1585 – The expedition organized by Sir Walter Raleigh departs England for Roanoke Island (now in North Carolina) to establish the Roanoke Colony.
1682 – Robert Cavelier de La Salle discovers the mouth of the Mississippi River, claims it for France and names it Louisiana.
1865 – Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, bringing the Civil War to a close.
1866 – Congress passed the Civil Rights Bill of 1866, which granted African Americans the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship and formed the basis for the 14th Amendment.
1959 – NASA announces the selection of the United States’ first seven astronauts, whom the news media quickly dub the “Mercury Seven.”
1965 – The Astrodome opens. First indoor baseball game is played.
2003 – Baghdad falls to American forces.