APRIL 28, 1789: Fletcher Christian leads a mutiny aboard the British sailing ship HMS Bounty after it departs a long stay on the South Pacific island of Tahiti. Christian spares the life of Captain William Bligh — whom the crew had accused of tyrannical behavior — and 18 loyal seamen, setting them adrift with meager supplies. Bligh managed to guide the small launch more than 3,600 miles to safety in Timor, and later returned to England where he was acquitted in the loss of Bounty. For his part, Christian led his fellow conspirators to the remote Pitcairn Island, where he was reportedly killed.