1519 – Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés establishes a settlement at Veracruz, Mexico.
1836 – Texas Revolution: A day after the Battle of San Jacinto, forces under Texas General Sam Houston identify Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna among the captives of the battle when one of his fellow captives mistakenly gives away his identity.
1864 – The U.S. Congress passes the Coinage Act of 1864 that mandates that the inscription In God We Trust be placed on all coins minted as United States currency.
1876 – The first game in the history of the National League was played at the Jefferson Street Grounds in Philadelphia. This game is often pointed to as the beginning of the MLB.
1889 – At noon, thousands rush to claim land in the Land Rush of 1889. Within hours the cities of Oklahoma City and Guthrie are formed with populations of at least 10,000.
1898 – Spanish–American War: The USS Nashville captures a Spanish merchant ship.
1945 – World War II: Führerbunker: After learning that Soviet forces have taken Eberswalde without a fight, Adolf Hitler admits defeat in his underground bunker and states that suicide is his only recourse.
1954 – Red Scare: Witnesses begin testifying and live television coverage of the Army–McCarthy hearings begins.
1964 – The 1964-1965 New York World's Fair opens for its first season.
1970 – The first Earth Day is celebrated.
1972 – Vietnam War: Increased American bombing in Vietnam prompts anti-war protests in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco.
1977 – Optical fiber is first used to carry live telephone traffic.
1998 – Disney's Animal Kingdom opens at Walt Disney World near Orlando, Florida, United States.
2000 – In a pre-dawn raid, federal agents seize six-year-old Elián González from his relatives' home in Miami.
2008 – The United States Air Force retires the remaining F-117 Nighthawk aircraft in service.
1844 – Lewis Powell, American soldier, attempted assassin of William H. Seward (d. 1865)
1891 – Laura Gilpin, American photographer (d. 1979)
1904 – J. Robert Oppenheimer, American physicist and academic (d. 1967)
1906 – Eddie Albert, American actor, singer, and producer (d. 2005)
1923 – Aaron Spelling, American actor, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2006)
1944 – Steve Fossett, American businessman, pilot, and sailor (d. 2007)
1950 – Zygi Wilf, German-American businessman
1946 – Harlan F. Stone, American lawyer and jurist, 12th Chief Justice of the United States (b. 1872)
1983 – Earl Hines, American pianist and bandleader (b. 1903)
1984 – Ansel Adams, American photographer and environmentalist (b. 1902)
1994 – Richard Nixon, American lieutenant, lawyer, and politician, 37th President of the United States (b. 1913)
1995 – Jane Kenyon, American poet and author (b. 1947)
1995 – Maggie Kuhn, American activist, founded the Gray Panthers (b. 1905)
1996 – Erma Bombeck, American journalist and author (b. 1927)
2004 – Pat Tillman, American football player and soldier (b. 1976)
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