On April 2:
742 Charlemagne was born (d. 814).
1453 Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (Istanbul).
1513 Juan Ponce de Leon set foot on Florida, becoming the first European known to do so.
1743 Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States, was born (d. 1826).
1755 Commodore William James captured the pirate fortress of Suvarnadurg on west coast of India.
1792 The Coinage Act was passed establishing the United States Mint.
1801 Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Copenhagen – The British destroyed the Danish fleet.
1805 Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer, was born (d. 1875).
1810 Napoleon Bonaparte married Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria.
1814 Erastus Brigham Bigelow, American inventor, was born (d. 1879).
1840 Émile Zola, French novelist and critic, was born (d. 1902).
1863 Richmond Bread Riot: Food shortages incited hundreds of angry women to riot in Richmond, Virginia and demand that the Confederate government release emergency supplies.
1865 American Civil War: The Siege of Petersburg was broken – Union troops capture the trenches around Petersburg, Virginia, forcing Confederate General Robert E. Lee to retreat.
1865 – American Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
1875 Walter Chrysler, American automobile pioneer, was born (d. 1940).
1900 US Congress passed the Foraker Act, giving Puerto Rico limited self-rule.
1902 Dmitry Sipyagin, Minister of Interior of the Russian Empire, was assassinated in the Marie Palace, St Petersburg.
1902 “Electric Theatre”, the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opened in Los Angeles.
1914 Sir Alec Guinness, English actor, was born (d. 2000).
1916 Tuhoe prophet Rua Kenana was arrested.
1917 World War I: President Woodrow Wilson asked the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.
1917 The first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress, Jeannette Rankin, took her seat as a representative from Montana.
1930 Haile Selassie was proclaimed emperor of Ethiopia.
1939 Marvin Gaye, American singer, was born (d. 1984).
1940 Penelope Keith, English actress, was born.
1947 Emmylou Harris, American singer, was born.
1947 Camille Paglia, American feminist writer, was born.
1956 As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiere don CBS-TV. The two soaps become the first daytime dramas to debut in the 30-minute format.
1961 Keren Woodward, English singer (Bananarama), was born.
1962 The first official Panda crossing was opened outside Waterloo station, London.
1972 Actor Charlie Chaplin returned to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s.
1972 – Vietnam War: The Easter Offensive began– North Vietnamese soldiers of the 304th Division took the northern half of Quang Tri Province.
1973 Launch of the LexisNexis computerized legal research service.
1975 Vietnam War: Thousands of civilian refugees fled from the Quang Ngai Province in front of advancing North Vietnamese troops.
1975 – Construction of the CN Tower was completed in Toronto. At 553.33 metres (1,815.4 ft) in height, it became the world’s tallest free-standing structure.
1980 President Jimmy Carter signed the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act in an effort to help the U.S. economy rebound.
1982 Falklands War: Argentina invaded the Malvinas/Falkland Islands.
1984 Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma was launched aboard Soyuz T-11, and becomes the first Indian in space.
1989 Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrived in Havana to meet Fidel Castro in an attempt to mend strained relations.
1991 Rita Johnston became the first female Premier of a Canadian province when she succeeded William Vander Zalm (who had resigned) as Premier of British Columbia.
1992 Mafia boss John Gotti was convicted of murder and racketeering and later sentenced to life in prison.
2002 Israeli forces surround the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem into which armed Palestinians had retreated.
2004 Islamist terrorists involved in the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks were thwarted in an attempt to bomb the Spanish high-speed train AVE near Madrid.
2006 More than 60 tornadoes broke out; hardest hit was Tennessee with 29 people killed.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia