1506: The cornerstone for St. Peter’s Basilica is laid at the Vatican.
1775: Paul Revere and others warn countryman of the British advancement by sea beginning the American Revolution. The first battles (Lexington and Concord)were fought the next day.
1906: An earthquake and the ensuing fire destroyed much of San Francisco, Calif. Joan of Arc was beatified in Rome.
1912: The Cunard liner RMS Carpathia brought 705 survivors from the RMS Titanic to New York City.
1923: Yankee Stadium, “The House that Ruth Built,” opened.
1924: Simon & Schuster published the first crossword puzzle book.
1981: The Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings, two teams from the Triple-A International League, played the longest game in professional baseball history. It lasted for 33 innings, over eight hours and 25 minutes of playing time. Thirty-two innings were played April 18-19, 1981 at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I., and the final 33rd inning was played June 23, 1981. Pawtucket won, 3-2.
1983: A suicide bomber destroyed the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63 people.
1988: The United States launched Operation Praying Mantis against Iranian naval forces in the largest naval battle since World War II.
1775: Americans claim victory in Concord making the first battle of the Revolutionary War.
1782: The Dutch Republic recognized the United States as an independent government to John Adams.
1971: Charles Manson was sentenced for conspiracy in the Tate-LaBianca murders. The initial sentence of death was later reduced to life in prison.
1997: The Red River overwhelmed the city of Grand Forks, N.D. Fire broke out and spread in downtown Grand Forks, but high water hampered efforts to reach the fire and 11 buildings were destroyed.
2005: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church following the death of Pope John Paul II. The new Pope took the regnal name Benedict XVI. Bryan Ottoson, guitarist for the band American Head Charge, died of a heroin overdose at age 27, joining The 27 Club.
1657: Freedom of religion was granted to the Jews of New Amsterdam (later New York City).
1828: René Caillié (1799-1838) of France became the first non-Muslim European to enter the town of Timbuktu, Mali, and leave alive.
1836: Congress passed a law creating the Wisconsin territory.
1861: Gen. Robert E. Lee betrayed his country and resigned his commission in the U.S. Army in order to command the forces of the state of Virginia.
1912: Major League Baseball’s Tiger Stadium in Detroit, and Fenway Park in Boston, opened for the first time.
1916: The Chicago Cubs played their first game at Weeghman Park (later renamed Wrigley Field), defeating the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings.
1918: German flying ace Manfred von Richthofen, a.k.a. The Red Baron, shot down his 79th and 80th victims, his final victories before his death the next day.
1926: Western Electric and Warner Bros. announced Vitaphone, a process to add sound to film.
1951: Romanian surgeon Dan Gavriliu (1915-2012) performed the first successful surgical replacement of a human organ. He replaced an esophagus using sections of stomach to bypass damaged or deformed tissue.
2008: Danica Patrick won the Indy Japan 300 to become the first female driver in history to win an Indy car race.
753 BC: Romulus and Remus founded Rome.
1782: The city that would become Bangkok, Thailand, was founded.
1910: American author Samuel “Mark Twain” Clemens died in Redding, Conn., at age 74.
1926: Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II was born in London.
1934: The “Surgeon’s Photograph,” the most famous photo allegedly showing the Loch Ness Monster, was published in the Daily Mail. (It is revealed to be a hoax in 1999.)
1962: The Seattle World’s Fair (Century 21 Exposition) opened. It was the first World’s Fair in the United States since World War II.
1988: The Shroud of Turin—the purported burial shroud of Jesus Christ—underwent carbon dating and was shown to have been made in about 1300.
1992: The first extrasolar planets were discovered by astronomers Aleksander Wolszczan and Dale Frail. They discovered two planets orbiting the pulsar PSR 1257+12.
1876: The first ever National League baseball game was played in Philadelphia.
1889: About 50,000 people lined up and ran to steak claim on up to 160 acres of the two million acres of unassigned lands available during the Oklahoma Land Rush.
1945: Adolf Hitler admitted defeat from an underground bunker. He states that suicide is his only recourse and followed through dying on April 30.
1970: The first Earth Day was celebrated.
1977: Optical fiber was first used to carry live telephone traffic.
2005: Speaking for Japan, Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi apologized for Japan’s war record.
2016: The Paris agreement was signed to help fight global warming.
1564: William Shakespeare is believed to have been born on this date. (He died 52 years later, also on April 23.)
1635: The first public school in the United States, Boston Latin School, was founded in Boston, Mass.
1789: President-elect George Washington and his wife moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House, in New York.
1791: James Buchanan, 15th president, was born near Mercersberg, Pa. (He was the only president to remain a bachelor his entire life.)
1914: The first baseball game was played at Wrigley Field, then known a Weeghman Park, in Chicago.
1939: Born this day: Lee Majors, American actor, and Ray Peterson, American singer (“Tell Laura I Love Her” and “Corinna, Corinna,” died 2005).
1943: Born this day: Gail Goodrich, American basketball player; and Tony Esposito, Canadian-American ice hockey player, coach and manager.
1954: Born this day: Michael Moore, American director, producer and activist; and Tony Atlas, American bodybuilder and wrestler.
1961: Born this day, Terry Gordy, American wrestler (died 2001); and George Lopez, American comedian, actor and talk show host.
1974: Dr. Carl Barnett, 59, died of a heart attack while conducting Bach’s Come, Sweet Death at Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Okla. It was his first and last performance of that piece.
1985: Coca-Cola changed its formula and released New Coke. The response was overwhelmingly negative and the original formula was back on the market in less than three months as “Classic Coke.”
2005: The First YouTube video was uploaded, titled “Me at the zoo.”
1184 B.C.: The city of Troy fell to Greek invaders.
1704: The first newspaper in the United States, the News-Letter, began publishing in Boston.
1800: The U.S. Library of Congress was established when President John Adams signed legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress.”
1916: Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launched a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean to organize a rescue for the ice-trapped ship Endurance.
1918: The first tank-to-tank combat took place at Villers-Bretonneux, France, when three British Mark IVs met three German A7Vs.
1942: Born this day: singer/actress Barbra Streisand, and Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.
1953: Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
1967: Cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first person to die during a space mission after the parachute of his capsule failed to deploy following re-entry.
2005: Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was inaugurated as the 265th Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, taking the name Pope Benedict XVI. “Snuppy” became the first cloned dog, an Afghan hound, in South Korea.