- 1775 – In Philadelphia, the first abolitionist society in American was founded as the “Society for the relief of free Negroes unlawfully held in bondage”.
- 1828 – The first dictionary of American-style English was published by Noah Webster as the American Dictionary of the English Language.
- 1849 – First edition of the Webster Dictionary.
- 1865 – Abraham Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth.
- 1912 – The Titanic strikes an iceberg and starts to sink.
- 1927 – The first Volvo is manufactured.
- 1986 – U.S. warplanes, on orders from President Ronald Reagan, bombed the Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi in retaliation for the April 5th terrorist bombing of a discotheque in West Berlin in which two American soldiers were killed. Among the 37 person killed in the air raid was the infant daughter of Muammar Qaddafi, Libya’s head of state.
- 1986 – The heaviest hailstones ever recorded hit Bangladesh. The lumps of ice weighed about 1 kg (2.2 lb). At total of 92 people reportedly died as a result.
- 1988 – The Soviet Union agrees to withdraw from Afghanistan. Soviet troops had invaded the country in 1979 to support the communist rulers. They were defeated primarily by the Mujahideen, who were groups of militant Islamists sponsored by the CIA.
- 2003 – The Human Genome Project is completed. The project dedicated to mapping the genes of the human genome was started in October 1990.
- 1629 – Christiaan Huygens (Dutch mathematician, astronomer, physicist)
- 1891 – B. R. Ambedkar (Indian jurist, politician)
- 1892 – V. Gordon Childe (Australian archaeologist, philologist)
- 1904 – John Gielgud (English actor, director, producer)
- 1935 – Loretta Lynn (Country music singer)
- 1941 – Pete Rose (Baseball Player)
- 1973 – Adrian Brody (Actor)
- 1977 – Sarah Michelle Gellar (Actress)
- 1996 – Abigail Breslin (Actress)
- 1759 – George Frideric Handel (German/English composer)
- 1925 – John Singer Sargent (American painter)
- 1935 – Amalie Emmy Noether (German mathematician)
- 1950 – Ramana Maharshi (Indian philosopher)
- 1964 – Rachel Carson (American biologist, author)