323 BC – Alexander the Great, Macedonian king, kaput. Fancy education, via Aristotle, succeeded his father Philip II of Macedon to the throne in 336 BC after the King was assassinated and died thirteen years later at the age of 32. He partied and went to bed, never to rise again. Unlike the south.
1329 – Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, dies in a fiery car smash.
1494 – Spain and Portugal sign the Treaty of Tordesillas which divides the New World between the two countries. It is promptly ignored by all other European nations.
1584 – Sir Walter Raleigh establishes the first English colony on Roanoke Island, in the New World. They flourish.
1839 – In China, Lin Tse-hsü destroys 2.6 million pounds of opium confiscated from British merchants, providing Britain with a justification to open hostilities, resulting in the First Opium War. After the destruction of the opium, Lin Zexu jotted a note to the Queen of GB and said, "why you got to go be like that?" Her response was less than friendly.
455 – Sack of Rome: The Vandals enter Rome, and plunder the city. The sack of 455 is generally seen as being more thorough than the Visigothic sack of 410, because the Vandals plundered Rome for 2 weeks whereas the Visigoths spent only three days in the city. Rome was sacked a lot.
1495 – Friar John Cor records the first known batch of Scotch Whisky.
“To Friar John Cor, by order of the King, to make aqua vitae VIII bolls of malt.” — Exchequer Rolls 1494–95, Vol x, p. 487.
1779 – Benedict Arnold, a general during the American Revolutionary War, was court-martialed. Arnold was charged with 13 counts of misbehavior, including misusing government wagons. His notorious betrayal was still many months away, but the seed was sown.
In 1780, Sir Henry Clinton offered Arnold £20,000 for delivering West Point. Arnold told General Washington that West Point was adequately prepared for an attack even though he was busy making sure that that it wasn't. He failed. His name has since become synonymous with traitor. Say what you will, his eggs are delicious.
1907 - John Wayne, an actor who came to epitomize the American West, is born in Winterset, Iowa. He is an jerkface and his movies suck. From wikipedia, in reference to an interview with Playboy magazine published on May 1, 1971, some quotes:
1543 – Copernicus dies. He died the same year his major work was published, saving him from the outrage of religious leaders who later condemned his heliocentric view of the universe as heresy. By the 18th Century, the Copernican view of the solar system was almost universally accepted. Heliocentric, I like that.
1881 - Clara Barton and Adolphus Solomons found the American National Red Cross, an organization established to provide humanitarian aid to victims of wars and natural disasters.
1924 - Fourteen-year-old Bobbie Franks is abducted from a Chicago street and killed. The killers, Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb, were extremely wealthy and intelligent teenagers whose sole motive for killing Franks was the desire to commit the "perfect crime." Both were convinced that their intelligence exempted them from the laws that bound other people. Leopold had already completed college, and was attending law school at the University of Chicago. Loeb was the youngest graduate in the history of the University of Michigan, and planned to enter the University of Chicago Law School.
1535 – French explorer Jacques Cartier sets sail on his second voyage to North America with three ships, 110 men, and Chief Donnacona's two kidnapped sons.
1536 - George Boleyn, and four other chaps were beheaded on Tower Hill. George was the brother of Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's twenty-seven millionth wife. He was convicted of incest with his sister, the Queen.
1787 – Captain Arthur Phillip leaves Portsmouth, England with eleven ships full of convicts to establish a penal colony in Australia.
1310 ? In France, fifty-four members of the Knights Templar are burned at the stake as heretics. King Philip IV of France, deeply in debt to the Order, had them arrested. They were charged with apostasy, idolatry, heresy, obscene rituals and homosexuality, fraud, and worst of all, secrecy.
70 – Titus, son of Emperor Vespasian, opens a full assault on Jerusalem and attacks the city's Third Wall.
558 – In Constantinople, the dome of the Hagia Sophia collapses.
1812 – Robert Browning, English poet is born.
1840 – Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Russian composer, is born.