1204 – Constantinople falls to the Crusaders of the Fourth Crusade, temporarily ending the Byzantine Empire.
1612 – Miyamoto Musashi defeats Sasaki Kojirō at Funajima island.
1613 – Samuel Argall captures Native American princess Pocahontas in Passapatanzy, Virginia to ransom her for some English prisoners held by her father; she is brought to Henricus as hostage.
1699 – Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Sikh Guru, Created Khalsa on this day at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab.
1742 – George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah makes its world-premiere in Dublin, Ireland.
1777 – American Revolutionary War: American forces are ambushed and defeated in the Battle of Bound Brook, New Jersey.
1829 – The Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 gives Roman Catholics in the United Kingdom the right to vote and to sit in Parliament.
1849 – Hungary becomes a republic.
1861 – American Civil War: Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederate forces.
1865 – American Civil War: Raleigh, North Carolina is occupied by Union Forces.
1870 – The New York City Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded.
1873 – The Colfax massacre, in which more than 60 African Americans are murdered, takes place.
1902 – James C. Penney opens his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.
1909 – The military of the Ottoman Empire reverses the Ottoman countercoup of 1909 to force the overthrow of Sultan Abdul Hamid II.
1919 – The Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea is established.
1919 – Jallianwala Bagh massacre: British troops gun down at least 379 unarmed demonstrators in Amritsar, India; at least 1200 are wounded.
1919 – Eugene V. Debs is imprisoned at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, for speaking out against the draft during World War I.
1941 – A Pact of neutrality between the USSR and Japan is signed.
1943 – World War II: The discovery of mass graves of Polish prisoners of war killed by Soviet forces in the Katyń Forest Massacre is announced, causing a diplomatic rift between the Polish government-in-exile in London from the Soviet Union, which denies responsibility.
1943 – The Jefferson Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of President Thomas Jefferson's birth.
1944 – Diplomatic relations between New Zealand and the Soviet Union are established.
1945 – World War II: German troops kill more than 1,000 political and military prisoners in Gardelegen, Germany.
1945 – World War II: Soviet and Bulgarian forces capture Vienna.
1948 – In an ambush, 78 Jewish doctors, nurses and medical students from Hadassah Hospital, and a British soldier, are massacred by Arabs in Sheikh Jarrah.
1953 – CIA director Allen Dulles launches the mind-control program Project MKUltra.
1958 – American Van Cliburn wins the inaugural International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
1960 – The United States launches Transit 1-B, the world's first satellite navigation system.
1964 – At the Academy Awards, Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American male to win the Best Actor award for the 1963 film Lilies of the Field.
1970 – An oxygen tank aboard Apollo 13 explodes, putting the crew in great danger and causing major damage to the spacecraft while en route to the Moon.
1972 – The Universal Postal Union decides to recognize the People's Republic of China as the only legitimate Chinese representative, effectively expelling the Republic of China administering Taiwan.
1972 – Vietnam War: The Battle of An Lộc begins.
1974 – Western Union (in cooperation with NASA and Hughes Aircraft) launches the United States' first commercial geosynchronous communications satellite, Westar 1.
1975 – An attack by the Phalangist resistance kills 26 militia members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, marking the start of the 15-year Lebanese Civil War.
1976 – The United States Treasury Department reintroduces the two-dollar bill as a Federal Reserve Note on Thomas Jefferson's 233rd birthday as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration.
1976 – Forty workers die in an explosion at the Lapua ammunition factory, the deadliest accidental disaster in modern history in Finland.
1987 – Portugal and the People's Republic of China sign an agreement in which Macau would be returned to China in 1999.
1992 – Basements throughout the Chicago Loop are flooded, forcing the Chicago Board of Trade Building and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange to close.