1499 Catherine of Aragon is married by proxy to Arthur Tudor, Prince of Wales. Catherine is 13 and Arthur is 12.
1535 French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona’s two sons (whom Cartier had kidnapped during his first voyage).
1536 Anne Boley (born 1501)n, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest.
1554 The future Elizabeth I of England is released from the Tower of London and escorted to Woodstock, where she is put under house-arrest.
1568 Queen Elizabeth I of England orders the arrest of Mary, Queen of Scots.
1743 Jean-Pierre Christin developed the centigrade temperature scale.
1749 King George II of Great Britain grants the Ohio Company a charter of land around the forks of the Ohio River.
1776 American Revolutionary War: A Continental Army garrison surrenders in the Battle of The Cedars.
1780 New England’s Dark Day: A combination of thick smoke and heavy cloud cover causes complete darkness to fall on Eastern Canada and the New England area of the United States at 10:30 A.M.
1795 James Boswell (died), Scottish-English lawyer and author (born 1740)
1795 Johns Hopkins (born), American businessman and philanthropist (died 1873)
1795 Josiah Bartlett (died), American physician and politician, 4th Governor of New Hampshire (born 1729)
1802 Napoleon Bonaparte founds the Legion of Honour.
1825 Claude Henri de Rouvroy, comte de Saint-Simon (died), French philosopher (born 1760)
1828 U.S. President John Quincy Adams signs the Tariff of 1828 into law, protecting wool manufacturers in the United States.
1845 Captain Sir John Franklin and his ill-fated Arctic expedition depart from Greenhithe, England.
1848 Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the Mexican – American War and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for US$15 million.
1864 Nathaniel Hawthorne, American author (born 1804)
1890 Ho Chi Minh (born), Vietnamese politician, 1st President of Vietnam (died 1969)
1897 Oscar Wilde is released from Reading Gaol Prison.
1910 Nathuram Godse (born), Indian assassin of Mahatma Gandhi (died 1949)
1911 Parks Canada, the world’s first national park service, is established as the Dominion Parks Branch under the Department of the Interior.
1921 The U.S. Congress passes the Emergency Quota Act establishing national quotas on immigration.
1922 The Young Pioneer organization of the Soviet Union is established.
1925 Malcolm X (born), American minister and activist (died 1965)
1925 Pol Pot (born), Cambodian politician, 29th Prime Minister of Cambodia (died 1998)
1928 Colin Chapman (born), English engineer and businessman, founded Lotus Cars (died 1982)
1930 Eugene Genovese (born), American historian and author (died 2012)
1934 Jim Lehrer (born), American journalist and author
1935 David Hartman (born), American journalist and actor
1935 T. E. Lawrence (died), Welsh-English colonel (born 1888)
1941 Nora Ephron (born), American director, producer, and screenwriter (died 2012)
1942 Gary Kildall (born), American computer scientist, founded Digital Research Inc. (died 1994)
1943 World War II: British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt set Monday, May 1, 1944 as the date for the Normandy landings (“D-Day”). It would later be delayed over a month due to bad weather.
1945 Pete Townshend (born), English singer-songwriter and guitarist (The Who, Deep End, and Thunderclap Newman)
1946 André the Giant (born), French-American wrestler and actor (died 1993)
1946 Booth Tarkington (died), American author and playwright (born 1869)
1947 Steve Currie (born), English bass player (T. Rex) (died 1981)
1949 Archie Manning (born), American football player and sportscaster
1949 Dusty Hill (born), American singer-songwriter and bass player (ZZ Top and American Blues)
1950 A barge containing munitions destined for Pakistan explodes in the harbor at South Amboy, New Jersey, devastating the city.
1950 Egypt announces that the Suez Canal is closed to Israeli ships and commerce.
1951 Joey Ramone (born), American singer-songwriter (Ramones and Sniper) (died 2001)
1954 Phil Rudd (born), Australian drummer (AC/DC and Buster Brown)
1955 James Gosling (born), Canadian-American computer scientist, created Java
1959 Nicole Brown Simpson (born), German-American murder victim (died 1994)
1959 The North Vietnamese Army establishes Group 559, whose responsibility is to determine how to maintain supply lines to South Vietnam; the resulting route is the Ho Chi Minh trail.
1962 A birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of “Happy Birthday”.
1963 The New York Post Sunday Magazine publishes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail, drafted shortly after his arrest on April 12th during the Birmingham Campaign advocating for civil rights and an end to segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. The letter was in response to “A Call for Unity”: a statement made by eight white Alabama clergymen against King and his methods, following his arrest, and became one of the most-anthologized statements of the civil rights movement.
1965 Tu’i Malila (died), Malagasy turtle (born 1777)
1966 Jodi Picoult (born), American author
1969 Coleman Hawkins (died), American saxophonist (born 1901)
1971 Mars probe program: Mars 2 is launched by the Soviet Union.
1971 Ogden Nash (died), American poet (b. 1902)
1973 Dario Franchitti (born), Scottish race car driver
1986 The Firearm Owners Protection Act is signed into law by U.S. President Ronald Reagan.
1991 Croatians vote for independence in a referendum.
1994 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis (died), American journalist, 37th First Lady of the United States (born 1929)
1997 The Sierra Gorda Biosphere, the most ecologically diverse region in Mexico, is established as a result of grassroots efforts.