On this day in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger), successor to John Paul II, formally assumed his position as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church during a mass in St. Peter's Square in Vatican City.
More Events on this day:
1967: Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov became the first man to die during a space mission when his spacecraft became entangled in its parachute during an attempted landing.
1916: Members of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army seized strategic points in Dublin during the Easter Rising, which heralded the end of British power in Ireland.
1898: Spain declared war on the United States.
1877: War broke out between Russia and the Ottoman Empire at the conclusion of the Serbo-Turkish War, resulting in independence for Serbia and Montenegro.
1792: French army officer Claude-Joseph Rouget de Lisle composed La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.