1430 Siege of Compiègne: Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians while leading an army to relieve Compiègne.
1498 Girolamo Savonarola was burned at the stake in Florence on the orders of Pope Alexander VI.
1568 The Netherlands declared their independence from Spain.
1568 Dutch rebels led by Louis of Nassau, brother of William I of Orange, defeated Jean de Ligne, Duke of Aremberg and his loyalist troops in the Battle of Heiligerlee, opening the Eighty Years’ War.
1618 The Second Defenestration of Prague precipitated the Thirty Years’ War.
1701 After being convicted of piracy and of murdering William Moore, Captain William Kidd was hanged.
1706 Battle of Ramillies: John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough, defeated a French army under Marshal Villeroi.
1805 Napoleon Bonaparte was crowned King of Italy with the Iron Crown of Lombardy in the Cathedral of Milan.
1810 Margaret Fuller, American journalist and feminist, was born (d. 1850).
1813 Simón Bolívar entered Mérida, leading the invasion of Venezuela, and was proclaimed El Libertador (“The Liberator”).
1820 James Buchanan Eads, American engineer and inventor, was born (d. 1887).
1844 Declaration of the Báb: a merchant of Shiraz announced that he was a Prophet and founded a religious movement. He is considered to be a forerunner of the Bahá’í Faith, and Bahá’ís celebrate the day as a holy day.
1846 Mexican-American War: President Mariano Paredes of Mexico unofficially declared war on the United States.
1855 Isabella Ford, English socialist, feminist, trade unionist and writer, was born (d. 1924).
1861 – The first major gold rush in Otago started after Tasmanian Gabriel Read found gold ‘shining like the stars in Orion on a dark, frosty night’ near the Tuapeka River.
1863 Organisation of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Battle Creek, Michigan.
1863 The Siege of Port Hudson.
1863 American Civil War: Sergeant William Harvey Carney became the first African American to be awarded the Medal of Honor, for his heroism in the Assault on the Battery Wagner.
1873 The Canadian Parliament established the North West Mounted Police, the forerunner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
1875 Alfred P. Sloan, American long-time president and chairman of General Motors, was born (d. 1966).
1907 The unicameral Parliament of Finland gathered for its first plenary session.
1911 The New York Public Library was dedicated.
1915 World War I: Italy joined the Allies after they declared war on Austria-Hungary.
1923 Launch of Belgium’s SABENA airline.
1928 Nigel Davenport, English actor, was born.
1929 The first talking cartoon of Mickey Mouse, “The Karnival Kid“, was released.
1933 Joan Collins, English actress, was born.
1934 American bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde were ambushed by police and killed in Black Lake, Louisiana.
1934 The Auto-Lite Strike culminated in the “Battle of Toledo”, a five-day melée between 1,300 troops of the Ohio National Guard and 6,000 picketers.
1939 The U.S. Navy submarine USS Squalus sank during a test dive, causing the death of 24 sailors and two civilian technicians.
1945 World War II: Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, committed suicide while in Allied custody.
1949 Alan Garcia, President of Peru, was born.
1951 Tibetans signed the Seventeen Point Agreement for the Peaceful Liberation of Tibet with China.
1956 Mark Shaw, New Zealand rugby footballer, was born.
1958 Explorer 1 ceased transmission.
1966 Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu, the first Maori Queen, was crowned.
1967 Egypt closed the Straits of Tiran and blockaded the port of Eilat at the northern end of the Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, laying the foundations for the Six Day War.
1995 Oklahoma City bombing: The remains of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building were imploded.
1995 The first version of the Java programming language was released.
1998 The Good Friday Agreement was accepted in a referendum in Northern Ireland with 75% voting yes.
2002 The “55 parties ca;use”of the Kyoto protocol was reached after its ratification by Iceland.
2004 Part of Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport‘s Terminal 2E collapsed, killing four people and injuring three others.
2005 The fastest roller coaster in the world, Kingda Ka opened at Six Flags Great Adventure.
2006 Alaskan stratovolcano Mount Cleveland erupted.
2010 – Jamaican police began a manhunt for drug lord Christopher “Dudus” Coke, after the United States requested his extradition, leading to three days of violence during which at least 73 bystanders were killed.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.