1111 – Henry V was crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
1250 The Seventh Crusade was defeated in Egypt, Louis IX of France was captured.
1570 Guy Fawkes, English Catholic conspirator, was born (d. 1606).
1598 Henry IV of France issued the Edict of Nantes, allowing freedom of religion to the Huguenots.
1742 George Frideric Handel’s oratorio Messiah made its world-premiere in Dublin.
1743 Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States, was born (d. 1826).
1796 The first elephant ever seen in the United States arrived from India.
1808 Antonio Meucci, Italian inventor, was born (d. 1889).
1829 The British Parliament granted freedom of religion to Roman Catholics.
1849 Hungary became a republic.
1852 F.W. Woolworth, American businessman, was born (d. 1919).
1861 American Civil War: Fort Sumter surrendered to Confederate forces.
1866 Butch Cassidy, American outlaw, was born (d. 1908).
1868 The Abyssinian War ended as British and Indian troops captured Magdala.
1870 The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded.
1873 The Colfax Massacre took place.
1892 Arthur Travers ‘Bomber’ Harris, British Air Force commander, was born (d. 1984).
1892 – Sir Robert Alexander Watson-Watt, Scottish inventor, was born (d. 1973).
1895 Sir Arthur Fadden, thirteenth Prime Minister of Australia, was born (d. 1973).
1896 The National Council of Women was formed in Christchurch.
1902– James C. Penney opened his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.
1902 Philippe de Rothschild, French race car driver and wine grower, was born (d. 1988).
1906 Samuel Beckett, Irish writer, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1989).
1919 The Establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea.
1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre: British troops massacred at least 379 unarmed demonstrators in Amritsar, India. At least 1200 wounded.
1919 Eugene V. Debs entered prison at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia for speaking out against the draft during World War I.
1920 Liam Cosgrave, fifth Taoiseach of the Republic of Ireland, was born.
1921 Foundation of the Spanish Communist Workers’ Party.
1923 Don Adams, American actor and comedian, was born (d. 2005).
1931 Jon Stone, co-creator of Sesame Street, was born (d. 1997).
1939 In India, the Hindustani Lal Sena (Indian Red Army) was formed and vows to engage in armed struggle against the British.
1941 Pact of neutrality between the USSR and Japan was signed.
1943 World War II: The discovery of a mass grave of Polish prisoners of war executed by Soviet forces in the Katyń Forest Massacre was announced, alienating the Western Allies, the Polish government in exile in London, from the Soviet Union.
1943 James Boarman, Fred Hunter, Harold Brest and Floyd G. Hamilton took part in an attempt to escape from Alcatraz .
1943 The Jefferson Memorial was dedicated in Washington, D.C. on the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson’ss birth.
1944 Diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the Soviet Union were established.
1945 Judy Nunn, Australian actress, was born.
1945 German troops killed more than 1,000 political and military prisoners in Gardelegen.
1945 Ninth American army crossed the Elbe River.
1948 The Hadassah medical convoy massacre: In an ambush, 79 Jewish doctors, nurses and medical students from Hadassah Hospital and a British soldier are massacred by Arabs in Sheikh Jarra near Jerusalem.
1949 Christopher Hitchens, English-born journalist, critic, and author, was born (d. 2011).
1953 CIA director Allen Dulles launched the mind-control program MKULTRA.
1956 Peter ‘Possum’ Bourne, New Zealand rally driver, was born (d. 2003).
1969 Closure of the Brisbane tramway network.
1970 An oxygen tank aboard Apollo 13 exploded, endangering the crew and causing major damage to the spacecraft en route to the Moon.
1974 – Western Union (in cooperation with NASA and Hughes Aircraft) launches the United States’ first commercial geosynchronous communications satellite, Westar 1.
1975 Bus Massacre in Lebanon: Attack by the Phalangist resistance killed 26 militia members of the P.F.L. of Palestine, marking the start of the 15-year Lebanese Civil War.
1976 The United States Treasury Department reintroduced the two-dollar bill as a Federal Reserve Note on Thomas Jefferson’s 233rd birthday as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration.
1983 Harold Washington was elected as the first African-American mayor of Chicago.
1987 Portugal and the People’s Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau would be returned to China in 1999.
1992 The Great Chicago Flood.
1997 Tiger Woods became the youngest golfer to win The Masters Tournament.
2009 – The world’s longest webcomic, Homestuck, officially began.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia