On April 5:
456 St. Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary bishop.
1242 During a battle of the ice of Lake Peipus, Russian forces, led by Alexander Nevsky, rebuffed an invasion attempt by the Teutonic Knights.
Depiction in the illuminated manuscript Life of Alexander Nevsky.
1254 Willen van Rubroeck, a Flemish Franciscan, meets the Mongolian Khan Möngke
1566 Two-hundred Dutch noblemen, led by Hendrik van Brederode, forced themselves into the presence of Margaret of Parma and present the Petition of Compromise, denouncing the Spanish Inquisition in the Netherlands.
1614 Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe.
1621 The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts on a return trip to Great Britain.
1649 Elihu Yale, American benefactor of Yale University, was born (d. 1721).
1722 The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.
1792 U.S. President George Washington exercised his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States.
1804 High Possil Meteorite: The first recorded meteorite in Scotland fell in Possil.
1818 In the Battle of Maipú, Chile’s independence movement – led by Bernardo O’Higgins and José de San Martín – won a decisive victory over Spain, leaving 2,000 Spaniards and 1,000 Chilean patriots dead.
1827 Joseph Lister, English surgeon, was born (d. 1912).
1837 Algernon Charles Swinburne, English poet, was born (d. 1909).
1862 American Civil War: The Battle of Yorktown started.
1874 Birkenhead Park, the first civic public park,opened in Birkenhead.
1879 Chile declared war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.
1897 The Greco-Turkish War, also called “Thirty Days’ War”, was declared between Greece and the Ottoman Empire.
1900 Spencer Tracy, American actor, was born (d. 1967).
1904 The first international rugby league match was played between England and an Other Nationalities team (Welsh & Scottish players) in Central Park, Wigan.
1908 Bette Davis, American actress, was born (d. 1989).
1916 Gregory Peck, American actor, was born (d. 2003).
1920 Arthur Hailey, American writer, was born (d. 2004).
1923 Firestone Tire and Rubber Company began production of balloon-tyres.
1928 Tony Williams, American singer (The Platters), was born. (d. 1992)
1929 Nigel Hawthorne, British actor, was born (d. 2001).
1930 In an act of civil disobedience, Mohandas Gandhi broke British law after marching to the sea and making salt.
1932 Champion race horse Phar Lap died.
1932 Alcohol prohibition in Finland ended. Alcohol sales begin in Alko liquor stores.
1932 – Dominion of Newfoundland: 10,000 rioters seized the Colonial Building leading to the end of self-government.
1933 U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 “forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates” by U.S. citizens.
1936 Tupelo-Gainesville tornado outbreak: An F5 tornado killed 233 in Tupelo, Mississippi.
1937 Colin Powell, U.S. Army General, 12th Chairman of the Joint Cheifs of Staff; and 65th Secretary of State, was born.
1937 Allan R. Thieme, American inventor, was born.
1942 World War II: The Japanese Navy attacked Colombo. Royal Navy Cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire were sunk southwest of the island.
1944 World War II: 270 inhabitants of the Greek town of Kleisoura were executed by the Germans.
1945 Cold War: Yugoslav leader Josip “Tito” Broz signed an agreement with the USSR to allow “temporary entry of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory.”
1946 Jane Asher, British actress, was born.
1946 Soviet troops left the Danish island of Bornholm after an 11 month occupation.
1949 Fireside Theater debuted on television.
1949 – A fire in a hospital in Effingham, Illinois, killed 77 people and leads to nationwide fire code improvements in the United States.
1950 Agnetha Fältskog, Swedish singer (ABBA), was born.
1955 Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom amid indications of failing health.
1956 Fidel Castro declared himself at war with the President of Cuba.
1956 In Sri Lanka, the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna won the general elections in a landslide and S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike was sworn in as the Prime Minister.
1957 In India, Communists won the first elections in united Kerala and E.M.S. Namboodiripad was sworn in as the first chief minister.
1958 Ripple Rock, an underwater threat to navigation in the Seymour Narrows in Canada was destroyed in one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions of the time.
1966 Mike McCready, American musician (Pearl Jam), was born.
1969 Vietnam War: Massive antiwar demonstrations occured in many U.S. cities.
1971 In Sri Lanka, Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna launched insurrection against the United Front government of Mrs Sirimavo Bandaranaike.
1976 The April Fifth Movement led to the Tiananmen incident.
1986 Three people were killed in the bombing of the La Belle Discothèque in West Berlin.
1991 An ASA EMB 120 crashed in Brunswick, Georgia, killing all 23 aboard.
1992 Several hundred-thousand abortion rights demonstrators marched in Washington, D.C.
1992 Alberto Fujimori, president of Peru, dissolved the Peruvian congress by military force.
1992 The Siege of Sarajevo began when Serb paramilitaries murder peace protesters Suada Dilberovic and Olga Sucic on the Vrbanja Bridge.
1998 The Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge linking Shikoku with Honshū and costing about $3.8 billion, opened to traffic, becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world.
1999 Two Libyans suspected of bringing down Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 were handed over for eventual trial in the Netherlands.
2009 North Korea launched its controversial Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 rocket.
Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia