1336 – Francesco Petrarca (Petrarch) ascends Mont Ventoux.
1478 – The Pazzi attack Lorenzo de' Medici and kill his brother Giuliano during High Mass in the Duomo of Florence.
1564 – Playwright William Shakespeare was baptized in Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire, England (date of actual birth is unknown).
1607 – English colonists make landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia.
1721 – A massive earthquake devastates the Iranian city of Tabriz.
1802 – Napoleon Bonaparte signs a general amnesty to allow all but about one thousand of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, as part of a reconciliary gesture with the factions of the Ancien Régime and to eventually consolidate his own rule.
1803 – Thousands of meteor fragments fall from the skies of L'Aigle, France; the event convinces European science that meteors exist.
1805 – First Barbary War: United States Marines captured Derne under the command of First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon.
1865 – American Civil War: Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrenders his army to General William Tecumseh Sherman at the Bennett Place near Durham, North Carolina. Also the date of Confederate Memorial Day for two states.
1865 – Union cavalry troopers corner and shoot dead John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Lincoln, in Virginia.
1903 – Atlético Madrid Association football club is founded
1923 – The Duke of York weds Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westminster Abbey.
1925 – Paul von Hindenburg defeats Wilhelm Marx in the second round of the German presidential election to become the first directly elected head of state of the Weimar Republic.
1933 – The Gestapo, the official secret police force of Nazi Germany, is established.
1937 – Spanish Civil War: Guernica (or Gernika in Basque), Spain is bombed by German Luftwaffe.
1942 – Benxihu Colliery accident in Manchukuo leaves 1549 Chinese miners dead.
1943 – The Easter Riots break out in Uppsala, Sweden.
1944 – Georgios Papandreou becomes head of the Greek government-in-exile based in Egypt.
1944 – Heinrich Kreipe is captured by Allied commandos in occupied Crete.
1945 – World War II: Battle of Bautzen – last successful German tank-offensive of the war and last noteworthy victory of the Wehrmacht.
1945 – World War II: Filipino troops of the 66th Infantry Regiment, Philippine Commonwealth Army, USAFIP-NL and the American troops of the 33rd and 37th Infantry Division, United States Army are liberated in Baguio City and they fight against the Japanese forces under General Tomoyuki Yamashita.
1946 – Naperville train disaster kills 47.
1954 – The Geneva Conference, an effort to restore peace in Indochina and Korea, begins.
1956 – SS Ideal X, the world's first successful container ship, leaves Port Newark, New Jersey for Houston, Texas.
1958 – Final run of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's Royal Blue from Washington, D.C., to New York City after 68 years, the first U.S. passenger train to use electric locomotives.
1960 – Forced out by the April Revolution, President of South Korea Syngman Rhee resigns after twelve years of dictatorial rule.
1962 – NASA's Ranger 4 spacecraft crashes into the Moon.
1963 – In Libya, amendments to the constitution transform Libya (United Kingdom of Libya) into one national unity (Kingdom of Libya) and allows for female participation in elections.
1964 – Tanganyika and Zanzibar merge to form Tanzania.
1965 – A Rolling Stones concert in London, Ontario is shut down by police after 15 minutes due to rioting.
1966 – An earthquake of magnitude 7.5 destroys Tashkent.
1966 – A new government is formed in the Republic of Congo, led by Ambroise Noumazalaye.
1970 – The Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization enters into force.
1981 – Dr. Michael R. Harrison of the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center performs the world's first human open fetal surgery.
1982 – Fifty-seven people are killed by former police officer Woo Bum-kon in a shooting spree in Gyeongsangnam-do, South Korea.
1986 – A nuclear reactor accident occurs at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in the Soviet Union (now Ukraine), creating the world's worst nuclear disaster.
Reactor No. 4 with its enclosing sarcophagus.
1989 – The deadliest tornado in world history strikes Central Bangladesh, killing upwards of 1,300, injuring 12,000, and leaving as many as 80,000 homeless.
1989 – People's Daily publishes the People's Daily editorial of April 26 which inflames the nascent Tiananmen Square protests
1991 – Seventy tornadoes break out in the central United States. Before the outbreak's end, Andover, Kansas, would record the year's only F5 tornado (see Andover, Kansas Tornado Outbreak).
1994 – China Airlines Flight 140 crashes at Nagoya Airport in Japan, killing 264 of the 271 people on board.
2002 – Robert Steinhäuser infiltrates and kills 16 at Gutenberg-Gymnasium in Erfurt, Germany before dying of a self-inflicted gunshot.
2005 – Under international pressure, Syria withdraws the last of its 14,000 troop military garrison in Lebanon, ending its 29-year military domination of that country (Syrian occupation of Lebanon).
2010 – The Boobquake, an earthquake of boobs.