570 Muhammed, founder of Islam, was born according to the Shi’a sect. Other sources suggest April 20; (d. 632) .
1336 Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) ascended Mont Ventoux.
1478 The Pazzi attacked Lorenzo de’ Medici and killed his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Duomo of Florence.
1607 English colonists of the Jamestown settlement made landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia.
1802 Napoleon Bonaparte signed a general amnesty to allow all but about 1,000 of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, as part of a reconciliary gesture with the factions of the Ancien Regime and to eventually consolidate his own rule.
1805 United States Marines captured Derne, Tripoli, under the command of First Lieutenant Presley O’Bannon.
1856 Sir Joseph Ward, 17th Prime Minister of New Zealand was born (d. 1930), .
1865 American Civil War: Confederate General Joseph E. Johnstonsurrendered his army to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina.
1865 Union cavalry troopers cornered and shot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln.
1879 Owen Willans Richardson, British physicist, Nobel laureate, was born (d. 1959).
1888 Anita Loos, American writer was born, (d. 1981).
1889 Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austrian-born philosopher, was born (d. 1951).
1894 Rudolf Hess, Nazi official was born (d. 1987).
1900 Charles Richter, American geophysicist was born (d. 1985).
1916 Morris West, Australian writer was born (d. 1999).
1925 Paul von Hindenburg defeated Wilhelm Marx in the second round of the German presidential election to become the first directly elected head of state of the Weimar Republic.
1933 Carol Burnett, American comedian, was born.
1933 The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, was established.
1937 Spanish Civil War: Guernica, was bombed by German Luftwaffe.
1943 The Union Steam Ship Company freighter Limerick was torpedoed in the Tasman.
1945 World War II: Battle of Bautzen – last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht.
1945 – Author John Mulgan died.
1946 Father Divine, a controversial religious leader who claimed to be God, married the much-younger Edna Rose Ritchings, a celebrated anniversary in the International Peace Mission movement.
1954 The Geneva Conference, an effort to restore peace in Indochina and Korea, began.
1956 First container ship left Port Newark, for Houston.
1956 Koo Stark, American actress, was born.
1960 Roger Taylor, English musician (Duran Duran), was born.
1962 NASA’s Ranger 4 spacecraft crashed into the Moon.
1963 Amendments to the constitution transformed Libya into one national unity and allowed for female participation in elections.
1964 Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.
1965 A Rolling Stones concert in London, Ontario was shut down by police after 15 minutes due to rioting.
1966 An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 destroyed Tashkent.
1966 A new government was formed in the Republic of Congo, led byAmbroise Noumazalaye.
1970 The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization entered into force
1982 57 people were killed by former police officer Woo Bum-kon in a shooting spree in Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea.
1982 Jon Lee, British singer (S Club), was born.
1986 A nuclear reactor accident occurred at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant.
1991 Seventy tornadoes broke out in the central United States.
1994 – A China Airlines Airbus A300-600R crashed at Nagoya Airport, Japan killing all but seven passengers, with a death toll amounting to 264. See also China Airlines flight 140.
1994 Physicists announced first evidence of the top quark subatomic particle.
2002 Robert Steinhäuser infiltrated and kills 17 at Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot.
2005 – Under international pressure, Syria withdrew the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country.
2005 Civil unions came into effect in New Zealand.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia