- 1861 The United States Civil War begins with Confederate forces firing on Fort Sumter
- 1961 Yuri Gagarin is the first man in space.
- 1981 Columbia 1 mission, the first Space Shuttle launch.
- 1945 - Franklin Roosevelt, 32nd president of the United States, dies of a cerebral hemmorage. Vice President Harry S Truman takes the oath of office.