1626 – Sir Francis Bacon, English philosopher, statesman, and essayist, dies poor and in disgrace. His debts amounted to more than £23,000, an equivalent to over 6 million dollars at today's prices.
1865 - At Appomattox, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders his 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War.
1881 - After a one-day trial, Billy the Kid is found guilty of murdering the Lincoln County, New Mexico, sheriff and is sentenced to hang. On April 28, Billy managed to escape, just like in the movie. While one of the jail's two guards was busy buying dinner for a group of prisoners, Billy asked the remaining guard to take him to the jail outhouse. He shot the guard, with a smuggled gun and escaped. Garrett, who was also a criminal with a badge, immediately formed a posse and set off to recapture the outlaw. On July 14, Garrett shot his friend, Billy, in the back.
1926 – Hugh Hefner, American entrepreneur and publisher is born for porn.
1939 – Marian Anderson sings at the Lincoln Memorial, after being denied the right to sing at the Daughters of the American Revolution's Constitution Hall, because of her race. Their refusal placed Anderson into a national spotlight, with the backing of President Roosevelt and wife, Anderson performed a critically acclaimed open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, to a crowd of more than 75,000 people.
1942 - U.S. surrenders in Bataan. Major General Edward P. King Jr. surrenders at Bataan, Philippines and 78,000 troops, the largest contingent of U.S. soldiers ever to surrender, are taken captive by the Japanese. The prisoners were led 55 miles from Mariveles to San Fernando, on what became known as the "Bataan Death March." At least 600 Americans and 5,000 Filipinos died because of the extreme brutality of their captors, who starved, beat, and kicked them on the way; those who became too weak to walk were bayoneted. Those who survived were taken by rail from San Fernando to POW camps, where another 16,000 Filipinos and at least 1,000 Americans died from disease, mistreatment, and starvation.
New Mexico represent! There was a huge New Mexico contingency. I recall one gentlemen, who had been part of the Death March, he had all his fingers cut off. He would sit in the back of the car and drink his scotch from a tumbler. I remember driving with him to Civic Auditorium to see Ricky Romero and Cyclon Negro, and of course, the Funk Bros.
1959 – Frank Lloyd Wright, American architect passes.
1959 - NASA announced the selection of America's first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton.
2005 - Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles wed. Charles met his second wife, then Camilla Shand, at a polo match in 1970. They got it on. She married army officer Andrew Parker Bowles in 1973, she remained very friendly with the Prince Charles, even after his 1981 fairy tale wedding to Diana. Camilla and Andrew Parker Bowles divorced in 1995, and Charles followed suit. Then they did what they shoulda done in the beginning, and married each other.Though she technically became the Princess of Wales with the marriage, Parker Bowles has announced her preference for the title Duchess of Cornwall, in deference to the beloved late princess.