Nicolaus Copernicus publishes proof of a sun-centered solar system. He dies just after publication.
Captain Christopher Newport and 105 followers found the colony of Jamestown at the mouth of the James River on the coast of Virginia.
Sir Thomas Gates institutes "laws divine moral and marshal, " a harsh civil code for Jamestown.
After years of unprofitable operation, Virginia's charter is revoked and it becomes a royal colony.
The English Parliament passes the Act of Toleration, protecting Protestants. Roman Catholics are specifically excluded from exemption.
Boston lawyer James Otis denounces "taxation without representation," calling for the colonies to unite in opposition to Britain's new tax measures.
Believing that a French invasion of Ireland is imminent, Irish nationalists rise up against the British occupation.
General Benjamin Butler declares slaves to be the contraband of war.
Bushwackers led by Captain William Marchbanks attack a Federal militia party in Nevada, Missouri.
The British battleship Hood is sunk by the German battleship Bismarck. There are only three survivors.