Soviet Union agrees to withdraw from Afghanistan
1988 - Soviet Union signed accords under which it would begin withdrawing its 115,000 troops from Afghanistan in a month’s time, but Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze (above right) said his country felt no sense of defeat. He spoke at a news conference after signing the agreements together with foreign ministers from the United States, Pakistan and Afghanistan at the United Nations’ European headquarters in Geneva. The Soviet troops will begin leaving the mountainous country, where they have been backing the Marxist Government in Kabul since 1979, on May 15 and the withdrawal will be completed nine months later. Shevardnadze said the Soviet generals do not think they have lost a war. There was never any question of waging a war against the Afghan people, he said.
1629 - Peace of Susa ends war between England and France.
1775 - The first American society for the abolition of slavery is organised by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.
1849 - Hungarians proclaim independence from Habsburg empire.
1865 - US President Abraham Lincoln is shot by actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford Theatre and dies the following day.
1912 - British liner Titanic collides with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and begins sinking.
1944 - The freighter SS Fort Stikine catches fire and explodes in Bombay (now Mumbai) harbour, more than 800 people killed.
1956 - Ampex Corp demonstrates its first commercial videotape recorder.
1970 - Apollo 13 spacecraft heads back to Earth after moon mission is aborted.
1980 - Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi escapes assassination by inches at the hands of a 37-year-old Indian.
1981 - Columbia, America’s first operational space shuttle, lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California after its first test flight.
1991 - Zviad Gamsakhurdia is elected first president of Georgia.
1994 - Two American jets mistakenly shoot down two helicopters, killing 26 US and allied personnel in Iraq.
1995 - The United Nations Security Council votes to ease sanctions on Iraq, giving it easier terms in trading oil for food.
1997 - Hundreds of Iranian students clash with government troops outside the German Embassy.
2006 - Chad’s President Idriss Deby breaks off relations with neighbouring Sudan.
2008 - Media billionaire Silvio Berlusconi wins Italy’s parliamentary election.
2009 - Golden boy boxer Oscar dela Hoya announces his retirement in Los Angeles.
2010 - A devastating earthquake hits a remote area of China, killing 589 people.
2013 - Nicolas Maduro, former bus driver and protege of the late Hugo Chavez, wins the Venezuelan presidential election.
2015 - The UN imposes an arms embargo on the Iran-allied Al Houthi militias in Yemen.