1912: Calbraith Perry Rodgers became the first pilot to die in an airplane crash as a result of colliding with birds, in Long Beach, Calif.
1936: Bruno Richard Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and death of Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr., the baby son of pilot Charles Lindbergh.
1961: The Leadbeater’s possum, once feared extinct, was rediscovered in Australia after 72 years
1968: Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech in Memphis, Tenn.
1973: Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first handheld mobile phone call to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs.
1981: The Osborne 1, the first successful portable computer, was unveiled at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco.
2010: Apple Inc. released the first generation iPad, a tablet computer.
1964: The Beatles occupied the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.
1968: Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., by white supremacist James Earl Ray.
1969: Dr. Denton Cooley implanted the first temporary artificial heart.
1973: The World Trade Center in New York was officially dedicated.
1975: Microsoft was founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, N.M.
1909: Albert R. Broccoli, U.S. film producer of the hugely successful James Bond franchise, was born this day (died 1996).
1922: The American Birth Control League, forerunner of Planned Parenthood, was incorporated.
1923: Firestone Tire and Rubber Company began production of balloon tires.
1956: On the 100th anniversary of Booker T. Washington’s birth, the house where he was born in Franklin County, Va., was designated as the Booker T. Washington National Monument.
1964: My Fair Lady won an Academy Award for best picture.
1909: U.S. Navy Rear Adm. Robert Peary and Matthew Henson became the first people to reach the geographic North Pole.
1917: The United States declared war on Germany during World War I, known then as The Great War.
1924: A team of U.S. aviators commenced the first round-the-world flight, leaving from Seattle. The trip took 175 days and covered 27,553 miles.
1947: The first Tony Awards were presented for theatrical achievement at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City.
1965: “Early Bird,” the first communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit, was launched at Cape Canaveral.
1971: Russian composer/conductor Igor Stravinski died at age 88.
1974: The Swedish pop band ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Waterloo,” launching their international career.
1994: The Rwandan Genocide began when the aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down.
1906: Mount Vesuvius erupted and devastated Naples, Italy.
1933: Prohibition in the United States was repealed for beer of no more than 3.2 percent alcohol by weight, eight months before the ratification of the 21st amendment.
1938: Born this day: Spencer Dryden, American drummer with Jefferson Airplane, New Riders of the Purple Sage, The Dinosaurs, and The Peanut Butter Conspiracy (died 2005)
1940: Booker T. Washington (1856-1915) became the first African American to be depicted on a U.S. postage stamp.
1945: During World War II, the Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, was sunk by American planes 200 miles north of Okinawa while en route to a suicide mission in Operation Ten-Go.
1947: U.S. inventor and industrialist Henry Ford died at age 83 in Dearborn, Mich.
1980: The United States severed relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran.
1926: Phillip McClean, 16, from Queensland, Australia, became the only person documented to have been killed by a cassowary.
1959: A team of computer manufacturers, users, and university people led by Grace Hopper met to discuss the creation of a new programming language that would be called COBOL.
1973: Artist Pablo Picasso died at age 91 near Mougins, France.
1974: At Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run to surpass Babe Ruth’s 39-year-old record.
2005: Over four million people attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II at Vatican City.
1940: Norwegian politician Vidkun Quisling interrupted a national radio broadcast to proclaim himself prime minister of Norway and ordered cooperation with invading Germans. His last name quickly became an international synonym for “traitor.”
1961: The Pacific Electric Railway in Los Angeles, once the largest electric railway in the world, ended operations, as the result of a conspiracy headed by General Motors to eliminate public train transportation in the U.S. and replace them with buses.
1965: The first indoor baseball game was played, with the opening of the Astrodome in Houston, Texas.
1967: The Boeing 737 made its maiden flight.