1303 - The University of Rome La Sapienza is instituted by Pope Boniface VIII.
1453 - The last naval battle in Byzantine history occurs, as three Genoese galleys escorting a Byzantine transport fight their way through the huge Ottoman blockade fleet and into the Golden Horn.
1534 - Jacques Cartier begins the voyage during which he discovers Canada and Labrador.
1653 - Oliver Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament.
1657 - Admiral Robert Blake destroys a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
1657 - Freedom of religion is granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).
1689 - The former King James II of England, now deposed, lays siege to Derry.
1775 - American Revolutionary War: the Siege of Boston begins, following the battles at Lexington and Concord.
1792 - France declares war on Austria, the beginning of French Revolutionary Wars.
1809 - Two Austrian army corps in Bavaria are defeated by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon I of France at the Battle of Abensberg on the second day of a four day campaign which ended in a French victory.
1810 - The Governor of Caracas declares independence from Spain.
1828 - René Caillié becomes the first non-Muslim to enter Timbouctou.
1836 - U.S. Congress passes an act creating the Wisconsin Territory.
1861 - American Civil War: Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.
1862 - Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard complete the first pasteurization tests.
1871 - The Civil Rights Act of 1871 becomes law.
1884 - Pope Leo XIII publishes the encyclical Humanum Genus.
1902 - Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.
1908 - Opening day of competition of the New South Wales Rugby League.
1912 - Opening day for baseball stadiums Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, and Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.
1914 - Forty-five men, women, and children die in the Ludlow Massacre during a Colorado coal-miner's strike.
1916 - The Chicago Cubs play their first game at Weeghman Park (currently Wrigley Field), defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings
1918 - Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day.
1926 - Western Electric and Warner Bros. announce Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film.
1939 - Billie Holiday records the first Civil Rights song "Strange Fruit".
1945 - World War II: Fuehrerbunker: Adolf Hitler makes his last trip to the surface to award Iron Crosses to boy soldiers of the Hitler Youth.
1945 - World War II: US troops capture Leipzig, Germany, only to later cede the city to the Soviet Union.
1961 - Failure of the Bay of Pigs Invasion of US-backed troops against Cuba.
1964 - BBC Two launches with the power cut because of the fire at Battersea Power Station.
1968 - English politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial Rivers of Blood speech.
1972 - Apollo 16 landed on the moon commanded by John Young.
1978 - Korean Air Flight 902 is shot down by Soviets.
1980 - Climax of Berber Spring in Algeria as hundreds of Berber political activists are arrested.
1985 - ATF raid on The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas.
1986 - Pianist Vladimir Horowitz performs in his native Russia for the first time in 61 years.
1986 - Professional basketball player Michael Jordan sets all-time record for points in an NBA playoff game with 63 against the Boston Celtics.
1998 - German terrorist group Red Army Faction announces their dissolution after 28 years.
1999 - Columbine High School massacre: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 13 people and injure 24 others before committing suicide at Columbine High School in Jefferson County, Colorado.
2001 - China removes homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses.
2007 - Johnson Space Center Shooting: A man with a handgun barricades himself in NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas before killing a male hostage and himself.
2008 - Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300 becoming the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.