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648 BC - Earliest solar eclipse recorded by the Ancient Greeks.

402 - Stilicho stymies the Visigoths under Alaric in the Battle of Pollentia.

1320 - The Scots reaffirm their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath.

1327 - The poet Petrarch first saw his idealized love Laura (person) in the church of Saint Clare in Avignon.

1652 - Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck establishes a resupply camp at the Cape of Good Hope, which will eventually develop into Cape Town.

1667 - earthquake devastated Dubrovnik, then independent city-state.

1782 - Rama I succeeds King Taksin of Thailand, who was overthrown in a coup d'état.

1808 - John Jacob Astor incorporates the American Fur Company.

1814 - Napoleon abdicates. He is then exiled to Elba.

1830 - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. at Fayette, New York.

1832 - Indian Wars: Black Hawk War begins - The Sauk warrior Black Hawk enters into war with the United States.

1841 - John Tyler is inaugurated as the 10th President of the United States.

1862 - American Civil War: Battle of Shiloh begins - In Tennessee, forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant meet Confederate troops led by General Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh.


1865 - American Civil War: Battle of Sayler's Creek - Confederate General Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia fights its last major battle while in retreat from Richmond, Virginia.

1869 - Celluloid is patented.

1893 - Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints dedicated by Wilford Woodruff.

1895 - Oscar Wilde is arrested after losing a libel case against the John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry.

1896 - In Athens, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games 1,500 years after being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

1903 - The Kishinev pogrom in Kishinev (Bessarabia) begins, forcing tens of thousands of Jews to later seek refuge in Israel and The West.

1909 - Robert Peary allegedly reaches the North Pole.

1911 - Dedë Gjon Luli Dedvukaj, Leader of the Malësori Albanians, raises the Albanian flag in the town of Tuzi, Montenegro, for the first time after Gjergj Kastrioti (Skenderbeg).

1917 - World War I: United States declares war on Germany (see Wilson's address to Congress).

1926 - Walter Varney Airlines makes first commercial flight from Pasco, Washington, to Elko, Nevada. Varney is the root company of United Airlines.

1930 - Gandhi raises a lump of mud and salt (some say just a pinch, some say just a grain) and declares, "With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire." Thus he starts Salt Satyagraha.

1930 - Will Rogers starts broadcasting The Will Rogers Program on radio.

1931 - Little Orphan Annie debuts on the Blue Network of NBC.


1936 - Tupelo-Gainesville Outbreak: Another tornado from the same storm system as the Tupelo tornado hits Gainesville, Georgia, killing 203.

1938 - Teflon is discovered.

1941 - World War II: Operation Castigo begins; Germany invades Kingdom of Yugoslavia and Greece.

1965 - Early Bird, the first communications satellite to be placed in synchronous orbit, is launched.

1968 - In Richmond, Indiana's downtown district, a double explosion kills 41 and injures 150.

1970 - Newhall Incident: Four California Highway Patrol officers die in one of the worst cop killings in the CHP's history.

1972 - Vietnam War: Easter Offensive - The first day of clear weather in three days allows American forces to start sustained air strikes and naval bombardments.

1973 - Launch of Pioneer 11 spacecraft.

1984 - Members of Cameroon's Republican Guard from country's northern region attack various government buildings in an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow the government headed by Paul Biya.

1994 - The Rwandan Genocide begins when the aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira is shot down by extremists.

1998 - Pakistan tests medium-range missiles capable of hitting India.

1998 - The Dow Jones Industrial Average gains 49.82 to close at 9,033.23 -- its first-ever close above 9,000.

2004 - Rolandas Paksas becomes the first president of Lithuania to be peacefully removed from the post by impeachment.


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