1502 – Christopher Columbus left Spain for his final trip to the Western Hemisphere.
1671 – Thomas “Captain” Blood stole the crown jewels from the Tower of London.
1926 – Americans Richard Byrd and Floyd Bennett became the first men to fly an airplane over the North Pole.
1955 – West Germany joined NATO.
1974 – The House Judiciary Committee began formal hearings on the Nixon impeachment.
1978 – The bullet-riddled body of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro was found in an automobile in the center of Rome. The Red Brigades had abducted him.
1980 – A Liberian freighter hit the Sunshine Skyway Bridge over Tampa Bay in Florida. 35 motorists were killed and a 1,400-foot section of the bridge collapsed.
1996 – In video testimony to a courtroom in Little Rock, AR, U.S. President Clinton insisted that he had nothing to do with a $300,000 loan in the criminal case against his former Whitewater partners.
2002 – In Bethlehem, West Bank, a deal was reached that would end the 38-day standoff at the Church of the Nativity. Thirteen suspected militants were to be deported to several different countries. The standoff had begun on April 2, 2002.
2002 – In Kaspiisk, Russia, 39 people were killed and at least 130 were injurde when a remote-controlled bomb exploded during a holiday parade.
2002 – In Bahrain, people were allowed to vote for representatives for the first time in nearly 30 years. Women were allowed to vote for the first time in the country’s history.