1252 Pope Innocent IV issued the papal bull ad exstirpanda, which authorised but also limited, the torture of heretics in the Medieval Inquisition.
1514 Jodocus Badius Ascensius published Christiern Pedersen‘s Latin version of Saxo’s Gesta Danorum, the oldest known version of that work.
1525 The battle of Frankenhausen ended the Peasants’ War.
1536 Anne Boleyn stood trial on charges of treason, adultery and incest; she was condemned to death by a specially-selected jury.
1567 Mary, Queen of Scots, married James Hepburn, 4th Earl of Bothwell, her third husband.
1602 Bartholomew Gosnold became the first European to see Cape Cod.
1618 Johannes Kepler confirmed his previously rejected discovery of thethird law of planetary motion.
1648 The Treaty of Westphalia was signed.
1701 The War of the Spanish Succession began.
1718 James Puckle, a London lawyer, patented the world’s first machine gun.
1755 Laredo, Texas was established by the Spaniards.
1756 The Seven Years’ War began when Great Britain declares war on France.
1776 American Revolution: the Virginia Convention instructed its Continental Congress delegation to propose a resolution of independencefrom Great Britain.
1791 Maximilien Robespierre proposed the Self-denying Ordinance.
1792 War of the First Coalition: France declaresdwar on Kingdom of Sardinia.
1793 Diego Marín Aguilera flew a glider for “about 360 meters”, at a height of 5-6 meters, during one of the first attempted flights.
1796 First Coalition: Napoleon entered Milan in triumph.
1800 George III survived two assassination attempts in one day.
1811 Paraguay declared independence from Spain.
1817 Opening of the first private mental health hospital in the United States, the Asylum for the Relief of Persons Deprived of the Use of Their Reason (now Friends Hospital) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1836 Francis Baily observed “Baily’s beads” during an annular eclipse.
1849 Troops of the Two Sicilies took Palermo and crushed the republican government of Sicily.
1850 The Bloody Island Massacre: a large number of Pomo Indians in Lake County were slaughtered by a regiment of the United States Cavalry, led by Nathaniel Lyon.
1851 Rama IV was crowned King of Thailand.
1857 – Williamina Fleming, Scottish-American astronomer, was born (d. 1911).
1858 Opening of the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden.
1859 Pierre Curie, French physicist, Nobel Prize laureate, was born (d. 1906).
1862 President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill into law creating the United States Bureau of Agriculture.
1863 – Frank Hornby, English businessman and politician, who inventedMeccano, was born, (d. 1936)
1864 American Civil War: Battle of Resaca, Georgia ended.
1864 American Civil War: Battle of New Market, – students from theVirginia Military Institute fought alongside the Confederate Army to force Union General Franz Sigel out of the Shenandoah Valley.
1869 Woman’s suffrage:, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stantonformed the National Woman’s Suffrage Association.
1891 Rerum Novarum, the first document of the Catholic Social Teaching tradition, was published by Pope Leo XIII.
1897 The Greek army retreated with heavy losses in the Greco-Turkish War.
1901 – First conviction in New Zealand for a motoring offence: Nicholas Oates appeared in the Christchurch Magistrates Court charged with driving ‘a motor car within the city at a speed greater than four miles an hour’ (6.5 km/hr) on Lincoln Road.
1905 The Russian minelayer Amur laid a minefield about 15 miles off Port Arthur and sank Japan’s battleship Hatsuse, 15,000 tons, with 496 crew.
1905 – Las Vegas, Nevada, was founded when 110 acres (0.4 km²), in what later would become downtown, were auctioned.
1910 The last time a major earthquake happened on the Elsinore Fault Zone.
1911 The United States Supreme Court declared Standard Oil to be an “unreasonable” monopoly under the Sherman Antitrust Act and ordered the company to be broken up.
1918 The Finnish Civil War ended.
1919 – The Winnipeg General Strike begins. By 11:00 a.m., almost the whole working population of Winnipeg, Manitoba had walked off the job.
1919 Greek invasion of Izmir. During the invasion, the Greek army killed or wounded 350 Turks.
1920 Wanganui mayor Charles Mackay shot poet and returned soldier Walter D’Arcy Cresswell who alleged that Mackay had made homosexual overtures to him.
1920 Council of Lithuania adjourned as the newly elected Constituent Assembly of Lithuania met for the first time in Kaunas.
1928 Mickey Mouse premiered in his first cartoon, Plane Crazy.
1929 A fire at the Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, Ohio killed 123.
1932 The May 15 Incident: in an attempted Coup d’état, the Prime Minister of Japan Inukai Tsuyoshi was killed.
1934 Kārlis Ulmanis established an authoritarian government in Latvia.
1935 The Moscow Metro was opened to public.
1936 Amy Johnson arrived back in England after a record-breaking return flight to Cape Town.
1937 Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, was born.
1940 World War II: After fierce fighting, the poorly trained and equipped Dutch troops surrendered to Germany, marking the beginning of five years of occupation.
1940 – McDonald’s opened its first restaurant in San Bernardino, California.
1942 World War II: in the United States, a bill creating the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was signed into law.
1943 Joseph Stalin dissolved the Comintern (or Third International).
1945 World War II: The final skirmish in Europe was fought near Prevalje, Slovenia.
1948 Egypt, Transjordan, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia invaded the territory partitioned for the Arab state by the British Mandate of Palestine starting the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
1948 Brian Eno, British musician and record producer, was born.
1951 The Polish cultural attache in Paris, Czesław Miłosz, asked the French government for political asylum.
1953 Mike Oldfield, British composer, was born.
1955 The Austrian Independence Treaty was signed.
1955 – The first ascent of Makalu, the world’s fifth highest mountain.
1957 At Malden Island Britain tested its first hydrogen bomb in Operation Grapple. The device failed to detonate properly.
1958 The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 3.
1960 The Soviet Union launched Sputnik 4.
1962 – Lisa Curry-Kenny, Australian Ironwoman, was born.
1963 Project Mercury: The launch of the final Mercury mission, Mercury-Atlas 9 with astronaut L. Gordon Cooper on board. He beccame the first American to spend more than a day in space.
1964 – Lars Løkke Rasmussen, Prime Minister of Denmark, was born.
1966 Prime Minister Nguyen Cao Ky of South Vietnam’s ruling junta launched a military attack on the forces of General Ton That Dinh, forcing him to abandon his command.
1969 People’s Park: California Governor Ronald Reagan had an impromptu student park owned by University of California at Berkeley fenced off from student anti-war protestors, sparking a riot called Bloody Thursday.
1970 President Richard Nixon appointed Anna Mae Hays and Elizabeth P. Hoisington the first female United States Army Generals.
1970 Philip Lafayette Gibbs and James Earl Green were killed at Jackson State Universit by police during student protests.
1972 The island of Okinawa, under U.S. military governance since its conquest in 1945, reverts to Japanese control.
1972 Arthur Bremer shot and paralysed Alabama Governor George Wallacewhile he was campaigning to be become President.
1974 Ma’alot massacre: In an Arabterrorist attack and hostage taking at an Israeli school, 31 people were killed, including 22 schoolchildren.
1987 The Soviet Union launched the Polyus prototype orbital weapons platform. It fails to reach orbit.
1988 Soviet war in Afghanistan: After more than eight years of fighting, the Red Army began its withdrawal from Afghanistan.
1990 Portrait of Doctor Gachetby Vincent van Gogh was sold for a record $82.5 million, the most expensive painting at the time.
1991 Édith Cresson became France’s first female premier.
1997 The United States government acknowledged the existence of the“Secret War” in Laos and dedicated the Laos Memorial in honor of Hmong and other “Secret War” veterans.
2008 – California became the second U.S. state to legalize same-sex marriage after the state’s own Supreme Court ruled a previous ban unconstitutional.
2010 – Jessica Watson became the youngest person to sail, non-stop and unassisted around the world solo.
2013 – An upsurge in violence in Iraq left more than 389 people dead over three days.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia