1291 Scottish nobles recognised the authority of Edward I of England.
1497 Amerigo Vespucci allegedly left Cádiz for his first voyage to the New World.
1503 Christopher Columbus visited the Cayman Islands and named them Las Tortugas after the numerous turtles there.
1534 Jacques Cartier visited Newfoundland.
1760 Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, French composer (La Marseillaise) was born (d. 1836).
1655 England, with troops under the command of Admiral William Penn and General Robert Venables, annexed Jamaica from Spain.
1768 John Wilkes was imprisoned for writing an article for The North Briton severely criticizing King George III.
1774 Louis XVI became King of France.
1775 American Revolutionary War: Fort Ticonderoga was captured by a small Colonial militia led by Ethan Allen and Colonel Benedict Arnold.
1775 American Revolutionary War: Representatives from the 13 colonies began the Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia.
1796 First Coalition: Napoleon I of France won a decisive victory against Austrian forces at Lodi bridge over the Adda River in Italy.
1801 First Barbary War: The Barbary pirates of Tripoli declared war on the United States of America.
1824 The National Gallery in London opened to the public.
1833 The desecration of the grave of the viceroy of southern Vietnam Le Van Duyet by Emperor Minh Mang provokds his adopted son to start a revolt.
1837– Panic of 1837: New York City banks failed, and unemployment reached record levels.
1857 Indian Mutiny: The first war of Independence began when Sepoys revolted against their commanding officers at Meerut.
1863 Confederate General Stonewall Jackson died eight days after he is accidentally shot by his own troops during the American Civil War.
1864 American Civil War: Colonel Emory Upton led a 10-regiment “Attack-in-depth” assault against the Confederate works at The Battle of Spotsylvania.
1865 American Civil War: Jefferson Davis was captured by Union troops near Irwinville, Georgia.
1865 American Civil War: Union soldiers ambushed and mortally wounded Confederate raider William Quantrill.
1869 The First Transcontinental Railroad, linking the eastern and western United States, was completed at Promontory Summit, Utah with the golden spike.
1872 Victoria Woodhull became the first woman nominated for President of the United States.
1877 Romania declared itself independent from Ottoman Empire following the Senate adoption of Mihail Kogălniceanu‘s Declaration of Independence.
1897 Ethel Benjamin became the first woman in New Zealand to be admitted as a barrister and solicitor.
1893 The Supreme Court of the United States ruled in Nix v. Hedden that a tomato is a vegetable, not a fruit, under the Tariff Act of 1883.
1899 Fred Astaire, American dancer and actor, was born (d. 1987).
1908 Mother’s Day was observed for the first time in the United States, in Grafton, West Virginia.
1915 Denis Thatcher, British businessman and husband of Margaret Thatcher, was born (d. 2003).
1922 The United States annexed the Kingman Reef.
1924 J. Edgar Hoover was appointed the Director of the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation.
1933 Barbara Taylor Bradford, English writer, was born.
1940 World War II: The first German bombs of the war fell on England at Chilham and Petham, in Kent.
1940 World War II: Germany invaded Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
1940 World War II: Winston Churchill was appointed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
1940 World War II: Invasion of Iceland by the United Kingdom.
1941 World War II: The House of Commons in London was damaged by the Luftwaffe in an air raid.
1941 World War II: Rudolf Hess parachuted into Scotland in order to try and negotiate a peace deal between the United Kingdom and Germany.
1942 World War II: The Thai Phayap Army invaded the Shan States during the Burma Campaign.
1944 Maureen Lipman, English actress, was born.
1946 First successful launch of a V-2 rocket at White Sands Proving Ground.
1946 Graham Gouldman, British musician and songwriter (10cc), was born.
1954 Bill Haley & His Comets released “Rock Around the Clock“, the first rock and roll record to reach number one on the Billboard charts.
1957 Sid Vicious, English bassist (The Sex Pistols) was born (d. 1979).
1960 The all-white All Blacks left for South Africa.
1960 The nuclear submarine USS Triton completed Operation Sandblast, the first underwater circumnavigation of the earth.
1960 Bono, Irish singer (U2), was born.
1969 Vietnam War: The Battle of Dong Ap Bia began with an assault on Hill 937 which became known as Hamburger Hill.
1979 The Federated States of Micronesia became self-governing.
1981 François Mitterrand won the presidential election and became the first Socialist President of France in the French 5th republic.
1993 In Thailand, a fire at the Kader Toy Factory killed 188 workers.
1994 Nelson Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president.
1996 A “rogue storm” near the summit of Mount Everest killed eight climbers including Rob Hall and Scott Fischer, both of whom were leading paid expeditions to the summit.
2002 F.B.I. agent Robert Hanssen was given a life sentence without the possibility of parole for selling United States secrets to Moscow for $1.4 million in cash and diamonds.
2003 May 2003 tornado outbreak sequence.
2005 A hand grenade thrown by Vladimir Arutinian landed about 20 metres from U.S. President George W. Bush while he was giving a speech to a crowd in Tbilisi, Georgia, but it malfunctioned and did not detonate.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia