1648 - Margaret Jones of Plymouth was found guilty of witchcraft and was sentenced to be hanged by the neck.
1787 - Captain Arthur Phillip left Britain for Australia. He successfully landed eleven ships full of convicts on January 18, 1788, at Botany Bay. The group moved north eight days later and settled at Port Jackson.
1821 - The first practical printing press was patented in the U.S. by Samuel Rust.
1861 - Britain declared its neutrality in the American Civil War.
1865 - The last land engagement of the American Civil War was fought at the Battle of Palmito Ranch in far south Texas, more than a month after Gen. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, VA.
1888 - Slavery was abolished in Brazil.
1912 - Royal Flying Corps was established in England.
1913 - Igor Sikorsky flew the first four engine aircraft.
1917 - Three peasant children near Fatima, Portugal, reported seeing a vision of the Virgin Mary.
1927 - "Black Friday" occurred in Germany.
1940 - Winston Churchill made his first speech as the prime minister of Britain.
1968 - Peace talks between the U.S. and North Vietnam began in Paris.
1981 - Pope John Paul II was shot and seriously wounded in St. Peter's Square by Turkish assailant Mehmet Ali Agca.
1998 - India did a second round of nuclear tests. The first round had been done 2 days earlier. Within hours the U.S. and Japan imposed tough economic sanctions. India claimed that the tests were necessary to maintain India's national security.