1429 – Joan of Arc defeated the besieging English at Orleans.
1502 – Christopher Columbus left Spain for his final trip to the Western Hemisphere.
1671 – Thomas “Captain” Blood stole the crown jewels from the Tower of London.
1754 – The first newspaper cartoon in America showed a divided snake “Join or die” in “The Pennsylvania Gazette.”
1785 – Joseph Bramah patented the beer-pump handle.
1825 – The Chatham Theatre opened in New York City. It was the first gas-lit theater in America.
1901 – In Australia, the Duke of Cornwall and York declared the First Commonwealth Parliament open.
1904 – The Great Western Railway Number 3440 City of Truro became the first railway locomotive to exceed 100 miles per hour.
1915 – German and French forces fought the Battle of Artois.
1926 – Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett became the first men to fly an airplane over the North Pole.
1930 – A starting gate was used to start a Triple Crown race for the first time.
1936 – Fascist Italy took Addis Abba and annexed Ethiopia.
1936 – The first sheet of postage stamps of more than one variety went on sale in New York City.
1940 – Vivien Leigh debuted in America on stage in “Romeo and Juliet” with Lawrence Olivier.
1941 – The German submarine U-110 was captured at sea by Britain’s Royal navy.
1945 – U.S. officials announced that the midnight entertainment curfew was being lifted immediately.
1946 – King Victor Emmanuel II of Italy abdicated and was replaced by Umberto.
1955 – West Germany joined NATO.
1960 – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for sale an oral birth-control pill for the first time.
1961 – Jim Gentile (Baltimore Orioles) set a major league baseball record when he hit a grand slam home run in two consecutive innings. The game was against the Minnesota Twins.
1962 – A laser beam was successfully bounced off Moon for the first time.
1974 – The House Judiciary Committee began formal hearings on the Nixon impeachment.
1978 – The bullet-riddled body of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was found in an automobile in the center of Rome. The Red Brigades had abducted him.
1980 – A Liberian freighter hit the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida. 35 motorists were killed and a 1,400-foot section of the bridge collapsed.
1994 – Nelson Mandela was chosen to be South Africa’s first black president.
1996 – In video testimony to a courtroom in Little Rock, AR, U.S. President Clinton insisted that he had nothing to do with a $300,000 loan in the criminal case against his former Whitewater partners.
2002 – In Bethlehem, West Bank, a deal was reached that would end the 38-day standoff at the Church of the Nativity. Thirteen suspected militants were to be deported to several different countries. The standoff had begun on April 2, 2002.
2002 – In Kaspiisk, Russia, 39 people were killed and at least 130 were injurde when a remote-controlled bomb exploded during a holiday parade.
2002 – In Bahrain, people were allowed to vote for representatives for the first time in nearly 30 years. Women were allowed to vote for the first time in the country’s history.