1012 – Aelfheah was murdered by Danes who had been ravaging the south of England. Aelfheah became the 29th Archbishop of Canterbury in 1005.
1539 – Emperor Charles V reached a truce with German Protestants at Frankfurt, Germany.
1587 – English admiral Sir Francis Drake entered Cadiz harbor and sank the Spanish fleet.
1689 – Residents of Boston ousted their governor, Edmond Andros.
1713 – Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI issued the Pragmatic Sanction, which gave women the rights of succession to Hapsburg possessions.
1764 – The English Parliament banned the American colonies from printing paper money.
1770 – Captain James Cook discovered New South Wales, Australia. Cook originally named the land Point Hicks.
1775 – The American Revolution began as fighting broke out at Lexington, MA.
1782 – The Netherlands recognized the new United States.
1794 – Tadeusz Kosciuszko forced the Russians out of Warsaw.
1802 – The Spanish reopened the New Orleans port to American merchants.
1839 – The Kingdom of Belgium was recognized by all the states of Europe when the Treaty of London was signed.
1852 – The California Historical Society was founded.
1861 – Thaddeus S. C. Lowe sailed 900 miles in nine hours in a hot air balloon from Cincinnati, OH, to Unionville, SC.
1861 – The Baltimore riots resulted in four Union soldiers and nine civilians killed.
1861 – U.S. President Lincoln ordered a blockade of Confederate ports.
1892 – The Duryea gasoline buggy was introduced in the U.S. by Charles and Frank Duryea.
1897 – The first annual Boston Marathon was held. It was the first of its type in the U.S.
1927 – In China, Hankow communists declared war on Chaing Kai-shek.
1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation that removed the U.S. from the gold standard.
1938 – General Francisco Franco declared victory in the Spanish Civil War.
1939 – Connecticut approved the Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution after 148 years.
1943 – The Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazi rule began. The Jews were able to fight off the Germans for 28 days.
1951 – General Douglas MacArthur gave his "Old Soldiers" speech before the U.S. Congress. In the address General MacArthur said that "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away."
1951 – Shigeki Tanaka won the Boston Marathon. Tanaka had survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima, Japan during World War II.
1956 – Actress Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The civil ceremony took place on April 18.
1958 – The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers played the first major league baseball game on the West Coast.
1960 – Baseball uniforms began displaying player’s names on their backs.
1967 – Surveyor 3 landed on the moon and began sending photos back to the U.S.
1971 – Russia launched the Salyut into orbit around Earth. It was the first space station.
1975 – India launched its first satellite with aid from the USSR.
1977 – Alex Haley received a special Pulitzer Prize for his book "Roots."
1981 – In Davao, Philippines, thirteen people were killed when members of the New People’s Army threw hand grenades into the Roman Catholic cathedral during Easter services.
1982 – NASA named Sally Ride to be first woman astronaut.
1982 – NASA named Guion S. Bluford Jr. as the first African-American astronaut.
1982 – The U.S. announced a ban on U.S. tourist and business traval to Cuba. The U.S. charged the Cuban government with subversion in Central America.
1987 – In Phoenix, AZ, skydiver Gregory Robertson went into a 200-mph free-fall to save an unconscious colleague 3,500 feet from the ground.
1987 – The last California condor known to be in the wild was captured and placed in a breeding program at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
1989 – A gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa. 47 sailors were killed.
1989 – A giant asteroid passed within 500,000 miles of Earth.
1989 – In El Salvador, Attorney General Alvadora was killed by a car bomb.
1993 – The Branch-Davidian’s compound in Waco, TX, burned to the ground. It was the end of a 51-day standoff between the cult and U.S. federal agents. 86 people were killed including 17 children. Nine of the Branch Davidians escaped the fire.
1994 – A Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million to Rodney King for violation of his civil rights.
1995 – The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, was destroyed by a bomb. It was the worst bombing on U.S. territory. 168 people were killed including 19 children, and 500 were injured. Timothy McVeigh was found guilty of the bombing on June 2, 1997.
1998 – Wang Dan, a leader of 1989 Tienanmen Square pro democracy protests, was freed by the Chinese government.
2000 – The Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on the fifth anniversary of the bombing in Oklahoma that killed 168 people.
2000 – Letters written by Greta Garbo were put on exhibit. The letters were made public ten years after Garbo’s death.
2000 – In the Philippines, Air Philippines GAP 541 crashed while preparing to land. 131 people were killed.
2002 – The USS Cole was relaunched. In Yemen, 17 sailors were killed when the ship was attacked by terrorists on October 12, 2000. The attack was blamed on Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network.