1077 - Walk to Canossa: The excommunication of Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor is lifted.
1521 - The Diet of Worms begins, lasting until May 25.
1547 - Henry VIII dies. His nine year old son, Edward VI becomes King, and the first Protestant ruler of England.
1573 - Articles of the Warsaw Confederation are signed, sanctioning freedom of religion in Poland.
1624 - Sir Thomas Warner founds the first British colony in the Caribbean, on the island of Saint Kitts.
1724 - The Russian Academy of Sciences is founded in St. Petersburg by Peter the Great, and implemented in the Senate decree. It is called the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences until 1917.
1754 - Horace Walpole, in a letter to Horace Mann, coins the word serendipity.*1760 – Pownal, Vermont is created by Benning Wentworth as one of the New Hampshire Grants.
1813 - Pride and Prejudice is first published in the United Kingdom.
1820 - Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Petrovich Lazarev discovers the Antarctic continent approaching the Antarctic coast.
1846 - Battle of Aliwal, India is won by British troops commanded by Sir Harry Smith.
1855 - The first locomotive runs from the Atlantic Ocean to the Pacific Ocean on the Panama Railway.
1871 - Franco-Prussian War: the Siege of Paris ends in French defeat and an armistice.
1878 - Yale Daily News becomes the first daily college newspaper in the United States.
1887 - In a snowstorm at Fort Keogh, Montana, the world's largest snowflakes are reported, being 15;inches (38;cm) wide and 8;inches (20;cm) thick.
1902 - The Carnegie Institution is founded in Washington, D.C. with a $10 million gift from Andrew Carnegie.
1909 - United States troops leave Cuba with the exception of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base after being there since the Spanish-American War.
1915 - An act of the U.S. Congress creates the United States Coast Guard.
1916 - Louis D. Brandeis becomes the first Jew appointed to the United States Supreme Court.
1917 - Municipally owned streetcars take to the streets of San Francisco, California.
1918 - Finnish Civil War: Rebels seized control of the capital, Helsinki, and members of the Senate of Finland go underground.
1921 - A symbolic Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is installed beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris to honor the unknown dead of World War I.
1922 - Knickerbocker Storm, Washington D.C.'s biggest snowfall, causes the city's greatest loss of life when the roof of the Knickerbocker Theater collapses.
1932 - Japanese forces attack Shanghai.
1933 - The name Pakistan is coined by Choudhary Rehmat Ali Khan and is accepted by the Indian Muslims who then thereby adopted it further for the Pakistan Movement seeking independence.
1934 - The first ski tow in the United States begins operation in Vermont.
1935 - Iceland becomes the first Western country to legalize therapeutic abortion.
1938 - The World Land Speed Record on a public road is broken by driver Rudolf Caracciola in the Mercedes-Benz W195 at a speed of 432.7;kilometres per hour (268.9;mph).
1941 - French-Thai War: Final air battle of the conflict. Japanese-mediated armistice goes into effect later in the day.
1945 - World War II: Supplies begin to reach the Republic of China over the newly reopened Burma Road.
1958 - The Lego company patented their design of Lego bricks, still compatible with bricks produced today.
1965 - The current design of the Flag of Canada is chosen by an act of Parliament.
1977 - The first day of the Great Lakes Blizzard of 1977, which severely affected and crippled much of Upstate New York, but Buffalo, NY, Syracuse, NY, Watertown, NY, and surrounding areas are most affected, each area accumulating close to 10 feet of snow on this one day.