003 – After Chicago police detective Jon Burge was discovered to have forced confessions from more than 200 suspects, Governor of Illinois George Ryan commuted the death sentences of 167 prisoners and pardoned 4 more.
- 1554 – Bayinnaung, who later assembled the largest empire in the history of mainland Southeast Asia, was crowned king of the Burmese Toungoo dynasty.
- 1777 – Mission Santa Clara de Asís, a Spanish mission that formed the basis of both the city of Santa Clara, California, and Santa Clara University, was established.
- 1899 – During a storm, the crew of the Lynmouth Lifeboat Station transported their 10-ton lifeboat 15 mi (24 km) overland in order to rescue a damaged schooner.
- 1969 – British rock band Led Zeppelin released their eponymous first album in the United States.
- 2007 – Comet McNaught (pictured) reached perihelion and became the brightest comet in over 40 years with an apparent magnitude of −5.5.
- 2010 – A 7.0 Mw earthquake struck Haiti, affecting an estimated three million people. (damage to National Palace pictured)
- 1797 – French Revolutionary Wars: A naval battle (pictured) off the coast of Brittany between two British frigates and a French ship of the line ended with hundreds of deaths when the latter ran aground.
- 1878 – Ada Anderson, a record-setting pedestrian from England, completed her U.S. debut, walking 2,700 quarter-miles (1,086 km total) in 2,700 quarter-hours.
- 1915 – About 30,000 people in L'Aquila, Italy, were killed when an earthquake struck the province.
- 1953 – An article published in Pravda accused nine eminent doctors in Moscow of taking part in a plot to poison members of the top Soviet political and military leadership.
- 1963 – Togo's first president, Sylvanus Olympio, was assassinated by military officers in a coup d'état led by Emmanuel Bodjollé, Étienne Eyadéma, and Kléber Dadjo.
- 1301 – The Árpád dynasty, which had ruled Hungary since the late 9th century, ended with the death of King Andrew III.
- 1724 – Philip V, the first Bourbon ruler of Spain, abdicated in favor of his eldest son Louis.
- 1900 – Giacomo Puccini's opera Tosca, based on the play La Tosca by French dramatist Victorien Sardou, premiered at the Teatro Costanzi in Rome.
- 1939 – Norway claimed Queen Maud Land in Antarctica as a dependent territory.
- 1969 – A major fire and series of explosions broke out aboard the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (pictured), killing 28 sailors, injuring 314, and destroying 15 aircraft.
- 1919 – A large molasses tank in Boston, Massachusetts, burst and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets , killing 21 people and injuring 150 others.
- 1933 – A teenage girl in Banneux, Belgium, reported the first of several Marian apparitions, now known as Our Lady of Banneux.
- 1991 – Elizabeth II, as Queen of Australia, signed letters patent allowing Australia to become the first Commonwealth realm to institute its own separate Victoria Cross award in its own honours system.
- 2001 – The internet encyclopedia Wikipedia (home page pictured in December 2001) was launched three days after the domain name "wikipedia.com" was registered.
- 2009 – US Airways Flight 1549 struck a flock of Canada geese during its initial climb out from New York City and made an emergency landing in the Hudson River.
- 27 BC – Gaius Octavianus (statue pictured) was given the titles Augustus and Princeps by the Roman Senate when he became the first Roman emperor.
- 1780 – Anglo-Spanish War: The Royal Navy gained their first major naval victory over their European enemies in the war when they defeated a Spanish squadron in the Battle of Cape St. Vincent.
- 1905 – Despite being blind in one eye, ice hockey player Frank McGee set the record for most goals in a Stanley Cup game when he scored 14 against the Dawson City Nuggets.
- 1920 – The League of Nations, the first worldwide intergovernmental organisation with a focus on peace and security, held its first council meeting in Paris.
- 1964 – The musical Hello, Dolly! opened at the St. James Theatre on Broadway, and went on to win ten Tony Awards, a record that stood for 37 years.
- 1773 – On James Cook's second voyage, his ship HMS Resolution became the first to cross the Antarctic Circle.
- 1893 – Lorrin A. Thurston, along with the Citizens' Committee of Public Safety, led the overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii and the government of Queen Liliʻuokalani.
- 1945 – Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg (pictured), who had saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust, was taken into Soviet custody while in Hungary and was never seen in public again.
- 1961 – Former Congolese Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba was murdered in circumstances suggesting the support and complicity of the governments of Belgium and the United States.
- 1989 – Patrick Purdy opened fire in an elementary school in Stockton, California, killing 5 and wounding 32 others.
- 1535 – Gabriel Moreira Romaní founded Ciudad de los Reyes, present-day Lima, Peru, as the capital of the lands conquered for the Spanish Crown by Francisco Pizarro.
- 1871 – A number of independent German states unified into the German Empire, with Prussian King Wilhelm I being proclaimed as its first Emperor.
- 1943 – World War II: In Operation Iskra, the Red Army established a narrow land corridor to Leningrad, partially easing the protracted German siege.
- 1956 - Navvab Safavi, Iranian Shia cleric and founder of Fada'iyan-e Islam group, was executed.
- 1958 – Black Canadian Willie O'Ree of the Boston Bruins played his first game in the National Hockey League, breaking the colour barrier in professional ice hockey.
- 1990 – In a sting operation conducted by the FBI, Marion Barry (pictured), the mayor of Washington, D.C., was arrested for possession of crack cocaine.
- 649 – War against the Western Turks: The forces of Kucha surrendered after a siege, establishing Tang control over the northern Tarim Basin in what is now Xinjiang.
- 1795 – The Batavian Republic was established, a day after William V, Prince of Orange fled the Dutch Republic as a result of the Batavian Revolution in Amsterdam.
- 1920 – The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is founded.
- 1930 – Racial violence occurs in Watsonville, California against Filipino American farm workers
- 1975 – A magnitude 6.8 Ms earthquake struck northern Himachal Pradesh in India, causing extensive damage to the region.
- 1156 – According to legend, Lalli slew Bishop Henry of Finland with an axe on the ice of Lake Köyliönjärvi in Köyliö.
- 1843 – Honório Hermeto Carneiro Leão, Marquis of Paraná (pictured), became the de facto first prime minister of the Empire of Brazil.
- 1942 – The Holocaust: Reinhard Heydrich and other senior Nazi officials met at the Wannsee Conference in the Berlin suburb of Wannsee to discuss implementation of the "Final Solution to the Jewish question".
- 1969 – Bengali student activist Amanullah Asaduzzaman was shot and killed by East Pakistani police, one of the events that led to the Bangladesh Liberation War.
- 2009 – In Washington, D.C., more than one million people attended the inauguration of Barack Obama as the first African American president of the United States.
- 763 – The Abbasid Caliphate crushed the Alid revolt when one of the rebel leaders was mortally wounded in battle near Basra, in what is now Iraq.
- 1789 – The Power of Sympathy by William Hill Brown, widely considered to be the first American novel, was published.
- 1919 – The First Dáil Éireann (members pictured) first convened at the Mansion House in Dublin, adopting a declaration of independence calling for a new sovereign state: the Irish Republic.
- 1972 – Tripura, part of the former independent Twipra Kingdom, became a full-fledged state in India.
- 2017 – An estimated five million people worldwide participated in demonstrations to advocate legislation and policies regarding human rights and other issues.
- 1273 – Muhammad II became the Sultan of Granada after the death of his father in a riding accident.
- 1689 – The Convention Parliament convened to justify the overthrow of James II, the last Roman Catholic King of England, who had vacated the throne when he fled to France in 1688.
- 1906 – SS Valencia was wrecked off the coast of Vancouver Island, in a location so treacherous it was known as the Graveyard of the Pacific.
- 1943 – World War II: The Battle of Buna–Gona on New Guinea ended with an Allied victory after two months of fighting in which the Japanese fought with a resolve and tenacity not previously encountered.
- 1969 – Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev (pictured) survived what was seen as an assassination attempt, an incident that was not revealed to the public until after the fall of the Soviet Union.
- 1565 – The Deccan sultanates defeated the Vijayanagara Empire at the Battle of Talikota in present-day Karnataka, ending the last great Hindu kingdom in South India.
- 1793 – The Russian Empire and the Kingdom of Prussia partitioned the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth for the second time.
- 1957 – American inventor Fred Morrison sold the rights to his "flying disc" to the Wham-O toy company, who later renamed it the "Frisbee" (example pictured).
- 2001 – Five people attempted to set themselves on fire in Beijing's Tiananmen Square, an act that many people later claimed was staged by the Communist Party of China to frame Falun Gong and thus escalate their persecution.
- 41 – Cassius Chaerea and the disgruntled Praetorian Guards murdered Roman emperor Caligula (bust pictured), replacing him with his uncle Claudius.
- 914 – The Fatimid Caliphate began their first invasion of Egypt.
- 1915 – First World War: British Grand Fleet ships intercepted and surprised a German High Seas Fleet squadron in the North Sea, sinking a German cruiser and damaging several other vessels.
- 1989 – American serial killer Ted Bundy was executed via electric chair in Florida after confessing to the murders of 30 young women.
- 2011 – A suicide bomber killed 37 people at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow.
- 1573 – Sengoku period: The forces of Takeda Shingen defeated those of Tokugawa Ieyasu at the Battle of Mikatagahara (pictured), north of Hamamatsu, Mikawa Province, Japan.
- 1704 – English colonists from the Province of Carolina and their native allies began a series of raids against a largely peaceful population of Apalachee in Spanish Florida.
- 1949 – The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences presented the first Emmy Awards to honor excellence in the American television industry.
- 1995 – A team of Norwegian and American scientists launched a Black Brant XII sounding rocket, which was mistaken for a Trident missile by Russian forces.
- 2011 – The Day of Anger during the Egyptian revolution began, eventually leading to the removal of Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years of rule.
- 1699 – The signing of the Treaty of Karlowitz to conclude the Great Turkish War marked the end of Ottoman control in much of Central Europe and the rise of the Habsburg Monarchy as the dominant power in the region.
- 1788 – Captain Arthur Phillip (pictured) and the British First Fleet landed at Sydney Cove on the shore of Port Jackson in present-day Sydney, establishing the first permanent European settlement in Australia.
- 1905 – The Cullinan Diamond, the largest gem-quality rough diamond ever found at 3,107 carats (621 g; 1.37 lb), was discovered at the Premier Mine in Cullinan, Gauteng, South Africa.
- 1949 – The Hale Telescope at Palomar Observatory in California, the largest aperture optical telescope in the world for 28 years, saw first light.
- 2009 – Rioting broke out in Antananarivo, Madagascar, sparking a political crisis that led to the deposal of President Marc Ravalomanana.
- 1343 – Pope Clement VI issued the papal bull Unigenitus to justify the power of the pope and the use of indulgences.
- 1820 – A Russian expedition led by naval officers Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev became the first explorers to see the coast of Antarctica.
- 1945 – The Soviet Red Army liberated more than 7,500 prisoners left behind by Nazi personnel in the Auschwitz concentration camp (entrance pictured) in what is now Oświęcim, Poland.
- 1967 – The Outer Space Treaty, a treaty that forms the basis of international space law, opened for signature in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union.
- 1996 – Mahamane Ousmane, the first democratically elected president of Niger, was deposed by Colonel Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara in a military coup d'état.
- 1547 – Nine-year-old Edward VI became monarch of England, the first to be raised as a Protestant.
- 1754 – Horace Walpole coined the word "serendipity" in a letter he wrote to a friend, saying that he derived the term from the Persian fairy tale The Three Princes of Serendip.
- 1933 – Choudhry Rahmat Ali published a pamphlet titled Now or Never in which he called for the creation of a Muslim state in northwest India that he termed "Pakstan".
- 1958 – The Lego Group, a Danish toy company, patented the design of Lego bricks (pictured).
- 1981 – U.S. President Ronald Reagan lifted price controls from petroleum products, helping usher in the 1980s oil glut.
- 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: In the Battle of Brienne, both commanders of the opposing forces, Napoleon and Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, were nearly captured by their enemies.
- 1845 – American poet Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven" (illustration shown) appeared in The Evening Mirror, its first publication attributed to Poe.
- 1959 – The first Melodifestivalen, an annual Swedish music competition that determines the country's representative for the Eurovision Song Contest, was held in Stockholm.
- 2009 – The Supreme Constitutional Court of Egypt ruled that people who did not adhere to one of the three government-recognised religions are also eligible to receive government identity documents.
- 1661 – Two years after his death, Oliver Cromwell's remains were exhumed for a posthumous execution and his head was placed on a spike above Westminster Hall in London, where it remained until 1685.
- 1835 – Richard Lawrence became the first person to make an assassination attempt on a sitting U.S. president when he failed to kill Andrew Jackson (assassination attempt pictured) and was subdued by the crowd.
- 1900 – The day before he was to be sworn in as Governor of Kentucky, William Goebel was shot by an unknown assailant and mortally wounded, making him the only U.S. state governor to be assassinated while in office.
- 1945 – World War II: Allied forces liberated over 500 prisoners of war from a Japanese POW camp near Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, Philippines.
- 2000 – Kenya Airways Flight 431 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean near Ivory Coast shortly after takeoff, killing 169 on board.
- 1578 – Eighty Years' War: Spain won a crushing victory in the Battle of Gembloux, leading to a break up of the United Seventeen Provinces into the Union of Arras (Catholic South) and Union of Utrecht (Protestant North).
- 1747 – The London Lock Hospital, the first clinic specialising in the treatment of venereal diseases, opened.
- 1862 – American astronomer Alvan Graham Clark first observed the faint white dwarf companion of Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky.
- 1961 – Aboard NASA's Mercury-Redstone 2, Ham the Chimp (pictured) became the first hominid launched into outer space.
- 2007 – Suspects were arrested in Birmingham, England, accused of plotting to kidnap, and eventually behead, a Muslim British soldier serving in Iraq.
Selected anniversaries for February
- 1329 – The Teutonic Knights succeeded in their siege of a fortress in Samogitia, Lithuania, and baptized the defenders in the Catholic rite.
- 1411 – The First Peace of Thorn was signed, ending the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War.
- 1960 – Four African American students staged the first Greensboro sit-ins at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
- 1972 – Kuala Lumpur gained city status, the first settlement in Malaysia to do so after the nation's independence from the United Kingdom.
- 2009 – Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir (pictured) became Iceland's first female Prime Minister and the world's first openly gay head of government of the modern era.
- 506 – Alaric II, King of the Visigoths, promulgated a collection of Roman law that became known as the Breviary of Alaric.
- 1850 – Brigham Young announced his decision to go to war against Timpanogos who were hostile to the Mormon settlement at Fort Utah.
- 1920 – The signing of the Treaty of Tartu ended the Estonian War of Independence, with Russia agreeing to recognize the independence of Estonia and renounce in perpetuity all rights to that territory.
- 1974 – The F-16 Fighting Falcon (pictured), the most numerous fixed-wing aircraft in military service, made its first flight.
- 2004 – Swiss tennis player Roger Federer became the top-ranked men's singles player, a position he held for a record 237 consecutive weeks.
- 1266 – Conquest of Murcia: James I of Aragon entered the Muslim-held city of Murcia after the surrender of its inhabitants three days earlier.
- 1852 – The Argentine Confederation was defeated in the Platine War by an alliance consisting of Brazil, Uruguay and the Argentine provinces of Entre Ríos and Corrientes.
- 1930 – The Communist Party of Indochina, the Communist Party of Annam, and the Communist League of Indochina merged to form the Communist Party of Vietnam.
- 1959 – American rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J.P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson were killed when their plane crashed shortly after taking off from Mason City Municipal Airport in Iowa (wreckage pictured).
- 2014 – Russia's first school shooting took place when a student opened fire at School No. 263 in Otradnoye District, Moscow, resulting in the deaths of a teacher and a police officer.
- 1169 – A strong earthquake struck the eastern coast of Sicily, causing at least 15,000 deaths.
- 1859 – German scholar Constantin von Tischendorf rediscovered the Codex Sinaiticus, a 4th-century uncial manuscript of the Greek Bible, in Saint Catherine's Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in Egypt.
- 1969 – Yasser Arafat (pictured) was elected chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
- 1999 – The Panamanian-flagged freighter New Carissa ran aground near Coos Bay, Oregon, causing one of the worst oil spills in the state's history.
- 2015 – Shortly after takeoff from Taipei Songshan Airport, the crew of TransAsia Airways Flight 235 shut down the wrong engine in response to a flameout, leading to a crash that resulted in 43 deaths.
- AD 62 – Pompeii was severely damaged by a strong earthquake, which may have been a precursor to the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed the town 17 years later.
- 1869 – Prospectors in Moliagul, Victoria, Australia, discovered the largest alluvial gold nugget ever found, known as the "Welcome Stranger" (pictured).
- 1917 – The U.S. Congress overrode President Woodrow Wilson's veto to pass the Immigration Act of 1917, establishing new restrictions on immigrants, including the wholesale ban of people from much of Asia.
- 1941 – Second World War: British and Free French forces began the Battle of Keren to capture the strategic town of Keren in Italian Eritrea.
- 2009 – The United States Navy guided missile cruiser Port Royal ran aground on a coral reef off the island of Oahu.
- 1819 – British official Stamford Raffles (pictured) signed a treaty with Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor, establishing Singapore as a trading post for the British East India Company.
- 1862 – Union forces earned one of their first important victories in the American Civil War at the Battle of Fort Henry in western Tennessee.
- 1952 – Elizabeth II ascended to the thrones of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and three other Commonwealth countries upon the death of her father, George VI.
- 1976 – In testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee, Lockheed president Carl Kotchian admitted that the company had paid out approximately US$3 million in bribes to the office of Japanese Prime Minister Kakuei Tanaka.
- 1987 – Mary Gaudron was appointed as the first female Justice of the High Court of Australia.
- 1497 – Supporters of the Dominican priest Girolamo Savonarola collected and publicly burned thousands of objects such as cosmetics, art, and books in Florence, Italy.
- 1783 – American Revolutionary War: After three years and seven months, Spain and France abandoned their attempt to capture Gibraltar from the British.
- 1900 – A Chinese immigrant in San Francisco fell ill to bubonic plague in the first plague epidemic in the continental United States.
- 1986 – President of Haiti Jean-Claude Duvalier (pictured) fled the country after a popular uprising, ending 28 years of one-family rule in the nation.
- 2014 – Researchers announced the discovery of the Happisburgh footprints in Norfolk, England, the oldest known hominid footprints outside Africa at more than 800,000 years old.
- 1587 – Mary, Queen of Scots (pictured), was executed at Fotheringhay Castle for her involvement in the Babington Plot to murder her cousin, Elizabeth I of England.
- 1837 – Richard Mentor Johnson became the only person ever to be elected Vice President of the United States by the Senate.
- 1879 – Enraged by a controversial umpiring decision, cricket spectators rioted and attacked the England cricket team during a match in Sydney, Australia.
- 1910 – Newspaper and magazine publisher William D. Boyce established the Boy Scouts of America, expanding the Scout Movement into the United States.
- 1965 – After taking evasive action to avoid a mid-air collision just after takeoff from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Eastern Air Lines Flight 663 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean and exploded, killing all 84 people on board.
- 1799 – Quasi-War: The USS Constellation captured the French Insurgente in a single-ship action in the Caribbean Sea.
- 1907 – More than 3,000 women in London participated in the Mud March, the first large procession organised by the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies.
- 1920 – The Svalbard Treaty was signed, recognizing Norwegian sovereignty over the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard.
- 1950 – U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy (pictured) accused 205 employees of the State Department of being communists, sparking a period of strong anti-communist sentiment that became known as McCarthyism.
- 1996 – Researchers at the GSI Helmholtz Centre for Heavy Ion Research in Darmstadt, Germany, first created the chemical element copernicium.
- 1355 – A tavern dispute between University of Oxford students and townsfolk turned into a riot that left about 90 people dead.
- 1763 – Britain, France, and Spain signed the Treaty of Paris to end the Seven Years' War, significantly reducing the size of the French colonial empire while at the same time marking the beginning of an extensive period of British dominance outside of Europe.
- 1939 – Spanish Civil War: The Nationalists concluded their conquest of Catalonia and sealed the border with France.
- 1962 – Roy Lichtenstein's (pictured) first solo exhibition opened, and it included Look Mickey, which featured his first employment of Ben Day dots, speech balloons, and comic imagery sourcing.
- 2009 – The first accidental hypervelocity collision between two intact satellites in low Earth orbit took place when Iridium 33 and Kosmos 2251 destroyed each other.
- 1840 – La fille du régiment (audio featured), an opéra comique by Gaetano Donizetti, debuted in Paris to a highly negative review, but went on to become a great success.
- 1851 – As part of the celebration of the separation of Victoria from New South Wales, the initial first-class cricket match in Australia started at the Launceston Racecourse in Tasmania.
- 1919 – Friedrich Ebert was elected provisional President of the German Weimar Republic by the Weimar National Assembly.
- 1979 – The Pahlavi dynasty of Iran effectively collapsed when the military declared itself "neutral" after rebel troops overwhelmed forces loyal to Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in armed street fighting.
- 2015 – A Turkish student was murdered during a rape attempt, sparking mass demonstrations across the nation after her body was discovered two days later.
- 1502 – Isabella I issued an edict outlawing Islam in the Crown of Castile, forcing virtually all her Muslim subjects to convert to Christianity.
- 1855 – Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan, was founded as the Agricultural College of the State of Michigan, the United States' first agricultural college.
- 1909 – New Zealand's worst maritime disaster of the 20th century took place when 75 people died after the ferry SS Penguin struck a rock in Wellington Harbour and sank.
- 1947 – The French fashion company Christian Dior unveiled a "New Look" (pictured) that revolutionized women's dress and reestablished Paris as the center of the fashion world after World War II.
- 2009 – Just before it was scheduled to land at Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Colgan Air Flight 3407 crashed into a house in Clarence Center, New York, killing the house's occupant and all 49 people on board the aircraft.
- 1660 – Five-year-old Charles XI became King of Sweden.
- 1867 – Work began on the covering of the Senne (pictured), burying the polluted main waterway in Brussels to allow urban renewal in the centre of the city.
- 1913 – Thubten Gyatso, the 13th Dalai Lama, declared the independence of Tibet from the Republic of China.
- 1981 – Sewer explosions caused by the ignition of hexane vapors destroyed more than 13 miles (21 km) of streets in Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.
- 2017 – Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, was assassinated using VX nerve agent in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
- 1779 – English explorer James Cook was killed near Kealakekua when he tried to kidnap Kalaniʻōpuʻu, the ruling chief of the island of Hawaii.
- 1852 – Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children (pictured), the first hospital in England to provide in-patient beds specifically for children, was founded in London.
- 1924 – The Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company was renamed to International Business Machines, which grew into one of the world's largest companies by market capitalization.
- 1979 – Adolph Dubs, United States Ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped by unknown agents and killed during a gun battle between Afghan police and the perpetrators.
- 1989 – Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini of Iran issued a fatwa for the execution of Salman Rushdie for authoring The Satanic Verses, a novel Islamic fundamentalists considered blasphemous.
- 1898 – The United States Navy battleship USS Maine exploded and sank in Havana, Cuba, killing more than 260 people and precipitating the Spanish–American War.
- 1949 – Gerald Lankester Harding and Roland de Vaux began excavations at Cave 1 of the Qumran Caves in the West Bank, the location of the first seven Dead Sea Scrolls.
- 1979 – Don Dunstan (pictured) resigned as Premier of South Australia, ending a decade of sweeping social liberalisation.
- 1999 – Abdullah Öcalan, one of the founding members of the militant organization the Kurdistan Workers' Party, was arrested by Turkish security forces in Nairobi, Kenya.
- 2010 – Two passenger trains collided in Halle, Belgium, when one driver failed to stop at a red signal, resulting in 19 deaths and 171 injuries.
- 1249 – Louis IX of France dispatched André de Longjumeau as his ambassador to the Mongol Empire.
- 1862 – American Civil War: A Union victory in the Battle of Fort Donelson gave General Ulysses S. Grant the nickname "Unconditional Surrender".
- 1923 – Howard Carter, the English Egyptologist and archaeologist, unsealed the burial chamber of Tutankhamun (mask pictured).
- 1983 – The Ash Wednesday bushfires burned over half a million acres (over 2,000 km2) each in both South Australia and Victoria, killing 75 people and injuring 2,676 others.
- 1996 – Two trains collided in Silver Spring, Maryland, U.S., killing 11 people and leading to the creation of comprehensive federal rules for passenger car design.
- 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: Napoleon led a French army to a crushing victory in the Battle of Mormant, nearly destroying a Russian division.
- 1859 – The French Navy captured the Citadel of Saigon, a fortress that was defended by 1,000 Nguyễn dynasty soldiers, en route to conquering Saigon and other regions of southern Vietnam.
- 1904 – Italian composer Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly (Geraldine Farrar in the title role pictured) premiered at La Scala in Milan, generating negative reviews that forced him to rewrite the opera.
- 1974 – A U.S. Army soldier stole a Bell UH-1 helicopter and landed it on the White House South Lawn.
- 2006 – A massive landslide in the Philippine province of Southern Leyte killed over 1,000 people.
- 1766 – A mutiny by captive Malagasy began on the slave ship Meermin, leading to the ship's destruction on Cape Agulhas in present-day South Africa and the recapture of the instigators.
- 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: French troops led by Napoleon forced the Army of Bohemia to retreat after it advanced dangerously close to Paris.
- 1878 – Competition between two merchants in Lincoln County, New Mexico Territory, U.S., turned into a range war when a member of one faction was murdered by the other.
- 1942 – World War II: The Imperial Japanese Army began the systematic extermination of perceived hostile elements among Chinese Singaporeans.
- 2010 – WikiLeaks published the first of hundreds of thousands of classified documents disclosed by Chelsea Manning (pictured).
- 1600 – The Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina erupted in the largest volcanic explosion in South America in historical times.
- 1811 – Peninsular War: An outnumbered French force under Édouard Mortier routed and nearly destroyed the Spanish at the Battle of the Gebora near Badajoz, Spain.
- 1942 – A book-burning was held and politicians were arrested in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, as part of a simulated Nazi invasion.
- 1965 – Colonel Phạm Ngọc Thảo of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam, along with Generals Lâm Văn Phát and Trần Thiện Khiêm attempted a coup against the military junta of Nguyễn Khánh.
- 1999 – U.S. President Bill Clinton issued a posthumous pardon to Henry Ossian Flipper (pictured), the first African American graduate of West Point, who had been accused of embezzlement in 1881.
- 1835 – An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 8.2 Ms devastated Concepción, Chile, and the resulting tsunami destroyed the neighboring city of Talcahuano.
- 1872 – New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art, today the largest art museum in the United States with a collection of over two million works of art, opened.
- 1959 – The Canadian government under Prime Minister John Diefenbaker cancelled the Avro CF-105 Arrow (pictured) interceptor aircraft program amid much political debate.
- 2009 – The Tamil Tigers attempted to crash two aircraft packed with C-4 in suicide attacks on Colombo, Sri Lanka, but the planes were shot down before they reached their targets.
- 1437 – King James I of Scotland was murdered at Perth in a failed coup by his uncle and former ally Walter Stewart, Earl of Atholl.
- 1828 – The inaugural issue of the Cherokee Phoenix, the first newspaper in a Native American language, was published.
- 1919 – Bavarian socialist Kurt Eisner (pictured), who had organized the German Revolution that overthrew the Wittelsbach monarchy and established Bavaria as a republic, was assassinated.
- 1929 – In the first battle of the Warlord Rebellion against the Nationalist government of China, a 24,000-strong rebel force led by Zhang Zongchang was defeated at Zhifu by 7,000 NRA troops.
- 1973 – After accidentally having strayed into Israeli-occupied airspace, Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114 was shot down by two Israeli fighter aircraft, killing 108.
- 1371 – Robert II (pictured) became King of Scots as the first monarch of the-then House of Stewart.
- 1744 – War of the Austrian Succession: British ships began attacking the Spanish rear of a Franco-Spanish combined fleet in the Mediterranean Sea off the French coast near Toulon.
- 1899 – Philippine–American War: Filipino forces launched their first counterattack in a failed attempt to recapture Manila from the Americans.
- 1959 – Lee Petty won the first Daytona 500 NASCAR auto race at the Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida.
- 2012 – A train failed to apply its brakes and crashed through a buffer stop at Once Station in Buenos Aires, resulting in 51 deaths and more than 700 injuries.
- 1739 – The identity of English highwayman Dick Turpin was uncovered by his former schoolteacher, who recognised his handwriting, leading to Turpin's arrest.
- 1886 – American inventor Charles Martin Hall discovered an inexpensive method of producing aluminium (sample pictured).
- 1909 – The Silver Dart was flown off the ice of Bras d'Or Lake on Cape Breton Island, making it the first controlled powered flight in Canada.
- 1947 – The International Organization for Standardization, responsible for worldwide industrial and commercial standards, was founded.
- 1991 – The government of Thai prime minister Chatichai Choonhavan was deposed in a bloodless coup by General Sunthorn Kongsompong.
- 1525 – A Spanish-Imperial army defeated a French force in the Battle of Pavia, the decisive engagement of the Italian War of 1521–1526.
- 1711 – George Frideric Handel's Rinaldo, the first Italian-language opera written specifically for the London stage, premiered.
- 1803 – The U.S. Supreme Court, in Marbury v. Madison, declared an act of Congress unconstitutional for the first time, forming the basis of judicial review.
- 1943 – World War II: The Battle of Kasserine Pass (soldiers pictured), the first major engagement between American and Axis forces in Africa, ended with the Allied forces suffering heavy losses.
- 1989 – United Airlines Flight 811 experienced an uncontrolled decompression after leaving Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii, killing nine passengers when their seats were sucked out of the aircraft.
- 138 – Roman emperor Hadrian adopted Antoninus Pius as his son and successor, after the death of Hadrian's first adopted son Lucius Aelius.
- 1870 – Representing Mississippi in the Senate, Hiram Rhodes Revels became the first African American to serve in the United States Congress.
- 1948 – Fearful of civil war and Soviet intervention in recent unrest, Czechoslovakian president Edvard Beneš (pictured) ceded control over the government to the Communist Party.
- 1994 – Israeli physician Baruch Goldstein opened fire on Muslim Arabs praying at the mosque in Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs, killing 29 people and wounding 125 others.
- 2009 – Members of the Bangladesh Rifles mutinied at its headquarters in Pilkhana, resulting in 82 deaths.
- 747 BC – According to Ptolemy, the reign of the Babylonian king Nabonassar began, marking a new era characterized by the systematic maintenance of chronologically precise historical records.
- 1815 – Napoleon escaped from Elba (return depicted), an island off the coast of Italy, where he had been exiled after the signing of the Treaty of Fontainebleau one year earlier.
- 1935 – Adolf Hitler ordered the Luftwaffe reinstated, violating the Treaty of Versailles signed at the end of World War I.
- 1979 – The Superliner railcar entered revenue service with Amtrak.
- 2012 – African-American teenager Trayvon Martin was killed in a neighborhood of Sanford, Florida, prompting a nationwide controversy.
- 1560 – The Treaty of Berwick was signed, setting the terms under which an English fleet and army could enter Scotland to expel French troops defending the Regency of Mary of Guise.
- 1870 – The current flag of Japan was first adopted as the national flag for Japanese merchant ships.
- 1933 – The Reichstag building in Berlin, home of the German Parliament, was set on fire (pictured), a pivotal event in the establishment of the Nazi regime in Germany.
- 1989 – A wave of protests, riots and looting known as the Caracazo resulted in a death toll of between 276 and 2,000 people in the Venezuelan capital Caracas and its surrounding towns.
- 2015 – Russian statesman and politician Boris Nemtsov, an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin, was assassinated in central Moscow.
- 202 BC – Rebel leader Liu Bang declared himself Emperor Gaozu of Han after overthrowing the Qin dynasty, the first imperial dynasty of China.
- 1893 – USS Indiana, the lead ship of her class and the first battleship in the United States Navy comparable to foreign battleships of the time, was launched.
- 1963 – 24th ward alderman Benjamin F. Lewis was murdered in his office, the last elected official assassinated in Chicago to date.
- 1975 – A London Underground train at Moorgate station failed to stop at a terminal platform, crashing and causing the deaths of 43 people.
- 1997 – Two heavily armed bank robbers exchanged gunfire with officers of the Los Angeles Police Department in North Hollywood, in one of the most intense gun battles in American police history.
- 2013 – Benedict XVI (pictured) became the first pope in nearly 600 years to resign from the papacy.
- 1752 – Alaungpaya, a village chief in Upper Burma, founded the Konbaung Dynasty; by the time of his death, he had unified all of Myanmar, and driven out the French and the British.
- 1768 – A group of Polish nobles established the Bar Confederation to defend the internal and external independence of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth against Russian influence and against King Stanisław II Augustus.
- 1944 – The Admiralty Islands campaign during the Pacific War of World War II began when American forces assaulted Los Negros Island, the third largest of the Admiralty Islands.
- 1960 – Morocco's deadliest earthquake struck the city of Agadir, killing at least 12,000 people.
- 2012 – Construction of Tokyo Skytree (pictured), the world's tallest tower and second-tallest structure, was completed.
Selected anniversaries for March
- 1869 – The Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev finished his design of the first periodic table.
- 1896 – Ethiopia defeated Italy at the Battle of Adwa, ending the First Italo-Ethiopian War.
- 1921 – The Australian cricket team, led by Warwick Armstrong (pictured), became the first team to complete a whitewash in the Ashes, something that would not be repeated for 86 years.
- 1958 – Archbishop of Chicago Samuel Stritch was appointed Pro-Prefect of the Propagation of Faith, becoming the first American member of the Roman Curia.
- 2014 – A group of knife-wielding men and women attacked passengers at Kunming railway station in Kunming, China, leaving 31 victims and 4 perpetrators dead with more than 140 others injured.
- 1484 – The College of Arms, one of the few remaining official heraldic authorities in Europe, was established by royal charter in London.
- 1919 – Communist, revolutionary socialist, and syndicalist delegates met in Moscow to establish the Communist International.
- 1949 – The B-50 Superfortress Lucky Lady II landed in Fort Worth, Texas, after completing the first non-stop around-the-world airplane flight in 94 hours and 1 minute.
- 1978 – As a cosmonaut on Soyuz 28, Czechoslovak military pilot Vladimír Remek (pictured) became the first person from outside the Soviet Union or the United States to go into space.
- 1776 – American Revolutionary War: Samuel Nicholas and the Continental Marines successfully landed on New Providence and captured Nassau in the Bahamas.
- 1875 – The first indoor game of ice hockey was played at the Victoria Skating Rink in Montreal by James Creighton and McGill University students.
- 1945 – Second World War: The Royal Air Force mistakenly bombed the Bezuidenhout neighbourhood in the Dutch city of The Hague, killing 511 evacuees.
- 1972 – Jethro Tull (pictured) released Thick as a Brick, a concept album supposedly written by an eight-year-old boy, Gerald Bostock.
- 2012 – Two passenger trains collided head-on near the town of Szczekociny in Poland, resulting in 16 deaths and 58 injuries.
- 856 – Trpimir I, founder of the Trpimirović dynasty of Croatia, issued a document that contained the first known usage of the name "Croats".
- 1675 – John Flamsteed (pictured) was appointed as the first Astronomer Royal of England.
- 1899 – Cyclone Mahina struck Bathurst Bay, Queensland, killing over 300 people in the deadliest natural disaster in Australian history.
- 1944 – Murder, Inc. leader Louis Buchalter was executed, becoming the only American mob boss to receive the death penalty after being convicted of murder.
- 2009 – The International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for President of Sudan Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity regarding his actions during the War in Darfur.
- 1279 – The Livonian branch of the Teutonic Order suffered a great loss when 71 knights died in the Battle of Aizkraukle.
- 1770 – The Boston Massacre (engraving shown): British soldiers fired into a crowd in Boston, Massachusetts.
- 1811 – Peninsular War: In the Battle of Barrosa, an Anglo-Spanish-Portuguese force trying to lift the Siege of Cádiz defeated a French attack but could not break the siege itself.
- 1966 – BOAC Flight 911 disintegrated and crashed near Mount Fuji shortly after departure from Tokyo International Airport, killing all 113 passengers and 11 crew members on board.
- 1975 – Computer hobbyists in Silicon Valley held the first meeting of the Homebrew Computer Club, whose members would go on to have great influence on the development of the personal computer.
- 1447 – Tomaso Parentucelli became Pope Nicholas V.
- 1853 – Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata premiered at Venice's La Fenice, but the performance was considered so bad that it caused the composer to revise portions of the opera.
- 1913 – First Balkan War: The Greek army captured Bizani Fortress, near Ioannina, from the Ottomans.
- 1945 – Petru Groza (pictured) of the Ploughmen's Front became the first Prime Minister of the Communist Party-dominated governments of Romania.
- 1964 – In a radio broadcast, Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad announced that American boxer Cassius Clay would change his name to Muhammad Ali.
- 1987 – The ferry Herald of Free Enterprise capsized while leaving the harbour of Zeebrugge, Belgium, killing 193 people on board.
- 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: Napoleon's army forced Mikhail Semyonovich Vorontsov's Russian troops to withdraw from the Chemin des Dames, but French casualties exceeded Russian losses.
- 1871 – José Paranhos, Viscount of Rio Branco (pictured), became Prime Minister of the Empire of Brazil, starting a four-year rule, the longest in the state's history.
- 1941 – The German submarine U-47, one of the most successful U-boats of World War II, disappeared and was lost with all hands.
- 1985 – The charity single "We Are the World" by the supergroup United Support of Artists for Africa was released, and went on to sell more than 20 million copies.
- 2009 – Two off-duty soldiers of the British Army's 38 Engineer Regiment were shot dead by the Real IRA in Antrim town, Northern Ireland.
- 1618 – German astronomer and mathematician Johannes Kepler discovered the third law of planetary motion.
- 1702 – Anne (pictured) became the Queen of England, Scotland and Ireland, succeeding William III.
- 1919 – During the Egyptian Revolution of 1919, British authorities arrested rebel leader Saad Zaghloul, exiling him to Malta.
- 1983 – Cold War: During a speech to the National Association of Evangelicals in Orlando, Florida, U.S. President Ronald Reagan described the Soviet Union as an "evil empire".
- 2017 – The Azure Window, a limestone natural arch in Gozo, Malta, collapsed during a storm.
- 1776 – The Wealth of Nations by Scottish political economist Adam Smith (bust pictured) was first published, becoming the first modern work in the field of economics.
- 1862 – American Civil War: In the world's first battle between two ironclad warships, USS Monitor and CSS Virginia fought to a draw near the mouth of Hampton Roads in Virginia.
- 1932 – Éamon de Valera, one of the dominant political figures in 20th-century Ireland, became President of the Executive Council of the Irish Free State.
- 1944 – World War II: As part of the Battle of Narva, the Soviet Air Forces heavily bombed Tallinn, Estonia, killing up to 800 people, mostly civilians.
- 2010 – The first legal U.S. same-sex marriages south of the Mason–Dixon line took place in Washington, D.C.
- 1915 – First World War: The Battle of Neuve Chapelle opened, the first deliberately planned British offensive of the war.
- 1949 – Mildred Gillars, nicknamed "Axis Sally", was convicted of treason for working with the Nazis as a broadcaster.
- 1965 – Thomas Playford, Premier of South Australia, left office after 27 years, the longest term of any democratically elected leader in the history of Australia.
- 1967 – British progressive rock band Pink Floyd released their first single, "Arnold Layne".
- 1975 – Ho Chi Minh Campaign: North Vietnam began its final push for victory over South Vietnam with an attack on Ban Me Thuot.
- 2006 – NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter attained orbit around Mars (artist's impression shown).
- 1845 – Māori forces led by chiefs Te Ruki Kawiti and Hōne Heke attacked the British settlement of Kororareka in New Zealand, beginning the Flagstaff War.
- 1864 – The Great Sheffield Flood killed at least 240 people and damaged more than 600 homes, after a crack in the Dale Dyke Dam (pictured) caused it to fail.
- 1941 – World War II: The Lend-Lease Act was signed into law, allowing the United States to supply the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union, China, France and other Allied nations with vast amounts of war materiel.
- 1999 – Infosys became the first Indian-registered company to have its shares listed on NASDAQ.
- 2009 – A teenage gunman engaged in a shooting spree at a secondary school in Winnenden, Germany, killing 16, including himself.
- 1881 – Andrew Watson made his debut with the Scotland national football team and became the world's first black international footballer.
- 1930 – Gandhi (pictured with Sarojini Naidu) began the Salt March, a 24-day walk to defy the British tax on salt in colonial India.
- 1971 – The Turkish Armed Forces executed a "coup by memorandum", forcing the resignation of Prime Minister Süleyman Demirel.
- 1989 – Tim Berners-Lee issued the first proposal for what would become the World Wide Web, when he wrote a document to CERN with details of an information-management system
- 2014 – A gas leak caused an explosion in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York City, destroying two apartment buildings and causing eight deaths.
- 1697 – Nojpetén, capital of the Itza Maya kingdom, fell to Spanish conquistadors, the final step in the Spanish conquest of Guatemala.
- 1781 – Astronomer and composer William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus while in the garden of his house in Bath, England, thinking it was a comet.
- 1920 – The Kapp Putsch (pictured) briefly ousted the Weimar Republic government from Berlin.
- 1962 – Lyman Lemnitzer, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented to the Secretary of Defense a false flag conspiracy plan, Operation Northwoods, intended to create public support for a war against Fidel Castro and Cuba.
- 1985 – One of England's worst incidents of football hooliganism occurred when supporters of Luton Town and Millwall rioted before a match at Kenilworth Road stadium.
- 1593 – Japanese invasions of Korea: A Korean force of 3,000 soldiers successfully defended Haengju Fortress against an invading Japanese force of 30,000 men.
- 1885 – The Mikado (poster pictured), Gilbert and Sullivan's most frequently performed Savoy opera, debuted at the Savoy Theatre in London.
- 1945 – The Royal Air Force first used the Grand Slam, a 22,000 lb (10,000 kg) earthquake bomb, on a strategic railway viaduct in Bielefeld, Germany.
- 1969 – Edward M. Burke, the longest-serving alderman in the history of the Chicago City Council, was sworn into office.
- 1984 – Gerry Adams, leader of Sinn Féin, was seriously wounded in an assassination attempt by Ulster Freedom Fighters in central Belfast, Northern Ireland.
- 1147 – Portuguese troops under the leadership of Afonso I captured the Almoravid city of Santarém.
- 1783 – A potential uprising in Newburgh, New York, was defused when George Washington asked Continental Army officers to support the supremacy of Congress.
- 1927 – In rowing, Oxford defeated Cambridge in the first Women's Boat Race (2015 edition pictured) held in Oxford, England.
- 1951 – The Iranian oil industry was nationalized in a movement led by Mohammad Mosaddegh.
- 2011 – Arab Spring: Protests erupted across Syria against the authoritarian government, marking the start of the Syrian Civil War.
- 1190 – Around 150 Jews died inside York Castle (pictured), with the majority committing mass suicide to avoid being killed by a mob.
- 1782 – American Revolutionary War: Spain captured the island of Roatán off the coast of what is now Honduras.
- 1935 – Conscription was re-introduced in Germany by the Nazi regime, and the German military was renamed the Wehrmacht.
- 1984 – William Buckley, the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency station chief in Beirut, Lebanon, was kidnapped by Islamic fundamentalists.
- 2014 – Annexation of Crimea: The Autonomous Republic of Crimea held a controversial referendum where voters overwhelmingly chose to join Russia as a federal subject.
- 455 – After arranging for the assassination of Valentinian III, Petronius Maximus secured the throne of the Western Roman Empire, only to be killed 11 weeks later during the sack of Rome.
- 1677 – Franco-Dutch War: France captured the town of Valenciennes in the Spanish Netherlands.
- 1860 – The First Taranaki War began at Waitara, marking an important phase of the New Zealand Wars.
- 1969 – Golda Meir (pictured) became the first female Prime Minister of Israel.
- 1979 – The Penmanshiel Tunnel in the Scottish Borders region of Scotland collapsed during refurbishing construction, killing two workers, and leading to the abandonment of the tunnel.
- 1793 – War of the First Coalition: Habsburg Austrians together with Dutch Republic troops repulsed a series of French assaults after bitter fighting in Neerwinden, present-day Belgium.
- 1892 – Lord Stanley of Preston pledged to donate an award for Canada's top-ranked amateur ice hockey club, now known as the Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America.
- 1906 – Romanian inventor Traian Vuia became the first person to fly a heavier-than-air monoplane (pictured) with an unassisted takeoff.
- 1969 – Vietnam War: The United States began secretly bombing the Sihanouk Trail in Cambodia, used by communist forces to infiltrate South Vietnam.
- 1996 – The deadliest fire in Philippine history burned a nightclub in Quezon City, leaving 162 dead.
- 1279 – Emperor Bing, the last emperor of the Song dynasty, died during the Battle of Yamen, bringing the dynasty to an end after three centuries.
- 1865 – American Civil War: The last battle of the Carolinas Campaign, the Battle of Bentonville, began, which contributed to the ultimate Union victory in the war.
- 1911 – The first International Women's Day was held, having been established by, among others, German socialist politician Clara Zetkin (pictured).
- 1979 – The American cable television network C-SPAN, dedicated to airing non-stop coverage of government proceedings and public affairs programming, was launched.
- 2011 – Libyan Civil War: The French Air Force launched Opération Harmattan, beginning foreign military intervention in Libya.
- 235 – Maximinus Thrax (bust pictured) succeeded to the throne of the Roman Empire, a so-called barracks emperor who gained power by virtue of his command of the army.
- 1852 – Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe was first published, profoundly affecting attitudes toward African Americans and slavery in the United States.
- 1923 – The Arts Club of Chicago hosted the opening of Pablo Picasso's first United States showing, entitled Original Drawings by Pablo Picasso, becoming an early proponent of modern art in the U.S.
- 1939 – Germany issued an ultimatum to Lithuania, demanding they return the Klaipėda Region under threat of invasion.
- 1993 – The Troubles: The second of two bomb attacks by the Provisional IRA in Warrington, England, killed two children.
- 1814 – War of the Sixth Coalition: At the Battle of Arcis-sur-Aube, Napoleon suddenly realized his army was vastly outnumbered and hurriedly ordered a retreat.
- 1861 – Vice President of the Confederate States of America Alexander H. Stephens (pictured) extemporaneously gave the "Cornerstone Speech", in which he laid out the Confederacy's causes for declaring secession.
- 1937 – A police squad, acting under orders from Governor of Puerto Rico Blanton Winship, opened fire on demonstrators protesting the arrest of Puerto Rican Nationalist leader Pedro Albizu Campos, killing 21 people and injuring 235 others.
- 1983 – In the West Bank, a number of Palestinian girls complained of breathing difficulties due to strange odors, leading to accusations of poison gas.
- 2006 – A man using a hammer smashed the statue of Phra Phrom in the Erawan Shrine in Bangkok, Thailand, and was subsequently beaten to death by bystanders.
- 1508 – Ferdinand II of Aragon appointed Amerigo Vespucci (pictured) to the post of Chief Navigator of Spain.
- 1638 – Anne Hutchinson was expelled from the Massachusetts Bay Colony for her participation in the Antinomian Controversy.
- 1913 – Phan Xích Long, the self-proclaimed Emperor of Vietnam, was arrested for organising a revolt against the colonial rule of French Indochina, which was nevertheless carried out by his supporters the following day.
- 1942 – Second World War: The Royal Navy confronted Italy's Regia Marina at the Second Battle of Sirte in the Mediterranean Sea near the Gulf of Sirte.
- 2014 – A massive landslide in Oso, Washington, killed 43 people after engulfing a rural neighborhood, the largest death toll for a standalone landslide in U.S. history.
- 1775 – American Revolution: Patrick Henry made his "Give me liberty, or give me death!" speech to the House of Burgesses of Virginia, urging military action against the British Empire.
- 1848 – Scottish settlers on the John Wickliffe, captained by William Cargill, arrived at what is now Port Chalmers in the Otago Region of New Zealand.
- 1931 – Bhagat Singh (pictured), one of the most influential revolutionaries of the Indian independence movement, and two others were executed by British authorities.
- 1989 – Two researchers announced the discovery of cold fusion, a claim which was later discredited.
- 2007 – The Iranian military arrested 15 Royal Navy personnel, claiming that they had entered Iran's territorial waters.
- 1882 – German physician Robert Koch announced the discovery of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (pictured), a bacterium that causes tuberculosis.
- 1922 – Irish War of Independence: In Belfast, two men wearing police uniforms broke into a house and murdered a Catholic family in what was believed to be a reprisal for the deaths of two policemen the day before.
- 1976 – Military leaders in Argentina led by Jorge Rafael Videla deposed President Isabel Perón in a coup d'état, established a military junta known as the National Reorganization Process, and began state-sponsored violence against dissidents known as the Dirty War.
- 1989 – The tanker Exxon Valdez spilled 10.8 million US gallons (260,000 bbl; 41,000 m3) of oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska, causing one of the most devastating man-made maritime environmental disasters.
- 1410 – The Yongle Emperor of Ming dynasty China launched the first of his military campaigns against the Mongols, resulting in the fall of the Mongol khan Bunyashiri.
- 1655 – Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens discovered Titan, the largest natural satellite of the planet Saturn.
- 1807 – The Slave Trade Act became law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire.
- 1949 – The Soviet Union began mass deportations of more than 90,000 people from the Baltic states to Siberia.
- 1975 – King Faisal of Saudi Arabia (pictured) was shot and killed by his nephew Faisal bin Musaid.
- 1344 – Reconquista: The Muslim city of Algeciras surrendered after a 21-month siege and was incorporated into the Kingdom of Castile.
- 1484 – William Caxton printed the first English translation of Aesop's Fables (page pictured).
- 1939 – Spanish Civil War: Nationalists began their final offensive of the war, at the end of which they controlled almost the entire country.
- 1979 – By signing the Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty, Egypt became the first Arab country to officially recognize Israel.
- 1999 – Jack Kevorkian, an American advocate for and practitioner of physician-assisted suicide, was charged with murder in the death of a terminally ill patient.
- 1794 – To protect American merchant ships from Barbary pirates, Congress passed the Naval Act to authorize the building of six frigates, which eventually became the U.S. Navy.
- 1899 – Philippine–American War: For the only time during the course of the war, Philippine President Emilio Aguinaldo (pictured) personally led troops against the U.S. in the Battle of Marilao River.
- 1981 – The Solidarity movement in Poland staged a warning strike, the biggest strike in the history of the Eastern Bloc, in which at least 12 million Poles walked off their jobs for four hours.
- 1999 – During the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, an Army of Yugoslavia unit shot down a U.S. Air Force F-117 stealth aircraft.
- 2009 – A failure of the dam holding Situ Gintung, an artificial lake in Tangerang District, Indonesia, resulted in floods killing at least 100 people.
- 193 – Praetorian Guards assassinated Roman emperor Pertinax and sold the Imperial office in an auction to Didius Julianus.
- 1802 – German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Matthias Olbers discovered 2 Pallas, the second asteroid ever identified.
- 1930 – Turkey changed the name of its largest city Constantinople to Istanbul.
- 1979 – British Prime Minister James Callaghan (pictured) was defeated by one vote in a motion of no confidence by the House of Commons after his government struggled to cope with widespread strikes during the "Winter of Discontent".
- 1999 – Serbian police and special forces killed about 93 Kosovo Albanians in the village of Izbica, in the Drenica region of central Kosovo.
- 1461 – During the Wars of the Roses, Yorkist troops defeated Lancastrian forces at the Battle of Towton (memorial pictured) in Yorkshire, England, the largest and bloodiest battle fought in England.
- 1638 – Swedish settlers founded New Sweden near Delaware Bay, the first Swedish colony in America.
- 1941 – The North American Regional Broadcasting Agreement to define technical standards for AM band radio stations came into effect.
- 1969 – The New People's Army, the armed wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines, was formed.
- 1999 – The strongest earthquake to hit the foothills of the Himalayas in more than 90 years killed at least 100 people.
- 1842 – American physician Crawford Long became the first person to use diethyl ether as an anesthetic in a surgical procedure.
- 1861 – British chemist William Crookes announced his discovery of thallium, which he had done using flame spectroscopy.
- 1918 – Fighting began during the March Days revolt in Baku, Azerbaijan, resulting in about 12,000 deaths.
- 1964 – Jeopardy! (current host Alex Trebek pictured), the popular American game show created by Merv Griffin, made its debut on the NBC television network.
- 2009 – Twelve gunmen attacked the Manawan Police Academy in Lahore, Pakistan, and held it for several hours before security forces could retake it.
- 1854 – U.S. Navy Commodore Matthew C. Perry (Japanese depiction pictured) and the Tokugawa shogunate signed the Convention of Kanagawa, forcing the opening of Japanese ports to American trade.
- 1889 – The Eiffel Tower was inaugurated in Paris, later becoming a global cultural icon of France and one of the most recognisable structures in the world.
- 1901 – A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck the Black Sea, the most powerful ever recorded in the area.
- 1942 – Second World War: Because of a mutiny by Indian soldiers against their British officers, Japanese troops captured Christmas Island without any resistance.
- 1964 – Brazilian Armed Forces led an overthrow of Brazilian President João Goulart and established a military government that lasted for 21 years.
Selected anniversaries for April
- 1293 – Robert Winchelsey left England for Rome to be consecrated archbishop of Canterbury, but a papal vacancy delayed the ceremony.
- 1865 – American Civil War: The Union Army inflicted over 2,900 casualties on the Confederates in the Battle of Five Forks.
- 1947 – The main mutiny in a series of mutinies of the Royal New Zealand Navy began.
- 1969 – The Hawker Siddeley Harrier (pictured), the first operational fighter aircraft with V/STOL capabilities, entered service with the Royal Air Force.
- 1513 – Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León became the first European to sight Florida, purportedly while searching for the Fountain of Youth.
- 1863 – About 5,000 people, mostly poor women, rioted in Richmond, Virginia, protesting the exorbitant price of bread.
- 1976 – Norodom Sihanouk (pictured) resigned as leader of Cambodia and was arrested by the Khmer Rouge.
- 1979 – Spores of anthrax were accidentally released from a military research facility near the city of Sverdlovsk, causing around 100 deaths.
- 2015 – Four elderly men burgled items worth up to £200 million from a safe deposit facility in London's Hatton Garden area.
- 1559 – Henry II of France and Philip II of Spain signed a treaty to end the Italian War of 1551–1559.
- 1860 – The Pony Express, a mail service that became the most direct means of long distance communication to the American West, began operation.
- 1895 – The libel trial instigated by Irish author Oscar Wilde (pictured) began, eventually resulting in his arrest, trial and imprisonment on charges of gross indecency.
- 1946 – Imperial Japanese Army officer Masaharu Homma was executed for war crimes relating to the Bataan Death March.
- 2009 – A gunman opened fire at an American Civic Association immigration center in Binghamton, New York, U.S., killing thirteen and wounding four before committing suicide.
- 1268 – The Byzantine Empire and the Republic of Venice signed a treaty that brought seven years of hostilities to a temporary end.
- 1841 – William Henry Harrison (pictured) became the first U.S. President to die in office, sparking a brief constitutional crisis regarding questions of presidential succession that were left unanswered by the U.S. Constitution.
- 1949 – Twelve nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty, creating NATO, an organization that constitutes a system of collective defense whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.
- 2013 – A building collapsed on tribal land in Mumbra, a suburb of Thane in Maharashtra, India, causing 74 deaths.
- 1614 – Native American Pocahontas (pictured) married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia.
- 1710 – The Statute of Anne, the first fully fledged law regulating copyright, received royal assent and went into effect five days later in Great Britain.
- 1986 – The Libyan secret service bombed a discotheque in West Berlin, killing 3 people and injuring 229 others.
- 2000 – Before a semi-final of the 2000 UEFA Cup in Istanbul, violence broke out that resulted in two Leeds United fans being stabbed to death.
- 2009 – The North Korean satellite Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 was launched from the Tonghae Satellite Launching Ground and passed over Japan, sparking concerns it may have been a trial run of technology that could be used to launch intercontinental ballistic missiles.
- 402 – A Roman army led by Stilicho turned back an attempted Gothic invasion led by Alaric I.
- 1812 – Peninsular War: After a three-week siege, the Anglo-Portuguese Army, under the Earl of Wellington, captured Badajoz, Spain, and forced the surrender of the French garrison.
- 1941 – World War II: The Axis Powers began both Operation Marita and Operation 25, invading Greece and Yugoslavia, respectively.
- 1970 – Four California Highway Patrol officers were killed in a shootout after a traffic stop in the Newhall area, north of Los Angeles.
- 2009 – A 6.3 Mw earthquake struck the region of Abruzzo in central Italy (damage pictured), killing 308 people and injuring more than 1,500 others.
- 1141 – Empress Matilda became the first female claimant to the throne of England, adopting the title 'Lady of the English'.
- 1949 – The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, based on Tales of the South Pacific by James Michener, opened on Broadway.
- 1994 – The Rwandan genocide began, a few hours after the assassination of President Juvénal Habyarimana (pictured); an estimated 500,000–1,000,000 Rwandans were killed in the following 100 days.
- 2017 – A hijacked truck was deliberately driven into crowds along Drottninggatan in Stockholm killing five people.
- 217 – Roman emperor Caracalla was assassinated near Harran and succeeded by his Praetorian Guard prefect Macrinus.
- 1271 – The Knights Hospitaller surrendered the Krak des Chevaliers to the army of the Mamluk sultan Baibars.
- 1740 – War of the Austrian Succession: The Royal Navy captured the Spanish ship of the line Princesa (pictured), which was later mustered into British service.
- 1904 – France and the United Kingdom signed the Entente Cordiale, agreeing to a peaceful coexistence after centuries of intermittent conflict.
- 1959 – A team of computer scientists and others met to discuss the creation of a common business-oriented programming language that became COBOL.
- 1866 – The Civil Rights Act of 1866, the United States' first federal law to affirm that all citizens are equally protected by the law, was enacted.
- 1917 – First World War: The Canadian Corps began the first wave of attacks at the Battle of Vimy Ridge in Vimy, France.
- 1942 – World War II: Japanese forces defeated Allied troops at the Battle of Bataan on the Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines before beginning to forcibly transfer more than 90,000 prisoners of war to prison camps in the Bataan Death March.
- 1959 – NASA announced the selection of the Mercury Seven (pictured), the first astronauts in Project Mercury.
- 1999 – President of Niger Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara was shot dead by soldiers in Niamey.
- 1809 – Napoleonic Wars: The War of the Fifth Coalition began when Austria invaded Bavaria.
- 1858 – Big Ben (pictured), the bell in the Palace of Westminster's clock tower in London, was cast after the original bell cracked during testing.
- 1925 – The novel The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was first published.
- 1959 – Crown Prince Akihito, the future Emperor of Japan, wedded Michiko, the first commoner to marry into the Japanese Imperial Family.
- 2009 – Fijian President Ratu Josefa Iloilo announced that he had suspended the constitution and assumed all governance in the country after it was ruled that the government of Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama was illegal.
- 1809 – Napoleonic Wars: A hastily assembled Royal Navy fleet launched an assault against the main strength of the French Atlantic Fleet, which resulted in political turmoil in both England and France.
- 1888 – The Concertgebouw (pictured) in Amsterdam, considered one of the world's finest concert halls, was inaugurated.
- 1921 – Emir Abdullah established the first centralised government in the recently created British protectorate of Transjordan.
- 1963 – Pope John XXIII issued Pacem in terris ("Peace on Earth"), the first papal encyclical addressed to "all men of good will", rather than only to Catholics.
- 2001 – In a FIFA World Cup qualifying match, Australia defeated American Samoa by a score of 31–0, the largest margin of victory ever in an international football match.
- 1776 – The fourth North Carolina Provincial Congress passed the Halifax Resolves, the first official action in the American colonies calling for independence from Great Britain during the American Revolution.
- 1807 – The Froberg mutiny at Fort Ricasoli in Malta came to a close when the rebels blew up 600 barrels of gunpowder and escaped, although they were later caught and executed.
- 1831 – Broughton Suspension Bridge in Manchester, England, collapsed, reportedly because of mechanical resonance induced by troops marching in step over the bridge.
- 1910 – SMS Zrínyi, one of the last pre-dreadnoughts built by the Austro-Hungarian Navy, was launched.
- 1980 – Terry Fox (pictured), an athlete with an artificial leg, began running his "Marathon of Hope" from St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, intending to reach Vancouver, to raise funds for cancer research.
- 1742 – Messiah, an oratorio by baroque composer George Frideric Handel, premiered in Dublin.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: British and Hessian forces conducted a surprise attack against a Continental Army outpost at Bound Brook, New Jersey.
- 1948 – Civil war in Mandatory Palestine: A convoy bringing supplies and personnel to Jerusalem's Hadassah Hospital was ambushed by Arab forces, leaving seventy-nine people dead.
- 1973 – Catch a Fire, the landmark reggae album by Bob Marley and the Wailers, was released.
- 1997 – In golf, 21-year-old Tiger Woods (pictured) became the youngest player to win the Masters Tournament, breaking its record for the lowest four-round score (270 strokes, 18 under par).
- 1471 – Wars of the Roses: The Yorkists under Edward IV defeated the Lancastrians near the town of Barnet, killing Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick.
- 1865 – Actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth fatally shot U.S. President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C.
- 1906 – The Azusa Street Revival, the primary catalyst for the spread of Pentecostalism in the 20th century, opened in Los Angeles.
- 1944 – The freighter SS Fort Stikine, carrying a mixed cargo of cotton bales, gold and ammunition, exploded in the harbour in Bombay, India, sinking surrounding ships and killing about 800 people.
- 1999 – A storm dropped an estimated 500,000 tonnes of hailstones in Sydney (examples pictured) and along the east coast of New South Wales, causing about A$2.3 billion in damages, the costliest natural disaster in Australian insurance history.
- 769 – The Lateran Council concluded proceedings intended to rectify abuses in the papal electoral process that had led to the elevation of the antipopes Constantine II and Philip.
- 1912 – More than 1,500 people died after the passenger liner RMS Titanic sank as a result of colliding with an iceberg (pictured) southeast of Newfoundland.
- 1952 – The B-52 Stratofortress, a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered, strategic bomber operated by the United States Air Force for most of the aircraft's history, made its first flight.
- 1989 – A human crush during an FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England, caused 96 deaths, making it the worst disaster in British sporting history.
- 1520 – Citizens of Toledo, Castile, who were opposed to the rule of the foreign-born Charles V, rose up in revolt when the royal government attempted to unseat radical city councilors.
- 1862 – Slavery in Washington, D.C., ended when the District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act became law.
- 1919 – Polish–Soviet War: The Polish army launched the Vilna offensive to capture Vilnius (now in Lithuania) from the Red Army.
- 1947 – American financier and presidential adviser Bernard Baruch (pictured) first described the post–World War II tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States as a "cold war".
- 2014 – The South Korean ferry MV Sewol sank 1.5 km (0.93 mi) offshore of Donggeochado, Jindo County, with around 300 of the 476 onboard killed.
- 1080 – The death of Harald III allowed his brother Canute IV, who later became the first Dane to be canonized, to become King of Denmark.
- 1797 – French Revolutionary Wars: British Lieutenant General Ralph Abercromby and a force of 7,000 invaded Spanish-controlled Puerto Rico.
- 1969 – Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of the assassination of United States Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
- 1986 – Having supposedly been at war for 335 years without a single shot having been fired and no casualties incurred, the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly declared peace.
- 2014 – NASA announced the discovery of Kepler-186f (artist's impression shown), the first exoplanet with a radius similar to Earth's discovered in the habitable zone of another star.
- 1738 – By royal decree, Philip V of Spain established the Real Academia de la Historia.
- 1775 – American Revolutionary War: Colonists Paul Revere, William Dawes, and Samuel Prescott began a "midnight ride" from Boston to Lexington to warn residents about the impending arrival of British troops.
- 1915 – World War I: French aviator Roland Garros (pictured) landed his aircraft behind enemy lines and was taken prisoner.
- 1949 – The Republic of Ireland Act 1948 came into force and Ireland officially left the British Commonwealth and became a republic.
- 1955 – Representatives from 29 African and Asian countries met in the inaugural Bandung Conference in Indonesia to promote economic and cultural cooperation.
- 1782 – The States General of the Dutch Republic received John Adams, and the house he had purchased in The Hague became the first United States embassy.
- 1809 – War of the Fifth Coalition: The French won a hard-fought victory over Austria in Lower Bavaria when their opponents withdrew from the field of battle that evening.
- 1956 – Actress Grace Kelly (pictured) became Princess consort of Monaco upon marrying Rainier III, Prince of Monaco.
- 1971 – The first space station, Salyut 1, was launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome near Tyuratam, Kazakh SSR, USSR.
- 2015 – In Baltimore, Maryland, U.S., Freddie Gray died of injuries sustained a week earlier while in the custody of the Baltimore Police Department.
- 1537 – Bacatá, the main settlement of the Muisca Confederation, was conquered by Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada during the Spanish conquest of the Muisca, effectively ending the Confederation in the Colombian Eastern Andes.
- 1657 – Anglo-Spanish War: An English fleet sank much of a Spanish treasure fleet at Santa Cruz de Tenerife in the Canary Islands but was unable to capture the treasure.
- 1828 – French explorer René Caillié (pictured) became the first European to enter Timbuktu and return safely, for which he received a 10,000-franc prize from the Société de Géographie.
- 1939 – Adolf Hitler's 50th birthday was celebrated as a national holiday in Nazi Germany.
- 1999 – Students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold embarked on a massacre, killing 13 people and wounding over 20 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Columbine, Colorado.
- 43 BC – Forces led by Mark Antony fought the Battle of Mutina against those of Decimus Brutus, one of Julius Caesar's assassins.
- 1615 – The Wignacourt Aqueduct (pictured) in Malta was inaugurated and was used to carry water to Valletta for about 300 years.
- 1914 – Mexican Revolution: The United States detained a German steamer carrying materiel for the Mexican federal government.
- 1934 – The "Surgeon's Photograph", purportedly showing the Loch Ness Monster (later revealed to be a hoax), was published in the Daily Mail.
- 1970 – In response to a dispute over wheat production quotas, the Principality of Hutt River proclaimed its secession from Western Australia.
- 1622 – An Anglo-Persian force combined to capture the Portuguese garrison at Hormuz Island in the Persian Gulf.
- 1889 – More than 50,000 people rushed to claim (pictured) a piece of the available two million acres (8,000 km2) in the Unassigned Lands, the present-day U.S. state of Oklahoma, founding Oklahoma City.
- 1951 – Korean War: The People's Volunteer Army of China attacked positions occupied mainly by Australian and Canadian forces, starting the Battle of Kapyong.
- 2004 – Flammable cargo exploded at Ryongchon Station in Ryongchon, North Korea, killing at least 54 people and injuring more than a thousand.
- 1348 – The first appointments to the Order of the Garter, an order of chivalry founded by King Edward III of England, were announced.
- 1516 – The best-known version of the Reinheitsgebot, the German Beer Purity Law, was adopted across the entirety of Bavaria.
- 1879 – A fire destroyed the second version of the Main Building (pictured) of the University of Notre Dame.
- 1979 – Activist Blair Peach suffered fatal head injuries when he was knocked unconscious during an Anti-Nazi League demonstration in Southall, London, against a National Front election meeting in the town hall.
- 2009 – Gamma-ray burst GRB 090423 was detected, coming from the most distant astronomical object of any kind known at the time.
- 1704 – John Campbell released the first issue of The Boston News-Letter, the first continuously published newspaper in British North America.
- 1904 – Realizing that the Russification of Lithuania was not working, the Russian Empire lifted the 40-year-old ban on publications written in Lithuanian language using the Latin alphabet.
- 1932 – An estimated 400 ramblers committed a wilful trespass of Kinder Scout in the Peak District of England to highlight the denial of access to areas of open country.
- 1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope (pictured) was launched aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery in mission STS-31.
- 799 – Pope Leo III was attacked by partisans of his predecessor Adrian I, but was rescued and taken to Charlemagne, as described in the epic Karolus magnus et Leo papa.
- 1644 – The Ming dynasty of China fell when the Chongzhen Emperor committed suicide during a peasant rebellion led by Li Zicheng.
- 1792 – The French highwayman Nicolas Jacques Pelletier became the first person to be executed by guillotine.
- 1920 – At the San Remo conference, the principal Allied Powers of World War I decided upon the League of Nations mandates for administration of the former Ottoman-ruled lands of the Middle East.
- 1960 – The U.S. Navy submarine USS Triton (SSRN-586) (pictured) completed the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe.
- 1478 – In a conspiracy to replace the Medici family as rulers of the Republic of Florence, the Pazzi family attacked Lorenzo de' Medici and killed his brother Giuliano during High Mass.
- 1777 – American Revolutionary War: Sixteen-year-old Sybil Ludington (statue pictured) rode forty miles through the night to warn militiamen under the control of her father that British troops were planning to invade Danbury, Connecticut.
- 1944 – World War II: U.S. Navy submarines began attacks on Japan's Take Ichi convoy as it sailed in waters between Taiwan and the Philippines, eventually sinking four vessels and killing more than 4,000 troops.
- 1989 – A tornado struck the Manikganj District of Bangladesh, killing an estimated 1,300 people, making it the deadliest tornado in history.
- 2002 – An expelled student murdered sixteen people and wounded seven others before committing suicide at the Gutenberg-Gymnasium Erfurt in Erfurt, Germany.
- 629 – Shahrbaraz usurped the throne of the Sasanian Empire from Ardashir III, but was himself deposed only forty days later.
- 1522 – Italian War of 1521–26: The combined forces of Spain and the Papal States defeated a French and Venetian army at the Battle of Bicocca.
- 1810 – Ludwig van Beethoven composed his Bagatelle No. 25 in A minor, better known as "Für Elise" (audio featured), one of his most popular compositions.
- 1865 – An explosion destroyed the steamboat Sultana on the Mississippi River, killing an estimated 1,700 of the 2,400 passengers.
- 1949 – In response to the treatment of Lorenzo Gamboa under the White Australia policy, the Philippine House of Representatives passed a bill banning Australians from the country.
- 2012 – Unknown perpetrators committed a series of four bombings in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukraine.
- 224 – The Parthian Empire in ancient Iran fell to the Sasanids after being defeated at the Battle of Hormozdgan.
- 1887 – A week after being arrested by the Prussian Secret Police, French police inspector Guillaume Schnaebelé was released on the order of William I, the German Emperor, defusing a possible war.
- 1949 – Former First Lady of the Philippines Aurora Quezon (pictured), her daughter, and ten others were assassinated by the military arm of the Philippine Communist Party.
- 1973 – The album The Dark Side of the Moon by the British progressive rock band Pink Floyd entered the Billboard Top LPs & Tape chart, on which it spent a record 942 weeks.
- 1999 – A 14-year-old former student in Taber, Alberta, walked into his high school and opened fire, killing one student and wounding another in Canada's first fatal school shooting in more than two decades.
- 1770 – British explorer James Cook and the crew of HMS Endeavour (replica pictured), the first European ship to land in eastern Australia, reached the coast of Botany Bay near present-day Sydney.
- 1945 – The Holocaust: The Seventh U.S. Army liberated Dachau, the first Nazi concentration camp, and allegedly wounded and killed German prisoners of war.
- 1975 – Vietnam War: North Vietnam concluded its East Sea Campaign by capturing all of the Spratly Islands that were being held by South Vietnam.
- 2011 – A worldwide television audience of tens of millions of people watched the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton at Westminster Abbey in London.
- 1557 – Arauco War: Spanish forces of Governor Francisco de Villagra launched a surprise dawn attack against the Mapuche headed by their toqui Lautaro in what is now Chile.
- 1894 – A crowd of workers (pictured), unemployed due to the Panic of 1893, conducted the first significant popular protest march on Washington, D.C.
- 1945 – World War II: As Allied forces were closing in on Berlin, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide in the Führerbunker after being married for one day.
- 1982 – Sixteen monks and a nun belonging to Ananda Marga in Calcutta, India, were dragged out of taxis by persons unknown in three different locations, beaten to death and then set on fire.
- 2009 – A Dutch man drove his car at high speed into a parade in an attempt to kill the Dutch royal family.
Selected anniversaries for May
- 880 – The Nea Ekklesia church in Constantinople, on which many later cross-in-square Orthodox churches were based, was consecrated.
- 1169 – Norman mercenaries landed at Bannow Bay in Leinster, beginning the Norman invasion of Ireland.
- 1794 – War of the Pyrenees: France regained nearly all the land it lost to Spain the previous year with its victory in the Second Battle of Boulou.
- 1931 – New York City's Empire State Building (pictured), at the time the tallest building in the world, opened.
- 1994 – Brazilian racing driver Ayrton Senna, a three-time Formula One World Champion, was killed in a crash during the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
- 1194 – King Richard I of England gave the city of Portsmouth its first Royal Charter.
- 1863 – American Civil War: Confederate general Stonewall Jackson was wounded by friendly fire during the Battle of Chancellorsville, leading to his death by pneumonia eight days later.
- 1945 – World War II: General Helmuth Weidling, commander of the German troops in Berlin, surrendered the city to Soviet forces led by Marshal Georgy Zhukov, ending the Battle of Berlin.
- 1999 – Mireya Moscoso (pictured) became the first woman to be elected President of Panama.
- 2014 – Two mudslides in Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan, killed at least 350 people.
- 1791 – The Polish–Lithuanian Constitution of May 3, the oldest codified national constitution in Europe, was adopted by the Great Sejm.
- 1855 – American William Walker and a group of mercenaries sailed from San Francisco to conquer Nicaragua.
- 1939 – Subhas Chandra Bose formed the All India Forward Bloc of the Indian National Congress in opposition to Gandhi's tactics of nonviolence.
- 1971 – Erich Honecker (pictured) was elected First Secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, remaining in power until 1989.
- 1999 – A Doppler on Wheels team measured the fastest winds recorded on Earth (301 ± 20 mph, or 484 ± 32 km/h) in a tornado near Bridge Creek, Oklahoma, U.S.
- 1836 – The Ancient Order of Hibernians, an Irish Catholic fraternal organization, was founded in New York City.
- 1886 – During a peaceful labor rally in Chicago, an unknown assailant threw a bomb into a crowd of police, which resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four bystanders.
- 1979 – Margaret Thatcher (pictured) became the first female Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, following the defeat of James Callaghan's incumbent Labour government in the previous day's general election.
- 2015 – The Parliament of Malta moved from the Grandmaster's Palace to the purpose-built Parliament House.
- 1654 – Cromwell's Act of Grace, which pardoned the people of Scotland for any crimes they may have committed during the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, was proclaimed in Edinburgh.
- 1809 – Mary Dixon Kies became the first woman to receive a patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
- 1936 – Second Italo-Abyssinian War: Italian troops captured Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, unopposed.
- 1981 – After a sixty-six day hunger strike, Irish republican Bobby Sands died of starvation in HM Prison Maze.
- 1994 – American teenager Michael P. Fay was caned in Singapore for theft and vandalism, a punishment that the United States deemed to be excessive for a teenager committing a non-violent crime.
- 1536 – The army of Inca Emperor Manco Inca Yupanqui began a 10-month siege of Cusco against a garrison of Spanish conquistadors and Indian auxiliaries led by Hernando Pizarro.
- 1801 – French Revolutionary Wars: The outmanned and outgunned HMS Speedy captured the 32-gun Spanish frigate El Gamo.
- 1954 – At Oxford's Iffley Road Track, English runner Roger Bannister (pictured) became the first person to run the mile in under four minutes.
- 1991 – Time magazine published "The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power", an article highly critical of Scientology, leading to years of legal conflict.
- 2013 – Amanda Berry escaped from the Cleveland, Ohio, home of her captor Ariel Castro having been held there with two other women for ten years.
- 1685 – Great Turkish War: Ottoman forces prevailed over Venetian irregulars in the Battle on Vrtijeljka.
- 1763 – Pontiac of the Odawa Native American tribe led an attempt to seize Fort Detroit from the British, marking the start of Pontiac's War.
- 1946 – Masaru Ibuka and Akio Morita founded the Tokyo Telecommunications Engineering Corporation, which later changed its name to Sony (headquarters pictured).
- 1999 – During the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia, the United States bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade.
- 2009 – Police in Napier, New Zealand, began a 40-hour siege of the home of a former New Zealand Army member who shot at officers during the routine execution of a search warrant.
- 1842 – A train derailed and caught fire (pictured) in Paris, killing between 52 and 200 people.
- 1927 – French aviators Charles Nungesser and François Coli aboard the biplane L'Oiseau Blanc, attempting to make the first non-stop transatlantic flight, took off from Paris for New York, only to disappear before arrival.
- 1942 – World War II: The Axis launched a major counteroffensive, turning the tide of the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula.
- 1963 – In Huế, South Vietnam, soldiers opened fire into a crowd of Buddhists protesting against a government ban on the flying of the Buddhist flag on Vesākha, killing nine and sparking the Buddhist crisis.
- 1972 – Four members of Black September hijacked Sabena Flight 571 to demand the release of 315 convicted Palestinian terrorists.
- 1864 – Second Schleswig War: The Battle of Heligoland took place between Danish and Austro-Prussian fleets, the last naval battle fought by squadrons of wooden ships.
- 1877 – An 8.5 Ms earthquake struck northern Chile, resulting in the death of 2,385 people, mostly victims of the ensuing tsunami, as far away as Hawaii and Fiji.
- 1955 – Kermit the Frog, the first and most famous Muppet by Jim Henson (pictured), made his debut on the television show Sam and Friends.
- 1979 – Prominent Iranian Jew Habib Elghanian was executed after having been convicted by a revolutionary tribunal of various charges, triggering a mass exodus of Jews from Iran.
- 2001 – After a football match between Ghana's two most successful teams, police fired tear gas into the crowd to quell some unrest, causing a stampede that killed 126 people.
- 1824 – The National Gallery in London opened to the public, in the former townhouse of the collector John Julius Angerstein.
- 1837 – Banks in New York City suspended specie payments, triggering a seven-year recession in the United States.
- 1916 – Ernest Shackleton and five companions completed one of history's greatest small-boat journeys (launch pictured) when they arrived at South Georgia after sailing 800 miles (1,300 km) in a lifeboat.
- 1941 – World War II: Deputy Führer Rudolf Hess parachuted into Scotland in an attempt to negotiate peace with the British government.
- 2005 – Armenian Vladimir Arutyunian attempted to assassinate U.S. President George W. Bush and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi using a hand grenade, which failed to detonate.
- 868 – A copy of the Diamond Sutra (frontispiece pictured) was printed in China, making it the world's oldest dated complete printed book.
- 1745 – War of the Austrian Succession: French forces defeated those of the Pragmatic Allies at the Battle of Fontenoy in the Austrian Netherlands in present-day Belgium.
- 1889 – An attack upon a U.S. Army paymaster and escort resulted in the theft of over $28,000 and the award of two Medals of Honor.
- 1997 – Deep Blue became the first computer to win a match against a world chess champion, when it defeated Garry Kasparov in six games.
- 2013 – Two car bombs by unknown perpetrators exploded in Reyhanlı, Turkey, resulting in 52 killed and 140 injured.
- 1510 – Zhu Zhifan, the Prince of Anhua (in modern Shaanxi, China), began an unsuccessful rebellion against the reign of the Zhengde Emperor.
- 1863 – American Civil War: The Confederates were routed in the Battle of Raymond, a small battle that had an inordinately large impact on the Vicksburg Campaign.
- 1941 – German engineer Konrad Zuse presented the Z3 (replica pictured), the world's first working programmable, fully automatic computer, to an audience of scientists in Berlin.
- 1967 – The Jimi Hendrix Experience released the critically acclaimed and widely influential debut album Are You Experienced.
- 2006 – A cartoon that allegedly compared Iranian Azeris to cockroaches was published in a magazine, sparking riots throughout the country.
- 1779 – Russian and French mediators negotiated the Treaty of Teschen to end the War of the Bavarian Succession.
- 1861 – The Australian astronomer John Tebbutt discovered the Great Comet of 1861 (depicted), through the tail of which the Earth passed later that year.
- 1940 – Three days after becoming Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill gave his "blood, toil, tears, and sweat" speech to the House of Commons.
- 1995 – Alison Hargreaves became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest without the aid of Sherpas or bottled oxygen.
- 2014 – The worst mining disaster in Turkish history took place when an explosion caused an underground mine fire at a coal mine in Soma, Manisa, leaving 301 people dead.
- 1264 – Second Barons' War: King Henry III was defeated at the Battle of Lewes and forced to sign the Mise of Lewes, making Simon de Montfort the de facto ruler of England.
- 1868 – Boshin War: Troops of the Tokugawa shogunate withdrew from the Battle of Utsunomiya Castle and retreated north towards Nikkō and Aizu.
- 1939 – In Lima, Peru, Lina Medina became the youngest confirmed mother in history, giving birth at the age of five years, seven months and twenty-one days.
- 1973 – The NASA space station Skylab (pictured) was launched from Kennedy Space Center near Cape Canaveral, Florida.
- 1980 – Salvadoran Civil War: Refugees trying to flee El Salvador were attacked by both Salvadoran Armed Forces and the Honduran military, resulting in at least 300 deaths.
- 1836 – English astronomer Francis Baily first observed "Baily's beads", a phenomenon during a solar eclipse in which the rugged lunar limb topography allows beads of sunlight to shine through.
- 1869 – Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (both pictured) founded the National Woman Suffrage Association, breaking away from the American Equal Rights Association which they had also previously founded.
- 1904 – Russo-Japanese War: After striking several mines off Port Arthur, the Japanese battleships Hatsuse and Yashima sank.
- 1948 – One day after the Israeli Declaration of Independence, Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia invaded Israel to begin the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.
- 2004 – Arsenal became the first football team in England's top flight to finish a season undefeated since Preston North End did so in 1888–1889.
- 1811 – Peninsular War: An allied force of British, Spanish, and Portuguese troops clashed with the French at the Battle of Albuera south of Badajoz, Spain.
- 1929 – The 1st Academy Awards ceremony was held at The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles.
- 1960 – American physicist Theodore Maiman operated the first working laser (pictured) at the Hughes Research Laboratories in Malibu, California.
- 1961 – The Military Revolution Committee, led by Park Chung-hee, carried out a bloodless coup against the government of Yun Posun, ending the Second Republic of South Korea.
- 1975 – Japanese climber Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest.
- 1395 – An outnumbered Wallachian army repulsed an Ottoman invasion force in the Battle of Rovine.
- 1865 – The International Telecommunication Union, an international organization that standardizes and regulates international radio and telecommunications, was founded as the International Telegraph Union in Paris.
- 1954 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case Brown v. Board of Education, outlawing racial segregation in public schools because "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal" and therefore unconstitutional.
- 1974 – The Troubles: The Ulster Volunteer Force detonated a series of car bombs in Dublin and Monaghan, Ireland, killing 34 people and injuring almost 300 more.
- 2009 – Dalia Grybauskaitė (pictured) became the first woman to be elected as President of Lithuania, receiving 69.1% of the vote.
May 18: Flag and Universities Day in Haiti; Day of Revival, Unity, and the Poetry of Magtymguly in Turkmenistan
- 1388 – During the Battle of Buir Lake, General Lan Yu led a Chinese army forward to crush the Mongol hordes of Toghus Temur, the khan of Northern Yuan.
- 1863 – American Civil War: General Ulysses S. Grant led his Army of the Tennessee across the Big Black River in preparation for the Siege of Vicksburg.
- 1936 – In a crime that shocked Japan, Sada Abe (pictured) strangled her lover Kichizo Ishida, cut off his genitals, and carried them around with her for several days until her arrest.
- 1965 – Eli Cohen, a spy who is credited with gathering significant intelligence for Israel in the Six-Day War against Syria, was publicly hanged after having been captured four months earlier.
- 2009 – The Sri Lanka Army killed Velupillai Prabhakaran, the leader and founder of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam, to bring an end to the 26-year Sri Lankan Civil War.
- 1051 – Anne of Kiev married King Henry I to become Queen of France.
- 1655 – Anglo-Spanish War: England invaded Spanish Jamaica, capturing it a week later.
- 1845 – Captain John Franklin (pictured) and his ill-fated expedition departed from Greenhithe, England; all 129 men were lost when their ships became icebound in the Canadian Arctic.
- 1911 – Parks Canada, the world's first national park service, was established as the Dominion Parks Branch under the Department of the Interior.
- 1991 – With the local Serb population boycotting the polls, voters in Croatia passed a referendum supporting independence from the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
- 1570 – The first modern atlas, Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (world map pictured) by cartographer Abraham Ortelius, was issued.
- 1609 – Thomas Thorpe published the first copies of Shakespeare's sonnets, possibly without William Shakespeare's consent.
- 1875 – Representatives from seventeen countries signed the Metre Convention, which set up an institute for the purpose of coordinating international metrology and for coordinating the development of the metric system.
- 1882 – The Triple Alliance was created between the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and the Kingdom of Italy.
- 1993 – "One for the Road", the series finale of American television sitcom Cheers, was watched by 42.4 million American households on its original airing.
- 878 – Arab–Byzantine wars: The city of Syracuse was captured by the Aghlabids, during the Muslim conquest of Sicily.
- 1894 – The Manchester Ship Canal, linking Manchester in North West England to the Irish Sea, officially opened, becoming the world's largest navigation canal at the time.
- 1911 – Mexican President Porfirio Díaz and the revolutionary Francisco Madero signed the Treaty of Ciudad Juárez to end the fighting between the forces of both men, concluding the initial phase of the Mexican Revolution.
- 1939 – King George VI and Queen Elizabeth dedicated Canada's National War Memorial in Ottawa.
- 2005 – The world's tallest roller coaster, Kingda Ka (pictured), opened at Six Flags Great Adventure in Jackson, New Jersey, U.S.
- 1629 – Albrecht von Wallenstein and King Christian IV of Denmark signed the Treaty of Lübeck to end Danish intervention in the Thirty Years' War.
- 1816 – A riot broke out in Littleport, Cambridgeshire, England, over high unemployment and rising grain costs, spreading to Ely the next day.
- 1960 – An earthquake measuring ~9.5 MW – the strongest ever recorded – devastated Valdivia, Chile (damage pictured), and generated destructive tsunamis that reached Hawaii and Japan.
- 1980 – Pac-Man, an arcade game that became an icon of 1980s popular culture, made its debut in Japan.
- 2002 – Washington, D.C., police announced that the skeletal remains of Federal Bureau of Prisons intern Chandra Levy, who had been missing for a year, were found in Rock Creek Park.
- 1706 – War of the Spanish Succession: The Grand Alliance armies routed the Franco-Spanish-Bavarian army in Ramillies, present-day Belgium.
- 1895 – Backed by Samuel J. Tilden, the Astor and Lenox libraries agreed to merge and form the New York Public Library (pictured in 1908), now the second-largest in the U.S.
- 1951 – Delegates of the 14th Dalai Lama and the government of the newly established People's Republic of China signed the Seventeen Point Agreement, affirming Chinese sovereignty over Tibet.
- 1999 – Professional wrestler Owen Hart died immediately before a match after dropping 70 feet (21 m) onto the ring during a botched entrance.
- 1567 – The mentally ill King Erik XIV of Sweden and his guards murdered five incarcerated nobles, including some members of the influential Sture family.
- 1683 – Oxford University's Ashmolean Museum, the world's first university museum, opened.
- 1913 – Princess Victoria Louise of Prussia (pictured) married Prince Ernest Augustus of Hanover, one of the last great social events of European royalty before World War I began fourteen months later.
- 1982 – The port city of Khorramshahr was liberated by Iranian forces during the Iran–Iraq War after 575 days.
- 2006 – An Inconvenient Truth, a documentary film that has been credited for raising international public awareness of climate change and re-energizing the environmental movement, was released.
- 1644 – Ming general Wu Sangui let the invading Manchus pass through the Great Wall of China (pictured), allowing them to capture Beijing, leading to the foundation of the Qing dynasty.
- 1810 – The Primera Junta, the first independent government in Argentina, was established in an open cabildo in Buenos Aires, marking the end of the May Revolution.
- 1979 – During takeoff from O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, an engine detached from American Airlines Flight 191, causing a crash that killed 273 people, the deadliest aviation accident in United States history.
- 2009 – North Korea conducted a nuclear test and several other missile tests that were widely condemned by the international community and led to sanctions from the United Nations Security Council.
- 1644 – Portuguese Restoration War: Portuguese and Spanish forces both claimed victory in the Battle of Montijo.
- 1822 – The deadliest fire in Norwegian history took place at a church in Grue, Norway, with at least 113 deaths.
- 1865 – American Civil War: General Edmund Kirby Smith negotiated the surrender of his army, the only significant Confederate Army force remaining in the war.
- 1940 – Second World War: The mass evacuation of British, French and Belgian troops cut off by the German army during the Battle of Dunkirk began (pictured).
- 1999 – Manchester United won the UEFA Champions League to become the first English football club to win three major championships in the same season.
- 1096 – The largest of the Rhineland massacres took place in Mainz, where at least 1,100 Jews were killed by the People's Crusade.
- 1644 – Manchu regent Dorgon (pictured) defeated rebel leader Li Zicheng of the Shun dynasty at the Battle of Shanhai Pass, allowing the Manchus to enter and conquer the capital city of Beijing.
- 1923 – French drivers André Lagache and René Léonard won the first running of the 24 Hours of Le Mans sports car race.
- 1975 – The deadliest road accident in England took place when the brakes on a coach failed and it crashed in North Yorkshire, killing 32 people.
- 1995 – American actor Christopher Reeve was thrown from his horse, leaving him a quadriplegic; he later became an activist on behalf of people with spinal cord injuries.
- 621 – Li Shimin defeated and captured Dou Jiande in the Battle of Hulao, leading to a Tang dynasty victory in the civil war that followed the collapse of the Sui dynasty.
- 1608 – Italian composer Claudio Monteverdi debuted his second opera L'Arianna, now one of his lost works, at a royal wedding in Mantua.
- 1830 – U.S. President Andrew Jackson (pictured) signed the Indian Removal Act into law, authorizing him to negotiate with Native Americans for their removal from their ancestral homelands.
- 1977 – A fire at the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky, killed 165 patrons.
- 2010 – A train derailment and collision in the Paschim Medinipur district of West Bengal, India, caused the deaths of at least 148 passengers.
- 1453 – With the conquest of Constantinople, the Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottomans.
- 1852 – Swedish operatic soprano Jenny Lind (pictured) concluded a successful concert tour of the United States under the management of showman P. T. Barnum.
- 1935 – The Messerschmitt Bf 109, the most-produced fighter aircraft in history, made its first flight.
- 1942 – Bing Crosby recorded his version of the song "White Christmas", which went on to become the best-selling single of all time, with more than 50 million copies sold.
- 1954 – The first annual Bilderberg Meeting of leaders from European countries and the United States opened in Oosterbeek, Netherlands.
- 1431 – Hundred Years' War: Joan of Arc (pictured) was burned at the stake in Rouen, France, after being convicted of heresy.
- 1854 – The Kansas–Nebraska Act became law, establishing the U.S. territories of Nebraska and Kansas, and allowing their settlers to determine if slavery would be permitted.
- 1914 – RMS Aquitania, the last surviving four-funnelled ocean liner, departed from Liverpool on her maiden voyage to New York City.
- 1963 – Buddhist crisis: A protest against pro-Catholic discrimination was held outside South Vietnam's National Assembly, the first open demonstration against President Ngô Đình Diệm.
- 2008 – The Convention on Cluster Munitions, prohibiting the use, transfer, and stockpiling of cluster bombs, was adopted.
- 1293 – The forces of Raden Wijaya won a major victory in the Mongol invasion of Java, which is considered to be the founding date of the city of Surabaya.
- 1795 – French Revolution: The Revolutionary Tribunal (pictured), a court instituted by the National Convention for the trial of political offenders, was suppressed.
- 1935 – An earthquake of magnitude 7.7 Mw struck Balochistan in the British Raj, now part of Pakistan, killing between 30,000 and 60,000 people.
- 1981 – An organized mob of police and government-sponsored paramilitias began burning the public library in Jaffna, Sri Lanka, destroying more than 97,000 items in one of the most violent examples of ethnic biblioclasm of the 20th century.
- 2009 – American physician George Tiller, one of the few doctors in the country who performed late-term abortions, was shot and killed by Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion activist.
Selected anniversaries for June
- 1660 – Mary Dyer was hanged in Boston for repeatedly defying a law banning Quakers from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
- 1794 – The Glorious First of June, the first and largest fleet action of the naval conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the French First Republic during the French Revolutionary Wars, was fought.
- 1942 – World War II: The crews of three Japanese Type A Kō-hyōteki-class submarines scuttled their boats and committed suicide after entering Sydney Harbour and launching a failed attack.
- 1974 – In an informal article in a medical journal, Henry Heimlich introduced the concept of abdominal thrusts, commonly known as the "Heimlich maneuver", to help choking victims.
- 1999 – On landing at Little Rock National Airport in the U.S. state of Arkansas, American Airlines Flight 1420 overran the runway and crashed (wreckage pictured), resulting in 11 deaths.
- 455 – After having removed Petronius Maximus from the throne, Vandals led by Genseric entered Rome and sacked it for two weeks.
- 1805 – Napoleonic Wars: A Franco-Spanish fleet recaptured British-held Diamond Rock (pictured), an uninhabited island at the entrance to the bay leading to Fort-de-France.
- 1919 – First Red Scare: Anarchist followers of Luigi Galleani set off eight bombs in eight cities across the United States.
- 1967 – German university student Benno Ohnesorg was killed during a protest in West Berlin against the visit of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran, sparking the formation of the militant group 2 June Movement.
- 1994 – The Royal Air Force suffered its worst peacetime disaster when a Chinook helicopter crashed on the Mull of Kintyre, Scotland, killing all 29 people on board.
- 1781 – American Revolutionary War: Jack Jouett made a 40-mile (64 km) ride to warn Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia legislature of coming British cavalry who had been sent to capture them.
- 1844 – The last known pair of great auks (specimens depicted), the only modern species in the genus Pinguinus, were killed on Eldey, off the coast of Iceland.
- 1950 – Herzog and Lachenal of the French Annapurna expedition became the first climbers to reach the summit of an 8,000-metre peak.
- 1969 – During a SEATO exercise HMAS Melbourne of the Royal Australian Navy collided with the U.S. Navy's USS Frank E. Evans, cutting the latter in two and killing 74 people.
- 1982 – An assassination attempt on Shlomo Argov, the Israeli ambassador to the United Kingdom, failed; this was later used as justification for the 1982 Lebanon War.
- 1411 – King Charles VI of France granted a monopoly for the ripening of Roquefort cheese to the people of Roquefort-sur-Soulzon.
- 1792 – Royal Navy Captain George Vancouver claimed Puget Sound in the Pacific Northwest for Great Britain.
- 1913 – Emily Davison (pictured), an activist for women's suffrage in the United Kingdom, was fatally injured when she was trampled by King George V's horse at the Epsom Derby.
- 1944 – World War II: A United States Navy task group captured German submarine U-505.
- 1989 – The People's Liberation Army suppressed the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing, leaving many dead and wounded.
- 1832 – The June Rebellion (depicted), an anti-monarchist uprising, broke out in Paris.
- 1862 – Vietnamese guerrilla leader Trương Định decided to defy Emperor Tự Đức and the Treaty of Saigon, choosing to fight on against the Europeans.
- 1941 – Second Sino-Japanese War: During one sortie in a five-year bombing campaign on Chongqing, 4,000 people died of asphyxiation when the tunnel they were hiding in became blocked.
- 1981 – The Centers for Disease Control recorded a cluster of Pneumocystis pneumonia cases among homosexual men in Los Angeles, the first reported cases of AIDS.
- 2009 – After almost two months of civil disobedience, at least 31 people were killed in clashes between the National Police and indigenous people in Peru's Bagua Province.
- 1513 – War of the League of Cambrai: A Milanese force with Swiss mercenaries defeated the French in Novara, forcing them to withdraw from Milan and Italy.
- 1749 – A plot by Muslim slaves in Malta to assassinate Manuel Pinto da Fonseca of the Knights Hospitaller was uncovered.
- 1894 – Colorado Governor Davis Hanson Waite ordered his state militia to protect and support the miners engaged in the Cripple Creek miners' strike.
- 1944 – World War II: The Invasion of Normandy, the largest amphibious military operation in history, began with Allied troops landing on the beaches of Normandy (pictured) in France.
- 1971 – Hughes Airwest Flight 706 collided with a U.S. Marine Corps F-4B Phantom II near Duarte, California, killing 50 people, the radar intercept officer of the F-4B being the sole survivor.
- 421 – Roman emperor Theodosius II married Aelia Eudocia (depicted in mosaic), who later helped protect Greek pagans and Jews from persecution.
- 1776 – Virginia statesman Richard Henry Lee presented a resolution to the Second Continental Congress, which called for the Thirteen Colonies to declare independence from Great Britain.
- 1917 – First World War: The British Army detonated 19 ammonal mines under the German lines, killing 10,000 in the deadliest non-nuclear man-made explosion in history.
- 1969 – The rock supergroup Blind Faith, featuring Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood and Ginger Baker, played their only UK show in Hyde Park in front of 100,000 fans.
- 218 – Led by the inexperienced Gannys, the legions of Elagabalus defeated the forces of Roman emperor Macrinus.
- 1776 – American Revolutionary War: British forces defeated the Continental Army at the Battle of Trois-Rivières, the last battle of the American invasion of Quebec.
- 1929 – Margaret Bondfield became the first female member of the Cabinet of the United Kingdom when she was named Minister of Labour by Ramsay MacDonald.
- 1967 – The Israeli Air Force attacked the U.S. Navy intelligence ship USS Liberty (pictured) in international waters, killing 34 and wounding 173.
- 2009 – Two American journalists, having been arrested for illegal entry into North Korea, were sentenced to twelve years hard labor before being pardoned two months later.
- 747 – Abu Muslim initiated an open revolt against Umayyad rule, which was carried out under the sign of the Black Standard.
- 1523 – Simon de Colines, a Parisian printer, was fined for printing Biblical commentary by Jacques Lefèvre d'Étaples without obtaining prior approval.
- 1915 – Unhappy with U.S. President Woodrow Wilson's handling of the RMS Lusitania sinking, William Jennings Bryan (pictured) resigned as Secretary of State.
- 1944 – World War II: In reprisal for successful French Resistance attacks, the SS and SD hanged 99 men in the town of Tulle.
- 1965 – The Viet Cong commenced combat with the Army of the Republic of Vietnam in the Battle of Đồng Xoài, one of the largest battles in the Vietnam War.
- 1190 – Third Crusade: Frederick Barbarossa drowned in the Saleph River in Anatolia.
- 1786 – Ten days after it was created during an earthquake, a landslide dam on the Dadu River in China was destroyed by an aftershock, causing a flood that killed an estimated 100,000 people.
- 1886 – Mount Tarawera, a volcano in New Zealand's North Island, erupted (depicted), killing around 120 people and creating the Waimangu Volcanic Rift Valley.
- 1925 – The United Church of Canada, the country's largest Protestant church, held its inaugural service in Toronto's Mutual Street Arena.
- 1991 – Eleven-year-old Jaycee Lee Dugard was kidnapped in South Lake Tahoe, California; she remained a captive until 2009.
- 1509 – Catherine of Aragon married King Henry VIII of England, becoming the first of his six wives.
- 1594 – In the Philippines, Philip II of Spain recognized the right to govern of the Principalía, the local nobles and chieftains who had converted to Roman Catholicism.
- 1963 – The University of Alabama was desegregated as Governor George Wallace stepped aside after defiantly blocking the entrance (pictured) to an auditorium.
- 2008 – Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper apologised to the First Nations for past governments' policies of forced assimilation.
- 1240 – The Disputation of Paris began in the court of King Louis IX, in which four rabbis defended the Talmud against Nicholas Donin's accusations of blasphemy.
- 1864 – Union General Ulysses S. Grant pulled his troops out of the Battle of Cold Harbor in Hanover County, Virginia, ending one of the bloodiest, most lopsided battles in the American Civil War.
- 1942 – On her thirteenth birthday, Anne Frank (pictured) began keeping her diary during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.
- 1994 – The Boeing 777, the world's largest twinjet, made its first flight.
- 1999 – In the aftermath of the bombing of Yugoslavia and the Kosovo War, the NATO-led Kosovo Force entered Kosovo with a mandate of establishing a secure environment in the territory.
- 2016 – At least 49 people were killed in a shooting at the gay nightclub Pulse, in Orlando, Florida.
- 313 – The Edict of Milan, an agreement between Constantine the Great and Licinius to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire, was posted in Nicomedia.
- 1525 – Martin Luther married Katharina von Bora, defying the celibacy discipline decreed by the Roman Catholic Church for priests.
- 1881 – An Arctic Ocean ice pack crushed the USS Jeannette during its expedition to the North Pole.
- 1955 – Soviet geologists discovered a diamond-bearing deposit in Eastern Siberia, leading to the construction of the Mir mine (pictured), the first diamond mine in the USSR and the second-largest excavated hole in the world.
- 1983 – Pioneer 10 passed the orbit of Neptune, becoming the first man-made object to leave the proximity of the major planets of the Solar System.
- 1285 – Forces led by Prince Trần Quang Khải of Vietnam's Trần dynasty destroyed most of the invading Mongol naval fleet in a battle at Chuong Duong.
- 1800 – War of the Second Coalition: In the Battle of Marengo, Napoleonic forces secured victory over the Habsburgs when defeat had appeared inevitable until the arrival of French troops led by Louis Desaix.
- 1900 – The second of the German Naval Laws was passed, doubling the size of the Imperial German Navy.
- 1949 – Albert II became the first monkey in space, reaching an altitude of 134 km (83 mi) in a V-2 rocket.
- 1966 – The Vatican formally abolished its 427-year-old list of prohibited books (title page pictured).
- 1670 – The first stone of Malta's Fort Ricasoli was laid.
- 1878 – Eadweard Muybridge took a series of photographs to prove that all four feet of a horse leave the ground when it gallops (animation pictured), which became the basis of motion pictures.
- 1919 – After nearly 16 hours in the air, the Vickers Vimy flown by John Alcock and Arthur Whitten Brown crash-landed in County Galway, Ireland, completing the first non-stop transatlantic flight.
- 1944 – In the Saskatchewan general election, the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation led by Tommy Douglas won enough seats in the Legislative Assembly to form the first socialist government in North America.
- 1996 – The Troubles: The Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated a truck bomb in the commercial centre of Manchester, England, injuring more than 200 people and causing widespread damage to buildings.
- 1407 – During the Ming–Hồ War, the Chinese Ming armies captured Hồ Quý Ly and his sons, thus ending the Vietnamese Hồ dynasty.
- 1819 – A strong earthquake in the Kutch district of Gujarat, India, caused a local zone of uplift that dammed the Nara River, which was later named the Allah Bund ('Dam of God').
- 1904 – Irish author James Joyce (pictured) began his relationship with Nora Barnacle, and subsequently used the date to set the actions for his 1922 novel Ulysses.
- 1958 – Imre Nagy and other leaders of the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956 were executed following secret trials.
- 2016 – Jo Cox, a British Member of Parliament, was murdered in her constituency.
- 653 – Pope Martin I (pictured) was arrested in the Lateran Palace before being taken to Constantinople and tried for high treason.
- 1631 – Mumtaz Mahal, wife of the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, died in childbirth; Jahan spent the next seventeen years constructing her mausoleum, the Taj Mahal.
- 1876 – Great Sioux War: A band of Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne attacked a United States Army expedition and its Crow and Shoshone allies in the Battle of the Rosebud.
- 1940 – Second World War: Britain's worst maritime disaster occurred when at least 3,000 people were killed as a result of the troopship RMS Lancastria's sinking by the Luftwaffe near Saint-Nazaire, France.
- 1985 – On board Space Shuttle Discovery, Sultan bin Salman Al Saud became the first Arab, the first Muslim, and the first astronaut of royal blood to fly in outer space.
- 618 – Li Yuan (pictured) declared himself to be emperor of a new Chinese dynasty known as Tang, which lasted for three centuries.
- 1815 – War of the Seventh Coalition: Napoleon Bonaparte fought and lost his final battle, the Battle of Waterloo, in present-day Belgium.
- 1940 – Charles de Gaulle gave his Appeal of 18 June speech, inspiring the French Resistance, and Winston Churchill urged Britons to fight so that future generations would say, "This was their finest hour".
- 2009 – NASA launched the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter, its first mission to the moon in over ten years.
- 325 – The original Nicene Creed, a statement of belief widely used in Christian liturgy, was adopted at the First Council of Nicaea.
- 1816 – The Hudson's Bay Company and the North West Company, rival fur-trading companies, engaged in a violent confrontation in present-day Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
- 1939 – American baseball player Lou Gehrig (pictured) was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, now commonly known in the United States as "Lou Gehrig's Disease".
- 1987 – Basque separatist group ETA detonated a car bomb at the Hipercor shopping centre in Barcelona, killing 21 people and injuring 45 others.
- 2009 – War in Afghanistan: British forces began Operation Panther's Claw, in which more than 350 troops made an aerial assault on Taliban positions in Southern Afghanistan.
- 1789 – French Revolution: Members of the Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath, pledging not to separate until a new constitution was established.
- 1819 – Arriving in Liverpool, SS Savannah (pictured) became the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
- 1959 – The extratropical remnants of an Atlantic hurricane reached the Gulf of Saint Lawrence, Canada, capsizing at least twenty-two fishing boats and causing thirty-five fatalities.
- 1979 – Bill Stewart, an American journalist, was executed by Nicaraguan Guardia forces.
- 1994 – A bomb explosion in the Imam Reza shrine in Mashhad, Iran, left at least twenty-five dead and more than seventy injured.
- 1529 – War of the League of Cognac: The French army under Francis de Bourbon was destroyed in Lombardy, Italy, by the Spanish army.
- 1848 – In the Wallachian Revolution, Ion Heliade Rădulescu and Christian Tell proclaimed a new republican government.
- 1919 – Admiral Ludwig von Reuter scuttled the German High Seas Fleet in Scapa Flow to prevent the ships from being seized and divided amongst the Allied Powers.
- 1957 – Ellen Fairclough (pictured) became the first woman appointed to the Canadian Cabinet.
- 1973 – The U.S. Supreme Court delivered its decision in the landmark case Miller v. California, establishing the "Miller test" for determining what is obscene material.
- 813 – Byzantine–Bulgarian wars: A vastly outnumbered Bulgarian Empire force defeated a Byzantine army in the Battle of Versinikia.
- 1807 – The British warship HMS Leopard pursued and attacked the American frigate USS Chesapeake in the belief that the latter had deserters from the Royal Navy.
- 1911 – George V and Mary of Teck (both pictured) were crowned king and queen of the United Kingdom at Westminster Abbey in London.
- 1941 – World War II: As Axis troops began their invasion of the Soviet Union, the Lithuanian Activist Front started an uprising to liberate Lithuania from Soviet occupation.
- 2009 – Two Metro trains in Washington, D.C., collided, killing nine people and injuring eighty others.
- 1280 – Reconquista: Troops of the Emirate of Granada defeated those of the Kingdom of Castile and the Kingdom of León in the Battle of Moclín.
- 1865 – Stand Watie (pictured) became the last Confederate general to surrender in the American Civil War.
- 1926 – The College Board administered the first SAT, a major standardized test for university and college admissions in the United States.
- 1985 – A bomb attributed to the Sikh separatist group Babbar Khalsa destroyed Air India Flight 182 above the Atlantic Ocean, killing all 329 on board.
- 2016 – Citizens of the United Kingdom voted to support a non-binding resolution to leave the European Union.
- 1622 – Dutch–Portuguese War: An outnumbered Portuguese force repelled a Dutch attack in the Battle of Macau, the only major military engagement that was fought between two European powers on the Chinese mainland.
- 1812 – Napoleonic Wars: The French Grande Armée under Napoleon crossed the Neman river, marking the start of their invasion of Russia.
- 1880 – "O Canada" (audio featured), today the national anthem of Canada, was first performed in Quebec City, during a Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day banquet.
- 1939 – The first of the Thai cultural mandates was issued, officially changing the country's name from Siam to Thailand.
- 1994 – A United States Air Force B-52 Stratofortress crashed at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane County, Washington, killing all four crew members, and later providing a case study on the importance of compliance with safety regulations.
- 1658 – Anglo-Spanish War: the three-day Battle of Rio Nuevo began, the largest ever fought on the island of Jamaica, in which English colonial forces repelled a Spanish attack.
- 1678 – Venetian mathematician Elena Cornaro Piscopia became the first woman to receive a Doctor of Philosophy degree.
- 1940 – World War II: The evacuation of nearly 200,000 Allied soldiers from French ports was completed.
- 1950 – The Korean War began with North Korean forces launching a pre-dawn raid over the 38th parallel into South Korea.
- 2009 – Singer Michael Jackson (pictured) died as a result of the combination of drugs in his body.
- 1243 – Mongol invasions of Anatolia: Mongols achieved a decisive victory over the Seljuq Turks, leading to the decline and disintegration of the Seljuk state.
- 1889 – Bangui (city centre pictured), the capital and largest city of the Central African Republic, was founded in French Congo.
- 1906 – The 1906 French Grand Prix, the first Grand Prix motor racing competition, was held outside Le Mans.
- 1936 – The first prototype of the Focke-Wulf Fw 61, the first fully controllable helicopter, made its maiden flight.
- 2013 – The U.S. Supreme Court granted federal recognition to same-sex marriage when it overturned the Defense of Marriage Act.
- 1571 – Elizabeth I of England issued a royal charter establishing Jesus College (pictured), the first Protestant college at the University of Oxford.
- 1869 – One day after surrendering at the Battle of Hakodate, Enomoto Takeaki turned over Goryōkaku to Japanese forces, signaling the collapse of the Republic of Ezo.
- 1905 – The crew of the Russian battleship Potemkin began a mutiny against their oppressive officers.
- 1989 – The International Labour Organization Convention 169, a major binding international convention concerning indigenous peoples, and a forerunner of the 2007 Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, was adopted.
- 572 – Alboin, king of the Lombards, was assassinated in a coup d'état instigated by the Byzantines.
- 1919 – The Treaty of Versailles was signed, formally ending World War I.
- 1969 – In response to a police raid at the Stonewall Inn (pictured) in New York City, groups of gay and transgender people began to riot, a watershed event for the worldwide gay rights movement.
- 1989 – President Slobodan Milošević gave a speech in which he described the possibility of "armed battles" in the future of Serbia's national development.
- 2009 – Honduran president Manuel Zelaya was ousted by a local military coup following his attempt to hold a referendum to rewrite the constitution.
- 1613 – The original Globe Theatre in London burned to the ground after a cannon employed for special effects misfired during a performance of John Fletcher and William Shakespeare's Henry VIII and ignited the theatre's roof.
- 1864 – Canada's worst railway accident took place when a passenger train fell through an open swing bridge into the Richelieu River near present-day Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Quebec.
- 1927 – The United States Army Air Corps aircraft Bird of Paradise landed at Wheeler Field on the Hawaiian island of Oahu to complete the first transpacific flight.
- 1974 – Isabel Perón (pictured) was sworn in as the first female acting President of Argentina, replacing her ill husband Juan, who died two days later.
- 1995 – The Shuttle–Mir Program began when Space Shuttle Atlantis became the first space shuttle to dock with the Russian space station Mir.
- 1559 – During a jousting match, King Henry II of France (pictured) was mortally wounded when fragments of the splintered lance of Gabriel Montgomery pierced his eye.
- 1860 – Seven months after the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species, several prominent British scientists and philosophers participated in an evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum.
- 1934 – Adolf Hitler violently purged members of the Sturmabteilung (SA), including its leader Ernst Röhm, and other political rivals in the Night of the Long Knives, executing at least 85 people.
- 1972 – The International Time Bureau added the first leap second to the Coordinated Universal Time time scale.
- 2009 – Schoolgirl Bahia Bakari was the sole survivor when Yemenia Flight 626 crashed into the Indian Ocean killing 152 people.
Selected anniversaries for July
- 1520 – Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire: Conquistadors led by Hernán Cortés were nearly annihilated in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan, and barely escaped by night.
- 1867 – As per the British North America Act, the Province of Canada, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia joined into confederation to create the modern nation of Canada.
- 1935 – The first Grant Park Music Festival, the United States' only annual free outdoor classical music concert series, was held in Chicago's Grant Park.
- 1979 – Sony introduced the Walkman portable audio player (pictured), changing music listening habits by allowing people to listen to their own choice of music on the move.
- 1999 – Legislative governance of Scotland was transferred from the Scottish Office in Westminster to the Scottish Parliament.
- 626 – During the Xuanwu Gate Incident, Prince Li Shimin led his forces to assassinate his rival brothers in a coup for the imperial throne of the Tang dynasty.
- 1816 – The French frigate Méduse ran aground off the coast of today's Mauritania, with the survivors escaping on a makeshift raft, which was depicted in Théodore Géricault's painting The Raft of the Medusa (pictured).
- 1962 – The first Walmart store, now the largest company in the world by revenue, opened in Rogers, Arkansas, U.S.
- 1976 – More than a year after the end of the Vietnam War, North and South Vietnam officially united under communist rule to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
- 2013 – The International Astronomical Union announced that the fourth and fifth moons of Pluto would be named Kerberos and Styx respectively.
- 324 – Roman emperor Constantine the Great defeated former colleague Licinius in the Battle of Adrianople.
- 1778 – American Revolutionary War: Loyalists and Iroquois killed over 300 Patriots at the Battle of Wyoming in Pennsylvania.
- 1940 – Second World War: The Royal Navy attacked the French fleet, fearing that the ships would fall into German hands after the armistice between those two nations.
- 1970 – The Troubles: The British Army imposed the Falls Curfew on Belfast, Northern Ireland, which resulted in greater Irish republican resistance.
- 1979 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter (pictured) signed a presidential finding, authorizing the CIA to secretly aid the mujahideen of Afghanistan against the Soviet Union.
- 2005 – Same-sex marriage became legal in Spain.
- 1187 – Saladin defeated Guy of Lusignan, King of Jerusalem, at the Battle of Hattin and captured the True Cross.
- 1610 – Polish–Muscovite War: The outnumbered forces of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth defeated the Tsardom of Russia at the Battle of Klushino.
- 1945 – The Brazilian cruiser Bahia (pictured) was accidentally sunk by one of its own crewmen, killing more than 300 and leaving the rest adrift in shark-infested waters.
- 1954 – Four CIA officers arrived in Guatemala to begin Operation PBHistory in an attempt to justify the United States' overthrow of President Jacobo Árbenz one week prior.
- 1988 – Kylie Minogue's first album, Kylie, was released, going on to top the charts in the UK, New Zealand, and Japan.
- 1594 – The Portuguese governor of Ceylon, Pedro Lopes de Sousa, began a failed attempt to conquer the Kingdom of Kandy.
- 1934 – Police in San Francisco opened fire on a crowd of longshoremen (confrontation pictured) who had been on strike for nearly two months, killing two.
- 1969 – The Rolling Stones performed at a free festival in Hyde Park, London, in front of at least a quarter of a million fans, two days after the death of founder Brian Jones.
- 2009 – A series of violent riots broke out in Ürümqi, the capital city of Xinjiang in China.
- 1560 – Scotland and England signed the Treaty of Edinburgh to formally conclude the Siege of Leith and replace the Scottish–French Auld Alliance.
- 1809 – Napoleon's French forces defeated Archduke Charles' Austrian army at the Battle of Wagram, the decisive confrontation of the War of the Fifth Coalition.
- 1919 – The Royal Air Force's R34 airship (pictured) landed in Mineola, New York, to complete the first east-to-west transatlantic crossing by an aircraft.
- 1989 – A Palestinian Islamic Jihad member carried out a suicide attack by hijacking a bus and forcing it into a ravine near Kiryat Ye'arim, Israel.
- 2009 – Jadranka Kosor became the first female prime minister of Croatia.
- 1575 – Anglo-Scottish Wars: In the last major battle between England and Scotland, a "Truce Day" at Carter Bar near Redesdale degenerated into a fight where the English side were routed.
- 1798 – Outraged by the XYZ Affair, the United States rescinded its treaties with France, resulting in the Quasi-War, an undeclared war fought entirely at sea.
- 1907 – Inspired by the Folies Bergère of Paris, American impresario Florenz Ziegfeld Jr. (pictured) staged the first of his Ziegfeld Follies.
- 1954 – After the culmination of the 1954 Guatemalan coup d'état, Carlos Castillo Armas was sworn in as President of Guatemala.
- 1991 – The signing of the Brioni Agreement brought an end to the Ten-Day War between SFR Yugoslavia and Slovenia, although the Yugoslav Wars continued for years to come.
- 1283 – War of the Sicilian Vespers: An Aragonese fleet of galleys inflicted a crushing defeat on an Angevin fleet at Malta, forcing Charles I of Anjou to postpone his plan to invade Sicily.
- 1663 – King Charles II of England granted John Clarke the Rhode Island Royal Charter, described by one historian as "the grandest instrument of human liberty ever constructed".
- 1808 – Joseph Bonaparte (pictured) approved the Bayonne Statute, a royal charter intended as the basis for his rule as King of Spain during the Peninsular War.
- 1947 – After news reports of the capture of a "flying disc" by U.S. Army Air Force personnel in Roswell, New Mexico, the military stated that what was recovered was debris from an experimental high-altitude surveillance weather balloon.
- 869 – An earthquake and subsequent tsunami struck the area around Sendai, Japan, leaving sand deposits up to 4 km (2.5 mi) inland.
- 1701 – The Battle of Carpi, the first battle of the War of the Spanish Succession, took place near Legnago, Italy.
- 1790 – Russo-Swedish War: During the Second Battle of Svensksund in the Baltic Sea, the Swedish Navy captured one third of the Russian fleet.
- 1962 – The United States conducted the Starfish Prime high-altitude nuclear test, the largest nuclear explosion in outer space.
- 1981 – Nintendo released the arcade game Donkey Kong (pictured), which featured the debut of Mario, one of the most famous characters in video game history.
- 1519 – Zhu Chenhao declared Ming emperor Zhengde a usurper, beginning the Prince of Ning rebellion.
- 1645 – English Civil War: The Parliamentarians destroyed the last Royalist field army at the Battle of Langport, ultimately giving Parliament control of the West of England.
- 1913 – The air temperature in Furnace Creek, California, reached 134 °F (56.7 °C), the highest reading ever recorded on Earth.
- 1925 – Indian mystic and spiritual master Meher Baba (pictured) began his silence until his death in 1969, only communicating by means of an alphabet board or by unique hand gestures.
- 1941 – The Holocaust: A group of non-Jewish ethnic Poles from around the nearby area murdered hundreds of Jewish residents of Jedwabne in occupied Poland
- 1999 – The United States defeated China in the final match of the FIFA Women's World Cup, setting records in both attendance and television ratings for women's sports.
- 1302 – Flemish infantry defeated a large French army near Kortrijk at the Battle of the Golden Spurs.
- 1833 – Noongar warrior Yagan (statue pictured), wanted for leading attacks on white colonists in Western Australia, was killed, becoming a symbol of the unjust and sometimes brutal treatment of the indigenous peoples of Australia by colonial settlers.
- 1921 – Former President William Howard Taft was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, making him the only person to ever hold both positions.
- 1943 – The bloodiest day of a massive ethnic cleansing operation took place, where units of the Ukrainian Insurgent Army attacked and burned various Polish villages in the Volhynia region of present-day Ukraine.
- 1991 – Shortly after takeoff from King Abdulaziz International Airport, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 caught fire and crashed, killing all 261 people on board.
- 1543 – King Henry VIII of England married Catherine Parr, his sixth and last wife, at Hampton Court Palace.
- 1801 – French Revolutionary Wars: A squadron of British Royal Navy ships of the line defeated a larger squadron of ships from the Spanish and French navies in the Strait of Gibraltar.
- 1920 – The Soviet–Lithuanian Peace Treaty was signed, with Soviet Russia agreeing to recognize an independent Lithuania.
- 1943 – World War II: German and Soviet forces engaged each other at the Battle of Prokhorovka, one of the largest tank battles in military history (German tanks pictured).
- 1979 – Rowdy fans at Comiskey Park in Chicago stormed the field during a promotional event in which a crate of disco records was blown up.
- 1793 – Charlotte Corday assassinated Jean-Paul Marat, a leader in the French Revolution, in his bathtub (painting shown), his death being one of the pretexts for the subsequent Reign of Terror.
- 1831 – Officials in Wallachia adopted the Regulamentul Organic, which engendered a period of unprecedented reforms that provided a setting for the Westernization of the local society.
- 1878 – At the conclusion of the Congress of Berlin, the major powers in Europe signed the Treaty of Berlin, redrawing the map of the Balkans.
- 1973 – Watergate scandal: Under questioning by Senate investigators, White House deputy chief of staff Alexander Butterfield revealed the existence of a secret taping system in the Oval Office.
- 2011 – Three coordinated bombings across Mumbai, India, killed 26 victims and injured 130 more.
- 1789 – French Revolution: Parisians stormed the Bastille (pictured), freeing its inmates and taking the prison's large quantities of arms and ammunition.
- 1791 – The Priestley Riots began, in which Joseph Priestley and other religious Dissenters were driven out of Birmingham, England.
- 1950 – In an early battle of the Korean War, North Korean troops began attacking the headquarters of the American 24th Infantry Division in Taejon, South Korea.
- 1965 – The NASA spacecraft Mariner 4 flew past Mars, collecting the first close-up pictures of another planet.
- 2016 – A man deliberately drove a truck into crowds in Nice, France, resulting in the deaths of 86 people.
- 1410 – The Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania defeated the Monastic State of the Teutonic Knights in the Battle of Grunwald, the decisive engagement of the Polish–Lithuanian–Teutonic War.
- 1799 – French soldiers uncovered the Rosetta Stone (pictured) in Fort Julien, near the Egyptian port city of Rashid.
- 1959 – Five hundred thousand American steelworkers went on strike, closing nearly every steel mill in the country.
- 1983 – Armenian extremist organization ASALA bombed the Turkish Airlines check-in counter at Orly Airport, killing 8 and injuring 55, as part of its campaign for the recognition of and reparations for the Armenian Genocide.
- 2009 – Caspian Airlines Flight 7908 crashed in northwestern Iran, killing all 168 people aboard.
- 1232 – A local mosque elected Muhammad ibn Al-Ahmar, who later established the last Muslim state in Spain, as ruler of Arjona.
- 1931 – Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie (pictured) signed the nation's first constitution, intended to officially replace the Fetha Nagast, which had been the supreme law since the Middle Ages.
- 1945 – Manhattan Project: Trinity, the first nuclear test explosion, was carried out near Alamogordo, New Mexico.
- 1965 – South Vietnamese Colonel Phạm Ngọc Thảo—an undetected communist spy—was reported dead due to injuries sustained during his capture, but it is generally assumed he was killed on the orders of military officials.
- 2013 – At least 23 students died and dozens more fell ill at a primary school in the village of Dharmashati Gandaman in the Saran district of the Indian state of Bihar after eating a Midday Meal contaminated with pesticide.
- 1791 – French Revolution: Members of the National Guard fired into a large crowd (pictured) that was gathered at the Champ de Mars, Paris, to sign a petition demanding the removal of Louis XVI.
- 1936 – Nationalist rebels attempted a coup d'état against the Second Spanish Republic, sparking the Spanish Civil War.
- 1981 – A structural failure caused a walkway at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Kansas City, Missouri, U.S., to collapse, killing 114 people and injuring 216 others.
- 1992 – Elizabeth II officially opened the Manchester Metrolink, the first modern street-running light rail system in the United Kingdom.
- 2007 – TAM Airlines Flight 3054 crash-landed at Congonhas Airport in São Paulo, Brazil, killing 199 people, the highest death toll of any aviation accident in Brazil and the highest death toll of any accident involving an Airbus A320 airliner.
- 1841 – Pedro II, the last Emperor of Brazil, having reigned in minority since 1831, was acclaimed, crowned and consecrated.
- 1976 – At the Olympic Games in Montreal, Nadia Comăneci became the first person to score a perfect 10 in a modern Olympics gymnastics event.
- 1989 – American actress Rebecca Schaeffer (pictured) was shot and killed by Robert John Bardo, eventually prompting the passage of anti-stalking laws in California.
- 1995 – Selena's album Dreaming of You, instrumental in popularizing Tejano music, was released posthumously.
- 2012 – A suicide bomber attacked an Israeli tour bus at Burgas Airport, Bulgaria, which led the European Union to list the military branch of Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
- AD 64 – The Great Fire of Rome started among the shops around the Circus Maximus, eventually destroying three of fourteen Roman districts and severely damaging seven others.
- 1545 – The English warship Mary Rose (pictured) sank just outside Portsmouth during the Battle of the Solent; it was raised from the seabed in 1982.
- 1848 – The two-day Women's Rights Convention, the first women's rights and feminist convention held in the United States, opened in Seneca Falls, New York.
- 1992 – A car bomb killed anti-Mafia judge Paolo Borsellino and five policemen in Palermo, Italy, less than two months after the murder of Borsellino's friend and colleague Giovanni Falcone.
- 1779 – Tekle Giyorgis I began the first of his six reigns as Emperor of Ethiopia.
- 1976 – The Viking 1 lander became the first spacecraft to successfully land on Mars and perform its mission (documentary clip shown).
- 1982 – Members of the Provisional Irish Republican Army detonated two bombs in Hyde Park and Regent's Park in London, killing 11 people, 7 horses, and wounding over 50 other people.
- 1999 – The Chinese government began a persecution campaign against Falun Gong, arresting thousands nationwide.
- 2012 – A gunman opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, killing 12 people and injuring 58 others.
- 230 – Pope Pontian began his pontificate, succeeding Urban I.
- 905 – Louis III, Holy Roman Emperor, was captured during his attempt to restore Carolingian power over Italy by King Berengar I and blinded.
- 1925 – American high school biology teacher John T. Scopes was found guilty of violating Tennessee's Butler Act by teaching evolution in class.
- 1969 – During the Apollo 11 mission, Buzz Aldrin (pictured) stepped out of the Lunar Module Eagle and photographed human boot-prints on the Moon.
- 1973 – Mossad agents killed a Moroccan waiter in Lillehammer, Norway, mistakenly believing he had been involved in the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre.
- 2012 – Turkish adventurer Erden Eruç became the first person in history to complete a solo human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth.
- 838 – Arab–Byzantine wars: The forces of the Abbasid Caliphate defeated Byzantine Empire troops, led by Emperor Theophilos himself, at the Battle of Anzen near present-day Dazman, Turkey.
- 1802 – Gia Long conquered Hanoi and unified modern-day Vietnam, which had experienced centuries of feudal warfare.
- 1933 – Wiley Post (pictured) became the first pilot to fly solo around the world, landing after a seven-day, nineteen-hour flight at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York City.
- 1975 – Stanley Forman took the Pulitzer Prize-winning photo Fire Escape Collapse, which spurred action to improve the safety of fire escapes across the United States.
- 2002 – The Israel Defense Forces dropped a bomb on the home of Salah Shehade, the leader of the military arm of Hamas, killing him, his family and some neighboring civilians, among them seven children.
- 1319 – A fleet led by the Knights Hospitaller sank 22 of 28 ships of the Turkish Aydınid emirate.
- 1914 – Austria-Hungary presented Serbia with an ultimatum to allow them to investigate the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, which Serbia would ultimately reject, leading to World War I.
- 1927 – Wilfred Rhodes of England and Yorkshire became the only person to play in 1,000 first-class cricket matches.
- 1982 – During the filming of Twilight Zone: The Movie in Valencia, California, a helicopter crashed, killing three people and leading to new safety standards.
- 1995 – Hale–Bopp (pictured), one of the most widely observed comets of the 20th century, was discovered by two independent observers, Alan Hale and Thomas Bopp.
- 1910 – Ottoman forces captured the city of Shkodër to put down the Albanian revolt of 1910 (leader Isa Boletini pictured).
- 1959 – Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and U.S. Vice President Richard Nixon held an impromptu debate at the opening of the American National Exhibition at Sokolniki Park in Moscow.
- 1987 – Iran–Iraq War: In opposition to the American plan to protect Kuwaiti tankers, Iran laid mines and damaged the SS Bridgeton, resulting in a propaganda victory for Iran.
- 2009 – The MV Arctic Sea, reportedly carrying timber, was allegedly boarded by hijackers off the coast of Sweden, but much speculation remains as to the actual cargo and events.
Princess Charlotte of Prussia (b. 1860) ·