1452 Ludovico Sforza (born), Italian son of Francesco I Sforza (died 1508)
1549 The Jesuit priest Francis Xavier’s ship reaches Japan.
1663 The English Parliament passes the second Navigation Act requiring that all goods bound for the American colonies have to be sent in English ships from English ports.
1667 Johann Bernoulli (born), Swiss mathematician (died 1748)
1694 A Royal charter is granted to the Bank of England.
1733 Jeremiah Dixon (born), English surveyor and astronomer (died 1779)
1740 Jeanne Baré (born), French explorer (died 1803)
1759 Pierre Louis Maupertuis (died), French mathematician and philosopher (born 1698)
1778 American Revolution: First Battle of Ushant British and French fleets fight to a standoff.
1789 The first U.S. federal government agency, the Department of Foreign Affairs, is established (it will be later renamed Department of State).
1794 French Revolution: Maximilien Robespierre is arrested after encouraging the execution of more than 17,000 “enemies of the Revolution”.
1818 Agostino Roscelli (born), Italian priest and founder of the Institute of Sisters of the Immaculata (died 1902)
1824 Alexandre Dumas (born), French author and playwright (died 1895)
1833 Thomas George Bonney (born), English geologist (died 1923)
1844 John Dalton (died), English physicist, meteorologist, and chemist (born 1776)
1857 José Celso Barbosa (born), Puerto Rican physician, sociologist, and politician (died 1921)
1862 Sailing from San Francisco, California to Panama City, Panama, the SS Golden Gate catches fire and sinks off Manzanillo, Mexico, killing 231.
1863 William Lowndes Yancey (died), American journalist and politician (born 1813)
1865 Welsh settlers arrive at Chubut in Argentina.
1866 The first permanent transatlantic telegraph cable is successfully completed, stretching from Valentia Island, Ireland, to Heart’s Content, Newfoundland.
1882 Geoffrey de Havilland (born), English pilot and engineer, founded the de Havilland Aircraft Company (died 1965)
1886 Ernst May (born), German architect (died 1970)
1890 Vincent van Gogh shoots himself and dies two days later.
1900 Kaiser Wilhelm II makes a speech comparing Germans to Huns; for years afterwards, “Hun” would be a disparaging name for Germans.
1905 Leo Durocher (born), American baseball player and manager (died 1991)
1919 The Chicago Race Riot erupts after a racial incident occurred on a South Side beach, leading to 38 fatalities and 537 injuries over a five-day period.
1921 Researchers at the University of Toronto led by biochemist Frederick Banting prove that the hormone insulin regulates blood sugar.
1922 Norman Lear (born), American screenwriter and producer
1924 Vincent Canby (born), American critic (died 2000)
1929 The Geneva Convention of 1929, dealing with treatment of prisoners-of-war, is signed by 53 nations.
1931 Auguste Forel (died), Swiss myrmecologist, neuroanatomist, and psychiatrist (born 1848)
1931 Jerry Van Dyke (born), American actor and singer
1933 Nick Reynolds (born), American bongo player (The Kingston Trio) (died 2008)
1938 Gary Gygax (born), American game designer, co-created Dungeons & Dragons (died 2008)
1940 The animated short A Wild Hare is released, introducing the character of Bugs Bunny.
1941 Japanese troops occupy French Indochina.
1942 World War II: Allied forces successfully halt the final Axis advance into Egypt.
1944 Bobbie Gentry (born), American singer-songwriter and guitarist
1944 Jean-Marie Leblanc (born), French cyclist
1946 Gertrude Stein (died), American author and poet (born 1874)
1948 Peggy Fleming (born), American figure skater
1949 Initial flight of the de Havilland Comet, the first jet-powered airliner.
1949 Maureen McGovern (born), American singer and actress
1953 Fighting in the Korean War ends when the United States, China, and North Korea sign an armistice agreement. Syngman Rhee, President of South Korea, refuses to sign but pledges to observe the armistice.
1955 Bobby Rondinelli (born), American rock drummer (Blue Öyster Cult, Rainbow, Quiet Riot and Black Sabbath)
1957 Bill Engvall (born), American comedian and actor
1964 Vietnam War: 5,000 more American military advisers are sent to South Vietnam bringing the total number of United States forces in Vietnam to 21,000.
1973 Abe Cunningham (born), American drummer (Deftones and Phallucy)
1974 Watergate scandal: the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee votes 27 to 11 to recommend the first article of impeachment (for obstruction of justice) against President Richard Nixon.
1976 Former Japanese prime minister Kakuei Tanaka is arrested on suspicion of violating foreign exchange and foreign trade laws in connection with the Lockheed bribery scandals.
1977 Jonathan Rhys Meyers (born), Irish actor
1981 6 year old Adam Walsh, son of John Walsh is kidnapped in Hollywood, Florida and is found murdered two weeks later.
1981 British television: on Coronation Street, Ken Barlow marries Deirdre Langton, which proves to be a national event scoring massive viewer numbers for the show.
1983 Black July: 18 Tamil political prisoners at the Welikada high security prison in Colombo are massacred by Sinhalese prisoners, the second such massacre in two days.
1987 RMS Titanic Inc. begins the first expedited salvage of wreckage of the RMS Titanic.
1988 Frank Zamboni (died), American inventor and businessman, founded the Zamboni Company (born 1901)
1990 The Supreme Soviet of the Belarusian Soviet Republic declares independence of Belarus from the Soviet Union. Until 1996 the day is celebrated as the Independence Day of Belarus; after a referendum held that year the celebration of independence is moved to June 3.
1995 The Korean War Veterans Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C..
1996 Centennial Olympic Park bombing: in Atlanta, United States, a pipe bomb explodes at Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Summer Olympics. One woman (Alice Hawthorne) is killed, and a cameraman suffers a heart attack fleeing the scene. 111 are injured.
1999 Harry Edison (died), American trumpet player (Count Basie Orchestra) (born 1915)
1999 Tony Hawk lands the first 900 on a skateboard (2 and a half complete revolutions) at the fifth annual X Games in San Francisco, California.
2001 Leon Wilkeson (died), American bass player and songwriter (Lynyrd Skynyrd) (born 1952)
2002 Ukraine airshow disaster: a Sukhoi Su-27 fighter crashes during an air show at Lviv, Ukraine killing 85 and injuring more than 100 others, the largest air show disaster in history.
2003 Bob Hope (died), English-American actor, singer, and producer (born 1903)
2003 Vance Hartke (died), American lieutenant, lawyer, and politician (born 1919)
2005 STS-114: NASA grounds the Space Shuttle, pending an investigation of the continuing problem with the shedding of foam insulation from the external fuel tank. During ascent, the external tank of the Space Shuttle Discovery sheds a piece of foam slightly smaller than the piece that caused the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster; this foam does not strike the spacecraft.
2007 Phoenix News Helicopter Collision: news helicopters from Phoenix, Arizona television stations KNXV and KTVK collide over Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix while covering a police chase;