46 BC Julius Caesar defeated Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger) in the battle of Thapsus.
402 Stilicho stymied the Visigoths under Alaric in the Battle of Pollentia.
1199 Richard I of England died from an infection following the removal of an arrow from his shoulder.
1320 The Scots reaffirmed their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath.
1327 The poet Petrarch first saw his idealized love, Laura, in the church of Saint Clare in Avignon.
1385 John, Master of the Order of Aviz, was made king John I of Portugal.
1483 Raphael, Italian painter and architect, was born (d. 1520).
1652 At the Cape of Good Hope, Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeckestablished a resupply camp that eventually becomes Cape Town .
1667 An earthquake devastated Dubrovnik, then an independent city-state.
1671 Jean-Baptiste Rousseau, French poet, was born (d. 1741).
1773 James Mill, Scottish philosopher and historian, was born (d. 1836).
1782 Rama I succeeded King Taksin of Siam who was overthrown in a coup d’état.
1793 During the French Revolution, the Committee of Public Safety became the executive organ of the republic, and the Reign of Terrorbegan.
1808 John Jacob Astor incorporated the American Fur Company.
1812 British forces assaulted the fortress of Badajoz under the command of the Duke of Wellington was the turning point in the Peninsular War against Napoleon led France.
1814 Napoleon abdicated and was exiled to Elba.
1824 – George Waterhouse, English-New Zealand politician, 7th Prime Minister of New Zealand, was born (d. 1906).
1830 The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. and others at Fayette or Manchester, New York.
1832 Indian Wars: The Black Hawk War began when the Sauk warrior Black Hawk entered into war with the United States.
1860 – René Lalique, French sculptor and jewellery designer, was born (d. 1945).
1860 The Reorganised Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—later renamed Community of Christ—was organized by Joseph Smith III and others at Amboy, Illinois.
1862 American Civil War: The Battle of Shiloh began when forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant met Confederate troops led by General Albert Sidney Johnston.
1864 A British patrol was ambushed by Pai Marire warriors near the present-day township of Oakura, south-west of New Plymouth.
1865 American Civil War: The Battle of Sayler’s Creek – Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia fought its last major battle while in retreat from Richmond, Virginia.
1866 The Grand Army of the Republic, an American patriotic organization composed of Union veterans of the American Civil War, was founded.
1869 Celluloid was patented.
1886 Osman Ali Khan, Asaf Jah VII, The Last Nizam of Hyderabad state, was born (d. 1967).
1888 Hans Richter, Swiss painter, film maker, graphic artist and avant-gardist, was born (d. 1976).
1890 Anthony Fokker, Dutch designer of aircraft, was born (d. 1939).
1892 Lowell Thomas, American travel writer, was born (d. 1981).
1895 Oscar Wilde was arrested after losing a libel case against the John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry.
1896 The opening of the first modern Olympic Games was celebrated, 1,500 years after the original games are banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I.
1903 The Kishinev pogrom began, forcing tens of thousands of Jews to later seek refuge in Israel and the Western world.
1917 World War I: The United States declared war on Germany.
1919 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi ordered a general strike.
1923 The first Prefects Board in Southeast Asia was formed in Victoria Institution, Malaysia.
1926 Ian Paisley, Northern Irish politician, was born.
1928 James D. Watson, American geneticist, Nobel laureate, was born.
1929 André Previn, German-born composer and conductor, was born.
1930 Gandhi raised a lump of mud and salt and declared, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire.” and started the Salt Satyagraha.
1936 Tupelo-Gainesville tornado hit Gainesville, Georgia, killing 203.
1937 Merle Haggard, American musician, was born, (d. 2016).
1938 Paul Daniels, English magician, was born.
1943 – Roger Cook, New Zealand-English journalist and academic, was born.
1943 – Ian MacRae, All Black, was born.
1946 – Paul Beresford, New Zealand-English dentist and politician, was born.
1947 The first Tony Awards were presented for theatrical achievements.
1955 Rob Epstein, American filmmaker and journalist, was born.
1957 Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis bought the Hellenic National Airlines (TAE) and founded Olympic Airlines.
1962 Leonard Bernstein caused controversy with his remarks from the podium during a New York Philharmonic concert featuring Glenn Gould performing the First Piano Concerto of Johannes Brahms.
1965 Launch of Early Bird, the first communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit.
1965 – The British Government announced the cancellation of the TSR-2 aircraft project.
1968 In Richmond, Indiana’s downtown district, a double explosion killed 41 and injured 150.
1970 Newhall Incident: Four California Highway Patrol officers were killed.
1972 Vietnam War: Easter Offensive – American forces began sustained air strikes and naval bombardments.
1973 Launch of Pioneer 11 spacecraft.
1984 Members of Cameroon’s Republican Guard unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the government headed by Paul Biya.
1994 The Rwandan Genocide began when the aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down.
1998 Pakistan tested medium-range missiles capable of hitting India.
2004 Rolandas Paksas became the first president of Lithuania to be peacefully removed from office by impeachment.
2005 Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani became Iraqi president.
2009 A 6.3 magnitude earthquake which struck near L’Aquila, Italy, killed 307 people.
2010 – Maoist rebels killed 76 CRPF officers in Dantewada district, India.
2011 – In San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico, more than 193 bodies were exhumed from several mass graves made by Los Zetas.
2012 – The Independent State of Azawad was declared.
2018 – A bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior ice hockey team collided with a semi-truck in Saskatchewan, Canada, killing 16 people and injuring 13 others.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia