1499 Catherine of Aragon, was married by proxy to Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales. Catherine was 13 and Arthur 12.
1535 Jacques Cartier set sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona’s two sons (whom Cartier had kidnapped during his first voyage).
1536 Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII , was beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.
1568 Queen Elizabeth I of England ordered the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots.
1643 Thirty Years’ War : French forces under the duc d’Enghien decisively defeated Spanish forces at the Battle of Rocroi, marking the symbolic end of Spain as a dominant land power.
1649 An Act of Parliament declaring England a Commonwealth was passed by the Long Parliament.
1749 King George II granted the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River.
1780 New England’s Dark Day: A combination of thick smoke and heavy cloud cover caused complete darkness to fall on Eastern Canada and the New England area of the United States at 10:30 A.M.
1795 – Johns Hopkins, American philanthropist, was born (d. 1873).
1802 Napoleon Bonaparte founded the Légion d’Honneur.
1828 President John Quincy Adams signsedthe Tariff of 1828 into law, protecting wool manufacturers in the United States.
1846 Thomas Brunner, Kehu, a Ngati Tumatakokiri Maori, and Charles Heaphy reached Mawhera Pa.
1848 Mexican-American War: Mexico ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for $15 million USD.
1861 Dame Nellie Melba, Australian opera singer, was born (d. 1931).
1864 American Civil War: the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House ended.
1879 Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, American-born politician, was born (d. 1964).
1881 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, 1st President of Turkey, was born (d. 1938).
1890 Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese leader, was born (d. 1969).
1897 Oscar Wilde was released from Reading Gaol.
1919 Mustafa Kemal Atatürk landed at Samsun on the Anatolian Black Sea coast, initiating the Turkish War of Independence. The anniversary of this eventis also regarded as a date of remembrance for Pontic Greeks on the Greek genocide.
1921 The U.S. Congress passed the Emergency Quota Act establishing national quotas on immigration.
1922 The Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union was established.
1925 Malcolm X, American civil rights activist, was born (d. 1965).
1925 Pol Pot, Cambodian dictator , was born (d. 1998).
1928 Colin Chapman, founder of Lotus Cars, was born (d. 1982).
1939 Nancy Kwan, Hong Kong actress, was born.
1941 Bobby Burgess, dancer, singer and original Mouseketeer, was born.
1943 World War II: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set Monday, May 1, 1944 as the date for the cross-English Channel landing (D-Day). It was later be delayed over a month due to bad weather.
1945 Pete Townshend, English musician (The Who), was born.
1948 Grace Jones, Jamaican singer and actress, was born.
1951 Joey Ramone, American musician (The Ramones), was born (d. 2001).
1953 Victoria Wood, English comedian and actress, was born.
1954 Phil Rudd, Australian drummer (AC/DC), was born.
1961 Venera program: Venera 1 becomes the first man-made object to fly-by another planet by passing Venus (the probe had lost contact with Earth a month earlier and did not send back any data).
1962 A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy took place at Madison Square Garden. The highlight is Marilyn Monr0e’s rendition of Happy Birthday.
1966 Jodi Picoult, American writer, was born.
1971 Mars 2 was launched by the Soviet Union.
1983 Jessica Fox, English actress, was born.
1987 The attempted hijacking of an Air New Zealand Boeing 747 at Nadi airport was thwarted when a member of the cabin crew hit the hijacker over the head with a whisky bottle.
1991 Croatians voted for independence at their independence referendum.
2009 Sri Lanka announced victory in its 27 year war against the terrorist organisation, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam.
2010 – The Royal Thai Armed Forces concluded its crackdown on protests by forcing the surrender of United Front for Democracy Against Dictatorship leaders.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia.