1598 – King Henry IV of France signed the Edict of Nantes which granted political rights to French Protestant Huguenots.
1759 – The French defeated the European allies in Battle of Bergen.
1775 – Lord North extended the New England Restraining Act to South, Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. The act prohibited trade with any country other than Britain and Ireland.
1782 – Washington, NC, was incorporated as the first town to be named for George Washington.
1796 – The first known elephant to arrive in the United States from Bengal, India.
1808 – William “Juda” Henry Lane perfected the tap dance.
1829 – The English Parliament granted freedom of religion to Catholics.
1849 – The Hungarian Republic was proclaimed.
1860 – The first mail was delivered via Pony Express when a westbound rider arrived in Sacremento, CA from St. Joseph, MO.
1861 – After 34 hours of bombardment, the Union-held Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederates.
1870 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in New York City.
1916 – The first hybrid, seed corn was purchased for 15-cents a bushel by Samuel Ramsay.
1919 – British forces killed hundreds of Indian nationalists in the Amritsar Massacre.
1933 – The first flight over Mount Everest was completed by Lord Clydesdale.
1941 – German troops captured Belgrade, Yugoslavia.
1943 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial.
1945 – Vienna fell to Soviet troops.
1949 – Philip S. Hench and associates announced that cortizone was an effective treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.
1954 – Hank Aaron debuted with the Milwaukee Braves.
1959 – A Vatican edict prohibited Roman Catholics from voting for Communists.
1960 – The first navigational satellite was launched into Earth’s orbit.
1961 – The U.N. General Assembly condemned South Africa due to apartheid.
1962 – In the U.S., major steel companies rescinded announced price increases. The John F. Kennedy administration had been applying pressure against the price increases.
1963 – Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds got his first hit in the major leagues.
1964 – Sidney Poitier became the first black to win an Oscar for best actor. It was for his role in the movie “Lilies of the Field.”
1970 – An oxygen tank exploded on Apollo 13, preventing a planned moon landing.
1972 – The first strike in the history of major league baseball ended. Players had walked off the field 13 days earlier.
1976 – The U.S. Federal Reserve introduced $2 bicentennial notes.
1979 – The world’s longest doubles ping-pong match ended after 101 hours.
1981 – Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke received a Pulitzer Prize for her feature about an 8-year-old heroin addict named “Jimmy.” Cooke relinquished the prize two days later after admitting she had fabricated the story.
1984 – U.S. President Reagan sent emergency military aid to El Salvador without congressional approval.
1984 – Christopher Walker was killed in a fight with police in New Hampshire. Walker was wanted as a suspect in the kidnappings of 11 young women in several states.
1990 – The Soviet Union accepted responsibility for the World War II murders of thousands of imprisoned Polish officers in the Katyn Forest. The Soviets had previously blamed the massacre on the Nazis.
1997 – Tiger Woods became the youngest person to win the Masters Tournament at the age of 21. He also set a record when he finished at 18 under par.
1998 – NationsBank and BankAmerica announced a $62.5 billion merger, creating the country’s first coast-to-coast bank.
1998 – Dolly, the world’s first cloned sheep, gave natural birth to a healthy baby lamb.
1999 – Jack Kervorkian was sentenced in Pontiac, MI, to 10 to 25 years in prison for the second-degree murder of Thomas Youk. Youk’s assisted suicide was videotaped and shown on “60 Minutes” in 1998.
2000 – Richard Gordon was charged with trying to extort $250,000 from Louie Anderson in exchange for not telling the tabloid media about Anderson once asking him for sex. Gordon was held without bail pending a court hearing.
2000 – It was announced that 69 people had died when the Arlahada, a Philippine ferry, capsized. 70 people were rescued.
2002 – Twenty-five Hindus were killed and about 30 were wounded when grenades were thrown by suspected Islamic guerrillas near Jammu-Kashir.
2002 – Venezuela’s interim president, Pedro Carmona, resigned a day after taking office. Thousands of protesters had supported over the ousting of president Hugo Chavez.