1071 – Bari, the last Byzantine possession in southern Italy, was surrendered to Robert Guiscard.
1450 – Battle of Formigny: Toward the end of the Hundred Years’ War, the French attacked and nearly annihilated English forces, ending English domination in Northern France.
1452 Leonardo da Vinci, Italian Renaissance polymath, was born (d. 1519).
1469 Guru Nanak Dev, the first of the ten Sikh Gurus, was born (d. 1539).
1632 Battle of Rain; Swedes under Gustavus Adolphus defeated the Holy Roman Empire during the Thirty Years’ War.
1641 Robert Sibbald, Scottish physician, was born (d. 1722).
1642 Suleiman II, Ottoman Sultan, was born (d. 1691).
1684 Catherine I of Russia, was born (d. 1727).
1710 William Cullen, Scottish physician, was born (d. 1790).
1715 Pocotaligo Massacre triggered the start of the Yamasee War in colonial South Carolina.
1738 Premiere in London of Serse (Xerxes) an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel.
1755 Samuel Johnson‘s A Dictionary of the English Language published in London.
1783 – Preliminary articles of peace ending Revolutionary War ratified.
1802- William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy saw a “long belt” of daffodils, inspiring him to pen I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.
1841 Joseph E. Seagram, Canadian distillery founder, was born (d. 1919).
1843 Henry James, American author, was born (d. 1916).
1865 Abraham Lincoln died after being shot the previous day by actor John Wilkes Booth.
1868 The first two Maori MPs , Frederick Nene Russell (Northern Maori) and Tareha Te Moananui (Eastern Maori), were elected to parliament.
1885 The first sod was turned on the North Island main trunk line.
1883 Stanley Bruce, eighth Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1967).
1892 The General Electric Company was formed.
1894 Nikita Khrushchev, Premier of the Soviet Union, was born (d. 1971).
1894 Bessie Smith, American blues singer, was born (d. 1937).
1895 Clark McConachy, New Zealand billiards player, was born (d. 1980).
1906 The Armenian organization AGBU was established.
1912 Kim Il-sung, President of North Korea, was born (d. 1994).
1912 RMS Titanic, sank in the North Atlantic, after hitting an iceberg two and a half hours earlier, the previous day, killing more than 1,500 people.
1916 Alfred S. Bloomingdale, American businessman, was born (d. 1982).
1921 Black Friday, mine owners announced a decrease in wages leading to the threat of a strike all across England
1923 Insulin became generally available for use by people with diabetes.
1924 Sir Neville Marriner, English conductor, was born.
1924 Rand McNally published its first road atlas.
1930 Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, President of Iceland, was born.
1933 Elizabeth Montgomery, American actress, was born (d. 1995).
1940 The Allies begin their attack on the Norwegian town of Narvik which was occupied by Nazi Germany.
1940 Jeffrey Archer, British author, was born.
1940 Robert Lacroix, French Canadian professor of economics, was born.
1941 In the Belfast Blitz, two-hundred bombers of the German Air Force (Luftwaffe) attacked Belfast, killing 1,000 people.
1942 George Cross was awarded to “to the island fortress of Malta – its people and defenders” by King George VI.
1943 An Allied bomber attack missed the Minerva automobile factory and hits the Belgian town of Mortsel instead, killing 936 civilians.
1945 The Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was liberated.
1947 Jackie Robinson debuted for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball’s colour line.
1952 The maiden flight of the B-52 Stratofortress
1955 – Dodi Al-Fayed, Egyptian businessman, was born (d. 1997).
1957 White Rock, British Columbia officially separated from Surrey, and was incorporated as a new city.
1959 Emma Thompson, English actress, was born.
1960 Prince Philippe, Duke of Brabant, heir to the Belgian throne, was born.
1979 An earthquake (of M 7.1) on Montenegro coast.
1989 A human crush occured at Hillsborough Stadium, in the FA Cup Semi Final, resulting in the deaths of 96 Liverpool F.C. fans.
1989 Upon Hu Yaobang‘s death, the Tiananmen Square protests began.
1992 The National Assembly of Vietnam adopted the 1992 Constitution of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.
1994 Representatives of 124 countries and the European Communities signed the Marrakesh Agreements revising the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade and initiating the World Trade Organization (effective January 1, 1995).
2002 – An Air China Boeing 767 200, flight CA129 crashed into a hillside during heavy rain and fog near Busan, South Korea, killing 128.
2010 – Volcanic ash from the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland led to the closure of airspace over most of Europe.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia