1416 – Jerome of Prague was burned as a heretic by the Church.
1431 – Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in Rouen, France, at the age of 19.
1527 – The University of Marburg was founded in Germany.
1539 – Hernando de Soto, the Spanish explorer, landed in Florida with 600 soldiers to search for gold.
1783 – The first daily newspaper was published in the U.S. by Benjamin Towner called “The Pennsylvania Evening Post”
1814 – The First Treaty of Paris was declared, which returned France to its 1792 borders.
1848 – W.G. Young patented the ice cream freezer.
1854 – The U.S. territories of Nebraska and Kansas were established.
1868 – Memorial Day was observed widely for the first time in the U.S.
1879 – William Vanderbilt renamed New York City’s Gilmore’s Garden to Madison Square Garden.
1883 – Twelve people were trampled to death in New York City in a stampede when a rumor that the Brooklyn Bridge was in danger of collapsing occurred.
1896 – The first automobile accident occurred in New York City.
1903 – In Riverdale, NY, the first American motorcycle hill climb was held.
1911 – Ray Harroun won the first Indianapolis 500. At the time, it was known as International 500-Mile Sweepstakes Race. Harroun’s average speed was 74.59 miles per hour.
1912 – The U.S. Marines were sent to Nicaragua to protect American interests.
1913 – The First Balkan War ended.
1921 – The U.S. Navy transferred the Teapot Dome oil reserves to the Department of the Interior.
1922 – The Lincoln Memorial was dedicated in Washington, DC.
1933 – Sally Rand introduced her exotic and erotic fan dance to audiences at Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition.
1943 – American forces secured the Aleutian island of Attu from the Japanese during World War II.
1958 – Unidentified soldiers killed in World War II and the Korean conflicts were buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
1967 – Daredevil Evel Knievel jumped 16 automobiles in a row in a motorcycle stunt at Ascot Speedway in Gardena, CA.
1967 – The state of Biafra seceded from Nigeria and Civil war erupted.
1971 – Mariner 9, the American deep space probe blasted off on a journey to Mars.
1981 – In Chittagong, Bangladesh, President Ziaur Rahman was assassinated.
1982 – Spain became the 16th NATO member. Spain was the first country to enter the Western alliance since West Germany in 1955.
1983 – Peru’s President Fernando Belaunde Terry declared a state of emergency and suspended civil rights after bombings by leftist rebels.
1989 – The “Goddess of Democracy” statue (33 feet height) was erected in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.
1996 – Britain’s Prince Andrew and the former Sarah Ferguson were granted an uncontested decree ending their 10-year marriage.
1997 – Jesse K. Timmendequas was convicted in Trenton, NJ, of raping and strangling a 7-year-old neighbor, Megan Kanka. The 1994 murder inspired “Megan’s Law,” requiring that communities be notified when sex offenders move in.
1998 – A powerful earthquake hit northern Afghanistan killing up to 5,000.
2003 – Peter Jennings was sworn in as a U.S. citizen.