1500 Portuguese explorer Pedro Cabral discovered and claimed Brazil
1509 Henry VIII became king of England.
1616 The Spanish poet Cervantes died in Madrid. (could be April 23)
1838 The first steamship to cross the Atlantic, the Sirius completed
its journey in 18 days.
1870 * Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov), leader of the Bolshevik
Revolution in Russia.
1889 US The land rush in Oklahoma began when it was opened to
1904 * Robert Oppenheimer, US nuclear scientist and developer of the
original atomic bomb.
1915 Germans used chlorine gas for the first time on the western
front at Ypres.
1916 * Yehudi Menuhin, US-born violinist.
1925 * George Cole, English actor who forever played the part of a
spiv in films and TV series.
1959 Dame Margot Fonteyn released from jail Panamanian police were
still hunting her husband, a former Panamanian ambassador in London,
suspected of planning a coup against the government of President
Ernesto de la Guarda.
1971 Haiti's ruler, Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier, died after 14
years in power.
1980 Thirteen leading officials of the ousted government in Liberia
were publicly executed on the orders of the new military regime.
1983 £1 coins were introduced into Britain, replacing the £1 paper
2000 US federal agents seize six-year-old Elian Gonzalez in a early
morning raid on his relatives' home.
xxxx * = Date of birth
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