AD 70 – Siege of Jerusalem: Titus and his Roman legions breach the Second Wall of Jerusalem. Jewish defenders retreat to the First Wall. The Romans build a circumvallation, cutting down all trees within fifteen kilometers.
1381 – Beginning of the Peasants’ Revolt in England.
1431 – Hundred Years’ War: In Rouen, France, the 19-year-old Joan of Arc is burned at the stake by an English-dominated tribunal. The Roman Catholic Church remembers this day as the celebration of Saint Joan of Arc.
1536 – King Henry VIII of England marries Jane Seymour, a lady-in-waiting to his first two wives.
1539 – In Florida, Hernando de Soto lands at Tampa Bay with 600 soldiers with the goal of finding gold.
1631 – Publication of Gazette de France, the first French newspaper.
1806 – Future U.S. President Andrew Jackson kills Charles Dickinson in a duel.
1834 – Minister of Justice Joaquim António de Aguiar issues a law seizing “all convents, monasteries, colleges, hospices and any other houses” from the Catholic religious orders in Portugal, earning him the nickname of “The Friar-Killer”.
1842 – John Francis attempts to murder Queen Victoria as she drives down Constitution Hill in London with Prince Albert.
1883 – A rumor that the Brooklyn Bridge is going to collapse causes a stampede that crushes twelve people.
1899 – Pearl Hart, a female outlaw of the Old West, robs a stage coach 30 miles southeast of Globe, Arizona.
1911 – At the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the first Indianapolis 500 ends with Ray Harroun in his Marmon Wasp becoming the first winner of the 500-mile auto race.
1914 – The new, and then the largest, Cunard ocean liner RMS Aquitania, 45,647 tons, sets sails on her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England, to New York.
1922 – The Lincoln Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C..
1941 – World War II: Manolis Glezos and Apostolos Santas climb the Athenian Acropolis and tear down the German flag.
1948 – A dike along the flooding Columbia River breaks, obliterating Vanport, Oregon within minutes. Fifteen people die and tens of thousands are left homeless.
1961 – The long-time Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo is assassinated in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
1967 – The Nigerian Eastern Region declares independence as the Republic of Biafra, sparking a civil war.
1968 – Charles de Gaulle reappears publicly after his flight to Baden-Baden, Germany, and dissolves the French National Assembly by a radio appeal. Immediately after, less than one million of his supporters march on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This is the turning point of May 1968 events in France.
1971 – Mariner program: Mariner 9 is launched to map 70% of the surface of Mars, and to study temporal changes in the atmosphere and surface.
1974 – The Airbus A300 passenger aircraft first enters service.
1975 – European Space Agency is established.
1989 – Tiananmen Square protests of 1989: The 33-foot high “Goddess of Democracy” statue is unveiled in Tiananmen Square by student demonstrators.
2012 – Former Liberian president Charles Taylor is sentenced to 50 years in prison for his role in atrocities committed during the Sierra Leone Civil War.
1918 – Pita Amor, Mexican poet and author (d. 2000)
1955 – Topper Headon, English drummer and songwriter (The Clash)
1962 – Kevin Eastman, American author and illustrator, co-created the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
1431 – Joan of Arc, French martyr and saint (b. 1412)
1778 – Voltaire, French philosopher and author (b. 1694)