1242 – Russian troops repelled an invasion attempt by the Teutonic Knights.
1614 – American Indian Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia.
1621 – The Mayflower sailed from Plymouth, MA, on a return trip to England.
1792 – U.S. President George Washington cast the first presidential veto. The measure was for apportioning representatives among the states.
1806 – Isaac Quintard patented the cider mill.
1827 – James H. Hackett became the first American actor to appear abroad as he performed at Covent Garden in London, England.
1843 – Queen Victoria proclaimed Hong Kong to be a British crown colony.
1869 – Daniel Bakeman, the last surviving soldier of the U.S. Revolutionary War, died at the age of 109.
1887 – Anne Sullivan taught Helen Keller the meaning of the word “water” as spelled out in the manual alphabet.
1892 – Walter H. Coe patented gold leaf in rolls.
1892 – In New York, the Ithaca Daily Journal published an ad introducing a new 10 cent Ice Cream Specialty called a Cherry Sunday.
1895 – Playwright Oscar Wilde lost his criminal libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry. Wilde had been accused of homosexual practices.
1908 – The Japanese Army reached the Yalu River as the Russians retreated.
1919 – Eamon de Valera became president of Ireland.
1923 – Firestone Tire and Rubber Company began the first regular production of balloon tires.
1930 – Mahatma Ghandi defied British law by making salt in India.
1933 – The first operation to remove a lung was performed at Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, MO.
1941 – German commandos secured docks along the Danube River in preparation for Germany’s invasion of the Balkans.
1951 – Americans Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death for committing espionage for the Soviet Union.
1953 – Jomo Kenyatta was convicted and sentenced to 7 years in prison for orchestrating the Mau-Mau rebellion in Kenya.
1955 – Winston Churchill resigned as British prime minister.
1984 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (Los Angeles Lakers) became the all-time NBA regular season scoring leader when he broke Wilt Chamberlain’s record of 31,419 career points.
1985 – John McEnroe said “any man can beat any woman at any sport, especially tennis.”
1986 – A discotheque in Berlin was bombed by Libyan terrorists. The U.S. attacked Libya with warplanes in retaliation on April 15, 1986.
1987 – FOX Broadcasting Company launched “Married….With Children” and “The Tracey Ullman Show”. The two shows were the beginning of the FOX lineup.
1989 – In Poland, accords were signed between Solidarity and the government that set free elections for June 1989. The eight-year ban on Solidarity was also set to be lifted.
1998 – The Akashi Kaikyo Bridge in Japan opened becoming the largest suspension bridge in the world. It links Shikoku and Honshu. The bridge cost about $3.8 billion.
1999 – Two Libyans suspected of bombing a Pan Am jet in 1988 were handed over so they could be flown to the Netherlands for trial. 270 people were killed in the bombing.
1999 – In Laramie, WY, Russell Henderson pled guilty to kidnapping and felony murder in the death of Matthew Shepard.
2004 – Near Mexico City’s international airport, lightning struck the jet Mexican President Vicente Fox was on.
2009 – North Korea launched the Kwangmyongsong-2 rocket, prompting an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council.