Studio 54 opened. (1977) Studio 54 was the place to be during the disco era, and was frequented by Mick and Bianca Jagger, Andy Warhol, Cher, Salvador Dali, and Michael Jackson, to name a few. The nightclub was known for the hedonism and hard partying that went on there, including Bianca Jagger riding a white horse into the club on her birthday, or New Year's event in which 4 inches (10 cm) of glitter was dumped on the floor.
The Chernobyl disaster occurred. (1986) With over 30 dead and thousands of others affected by the radiation, the Chernobyl explosion is now synonymous with nuclear disaster.
US President Reagan visited China. (1984) It was the first visit by a US President since Nixon's famous one in the 1970s. Accompanying Regan were his wife, a slew of Secret Servicemen and other government officials, and over 600 journalists.
John Wilkes Booth died. (1865) Booth had been on the run since assassinating President Lincoln several days earlier, a task that was made harder by the fact that he was a major acting star of the day. Federal agents caught up with him in Virginia on this day and shot him when he refused to surrender.
English colonists reached Virginia. (1607) A group of colonists made landfall at Cape Henry, Virginia, on this day. They would go on to found Jamestown, the first permanent European settlement in America.
A Rolling Stones concert was shut down due to rioting. (1965) Thousands of fans went crazy when the power to the band's instruments was cut 15 minutes into their concert in London, Ontario. The concert was immediately shut down when rioters started fainting, throwing chairs, and fighting with police.
The container shipping industry got its start in the US. (1956) Though commonplace now, containers for shipping weren't globally standardized until the 1950s, making international trade somewhat complicated.
The Gestapo was established. (1933) The Gestapo served as the official secret police of the Nazi party, and were responsible for many of the urban atrocities during World War II.
The Geneva Conference began. (1954) The conference, attended by France, the US, Britain, the USSR and China, among others, was intended to help promote peace in Southeast Asia. Practically speaking, its only real effect was to get the US involved in the Vietnam War.
Nazi forces bombed Guernica. (1937) The bombing of Guernica was considered a test exercise for the newly formed Luftwaffe. It is most famous today as the subject of an anti-war painting, Guernica by Pablo Picasso.