1565 – The city of Rio de Janeiro is founded.
1642 – Georgeana, Massachusetts (now known as York, Maine) becomes the first incorporated city in the United States.
1692 – Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba are brought before local magistrates in Salem Village, Massachusetts, beginning what would become known as the Salem witch trials. Eventually, 19 men and women were executed.
1781 – The Continental Congress adopts the Articles of Confederation.
1790 – The first United States census is authorized.
1803 – Ohio was admitted as the 17th state.
1845 – President John Tyler signs a bill authorizing the United States to annex the Republic of Texas.
1867 – Nebraska becomes the 37th state. Lancaster, Nebraska is renamed Lincoln and becomes the state capital.
1872 – Yellowstone national park is established as the world’s first national park.
1932 – Aviator Charles Lindbergh’s son was kidnapped. The child’s body was found on May 12. Bruno Hauptmann was convicted of the kidnapping and murder and executed in 1936.
1936 – The Hoover Dam is completed.
1953 – Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin suffers a stroke and collapses; he dies four days later.
1954 – Armed Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives, injuring five Representatives.
1971 – A bomb exploded in a restroom in the Senate wing of the U.S. Capitol, causing $300,000 damage but no injuries. The radical leftist group Weather Underground claimed responsibility.
1974 – Seven people are indicted for their role in the Watergate break-in and charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice.