1741 – Frederick II of Prussia defeated Maria Theresa’s forces at Mollwitz and conquered Silesia.
1790 – The U.S. patent system was established when U.S. President George Washington signed the Patent Act of 1790 into law.
1809 – Austria declared war on France and its forces entered Bavaria.
1814 – Napoleon was defeated at the Battle of Toulouse by the British and the Spanish. The defeat led to his abdication and exile to Elba.
1825 – The first hotel opened in Hawaii.
1849 – Walter Hunt patented the safety pin. He sold the rights for $100.
1854 – The constitution of the Orange Free State in south Africa was proclaimed.
1862 – Union forces began the bombardment of Fort Pulaski in Georgia along the Tybee River.
1865 – During the American Civil War, at Appomattox, General Robert E. Lee issued his last order.
1866 – The American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) was incorporated.
1902 – South African Boers accepted British terms of surrender.
1912 – The Titanic set sail from Southampton, England.
1916 – The Professional Golfers Association (PGA) held its first championship tournament.
1919 – In Mexico, revolutionary leader Emiliano Zapata was killed by government troops.
1922 – The Genoa Conference opened. The meeting was used to discuss the reconstruction of Europe after World War I.
1925 – F. Scott Fitzgerald published “The Great Gatsby” for the first time.
1930 – The first synthetic rubber was produced.
1932 – Paul von Hindenburg was elected president of Germany with 19 million votes. Adolf Hitler came in second with 13 million votes.
1938 – Germany annexed Austria after Austrians had voted in a referundum to merge with Germany.
1941 – In World War II, U.S. troops occupied Greenland to prevent Nazi infiltration.
1941 – Ford Motor Co. became the last major automaker to recognize the United Auto Workers as the representative for its workers.
1944 – Russian troops recaptured Odessa from the Germans.
1945 – German Me 262 jet fighters shot down ten U.S. bombers near Berlin.
1953 – Warner Bros. released “House of Wax.” It was the first 3-D movie to be released by a major Hollywood studio.
1953 – Actress Hedy Lamarr became a U.S. citizen.
1959 – Japan’s Crown Prince Akihito married commoner Michiko Shoda.
1960 – The U.S. Senate passed the Civil Rights Bill.
1961 – Gary Player of South Africa became the first foreign golfer to win the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, Georgia.
1963 – 129 people died when the nuclear-powered submarine USS Thresher failed to surface off Cape Cod, MA.
1967 – The 13-day strike by the American Federation of Radio-TV Artists (AFTRA) came to an end less than two hours before the 39th Academy Awards presentation went on the air.
1968 – U.S. President Johnson replaced General Westmoreland with General Creighton Abrams in Vietnam.
1971 – The American table tennis team arrived in China. They were the first group of Americans officially allowed into China since the founding of the People Republic in 1949. The team had recieved the surprise invitation while in Japan for the 31st World Table Tennis Championship.
1972 – An earthquake in southern Iran killed more than 5,000 people.
1972 – The U.S. and the Soviet Union joined with 70 other nations in signing an agreement banning biological warfare.
1973 – In Switzerland, 108 people died when a plane crashed while attempting to land at Basel.
1974 – Yitzhak Rabin replaced resigning Israeli Prime Minister, Golda Meir. Meir resigned over differences within her Labor Party.
1980 – Spain and Britain agreed to reopen the border between Gibraltar and Spain. It had been closed since 1969.
1981 – Imprisoned IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands was elected to the British Parliament.
1981 – The maiden launch of the space shuttle Columbia was cancelled because of a computer malfunction.
1984 – The U.S. Senate condemned the CIA mining of Nicaraguan harbors.
1988 – On Wall Street, 48 million shares of Navistar International stock changed hands in a single-block trade. It was the largest transaction ever executed on the New York Stock Exchange.
1990 – Three European hostages kidnapped at sea in 1987 by Palestinian extremists were released in Beirut.
1992 – A bomb exploded in London’s financial district. The bomb, set off by the Irish Republican Army, killed three people and injured 91.
1992 – Outside Needles, CA, comedian Sam Kinison was killed when a pickup truck slammed into his car on a desert road between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
1992 – In Los Angeles, financier Charles Keating Jr. was sentenced to nine years in prison for swindling investors when his Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed. The convictions were later overturned.
1993 – South African Communist Party leader Chris Hani was assassinated.
1994 – NATO warplanes launched air strikes for the first time on Serb forces that were advancing on the Bosnian Muslim town of Gordazde. The area had been declared a U.N. safe area.
1996 – U.S. President Clinton vetoed a bill that would have outlawed a technique used to end pregnancies in their late stages.
1997 – Rod Steiger received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1998 – Negotiators reached a peace accord on governing British ruled Northern Ireland. Britain’s direct rule was ended.
1999 – The http://www.June4.org web site was launched by Chinese dissidents and human rights activists to promote their campaign for democracy in China.
2000 – Monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) reported irregularities in the voting in Georgia’s presidential election on April 9. President Eduard Shevardnadze was reelected to a new five-year term.
2000 – Ken Griffey Jr. became the youngest player in baseball history to reach 400 home runs. He was 30 years, 141 days old.
2001 – Jane Swift took office as the first female governor of Massachusetts. She succeeded Paul Cellucci, who had resigned to become the U.S. ambassador to Canada.
2001 – The Netherlands legalized mercy killings and assisted suicide for patients with unbearable, terminal illness.
2002 – Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke before the U.S. Senate as a representative of the Israeli government. He warned that suicide bombers would spread to the U.S. if Israel was not allowed to finish its military offensive in the West Bank. Netanyaho also cited the goals of dismantling the terror regime and expelling Arafat from the region, ridding the Palestinian territories of terrorist weapons and establishing “physical barriers” to protect Israelis from future Palestinian attacks.
2009 – In Fiji, President Josefa Iloilo suspended the nation’s Constitution, dismissed all judges and constitutional appointees and assumed all governance in the country.