HIGHLIGHTS IN HISTORY ON THIS DATE
1124 - Alexander I, King of Scotland, dies.
1500 - Portuguese navigator Pedro Alvares Cabral becomes the first European to discover Brazil.
1821 - Greek Patriarch of Constantinople is slain by Turks as reprisal for Greek massacre of Turks in the Peloponnese.
1822 - Turkish fleet captures island of Chios off Greece and massacres Christian inhabitants or sells them as slaves.
1838 - British steamship Sirius becomes the first vessel to cross the Atlantic from Britain to New York on steam power only.
1915 - German army uses poison gas for first time on Western Front in World War I, as the second battle of Ypres begins in Belgium.
1944 - Allied forces begin invading Japanese-held New Guinea with amphibious landings near Hollandia.
1945 - Allied forces take Bologna in Italy during World War II.
1956 - China appoints Dalai Lama chairman of committee to prepare Tibet for regional autonomy within Chinese People's Republic.
1977 - Political violence escalates in Pakistan, with at least 10 people killed when police fire on anti-government demonstrators in Karachi.
1983 - Australia expels First Secretary of the Soviet Embassy, Valery Ivanov.
1990 - American Robert Polhill, held captive since January 24, 1987, is released by pro-Iranian Shi'ite group in Beirut; The flooded Queensland town of Charleville is evacuated.
1991 - An earthquake hits Costa Rica, causing extensive damage throughout the country and in western Panama.
1992 - Petrol leaking from a nearby refinery explodes in the sewer system of Guadalajara, Mexico, ripping open streets and killing 194 people.
1993 - A military court in Cairo sentences to death seven of 49 Islamic militants tried for attacks against tourists.
1994 - Former US President Richard Nixon dies of a stroke.
1995 - Hutu refugees flee the refugee camp at Kibeho, Zaire, after thousands are gunned down by soldiers or trampled to death in stampedes.
1997 - Peruvian troops storm the Japanese ambassador's mansion in Lima, Peru, and rescue 72 hostages held for four months, but one dies on the way to the hospital. All 14 rebel captors and two soldiers die.
1999 - NATO destroys Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic's home in Belgrade with bombs, claiming it is part of his military machine.
2002 - All four defendants on trial for the kidnapping and murder of US journalist Daniel Pearl plead not guilty as the trial begins in Pakistan.
2003 - France calls for the immediate suspension of most UN sanctions against Iraq.
2004 - A train laden with explosives blows up at a station near the centre of Ryongchon in North Korea, killing at least 161 people.
2006 - Hundreds are injured in Kathmandu when Nepali security forces open fire on tens of thousands of protesters marching toward the royal palace in defiance of a curfew, as opposition leaders reject the king's proposals for restoring democracy.
2007 - Gunmen execute 23 members of the ancient Yazidi religious sect in northern Iraq after stopping their bus and separating out followers of other faiths.
2008 - The office of Colombia's chief prosecutor orders the arrest of President Alvaro Uribe's cousin over alleged links to paramilitary gangs.
2010 - President Barack Obama rebukes Wall Street for risky practices even as he seeks its leaders' help for "updated, commonsense" banking regulations to head off any new financial crisis.
2011 - Syrian security forces fire bullets and tear gas at tens of thousands of protesters across the country, killing at least 75 and signalling the authoritarian regime is prepared to turn more ruthless to put down the revolt against President Bashar Assad.
2012 - Parliamentary Speaker Peter Slipper stands aside amid allegations of sexual harassment against a former male staffer and misusing Cabcharge entitlements.
2013 - A seriously wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is charged in his hospital room with bombing the Boston Marathon in a plot with his older brother. Their family moved to the US from Chechenya more than a decade earlier.
2014 - Bill Shorten unveils ALP reforms, including allowing people to join without being union members; The royal tour reaches the Northern Territory, with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge being introduced to the indigenous culture of Uluru; Charles Mihayo, 35, appears in Melbourne Magistrates Court, accused of murdering his two young daughters on Easter Sunday.
2015 - Actors Johnny Depp and Amber Heard arrive in Australia by private jet, but their pet dogs Pistol and Boo are not declared to Immigration and Customs officials.
2016 - Papua New Guinea is the first of all the countries that participated in the 2015 Paris Climate Conference to submit its climate action plan.
2017 - The killing of a policeman by a suspected Islamist militant pushes national security to the top of the French political agenda, two days before the presidential election.
Queen Isabella I of Spain, sponsor of Christopher Columbus (1451-1504); Henry Fielding, English author (1707-1754); Immanuel Kant, German philosopher (1724-1804); Madame de Stael (Anne-Louise-Germaine Necker, Baronne de Stael-Holstein), French writer (1766-1817); Vladimir Lenin, Russian statesman (1870-1924); Robert Oppenheimer, US nuclear scientist (1904-1967); Yehudi Menuhin, US-born violinist (1916-1999); Sidney Nolan, Australian artist (1917-1993); Aaron Spelling, US TV producer (1923-2006); George Cole, British actor (1925-2015); Glen Campbell, US singer (1936-); Jack Nicholson, US actor (1937-); Alan Bond, Australian entrepreneur (1938-2015); John Waters, US film director (1946-); Peter Frampton, British musician (1950-); Daniel Johns, Australian singer (1979-); Amber Heard, US actor (1986-).
THOUGHT FOR TODAY
For a man learns more quickly and remembers more easily that which he laughed at, than that which he approves and than that which he approves and reveres. - Horace, Roman poet (65-68 BC)