1770 – Captain James Cook discovered Botany Bay on the Australian continent.
1865 – At Appomattox Court House, Virginia, General Robert E. Lee surrendered his Confederate Army to Union General Ulysses S. Grant in the parlor of Wilmer McClean’s home. Grant allowed Rebel officers to keep their sidearms and permitted soldiers to keep their horses and mules. Though there were still Confederate armies in the field, the war was officially over. The four years of fighting had killed 360,000 Union troops and 260,000 Confederate troops.
1900 – British forces routed the Boers at Kroonstadt, South Africa.
1916 – The German army launched it’s third offensive during the Battle of Verdun.
1917 – The Battle of Arras began as Canadian troops began a massive assault on Vimy Ridge.
1918 – Latvia proclaimed its independence.
1921 – The Russo-Polish conflict ended with signing of Riga Treaty.
1940 – Germany invaded Norway and Denmark.
1942 – In the Battle of Bataan, American and Filipino forces were overwhelmed by the Japanese Army.
1945 – At Bari, Italy, the Liberty exploded and killed 360 people. The ship was carrying aerial bombs.
1957 – The Suez Canal was cleared for all shipping.
1959 – NASA announced the selection of America’s first seven astronauts.
1963 – Winston Churchill became the first honorary U.S. citizen.
1967 – The first Boeing 737 was rolled out for use.
1968 – Murdered civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., was buried.
1976 – The U.S. and Russia agreed on the size of nuclear tests for peaceful use.
1981 – The U.S. Submarine George Washington struck and sunk a small Japanese freighter in the East China Sea. The Nissho Maru’s captain and first mate died.
1983 – The space shuttle Challenger concluded it first flight.
1984 – Nicaragua asked the World Court to declare U.S. support for guerilla raids illegal.
1988 – The U.S. imposed economic sanctions on Panama.
1991 – Georgia voted to secede from the U.S.S.R.
1998 – The National Prisoner of War Museum opened in Andersonville, GA, at the site of an infamous Civil War camp.