1817 – Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc founded the American School for the Deaf, the first American school for deaf students, in Hartford, Connecticut.
1841 – Joseph E. Seagram, Canadian businessman and politician, founded the Seagram Company Ltd (d. 1919) is born.
1861 – President Abraham Lincoln calls for 75,000 Volunteers to quell the insurrection that soon became the American Civil War
1865 – President Abraham Lincoln dies after being shot the previous evening by actor John Wilkes Booth. Vice President Andrew Johnson, becomes President upon Lincoln's death.
1892 – The General Electric Company is formed.
1896 – Closing ceremony of the Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece.
1907 – Triangle Fraternity is founded at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign
1912 – The British passenger liner RMS Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg. Only 710 of 2,227 passengers and crew on board survive.
1920 – Two security guards are murdered during a robbery in South Braintree, Massachusetts. Anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti would be convicted of and executed for the crime, amid much controversy.
1922 – U.S. Senator John B. Kendrick of Wyoming introduces a resolution calling for an investigation of a secret land deal, which leads to the discovery of the Teapot Dome scandal.
1923 – Insulin becomes generally available for use by people with diabetes.
1924 – Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas.
1947 – Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball's color line.
1955 – McDonald's restaurant dates its founding to the opening of a franchised restaurant by Ray Kroc, in Des Plaines, Illinois
1960 – At Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina, Ella Baker leads a conference that results in the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, one of the principal organizations of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
1964 – The first Ford Mustang rolls off the show room floor, two days before it is set to go on sale nationwide.
1982 – Seth Rogen, Canadian-American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter is born.
1986 – The United States launches Operation El Dorado Canyon, its bombing raids against Libyan targets in response to a bombing in West Germany that killed two U.S. servicemen.
1990 – Emma Watson, English actress is born.
1990 – Greta Garbo, Swedish-American actress (b. 1905) dies.
2013 – Two bombs explode near the finish line at the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, killing three people and injuring 264 others.