1431: Joan of Arc, who claimed divine guidance in leading the French army to several important victories over the English during the Hundred Years' War, goes on trial for heresy. She would eventually be condemned and then burned at the stake on May 30, 1431.
1768: In London, England, Philip Astley invents the circus ring when he decides to perform his horseback trick riding in a circle. The format proved so successful that Astley added a clown to his shows to amuse the spectators between equestrian sequences. He later moved his show to a fenced in area and expanded it even further, leading to the modern version of the circus.
1788: Connecticut becomes the fifth state to be admitted to the United States.
1839: The French Academy of Sciences announces the daguerreotype photography process. The first commercially successful photographic process, daguerreotype was invented by Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and involved coating copper plates with iodized silver to create a mirror image.
1861: The Star of the West, a civilian steamship hired by the United States government to transport military supplies and reinforcements to the garrison of Fort Sumter in South Carolina, is fired upon by cadets from The Citadel as the ship enters Charleston Harbor. Although the Star of the West did not suffer any major damage, her captain, John McGowan, considered it too dangerous to continue and turned about to leave the harbor and return to New York City. The incident, which came after South Carolina had voted to secede but before other states had done so to form the Confederacy (although Mississippi voted to secede the same day), is considered by some historians to be the "First Shots of the American Civil War."
1903: Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota is established. It was the seventh U.S. National Park and the first cave to be designated a national park anywhere in the world.
1911: Gypsy Rose Lee, the burlesque entertainer, dancer, actress and author whose 1957 memoir was made into the stage musical and film "Gypsy," is born Ellen June Hovick in Seattle, Wash. She died of lung cancer at age 59 on April 26, 1970.
1913: Richard Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, is born in Yorba Linda, Calif. Nixon served as president from 1969 to 1974, when he resigned over the Watergate scandal, becoming the only president to resign the office. He died at age 81 on April 22, 1994, four days after suffering a stroke.
1925: Actor Lee Van Cleef, known for movies such as "Kansas City Confidential," "High Noon," "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly," is born in Somerville, N.J. He died of a heart attack at age 64 on Dec. 16, 1989.
1934: Pro Football Hall of Fame member Bart Starr, who was the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers from 1956 to 1971, is born in Montgomery, Ala. Starr led the Packers to five NFL championships and two Super Bowl wins, in Super Bowls I and II.
1935: Actor Bob Denver, known for his roles as Gilligan on the sitcom "Gilligan's Island" and the beatnik Maynard G. Krebs on the sitcom "The Many Loves of Dobie Gillis," is born in New Rochelle, N.Y. He died at age 70 on Sept. 2, 2005, of complications from treatment he was receiving for cancer.
1941: Folk singer-songwriter Joan Baez, who has performed publicly for more than 50 years and released more than 30 albums, is born in Staten Island, N.Y. Baez performed at the 1969 Woodstock Festival, helped to bring the songs of Bob Dylan to national prominence, and has displayed a lifelong commitment to political and social activism.
1944: Jimmy Page, the Led Zeppelin guitarist widely considered to be one of the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time, is born in Heston, Middlesex, England. Page, second from right, was a session musician in England before forming The Yardbirds in 1966 and Led Zeppelin in 1968.
1951: Country singer Crystal Gayle, best known for her 1977 country-pop hit "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue," is born in Paintsville, Ky.
1955: Actor J. K. Simmons, best known for TV roles in "Law & Order," "Oz" and "The Closer," and for movie roles in the "Spider-Man" trilogy (pictured), "Juno" and "Up in the Air," is born in Detroit, Mich.
1962: Sam Cooke's "Twistin' the Night Away" is released. The song would reach No. 9 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 1 on the Billboard R&B chart.
1965: The album "Beatles '65" jumps from No. 98 to No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 album chart in one week's time, making the biggest jump to the top position in the history of the Billboard album charts up to that time. It would remain at No. 1 for nine straight weeks.
1967: Singer-songwriter Dave Matthews, best known as the lead vocalist, songwriter and guitarist for The Dave Matthews Band, is born in Johannesburg, South Africa.
1972: Reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes says that a purported authorized biography of him by Clifford Irving was a fake. Irving was later convicted of fraud and spent 17 months in prison.
1982: Kate Middleton, who became Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, when she married Prince William in 2011, is born in Reading, Berkshire, England.
1989: Actress Nina Dobrev, best known for her TV roles on "Degrassi: The Next Generation" and "The Vampire Diaries," is born Nikolina Konstantinova Dobreva in Sofia, Bulgaria.
2001: Apple Computer Inc. introduces its iTunes music management software at the MacWorld Expo in San Francisco, Calif.
2005: Mahmoud Abbas wins the election to succeed Yasser Arafat as president of the Palestinian National Authority. He replaced interim president Rawhi Fattouh, who had taken over temporarily after Arafat died in November 2004 until the election could be held.
2006: With its 7,486th performance, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical "The Phantom of the Opera" becomes the longest-running show in Broadway history, surpassing Lloyd Webber's "Cats." The musical, which opened on Broadway in 1988 after premiering in London's West End in 1986, would go on to celebrate its 10,000th performance on Broadway on Feb. 11, 2012, and is still running today.
2007: Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduces the first iPhone at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco. The two initial models, a 4GB model priced at $499 and a 8GB model at $599, went on sale in the United States on June 29, 2007, at 6 p.m. local time, while hundreds of customers lined up outside the stores nationwide.