2006 - Desmond Dekker, Jamaican ska musician (b. 1941)
2007 - Charles Nelson Reilly, American actor and host (b. 1931)
1085 - Alfonso VI of Castile takes Toledo, Spain back from the Moors.
1420 - Henry the Navigator is appointed governor of the Order of Christ.
1521 - The Diet of Worms ends when Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Edict of Worms, declaring Martin Luther an outlaw.
1659 - Richard Cromwell resigns as Lord Protector of England following the restoration of the Long Parliament, beginning a second brief period of the republican government called the Commonwealth of England.
1738 - A treaty between Pennsylvania and Maryland ends the Conojocular War with settlement of a boundary dispute and exchange of prisoners.
1787 - In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, delegates convene a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution for the United States. George Washington presides.
1810 - In the May Revolution, citizens of Buenos Aires expel the Viceroy during the Semana de Mayo.
1837 - The Patriots of Lower Canada (Quebec) rebel against the British for freedom.
1865 - In Mobile, Alabama, 300 are killed when an ordnance depot explodes.
1895 - Playwright, poet, and novelist Oscar Wilde is convicted of "committing acts of gross indecency with other male persons" and sentenced to serve two years in prison.
1895 - The Republic of Formosa is formed, with Tang Ching-sung as the president.
1914 - The United Kingdom's House of Commons passes the Home Rule Act for devolution in Ireland.
1925 - Scopes Trial: John T. Scopes is indicted for teaching Charles Darwin's theory of evolution.
1926 - Sholom Schwartzbard assassinates Symon Petliura, the head of the Paris-based government-in-exile of Ukrainian People's Republic.
1935 - Jesse Owens of Ohio State University breaks five world records and ties a sixth at the Big Ten Conference Track and Field Championships in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
1936 - The Remington Rand strike, led by the American Federation of Labor, begins.
1938 - Spanish Civil War: The bombing of Alicante takes place, with 313 deaths.
1940 - World War II: The Battle of Dunkirk begins.
1946 - The parliament of Transjordan makes Abdullah I of Jordan their king.
1953 - Nuclear testing: At the Nevada Test Site, the United States conducts its first and only nuclear artillery test.
1953 - The first public television station in the United States officially begins broadcasting as KUHT from the campus of the University of Houston.
1955 - In the United States, a night time F5 tornado strikes the small city of Udall, Kansas, killing 80 and injuring 273. It is the deadliest tornado to ever occur in the state and the 23rd deadliest in the U.S.
1961 - Apollo program: U.S. President John F. Kennedy announces before a special joint session of Congress his goal to initiate a project to put a "man on the moon" before the end of the decade.
1963 - In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Organisation of African Unity is established.