English lyric poet Edward de Vere, 17th earl of Oxford, born. Some believe he is the real author of Shakespeare's plays.
The Union Flag is adopted as the flag of English and Scottish ships.
The Inquisition begins formal interrogation of Galileo Galilei.
Confederate troops fire the first shot of the Civil War against Fort Sumter, South Carolina.
Blues guitarist and sing, Hound Dog Taylor born in Natchez, Mississippi.
Singer Tiny Tim (born Herbert Khaury) born in New York.
Jazz pianist, composer, and bandleader Herbie Hancock born in Chicago, Illinois.
President Franklin Roosevelt, 63, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia.
Talk show host David Letterman born in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin made the first successful manned space flight.
The first launch of a Space Shuttle (Columbia) takes place - the STS-1 mission.
Today from Chamber's Book of Days
French Republican Calendar
Germinal 23 Marronnier