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.
1710 – The Statute of Anne receives the Royal Assent establishing the Copyright law of the United Kingdom.
1792 – United States President George Washington exercises his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States.
1900 – Archaeologists in Knossos, Crete, discover a large cache of clay tablets with hieroglyphic writing in a script they call Linear B.
1922 – The American Birth Control League, forerunner of Planned Parenthood, is incorporated.
1933 – President 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.
1956 – Fidel Castro declares himself at war with Cuban President Fulgencio Batista.
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.
1986 – Three people are killed in the bombing of the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin, Germany.
1992 – Alberto Fujimori, president of Peru, dissolves the Peruvian congress by military force.
2010 – Twenty-nine coal miners are killed in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia.
1588 – Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher (d. 1679)
1752 – Sébastien Érard, French instrument maker (d. 1831)
1761 – Sybil Ludington, heroine of the American Revolutionary War (d. 1839)
The daughter of Colonel Henry Ludington, has been celebrated as a heroine of the American Revolutionary War who, mounted on her horse, Star, became famous for her night ride on April 26, 1777, to alert militia forces to the approach of the British regular forces.
1856 – Booker T. Washington, American educator, essayist and historian (d. 1915)
1858 – Washington Atlee Burpee, Canadian businessman, founded Burpee Seeds (d. 1915)
1908 – Bette Davis, American actress (d. 1989)
1916 – Gregory Peck, American actor, political activist, and producer (d. 2003)
1934 – Roman Herzog, 7th President of Germany (d. 2017)
1937 – Colin Powell, American general and politician, 65th United States Secretary of State
The Powell Doctrine states that a list of questions all have to be answered affirmatively before military action is taken by the United States:
Is a vital national security interest threatened?
Do we have a clear attainable objective?
Have the risks and costs been fully and frankly analyzed?
Have all other non-violent policy means been fully exhausted?
Is there a plausible exit strategy to avoid endless entanglement?
Have the consequences of our action been fully considered?
Is the action supported by the American people?
Do we have genuine broad international support?
1949 – Judith Resnik, American engineer and astronaut (d. 1986)
1205 – Queen Isabella I of Jerusalem (b. 1172)
1952 – Charles Collett, English engineer (b. 1871)
1964 – Douglas MacArthur, American general (b. 1880)
1976 – Howard Hughes, American pilot, engineer, and director (b. 1905)
1982 – Abe Fortas, American lawyer and jurist (b. 1910)
1994 – Kurt Cobain, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1967)
1997 – Allen Ginsberg, American poet (b. 1926)
2005 – Saul Bellow, writer, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1915)
2008 – Charlton Heston, actor, director, and political activist (b. 1923)
2014 – Peter Matthiessen, American novelist, short story writer, editor, co-founded The Paris Review (b. 1927)
Edited from various sources including historyorb.com, the NYTimes.com Wikipedia and other internet searches