1862 - During the U.S. Civil War, about 14,000 Confederate soldiers surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, Tennessee.
1945 - During World War II, U.S. troops landed on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines.
1914 - The first airplane flight between Los Angeles and San Francisco took place.
1918 - Lithuania proclaimed its independence.
1923 - Howard Carter unsealed the burial chamber of Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamen. The next day he entered the chamber with several invited guests. He had originally found the tomb on November 4, 1922.
1937 - Wallace H. Carothers received a patent for nylon.
1946 - The first commercially designed helicopter was tested in Connecticut.
1959 - Fidel Castro seized power in Cuba after the overthrow of President Fulgencio Batista.
1960 - The U.S.S. Triton began the first circumnavigation of the globe under water. The trip ended on May 10.
1987 - John Demjanjuk went on trial in Jerusalem. He was accused of being "Ivan the Terrible", a guard at the Treblinka concentration camp. He was convicted, but the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the ruling.
2005 - The Kyoto global warming pact went into effect in 140 nations.