- 1896 – Closing ceremony of the Games of the I Olympiad in Athens, Greece.
- 1912 – The British passenger liner, the RMS Titanic, sinks in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two and a half hours after hitting an iceberg. 1,517 people are killed.
- 1947 – Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball's color line.
- 1989 – Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 begin in the People's Republic of China.
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- 1452 – Leonardo da Vinci, Italian Renaissance polymath (d. 1519)
- 1889 – A. Philip Randolph, American activist (d. 1979)
- 1894 – Nikita Khrushchev, Premier of the Soviet Union (d. 1971)
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