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1653 - Oliver Cromwell dissolves the Rump Parliament.

1657 - Admiral Robert Blake destroys a Spanish silver fleet under heavy fire at Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

1657 - Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City) granted freedom of religion.

1689 - The former King James II of England, now deposed, lays siege to Derry.

1770 - Lieutenant James Cook's expedition (first voyage) makes first sighting of eastern Australian coastline, naming the spot Cape Hicks. His logbook recorded the date as April 19, but the 20th was the actual calendar date.

1775 - American Revolutionary War: the siege of Boston begins, which followed the first battles at Lexington and Concord.

1792 - France declares war on Austria, the beginning of French Revolutionary Wars.

1836 - U.S. Congress passes an act creating the Wisconsin Territory.

1861 - American Civil War: Robert E. Lee resigns his commission in the United States Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.

1862 - The first pasteurization test completed by Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard.

1876 - The April Uprising breaks out in Bulgaria.

1884 - Pope Leo XIII publishes the encyclical, Humanum Genus.

1902 - Pierre and Marie Curie refine radium chloride.


1908 - Opening day of competition of the New South Wales Rugby League.

1912 - Opening day for baseball stadiums Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Michigan, and Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.

1914 - Seventeen men, women, and children die in the Ludlow Massacre during a bitter Colorado coal-miner's strike.

1918 - Manfred von Richthofen, aka The Red Baron, shoots down his 79th and 80th victims marking his final victories before his death the following day.

1926 - Western Electric and Warner Bros. announce Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film.

1945 - US troops capture Leipzig, Germany, only to later cede the city to the Soviet Union.

1953 - Project BLUEBIRD turns into Project MKULTRA.

1967 - A Swiss Britannia turboprop crashes at Toronto, Canada, killing 126.

1968 - A South African Airways Boeing 707 crashes during takeoff at Windhoek, South-West Africa, killing 122.

1968 - English politician Enoch Powell makes his controversial Rivers of Blood speech.

1972 - Apollo 16 lands on the Moon.

1978 - Korean Air Flight 902 shot down by Soviets.

1985 - ATF raid on The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord compound in northern Arkansas.


1998 - An Air France Boeing 727-200 crashes into mountain after takeoff from Bogotá, Colombia, killing 53.

1998 - German terrorist group Red Army Faction announces their dissolution after 28 years.

1999 - Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 12 students and a teacher before killing themselves in the Columbine High School massacre.

1999 - Largest bombing of Kosovo by the United States in the Kosovo War.

2004 - In Iraq, 12 mortars are fired on Abu Ghraib Prison by insurgents, killing 22 detainees and wounding 92.


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