1025 – Bolesław Chrobry is crowned in Gniezno, becoming the first King of Poland.
1506 – The cornerstone of the current St. Peter’s Basilica is laid.
1775 – Paul Revere and William Dawes ride from Charleston to Lexington warning the “regulars are coming!”
1783 – Fighting ceases in the American Revolution, eight years to the day since it began.
1848 – American victory at the battle of Cerro Gordo opens the way for invasion of Mexico.
1861 – Col Robert E. Lee turns down offer to command Union armies
1868 – San Francisco Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals formed
1874 – David Livingstone, African explorer, buried in Westminster Abbey
1881 – Billy the Kid escapes from the Lincoln County jail in Mesilla, New Mexico.
1902 – Denmark is first country to adopt fingerprinting to identify criminals
1906 – San Francisco earthquake and fire kills nearly 4,000 and three quarters of the city
1912 – The Cunard liner RMS Carpathia brings 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic to New York City docking at Chelsea piers. Click here to see news footage
1923 – 74,000 (62,281 paid) on hand for opening of Yankee Stadium
1924 – First crossword puzzle book published (Simon & Schuster)
1925 – World’s Fair opens in Chicago
1954 – Colonel Nasser seizes power and becomes Prime Minister of Egypt
1956 – Egypt and Israel agree to a cease fire
1958 – A United States federal court rules that poet Ezra Pound is to be released from an insane asylum.
1964 – Sandy Koufax is first to strike out the side on 9 pitches
1983 – A lone suicide bomber kills 63, at US Embassy in Lebanon
1987 – An unconscious skydiver is rescued by another diver in mid-air
1994 – Former President Nixon suffered a stroke and dies 4 days later
2013 – Two earth-like planets are discovered orbiting the star Kepler-62
1480 – Lucretia Borgia, murderess (poison)/daughter (Pope Alexander VI)
1857 – Clarence S Darrow, defense attorney at Scopes monkey trial
1956 – Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco in a civil ceremony
1161 – Theobald of Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury
1945 – Ernest T Pyle, British/US newscaster, killed in WW II at 44
1955 – Albert Einstein, Nobel laureate (b. 1879)
1976 – Percy Julian, holder of more than 138 chemical patents, dies at 78
1996 – Piet Hein, architect/poet/mathematician/inventor, dies at 80
2002 – Thor Heyerdahl, Norwegian explorer (b. 1914)
2012 – Dick Clark, American radio and television personality, dies at 82
Edited from various sources including historyorb.com, the NYTimes.com Wikipedia and other internet searches