1521 – Emperor Charles V opens the Diet of Worms in Worms, Germany which lasts until May 25th. Produced the “Edict of Worms” which dennouced Martin Luther.
1807 – London’s Pall Mall is 1st street lit by gaslight.
1813 – Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice” is published by Thomas Egerton in the United Kingdom.
1819 – Sir Stamford Raffles lands in Singapore.
1871 – The French capital, Paris, fell following a four-month siege during the Franco-German War.
1915 – Congress created the U.S. Coast Guard by combining the Revenue Cutter Service with the U.S. Lifesaving Service.
1933 – The name “Pakistan” is coined by Choudhry Rahmat Ali and gradually accepted by Muslims in the Indian sub-continent who use it to push for a separate Muslim homeland in South Asia.
1986 – The U.S. space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds after liftoff from Florida, killing all seven aboard, including a schoolteacher who had been chosen as the first American civilian to travel in space.
Births & Deaths:1955 – French politician Nicolas Sarkozy, who served as president of France (2007–12), was born in Paris.
2002 – Swedish children’s writer Astrid Lindgren—who was best known for her works involving Pippi Longstocking, a freckle-faced red-haired nine-year-old who incarnates every child’s dream of freedom and power—died in Stockholm.
Sport: 2017 – Australian Open Women’s Tennis: Serena Williams defeats older sister Venus Williams 6–4, 6–4 for her 7th Australian title and record 23rd Grand Slam event singles victory
Music: 1985 – Charity single “We Are the World” is recorded by supergroup USA for Africa (Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie and other pop stars)
TV & Film: 1951 – “La Vie Commence Demain” the 1st X-rated movie, depicting artificial insemination, opens in London
Via Britannica / On This Day