1178 BC; The calculated date of the Greek king Odysseus‘s return home from the Trojan War.
73 Masada, a Jewish fortress, fell to the Romans after several months of siege, ending the Jewish Revolt.
1346 The Serbian Empire was proclaimed in Skopje by Dusan Silni, occupying much of the Balkans.
1521 Martin Luther’s first appearance before the Diet of Worms to be examined by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the other estates of the empire.
1582 Spanish conquistador Hernando de Lerma founded the settlement of Salta, Argentina.
1682 John Hadley, British inventor, was born (d. 1744).
1728 Joseph Black, Scottish chemist, was born (d. 1799).
1746 The Battle of Culloden was fought between the French-supported Jacobites and the Hanoverian British Government.
1780 The University of Münster was founded.
1799 Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Mount Tabor – Napoleon drove Ottoman Turks across the River Jordan near Acre.
1853 The first passenger rail opened in India, from Bori Bunder, Bombay to Thane.
1862 American Civil War: The Battle at Lee’s Mills in Virginia.
1862 American Civil War: A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia became law.
1863 American Civil War: The Siege of Vicksburg – ships led by Union Admiral David Dixon Porter moved through heavy Confederate artillery fire on approach to Vicksburg, Mississippi.
1865 Henry George Chauvel, Australian general, was born (d. 1945).
1867 Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer, was born (d. 1912).
1889 Charlie Chaplin, English actor, writer, songwriter, composer, and film producer, was born (d. 1977).
1892 The New Zealand Rugby Football Union was founded.
1910 The University of Queensland was founded, with the names of the members of the first Senate published in the Queensland Government Gazette.
1912 – News of the Titanic’s loss reached New Zealand.
1912 Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly an aeroplane across the English Channel.
1917 Lenin returned to Petrograd from exile in Switzerland.
1918 Spike Milligan, Irish comedian, was born (d. 2002).
1919 – Gandhi organised a day of “prayer and fasting” in response to the killing of Indian protesters in the Amritsar Massacre by the British.
1921 Peter Ustinov, English actor, was born (d. 2004).
1922 Kingsley Amis, English author, was born (d. 1995).
1922 The Treaty of Rapallo, pursuant to which Germany and the Soviet Union re-established diplomatic relations, was signed.
1924 Henry Mancini, American composer, was born (d. 1994).
1925 The St Nedelya Church assault in Sofia – 150 people were killed and 500 were wounded.
1924 Rudy Pompilli, American musician (Bill Haley & His Comets), was born (d. 1976).
1927 Pope Benedict XVI, born Joseph Alois Ratzinger, was born.
1939 Dusty Springfield, English singer, was born.
1941 World War II: The Italian convoy Duisburg, was attacked and destroyed by British ships.
1941 – Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians threw the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, beating the Chicago White Sox 1-0.
1943 Ruth Madoc, British actress, was born.
1943 Dr. Albert Hofmann discovered the psychedelic effects of LSD.
1945 The Red Army began the final assault on German forces around Berlin.
1945 The United States Army liberated Nazi Sonderlager (high security) Prisoner of War camp Oflag IV-C (better known as Colditz).
1945 – More than 7,000 died when the German refugee ship Goya was sunk by a Soviet submarine torpedo.
1946 Syria gained independence.
1947 Texas City Disaster: An explosion on board a freighter in port caused the city of Texas City to catch fire, killing almost 600.
1947 Bernard Baruch coined the term “Cold War” to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.
1953 Queen Elizabeth II launched the Royal Yacht HMY Britannia.
1963 – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. penned his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama for protesting against segregation.
1963 Jimmy Osmond, American pop singer (The Osmonds), was born.
1972 Apollo programme: The launch of Apollo 16 from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1973 – Arthur Allan Thomas was convicted of the Crewe murders for a second time.
1987 British Conservative MP Harvey Proctor appeared at Bow Street Magistrates’ Court charged with gross indecency.
1990 The “Doctor of Death”, Jack Kevorkian, went through with his first assisted suicide.
1992 The Katina P. ran aground off Maputo, Mozambique. 60,000 tons of crude oil spilt into the ocean.
2003 The Treaty of Accession was signed in Athens admitting 10 new member states to the European Union.
2004 – The super liner Queen Mary 2 embarks on her first trans-Atlantic crossing, linking the golden age of ocean travel to the modern age of ocean travel.
2007 Virginia Tech massacre: Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 and injured 23 before committing suicide.
2007 – President of Côte d’Ivoire Laurent Gbagbo declared the First Ivorian Civil War to be over.
2013 – A 7.8-magnitude earthquake strikes Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran, the strongest in the country in 40 years, killing at least 35 people.
2014 The MV Sewol ferry carrying more than 450 people capsised near Jindo Island off South Korea, leaving 295 passengers and crew dead and 9 more missing.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia