Arnold (Joseph) Toynbee 1889 - Historian, author
- 1775 - The first abolitionist society in U.S. was organized in Philadelphia with Ben Franklin as president.
- 1828 - The first edition of Noah Webster's dictionary was published under the name "American Dictionary of the English Language."
- 1865 - U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in Ford's Theater by John Wilkes Booth. He actually died early the next morning.
- 1902 - James Cash (J.C.) Penney opened his first retail store in Kemmerer, WY. It was called the Golden Rule Store.
- 1912 - The Atlantic passenger liner Titanic, on its maiden voyage hit an iceberg and began to sink. 1,517 people lost their lives and more than 700 survived.
- 1925 - WGN became the first radio station to broadcast a regular season major league baseball game. The Cubs beat the Pirates 8-2.
- 1946 - The civil war between Communists and nationalist resumed in China.
- 1981 - America's first space shuttle, Columbia, returned to Earth after a three-day test flight. The shuttle orbited the Earth 36 times during the mission.
- 1988 - In New York, real estate tycoons Harry and Leona Helmsley were indicted for income tax evasion.