1498 – Vasco de Gama landed at what is now Mozambique on his way to India.
1562 – In Vassy, France, Catholics massacred over 1,000 Huguenots. The event started the First War of Religion.
1692 – In Salem Village, in the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Salem witch trials began. Four women were the first to be charged.
1781 – In America, the Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation.
1784 – In Great Britain, E. Kidner opened the first cooking school.
1790 – The U.S. Congress authorized the first U.S. census.
1803 – Ohio became the 17th U.S. state.
1810 – Sweden became the first country to appoint an Ombudsman, Lars August Mannerheim.
1811 – Egyptian ruler Mohammed Ali massacred the leaders of the Mameluke dynasty.
1815 – Napoleon returned to France from the island of Elba. He had been forced to abdicate in April of 1814.
1845 – U.S. President Tyler signed the congressional resolution to annex the Republic of Texas.
1862 – Prussia formally recognized the Kingdom of Italy.
1864 – Louis Ducos de Hauron patented a machine for taking and projecting motion pictures. The machine was never built.
1867 – Nebraska became the 37th U.S. state.
1869 – Postage stamps with scenes were issued for the first time.
1872 – The U.S. Congress authorized the creation of Yellowstone National Park. It was the world’s first national park.
1873 – E. Remington and Sons of Ilion, NY, began the manufacturing the first practical typewriter.
1879 – The library of Hawaii was established.
1890 – “Literary Digest” was available for the first time.
1896 – The Battle of Adowa began in Ethiopia between the forces of Emperor Menelik II and Italian troops. The Italians were defeated.
1900 – In South Africa, Ladysmith was relieved by British troops after being under siege by the Boers for more than four months.
1907 – In Odessa, Russia, there were only about 15,000 Jews left due to evacuations.
1907 – In Spain, a royal decree abolished civil marriages.
1907 – In New York, the Salvation Army opened an anti-suicide bureau.
1911 – Industrialist Henry Frick acquired Velasquez’s “Portrait of King Philip IV.”
1911 – Jose Ordonez was elected President of Uraguay.
1912 – Captain Albert Berry made the first parachute jump from a moving airplane.
1924 – Disney released the first Alice Comedy entitled “Alice’s Day at Sea.”
1927 – The Bank of Italy became a National Bank.
1932 – The 22-month-old son of Charles and Anne Lindbergh was kidnapped. The child was found dead in May.
1937 – U.S. Steel raised workers’ wages to $5 a day.
1937 – In Connecticut, the first permanent automobile license plates were issued.
1941 – FM Radio began in Nashville, TN, when station W47NV began operations.
1941 – Bulgaria joined the Axis powers by signing the Tripartite Pact.
1941 – “Duffy’s Tavern” debuted on CBS Radio.
1947 – The International Monetary Fund began operations.
1947 – Chinese Premier T.V. Soong resigned.
1949 – Joe Louis announced that he was retiring from boxing as world heavyweight boxing champion.
1950 – Klaus Fuchs was convicted of giving U.S. atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.
1954 – The United States announced that it had conducted a hydrogen bomb test on the Bikini Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. It was the first U.S. test of a dry fuel hydrogen bomb under Operation Castle.
1954 – Five U.S. congressmen were wounded when four Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives.
1959 – Archbishop Makarios returned to Cyprus from exile.
1961 – The Peace Corps was established by U.S. President Kennedy.
1962 – Pakistan announced that it had a new constitution that set up a presidential system of government.
1966 – The Soviet probe, Venera 3 crashed on the planet Venus. It was the first unmanned spacecraft to land on the surface of another planet.
1966 – Ghana ordered all Soviet, East German and Chinese technicians to leave the country.
1969 – Mickey Mantle announced his retirement from major league baseball.
1971 – A bomb exploded in a restroom in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol. There were no injuries. A U.S. group protesting the Vietnam War claimed responsibility.
1974 – Seven people were indicted in connection with the Watergate break-in. The charge was conspiring to obstruct justice.
1983 – The New Jersey Transit strike began. It ended on April 2.
1984 – The U.S.S.R. performed a nuclear test at Eastern Kazakhstan, Semipalatinsk, U.S.S.R.
1987 – The Boston Celtics defeated Detroit 112-102 to post their 2,235th NBA win.
1987 – S&H Green Stamps became S&H Green Seals. The stamps were introduced 90 years earlier.
1988 – Soviet troops were sent into Azerbaijan after ethnic riots between Armenians and Azerbaijanis.
1989 – In Washington, DC, Mayor Barry and the City council imposed a curfew on minors.
1990 – In Cairo, 16 people were killed in a fire at the Sheraton Hotel.
1992 – Bosnian Serb snipers fired upon civilians after a majority of the Moslem and Croatian communities voted in favor of Bosnia’s independence.
1992 – King Fahd of Saudi Arabia announced major political reforms that ceded some powers after 10 years of disciplined rule.
1992 – Bosnian Muslims and Croats voted to secede from Yugoslavia.
1993 – The U.S. government announced that the number of food stamp recipients had reached a record number of 26.6 million.
1994 – Israel released about 500 Arab prisoners in an effort to placate Palestinians over the Hebron massacre.
1995 – The European Parliament rejected legislation that would have allowed biotechnology companies to patent new life forms.
1995 – Yahoo! was incorporated.
1996 – In Kuala, Lumpur, construction was completed for the Petronas Towers.
1999 – The Angolan Embassy in Lusaka, Zambia, exploded. Four other bombs went off in the capital.
1999 – In Uganda, eight tourists were brutally murdered by Hutu rebels.
1999 – Bertrand Piccard and Brian Jones began their attempt to circumnavigate the Earth in a hot air balloon non-stop. They succeeded on March 20, 1999.
2002 – Operation Anaconda began in eastern Afghanistan. Allied forces were fighting against Taliban and Al Quaida fighters.
2003 – In New York, a $250,000 Salvador Dali sketch was stolen from a display case in the lobby at Rikers Island jail. On June 17, 2003, it was announced that four corrections officers had surrendered and pled innocent in connection to the theft. The mixed-media composition was a sketch of the crucifixion.
2003 – In the U.S., approximately 180,000 personnel from 22 different organizations around the government became part of the Department of Homeland Security. This completed the largest government reorganization since the beginning of the Cold War.
2003 – Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was captured by CIA and Pakistani agents near Islamabad. He was the suspected mastermind behind the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001.