1577 Francis Drake sets sail from England on a circumnavigation of the world
1636 The Massachusetts Bay Colony organizes three militia regiments to defend the colony against the Pequot Indians. Recognized today as the founding of the United States National Guard.
1642 Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sights the South Island of present day New Zealand; initially he calls it Staten Landt and changes it a year later to Nieuw Zeeland
1920 League of Nations establishes the International Court of Justice in The Hague
2002 The European Union announces that Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia will become members from May 1, 2004
2003 Former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein is captured near his home town of Tikrit, during Operation Red Dawn by US forces