1566 – Two-hundred Dutch noblemen, led by Hendrick van Brederode, force themselves into the presence of Margaret of Parma and present the Petition of Compromise, denouncing the Spanish Inquisition in the Seventeen Provinces.
1614 – In Virginia, Native American Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe.
1621 – The Mayflower sets sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts on a return trip to England.
1792 – President George Washington exercises his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States.
1922 – The American Birth Control League, forerunner of Planned Parenthood, is incorporated.
1933 –Franklin D. Roosevelt signs two executive orders: 6101 to establish the Civilian Conservation Corps, and 6102 “forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates” by U.S. citizens.
1943 – World War II: American bomber aircraft accidentally cause more than 900 civilian deaths, including 209 children, and 1,300 wounded among the civilian population of the Belgian town of Mortsel. Their target was the Erla factory one kilometer from the residential area hit.
1951 – Cold War: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are sentenced to death for spying for the Soviet Union.
1958 – Ripple Rock, an underwater threat to navigation in the Seymour Narrows in Canada is destroyed in one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions of the time.
1991 – An ASA EMB 120 crashes in Brunswick, Georgia, killing all 23 aboard including Sen. John Tower and astronaut Sonny Carter.
2010 – Twenty-nine coal miners are killed in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.
1472 – Bianca Maria Sforza, Italian wife of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor (d. 1510)
1845 – Friedrich Sigmund Merkel, German anatomist and histopathologist (d. 1919)
1856 – Booker T. Washington, African-American educator, essayist and historian (d. 1915)
1908 – Bette Davis, American actress (d. 1989)
1922 – Gale Storm, American actress and singer (d. 2009)
1205 – Isabella I of Jerusalem, queen regent of Jerusalem (b. 1172)
1871 – Paolo Savi, Italian geologist and ornithologist (b. 1798)
1948 – Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, socialite and philanthropist (b. 1874)
1964 – Douglas MacArthur, American general (b. 1880)
1975 – Chiang Kai-shek, Chinese general and politician, 1st President of the Republic of China (b. 1887)
1976 – Howard Hughes, American pilot, engineer, and director (b. 1905)
1982 – Abe Fortas, American lawyer and jurist (b. 1910)
2005 – Saul Bellow, Canadian-American novelist, essayist and short story writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1915)
2014 – Peter Matthiessen, American novelist, short story writer, editor, co-founded The Paris Review (b. 1927)
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