1492 – Christopher Columbus signed a contract with Spain to find a passage to Asia and the Indies.
1521 – Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.
1808 – Bayonne Decree by Napoleon I of France ordered the seizure of U.S. ships.
1864 – U.S. Civil War General Grant banned the trading of prisoners.
1865 – Mary Surratt was arrested as a conspirator in the Lincoln assassination.
1895 – China and Japan signed the Treaty of Shimonoseki. It was the end of the first Sino-Japanese War. In the treaty China ceded Taiwan to Japan.
1941 – Igor Sikorsky accomplished the first successful helicopter lift-off from water near Stratford, CT.
1946 – The last French troops left Syria.
1961 – About 1,400 U.S.-supported Cuban exiles invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. It was an unsuccessful attack.
1964 – Jerrie Mock became first woman to fly an airplane solo around the world.
1964 – The Ford Motor Company unveiled its new Mustang model.
1967 – The U.S. Supreme Court barred Muhammad Ali’s request to be blocked from induction into the U.S. Army.
1969 – In Los Angeles, Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of assassinating U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy.
1969 – Czechoslovak Communist Party chairman Alexander Dubcek was deposed.
1970 – Apollo 13 returned to Earth safely after an on-board accident with an oxygen tank.
1975 – Khmer Rouge forces capture the capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh. It was the end of the five-year war.
1983 – In Warsaw, police routed 1,000 Solidarity supporters.
1985 – In Lebanon, the cabinet resigned as Shiites took W. Beirut.
1987 – In Sri Lanka, Tamil guerrillas killed 122 people in a road ambush.
1989 – In Poland, courts gave Solidarity legal status.
2002 – At the National Maritime Museum in London, the exhibit “Skin Deep – A History of Tattooing” opened.