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1478 - The Pazzi attack Lorenzo de' Medici and kill his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Florence Cathedral.

1607 - English colonists of the Jamestown settlement make landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia.

1802 - A general amnesty signed by Napoleon Bonaparte allowed all but about one thousand of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, as part of a reconciliary gesture to make peace with the various factions of the Ancien Regime that would ultimately consolidate his own rule.

1805 - United States Marines captured Derne, Tripoli under the command of First Lieutenant Presley N. O'Bannon.

1865 - American Civil War: Confederate General Joseph Johnston surrenders his army to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina.

1865 - Union cavalry troopers corner John Wilkes Booth, President Lincoln's assassin, in a barn in Virginia. Booth is shot dead by cavalryman Boston Corbett.

1925 - Paul von Hindenburg defeats Wilhelm Marx in the second round of the German presidential election to become the first directly elected Reichspräsident, the head of state of the Weimar Republic.

1933 - The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established.

1937 - Spanish Civil War: Guernica, Spain is bombed by German Luftwaffe.

1942 - The worst-ever mining accident in history kills 1,549 miners in an explosion at the Honkeiko Colliery, Manchuria.

1945 - Battle of Bautzen (World War II) - last successful German tank-offensive

1946 - Father Divine, a controversial religious leader who claims to be God, marries the much-younger Edna Rose Ritchings, a celebrated anniversary in the International Peace Mission movement.

1954 - The Geneva Conference, an effort to restore peace in Indochina and Korea, begins.


1956 - First container ship left Port Newark, New Jersey for Houston, Texas

1962 - NASA's Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon.

1964 - Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania.

1986 - In Ukraine, a nuclear reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear plant explodes, creating the world's worst nuclear disaster.

1991 - Seventy tornadoes break out in the central United States. Before its end, Andover, Kansas, would record the year's only F5 tornado (see Andover, Kansas Tornado Outbreak).

1994 - A China Airlines Airbus A-300-600R crashes at Nagoya Airport, Japan killing 264.

2002 - 19-year-old Robert Steinhäuser shoots and kills 17 people at his school in Erfurt, Germany.

2005 - Under international pressure, Syria withdraws the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country.



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