1214 King Louis IX of France was born (d. 1270).
1228 Conrad IV of Germany was born (d. 1254).
1284 King Edward II of England was born (d. 1327).
1599 Oliver Cromwell, English statesman, was born (d. 1658).
1607 Eighty Years’ War: The Dutch fleet destroyed the anchored Spanish fleet at Gibraltar.
1707 The Habsburg army was defeated by Bourbon army at Almansa in the War of the Spanish Succession.
1775 Charlotte of Spain, Spanish Infanta and queen of Portugal, was born (d. 1830).
1792 Highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier became the first person executed by guillotine.
1846 Thornton Affair: Open conflict began over the disputed border of Texas, triggering the Mexican-American War.
1847 The last survivors of the Donner Party were out of the wilderness.
1849 The Governor General of Canada, Lord Elgin, sigeds the Rebellion Losses Bill, outraging Montreal’s English population and triggering the Montreal Riots.
1859 British and French engineers broke ground for the Suez Canal.
1861nAmerican Civil War: The Union Army arrived in Washington, D.C.
1862 American Civil War: Forces under Union Admiral David Farragut captured the Confederate city of New Orleans, Louisiana.
1864 American Civil War: The Battle of Marks’ Mills.
1873 Walter de la Mare, English poet, was born (d. 1956).
1898 Spanish-American War: The United States declared war on Spain.
1901 New York became the first U.S. state to require automobile license plates.
1905 George Nepia, New Zealand rugby player was born (d. 1986).
1915 New Zealand troops landed at Gallipoli.
1916 – Anzac Day was commemorated for the first time, on the first anniversary of the landing at Anzac Cove.
1917 Ella Fitzgerald, American singer, was born (d. 1996).
1927 Albert Uderzo, French cartoonist, was born.
1929 Yvette Williams First New Zealand woman to win an Olympic gold medal, was born.
1932 Foundation of the Korean People’s Army of North Korea. “4.25″ appeared on the flags of the KPA Ground Force and the KPA Naval Force.
1932 William Roache, British television actor (Coronation Street), was born.
1938 U.S. Supreme Court delivereds opinion in Erie Railroad Co. v. Tompkins and overturned a century of federal common law.
1940 Al Pacino, American actor, was born.
1943 The Demyansk Shield for German troops in commemoration of Demyansk Pocket was instituted.
1944 The United Negro College Fund was incorporated.
1945 Elbe Day: United States and Soviet troops met in Torgau along the River Elbe, cutting the Wehrmacht in two, a milestone in the approaching end of World War II in Europe.
1945 – The Nazi occupation army surrendered and left Northern Italy after a general partisan insurrection by the Italian resistance movement; the puppet fascist regime dissolved and Mussolini tried to escape. This day is taken as symbolic of the Liberation of Italy.
1945 Last German troops retreated from Finland’s soil in Lapland, ending the Lapland War.
1948 Yu Shyi-kun, former Premier of Taiwan, was born.
1953 Francis Crick and James D. Watson published Molecular structure of nucleic acids: a structure for deoxyribose nucleic acid describing the double helix structure of DNA.
1959 The St. Lawrence Seaway, linking the North American Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean, officially opened to shipping.
1963 – a six-strong New Zealand civilian surgical team arrived in Qui Nhon, South Vietnam as part of the Colombo Plan assistance programme.
1966 The city of Tashkent was destroyed by a huge earthquake.
1972 Vietnam War: Nguyen Hue Offensive – The North Vietnamese 320th Division forced 5,000 South Vietnamese troops to retreat and traps about 2,500 others northwest of Kontum.
1974 Carnation Revolution: A leftist military coup in Portugal restored democracy after more than forty years as a corporate authoritarian state.
1975 As North Vietnamese forces closed in on the South Vietnamese capital Saigon, the Australian Embassy was closed and evacuated, almost ten years to the day since the first Australian troop commitment to South Vietnam.
1976 Chicago Cubs’ outfielder, Rick Monday, rescued the American flag from two protestors who had run on to the field at Dodger Stadium. The two people covered the flag In lighter fluid but before the match was put to the flag, Monday, sprinted in and grabbed it away from them.
1981 More than 100 workers were exposed to radiation during repairs of a nuclear power plant in Tsuruga.
1982 Israel completed its withdrawal from the Sinai peninsula per the Camp David Accords.
1983 American schoolgirl Samantha Smith was invited to visit the Soviet Union by its leader Yuri Andropov after he read her letter in which she expressed fears about nuclear war.
1983 – Pioneer 10 traveled beyond Pluto’s orbit.
1986 Mswati III was crowned King of Swaziland, succeeding his father Sobhuza II.
1988 In Israel, John Demjanuk was sentenced to death for war crimes committed in World War II.
1990 The Hubble Telescope was deployed into orbit from the Space Shuttle Discovery.
2003 The Human Genome Project came to an end 2.5 years before first anticipated.
2005 The final piece of the Obelisk of Axum was returned to Ethiopia after being stolen by the invading Italian army in 1937.
2005 Bulgaria and Romania signed accession treaties to join the European Union.
2007 Boris Yeltsin‘s funeral – the first to be sanctioned by the Russian Orthodox Church for a head of state since the funeral of Emperor Alexander III in 1894.
2010: Flight Lieutenant Madsen, Flying Officer Dan Gregory and Corporal Ben Carson, were killed when the Iroquois they were in crashed on its way to a Wellington Anzac Day service.
2011 – At least 300 people were killed in deadliest tornado outbreak in the Southern United States since the 1974 Super Outbreak.
Sourced from NZ History Online, Wikipedia & Manawatu Standard