- 1429 – French troops led by Joan of Arc lift the siege of Orleans.
- 1852 – The first edition of Peter Roget’s Thesaurus is published.
- 1945 – The German armed forces in Italy surrender to the allies.
- 1945 – A day before committing suicide, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun marry. On the same day, U.S. troops liberated the Dachau concentration camp near Munich.
- 1968 – The musical “Hair” goes to Broadway. As a portrait of the 1960s hippie counterculture and sexual revolution, it was highly controversial at the time. Some of the musical’s songs became anthems of the peace movement during the Vietnam War.
- 1975 – The US army pulls out of Vietnam.
- 1975 – Hubert van Es takes the famous picture of a helicopter airlift from a Saigon rooftop. The image shows South Vietnamese civilians employed by the U.S. trying to escape Saigon on the day before the city’s fall. It came to symbolize the American defeat in Vietnam.
- 1992 – Riots erupted in Los Angeles following the announcement that a jury in Simi Valley, California, had failed to convict four Los Angeles police officers accused in the videotaped beating of an African American man.
- 1997 – The Chemical Weapons Convention becomes effective. The arms control treaty prohibits the production, storage, and use of chemical weapons. It has so far been ratified by some 190 countries.
- 1863 – American publisher William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951) was born in San Francisco
- 1854 – Henri Poincaré (French mathematician, physicist, engineer)
- 1899 – Duke Ellington (American pianist, composer, bandleader)
- 1901 – Japan’s Emperor Hirohito (1901-1989) was born in Tokyo
- 1951 – Dale Earnhardt (Race car driver)
- 1954 – Jerry Seinfeld (Comedien)
- 1957 – Daniel Day Lewis (Actor)
- 1958 – Michelle Pfeiffer (Actress)
- 1970 – Andre Agassi (Tennis Player)
- 1970 – Master P (Rapper)
- 1970 – Uma Thurman (Actress)
- 1974 – Anggun (Indonesian/French singer-songwriter, producer)
- 1983 – Jay Cutler (NFL Quarterback)
- 1921 – Arthur Mold (English cricketer)
- 1937 – William Gillette (American actor, author)
- 1951 – Ludwig Wittgenstein (Austrian/English philosopher)
- 1980 – Alfred Hitchcock (English director, producer)
- 2006 – John Kenneth Galbraith (Canadian/American economist)