1429 - Joan of Arc enters Orleans, France, and defeats the English.

1587 - English admiral Sir Francis Drake enters Cadiz harbour and sinks the Spanish fleet, an action he referred to "as singeing the king of Spain's beard".

1628 - Sweden and Denmark sign defence treaty against Duke of Wallenstein, bringing Sweden into the Thirty Years' War.

1770 - British navigator Captain James Cook, aboard the Endeavour, lands at Botany Bay (originally named Stingray Bay) in Australia.

1781 - French fleet under Admiral Suffren prevents Britain from seizing Cape of Good Hope.

1826 - Liberal constitution is promulgated in Portugal for a hereditary monarchy.

1913 - Swedish engineer Gideon Sundback patents an improved version of the zipper.

1916 - The Easter Rising in Dublin collapses as Irish nationalists surrender to British authorities.

1918 - Germany's main offensive on the Western Front in World War I ends.

1942 - The Japanese army captures the town of Lashio, cutting off the burma adventure tours Road between China and India.

1944 - US forces attack Truk in the Caroline Islands, dropping over 800 tonnes of bombs.

1945 - US soldiers in Germany liberate 32,000 Nazi victims from the concentration camp in Dachau; Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler marries Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker, and designates Admiral Karl Doenitz his successor.

1946 - 28 former Japanese leaders are indicted in Tokyo as war criminals.

1960 - In Hobart, conductor Ray Donoghue tries to stop his out-of-control tram, filled with passengers, as it careers downhill. The tram crashes, killing him instantly. He is posthumously awarded the George Cross for bravery.

1965 - Prime Minister Robert Menzies announces Australia will send an infantry battalion to Vietnam.

1970 - Queensland students claim a new world car-carrying record when 25 lug a Mini Minor more than 90 metres along Queen street when police ordered it to be removed after it had stalled.

1972 - In Burundi, the deposed King Ntare V is killed in an abortive coup.

1973 - Israel decides to expand civil rights of its 336,000 Arab citizens to reward Israeli Arab community for its loyalty.

1975 - In the closing hours of the Vietnam War, US task force evacuates foreigners and Vietnamese by helicopter from Saigon.

1980 - British-born film director Sir Alfred Hitchcock dies, aged 80.

1981 - Truck driver Peter Sutcliffe admits in a London court to being the Yorkshire Ripper, killer of 13 women in northern England.

1990 - Wrecking cranes tear down the section of the Berlin Wall surrounding the Brandenburg Gate, the wall's most famous section.

1991 - An earthquake in Soviet Georgia kills at least 144 people.

1992 - A jury in Los Angeles acquits policemen charged with beating black man Rodney King, setting off three days of riots that kill 55 people.

1992 - The US announces it is further easing its 28-year-old economic embargo against Vietnam, saying it will allow sales of food, medicine and farm machinery.

1993 - Gunmen in Costa Rica free 18 Supreme Court justices they have held hostage for four days; The Queen announces that, for the first time, Buckingham Palace will be opened to tourists, to help raise money for repairs at fire-damaged Windsor Castle.

1994 - South Africa's first democratic elections end.

1995 - In Sri Lanka, Tamil rebels down a military jet with a missile, killing 52 people.

1998 - Brazil announces an unprecedented plan to protect an area of Amazon forest half the size of France.

1998 - Israelis begin marking the 50th anniversary of the founding of their country.

1999 - NATO warplanes accidentally strike a home in Bulgaria during bombing runs over Serbia and Montenegro.

2000 - Tens of thousands of angry Cuban-Americans march peacefully through Miami's Little Havana, protesting at the raid in which armed federal agents took six-year-old Elian Gonzalez from the home of relatives.

2002 - The world's biggest genetic database, built on DNA samples from 500,000 Britons, is given the go-ahead.

2004 - Google files with US regulators to become a publicly listed company and sell as much as $US2.7 billion ($A3.47 billion) in stock.

2005 - A UN spokesman reports that UN peacekeepers sexually abused and exploited local women and girls in Liberia.

2009 - The Geneva-based World Health Organisation raises its alert level for the fast-spreading swine flu to its next-to-highest notch, signalling a global pandemic could be imminent.

2011 - Prince William and Kate Middleton marry at London's Westminster Abbey.

2012 - Federal MP Craig Thomson is suspended from the Labor Party over allegations he misused almost $500,000 in union members' funds on prostitutes, cash withdrawals and electioneering.

2013 - Syria's prime minister, Wael Nader al-Halqi, narrowly escapes an assassination attempt in Damascus.

2015: Ten years after their arrests in Indonesia for attempting to smuggle heroin from Bali to Australia, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are executed by firing squad on the prison island of Nusakambangan.

2016 - Syrian airstrikes devastate Aleppo as Assad government says it will enforce a "regime of calm".

2017 - The White House Correspondent's Dinner is held without Donald Trump, becoming the first incumbent president to miss the event since Ronald Reagan in 1981


John Arbuthnot, English physicist-satirist (1667-1745); Arthur Wellesley, first Duke of Wellington, English soldier and politician (1769-1852); William Randolph Hearst, US publisher (1863-1951); Margaret Preston, Australian artist (1875-1963); Sir Thomas Beecham, English conductor (1879-1961); Japan's Emperor Hirohito (1901-1989); Fred Zinnemann, Austrian-born film director (1907-1997); Peter Sculthorpe, Australian composer (1929-2014); Willie Nelson, US singer (1933-); Bernie Madoff, American investor and fraudster (1938-); Phillip Noyce, Australian film director (1950-); Jerry Seinfeld, US comedian (1954-); Daniel Day-Lewis, British actor (1957-); Michelle Pfeiffer, US actor (1958-); Andre Agassi, US tennis player (1970-); Uma Thurman, US actor (1970-).


If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing. - Anatole France, French author and critic (1844-1924).