Upon This Day in History... April 1-30 (WW2, ancient, war)
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Now that I'm back on the internet with the new computer up and running...it's time to get this show back on schedule. (8th month and counting!)
~527 - The dying Byzantine Emperor Justin I named his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne.
~1085 – Died this day: Emperor Shenzong of China (b. 1067)
~1205 – Died this day: King Amalric II of Jerusalem (b. 1145)
~1293 – Robert Winchelsey departed England for Rome, to be consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury. Although he initially had the support of Edward I, Winchelsey later became a forceful opponent of the king. The archbishop was encouraged by the papacy to resist Edward's attempts to tax the clergy. Winchelsey was also an opponent of the king's treasurer Walter Langton as well as other clergy. On one occasion he rebuked an abbot so sternly that the abbot suffered a fatal heart attack. (Now, rather than getting so upset that I had a heart attack, I woulda hadda told old Robbo where to go, what to do when he got there and who to do it to...But of course, I've always been miserable and cantankerous - hence, Da Grouch.)
~1318 – Berwick-upon-Tweed was captured by the Scottish from the English. (Just one of at least 13 times the possession of the town changed hands.)
~1340 – Niels Ebbesen, together with some of his men, entered the bedroom of Gerhard III of Holstein and killed him, ending the 1332-1340 interregnum in Denmark.
~1572 – In the Eighty Years' War, the Watergeuzen captured Brielle from the Spaniards, gaining the first foothold on land for what would become the Dutch Republic.
The engraving Capture of Brill in 1572
Artist: Jan Luyken
~1789 – In New York City, the United States House of Representatives held its first quorum and elected Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first House Speaker.
~1815 - Born this day: Otto von Bismarck, German statesman and 1st Chancellor of the German Empire (d. 1898).
~1826 – Samuel Morey receved a patent for a compressionless Gas or Vapor Engine. (Ralph Nader immediately launched a civil suit against him for degredation of the enviroment.)
~1854 – Hard Times (Hard Times - For These Times) began its serialisation in Charles Dickens' magazine, Household Words.
"Household Words" first serial "Hard Times"
by Charles Dickens
Published by Bradbury & Evans, image
~1865 – The Battle of Five Forks was fought southwest of Petersburg, Virginia, in Dinwiddie County, during the Appomattox Campaign of the Civil War. The battle, sometimes referred to as the Waterloo of the Confederacy, pitted Union Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan's army against the forces of Confederate Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Pickett's loss at Five Forks triggered Lee's decision to abandon his entrenchments around Petersburg and begin the retreat that led to his surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9th.
The lithograph Sheridan's charge at Five Forks
Published (c. 1886) by Kurz & Allison, Art Publishers, Chicago, U.S.A.
~1867 – Singapore officially became a British crown colony.
~1873 – During the ship's 19th voyage RMS Atlantic, a transatlantic ocean liner of the White Star Line that operated between Liverpool and New York City, ran onto rocks and sank off the coast of Nova Scotia, killing 562 of the 952 aboard. This remained the deadliest civilian maritime disaster in history until the sinking of the SS Norge in 1904.
The engraving The Steam-ship "Atlantic," Wrecked on Mars Head on the Morning of April 1, 1873
Published in Harper's Weekly, April 1873.
~1887 – The Mumbai Fire Brigade was established. (Well good for them.)
~1891 – The William Wrigley Jr. Company was founded in Chicago, Illinois. Originally selling products such as soap and baking powder, William Wrigley Jr. (the company's founder) began packaging chewing gum with each can of baking powder the following year. The chewing gum eventually became more popular than the baking powder itself and Wrigley's re-oriented the company to produce their popular gum.
~1893 – The rank of Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy was established. (I'm gonna start yawning again...)
~1908 – The British Territorial Force was formed by the Secretary of State for War, Richard Burdon Haldane, following the enactment of the Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907, (7 Edw.7, c.9) which combined and re-organised the old Volunteer Army with the remaining units of militia and Yeomanry. It was renamed the Territorial Army in 1920.
~1918 – The Royal Air Force, the oldest independent air force in the world, was created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.
Ensign of the Royal Air Force
~1922 – Died this day: Karl I of Austria the last Emperor of Austria and the last King of Hungary, Bohemia, Croatia, Galicia, Lodomeria and the last monarch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine (b. 1887). (Old Karl was kind of a busy guy...)
~1924 – Adolf Hitler was sentenced to 5 years in prison for his participation in the Beer Hall Putsch. However, he would only serve 9 months of incarceration, during which time he wrote Mein Kampf.
~1924 – The Royal Canadian Air Force was formed, an actual military entity. It replaced the "on-paper" only Canadian Air Force that had existed since 1918.
~1932 - Born this day: Debbie Reynolds, American actress, singer, dancer and all around class act.
~1934 - Clyde Barrow and Henry Methvin killed 2 young highway patrolmen, H. D. Murphy and Edward Bryant Wheeler, at Grapevine, Texas. A contemporary eyewitness account stated that Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow fired the fatal shots and this story got widespread coverage in the press before it was discredited. Henry Methvin later admitted that he fired the first shot, after assuming Barrow wanted the officers killed. He also admitted that Bonnie Parker approached the dying officers intending to help them, not to administer the cold blooded point blank coup de grâce the discredited eyewitness had described.
~1936 – Orissa formerly known as (the ancient kindom of) Kalinga became a province in British India.
~1939 – Generalísimo Francisco Franco of the Spanish State announced the end of the Spanish Civil War, after the last of the Republican forces surrendered. Over half a million had died during the 32 month conflict.
~1941 – The Blockade Runner Badge (German: Abzeichen für Blockadebrecher)was instituted. It was a German military decoration awarded for service on warships or merchant vessels that attempted to break through the British sea blockade of Germany. The badge was first awarded on July 1 of the same year. A smaller half size version was awarded for use by civilians and members of the merchant marine.
The Blockade Runner Badge
Image courtesy Ken K
~1944 – Navigation errors lead to an accidental American bombing of the city of Schaffhausen, located in a finger of Swiss territory surrounded on 3 sides by Germany. (The Swiss failed to see the humor in this...)
~1945 – The Battle of Okinawa, codenamed Operation Iceberg, began on the Ryukyu Island of Okinawa. The 82 day long battle lasted from early April until mid June of 1945 and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War. By the time Allied forces finally achieved victory, military and civilian casualties amounted to over 344,500 killed, wounded and missing.
Marines of the US 10th Army, in camouflage battle dress, storm out of a landing craft to establish
a beachhead (March 31st, 1945) on Okinawa, just 375 miles from mainland Japan.
Photo courtesy the USMC
~1946 – The Aleutian Islands Earthquake: A 7.8 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands created a tsunami that struck the Hawaiian Islands killing 159, mostly in Hilo.
Title: Hawai`i People run from an approaching tsunami in Hilo, Hawai'i, on 1 April 1946 (in background)
Photo courtesy of the Pacific Tsunami Museum in Hilo, Hawaii
~1947 – Died this day: King George II of Greece (b. 1890)
~1948 – The Berlin Airlift: Military forces, under direction of the Soviet controlled government in East Germany, set up what amounted to a land blockade of West Berlin.
~1948 – The Faroe Islands received autonomy from Denmark.
~1949 - During the Chinese Civil War, the Communist Party of China began what would ultimately prove to be unsuccessful peace talks with the Kuomintang in Beijing, after 3 years of fighting.
~1949 – The Canadian government lifted the last restrictions of the Japanese Canadian internment, after 7 years. (As if the racist bastards in Ottawa ever had the right to lock up the country's citizens because of the way their eyes looked anyways!)
The Japanese-Canadian internment camp at Slocan, BC in June of 1945
Photo courtesy Library and Archives Canada
~1954 – President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed into law legislation authorizing the construction of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.
~1957 – The BBC broadcast "the spaghetti tree hoax" on its current affairs programme Panorama. It told a tale of a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the fictitious spaghetti tree, broadcast at a time when this Italian dish was not widely eaten in the UK and some Britons were unaware spaghetti is a pasta made from wheat flour and water. Hundreds of viewers phoned into the BBC, either to say the story was not true, or (even though it was April Fool's Day) wondering about it, with some even asking how to grow their own spaghetti trees. Decades later CNN called this broadcast "the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled." (The Brits have always had a rather bizarre sense of humor...)
A Swiss woman picking the crop
from a spaghetti tree
Screenshot from a broadcast of
the Spaghetti Harvest BBC April
~1960 - The US launched TIROS-1, the first successful weather satellite and the first of a series of Television Infrared Observation Satellites.
~1967 – The United States Department of Transportation began operations. It is administered by the United States Secretary of Transportation.
~1969 – The Hawker Siddeley Harrier (VTOL) entered service with the Royal Air Force.
~1970 – US President Richard Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, requiring the Surgeon General's warnings on tobacco products and banning cigarette advertisements on television and radio in the United States, starting on January 1, 1971.
~1970 - American Motors introduced the Gremlin. (After 40 years the jury is still out on this one...)
~1976 – In Cupertino, California Apple Computer, Inc. was formed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne.
~1976 – Conrail began operations, taking over operations from 6 bankrupt railroads in the Northeastern U.S.
~1976 – The Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect hoax, a hoax stated to cause a noticeable short term reduction in gravity on Earth (as an April Fools' Day joke) was first reported by British astronomer Patrick Moore on the BBC.
~1979 – Iran became an Islamic Republic by a 98% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah.
~1984 - Died this day: Marvin Gaye, American soul singer and entertainer (b. 1939).
~1989 – Margaret Thatcher's new local government tax, the Community Charge (commonly known as the poll tax), was introduced in Scotland. (That one kinda went over like a fart in a punch bown and was gone in only 3 years...along with Maggie Thatcher's hokey job as PM.)
~1992 – The start of the Bosnian War. 100,000 would lie dead before its end in December of 1995.
~1997 – Comet Hale-Bopp passed perihelion. After this the comet developed into a spectacular sight. It shone brighter than any star in the sky except Sirius, and its dust tail stretched 40–45 degrees across the sky. The comet was visible well before the sky got fully dark each night, and while many great comets are very close to the Sun as they pass perihelion, Comet Hale-Bopp was visible all night to northern hemisphere observers.
~1999 - For no valid reason other than political posturing, Nunavut was established as a Canadian territory carved out of the eastern portion of the Northwest Territories. (And what a grand April Fool's Day joke it continues to be!)
~2000 - The web comic Bob and George first appeared on the Internet. It ran daily until its end on July 28th, 2007.
~2001 – The Hainan Island incident: An EP-3E United States Navy surveillance aircraft collided in flight with a Chinese People's Liberation Army Shenyang J-8 fighter jet. The Navy crew made an emergency landing in Hainan, People's Republic of China where they were detained.
The damaged EP-3 on the ground on Hainan Island
Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Co.
~2001 – Same sex marriage becomes legal in the Netherlands, the first country to allow it.
~2002 – The Netherlands legalized euthanasia, in very specific cases and under very specific circumstances, becoming the first nation in the world to do so.
~2003 - In Sturgis, Michigan, signs are placed around town reading "All your base are belong to us," based on the popular mistranslation from the Japanese video game Zero Wing. (For more fun and follies go to www.engrish.com )
~2004 – Google introduced its Gmail to the public.
~2004 - George W. Bush signed the Unborn Victims of Violence Act, which makes an attack that leads to the death of a mother and her unborn child two criminal charges. (OK, so GW and I finally agreed on one thing...big deal.)
~2005 – Died this day: Paul Bomani, Tanzanian freedom fighter, politician, ambassador, proponent of higher education and businessman (b 1925). Speaking from personal experience, Paul was honest, forthright, looked you straight in the eye when he spoke to you and didn't mince words. If he told you something you could rest assured that's the way it was, because that's the way Paul was. Never succumbing to fear, damned dangerous with a gun, grenades or a mortar he was prepared to fight and die for what he believed in and wouldn't compromise his ideals or morals for anything. Paul was a good man and the world lost something big the day he died. Fact is this old spinning rock could use a few more Paul Bomanis.
Last edited by Da Grouch; 04-02-2010 at 02:16 AM..
~And yet another birthday for dear old Father, may your 83rd be an enjoyable one...Regards.
~742 - Born this day: Charlemagne, King of the Franks (d. 814).
~1118 – Died this day: Baldwin I of Jerusalem, first King of Jerusalem (b. circa 1058).
~1453 - Ottoman forces under Fatih Sultan Mehmed II began their siege of Constantinople. After several fruitless assaults, the city's walls held off the Turks with little difficulty, even with the use of the new Orban's Bombard (a cannon similar to the Dardanelles Gun). The harbor of the Golden Horn was blocked by a boom chain and defended by 28 warships. On April 22nd, Mehmed transported his lighter warships overland, around the Genoese colony Galata and onto the Golden Horn's northern shore. 80 galleys were transported from the Bosphorus after paving a one mile route with wood. By doing this the Byzantines stretched their troops over a much longer portion of the defending walls. A little over a month later Constantinople fell on May 29th following a 57 day siege. After this conquest, Mehmed moved the Ottoman capital from Adrianople to Constantinople.
The 1499 painting, The Siege of Constantinople
~1513 – The expedition of Juan Ponce de Leon sighted previously unknown land. He named it La Florida.
~1657 – Died this day: Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1608).
~1755 – Commodore William James, while commanding the Bombay Marine Ship Protector attacked and destroyed the pirate fortress of Tulaji Angre at Suvarnadurg in Konkan, along the western coast of India. He had initially been instructed only to blockade the stronghold, but through his intimate knowledge of the rocky coastline was able to get close enough to blow up the fortress. Although the East India Company had spent what amounted to a substantial fortune providing protection from piracy, James only received £100 in reward for his accomplishment.
~1792 – The Coinage Act was passed establishing the United States Mint and regulated the coinage of the United States. This act established the dollar as the unit of money in the United States, declared it to be lawful tender, and created a decimal system for U.S. currency.
~1800 - The Manhattan Well Mystery: In New York City, the trial of Levi Weeks ended with an acquittal after only 5 minutes of jury deliberation. Weeks was defended by Henry Brockholst Livingston, Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr. The public strongly disagreed with the verdict and Weeks was ostracized by the citizens of the city, forcing him to leave New York. (Yes, I know that the actual trial took place on March 31st and April 1st, but jury deliberations were held over until the morning of the 2nd.)
~1801 – The Battle of Copenhagen: A British fleet under the command of Admiral Sir Hyde Parker fought and strategically defeated a Danish-Norwegian fleet anchored just off Copenhagen. Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson led the main attack by the British. He famously disobeyed Parker's order to withdraw, destroying many of the Dano-Norwegian ships before a truce was agreed. Copenhagen is often considered to be Nelson's hardest fought battle, surpassing even the heavy fighting at the Battle of Trafalgar. Later, Parker admitted that in the aftermath of the battle, "I didn't know whether to court martial Nelson or decorate him".
The oil on canvas, The Battle of Copenhagen
Artist Nicholas Pocock
~1805 - Born this day: Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author and poet renowned for his children's stories (d. 1875).
~1863 – The Southern Bread Riots: The riots were triggered mainly by foraging armies both Union and Confederate, who ravaged crops and devoured draft animals. The staggering inflation created by the Confederate government was also a primary cause. The Drought of 1862 created a poor harvest that did not yield enough crop in a time when food was already scarce. From 1861 to 1863, the price of wheat tripled, while butter and milk quadrupled. Salt, which at the time was the only practical meat preservative, was very expensive as well. Similar to the French Revolution, citizens, mostly women, began to protest the exorbitant price of bread. The protesters believed a negligent government and speculators were to blame. To show their displeasure, many protesters turned to violence. In Macon, Atlanta, and Augusta armed mobs attacked stores and warehouses. In North Carolina, mobs destroyed grocery and dry goods stores. In the Confederate capitol of Richmond, Virginia, thousands of people, mostly women, broke into shops and began seizing clothing, shoes, food and even jewelry before the Militia arrived to restore order. At this time Jefferson Davis himself gave a speech and even threw the money from his pockets to the rioters asking them to dispurse. He said "You say you are hungry and have no money; here, this is all I have", as he flung his money. The mob stayed put. Only when Davis threatened to have militiamen fire on the mob did they disperse. (How to win friends and influence people there, Jeff...)
~1865 – The Third Battle of Petersburg was fought. Also known as the Breakthrough at Petersburg, it was a decisive Union assault on the Confederate trenches, ending the 10 month Siege of Petersburg and leading to the fall of Petersburg and Richmond, Virginia. Faced with this loss Confederate General Robert E. Lee was forced to retreat.
Smoke is seen rising from the ruins of Richmond, Virginia after surrendering following the Union victory at the Siege of
Photo scanned from The Photographic History of The Civil War in Ten Volumes: Volume Four, The Cavalry. The Review of
Reviews Co., New York. 1911. (p. 260.)
~1865 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. (When the going gets tough, you can always count on the politicians to run like the wind.)
~1872 - Died this day: Samuel Morse, inventor of the telegraph and Morse code (b. 1791).
~1875 - Born this day: Walter P. Chrysler, automobile pioneer and innovator, founder of the Chrysler Corporation (d. 1940).
Walter P. Chrysler posing next to a Chrysler Six in 1924
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/24/WPChrysler%2C1924.jpg (broken link)
Photo courtesy the Los Angeles Times photographic archive, UCLA Library
~1900 – The US Congress passed the Foraker Act (officially the Organic Act of 1900) that established civilian government on the island of Puerto Rico, which had been newly acquired by the United States as a result of the Spanish–American War. Section VII of the Foraker Act also established Puerto Rican citizenship.
~1908 - Born this day: Buddy Ebsen, American dancer and actor, "Uncle Jed" (d. 2003).
Ebsen in 1964 as Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/5a/EbsenasJedClampett.jpg (broken link)
Screenshot courtesy of www.newprophecy.net
~1917 – President Woodrow Wilson asked the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany that would see America's entry into World War I.
~1920 - Born this day: Jack Webb, director, producer, actor, Sgt. Joe Friday; LAPD "Just the facts, Ma'am...just the facts." (d. 1982).
~1930 - Died this day: Empress Zewditu I of Ethiopia (b. 1876).
~1930 – Haile Selassie was proclaimed King of Kings of Ethiopia.
~1945 – Brazil established diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, but maintained a neutral relationship during the Cold War that was limited to commercial trade and cooperation agreements of minimal importance.
~1956 - General Motors board member Alfred P. Sloan stepped down after 19 years as chairman with Albert Bradley as his successor.
~1956 – As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiered on CBS Television. The two soaps became the first daytime dramas to debut in the 30 minute format.
~1962 – The first official "Panda crossing" began operating outside Waterloo station in London.
~1972 – Actor Charlie Chaplin returns to the United States (to receive an Honorary Oscar) for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s.
~1973 – Lexis, the computerized legal research service, launched publicly.
~1975 – After 26 months of construction, the CN Tower was completed in Toronto, Ontario. It reached 553.33 metres (1,815.4 ft) in height, becoming the world's tallest free standing structure until 2007.
The CN Tower in the summer of 2006
Photo by Bill Wrigley
~1982 – The Falklands War: Argentine forces mounted amphibious landings of the Falkland Islands (Spanish: Islas Malvinas). The invasion involved initial defence organised by the Falkland Islands' Governor Sir Rex Hunt giving command to Major Mike Norman of the Royal Marines, the landing of Lieutenant-Commander Guillermo Sánchez-Sabarots' Amphibious Commandos Group on Mullet Creek, the attack on Moody Brook barracks, the engagement between the amphibious personnel carriers of Hugo Santillán and Bill Trollope marines east of Stanley and the battle ending in the final surrender of Government House. This was the first engagement of the Falklands War.
~1982 - John Chancellor anchored the news at at the NBC Nightly News for the final time, after 11 1/2 years.
~1984 – Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma, along with two other Soviet cosmonauts, was launched aboard Soyuz T-11, and became the first Indian in space.
~1987 - Died this day: Buddy Rich, American drummer extrordinaire (b. 1917).
~1991 – Rita Johnston becomes the first female Provincial Premier in Canadian history when she succeeded William Vander Zalm (who had resigned) as interim Premier of British Columbia. She went on to defeat another woman, Grace McCarthy to win the official party leadership the following July. (Yet another case of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic as the BC Social Credit Party was, for all intents and purposes, gone forever after the next provincial election.)
~1992 – In New York, Mafia boss John Gotti is convicted of murder and racketeering and was later sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was sent to the United States Penitentiary at Marion, Illinois, where he was kept in a cell 23 hours a day. (Awww...poor Johnny, all his teflon must've flaked off.)
~2002 – Israeli forces surrounded the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem into which dozens of armed Palestinians had retreated. A siege ensued and after 39 days, during which numerous Palestinians were either wounded or killed by the IDF, an agreement was reached according to which the militants turned themselves in to Israel and were exiled to Europe and the Gaza Strip.
~2004 – Islamist terrorists involved in the March 11th, 2004 Madrid Attacks attempted to bomb the Spanish high-speed train AVE near Madrid. The explosive device lacked a detonator however and was incapable of going off.
~2005 - Died this day: Pope John Paul II (b. 1920).
~2006 – A series of tornadoes occurred during the late afternoon and evening in the central United States. It was the second major outbreak of 2006, in the same area that suffered considerable destruction in a previous outbreak on March 11 and March 12, as well as an outbreak on November 15, 2005. The most notable tornadoes of the outbreak struck northeastern Arkansas, the Missouri Bootheel and West Tennessee, where several communities suffered devastating damage from several tornadoes triggered from a supercell. In total, 66 tornadoes touched down across seven states. In addition, there were over 850 total severe weather reports, including many reports of straight line winds exceeding hurricane force. Hail, some as large as softballs, caused significant additional damage in a 9 state region.
An F3 tornado south of Kennett, Missouri on the evening of April 2nd, 2006
Photo courtesy the National Weather Service
Last edited by Da Grouch; 04-02-2010 at 04:49 PM..
~33 - The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ (traditional date).
~1043 – Edward the Confessor was crowned King of England.
~1077 – Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor granted the county of Friuli (with ducal status) to Sigaerd, Patriarch of Aquileia.
~1287 – Died this day: Pope Honorius IV (b. circa 1210).
~1559 – At Le Cateau-Cambrésis, south-east of Cambrai, the final signatures were attached to the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis Treaty, ending the Italian War (1551-1559).
~1680 - Died this day: King of Maratha Kingdom, founder of India's Maratha Empire (b. 1630).
~1860 – The first Pony Express run from Saint Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California began.
~1882 – Jesse James was shot and killed by Bob Ford, a member of the gang living in the James house who was hoping to collect a state reward on James' head.
~1895 – The libel trial against the Marquess of Queensberry, instigated by Oscar Wilde, began. This would eventually result in Wilde's imprisonment on charges of homosexuality.
~1897 - Died this day: Johannes Brahms, renowned German composer and pianist (b. 1833).
~1912 - RMS Titanic of the White Star Line completed her sea trials and was declared seaworthy. She then steamed into Southampton where she docked in preparation for her maiden voyage to New York just 7 days later.
~1922 – Joseph Stalin became the first General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union.
~1929 – The Cunard White Star Line placed its order to John Brown & Company Shipbuilding and Engineering for the the liner RMS Queen Mary.
~1929 - The Nakajima A1N was selected by the Imperial Japanese Navy to replace its aging Mitsubishi 1MF fighters. The nimble little biplane entered into service later that year.
Photo courtesy the Military Archives of Japan
~1936 – Bruno Richard Hauptmann was executed for the kidnapping and death of Charles Augustus Lindbergh II, the baby son of aviators Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. (And to this day nobody really believes that he did it...)
~1942 – In the Philippines, Japanese forces began their final assault on the United States and Filipino troops on the Bataan Peninsula that would result in their surrender 6 days later.
A Japanese flamethrower in use against an Allied bunker during the final stages of
the Battle Of Bataan
Photo courtesy the Military Archives of Japan
~1946 – Japanese Lt. General Masaharu Homma was executed in the Philippines, being found responsible for the Bataan Death March of 1942.
~1948 – US President Harry S. Truman signed the Marshall Plan into law, authorizing $5 billion in aid for 16 countries.
~1948 – The Jeju Uprising: On Jeju island in South Korea, rebellion broke out. Between 14,000 and 30,000 individuals were killed in fighting between various factions on the island. The suppression of the rebellion by the South Korean army has been called “brutal”, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths, the destruction of many villages on the island and sparking rebellions on the Korean mainland. The rebellion, which included the mutiny of several hundred members of the South Korean 11th Constabulary Regiment, lasted until May of 1949 although small isolated pockets of fighting continued well into 1953.
~1953 - The national TV Guide was first published. Its premiere issue cover featured a photograph of Lucille Ball's and Desi Arnaz's newborn son, Desi Arnaz, Jr.
~1956 – The Hudsonville-Standale Tornado: The western half of the Michigan's Lower Peninsula was struck by a deadly F5 tornado. It was one of 3 tornadoes to move across southwest Lower Michigan on that day. A 4th tornado struck north of the Manistee area. The twister killed 18 people and injured 340 more.
The tornado cutting a swath of destruction through Michigan
Photo courtesy NOAA
~1956 - Elvis Presley sang Heartbreak Hotel on the Milton Berle Show, with an estimated 25% of the United States population viewing.
~1968 - Simon and Garfunkel released their critically acclaimed album Bookends.
~1968 – In Memphis Tennessee, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his final speech I've Been to the Mountaintop. Toward the end of the speech, King referred to threats against his life and used language that seemed to foreshadow his impending death; he was murdered the next day.
~1973 – Cell Phones: In New York City, Motorola researcher and company executive Martin Cooper made the first call on a hand held mobile phone on April 3, 1973 to his rival, Dr. Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs. (Yes, it was an old brick...)
~1974 – The Super Outbreak occurred. There were 148 tornadoes confirmed in 13 US states, including Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, North Carolina, Virginia, West Virginia, New York and the Canadian province of Ontario. They extensively damaged approximately 900 square miles (1,440 square kilometers) along a total combined path length of 2,600 miles (4,160 km). The Super Outbreak of tornadoes of April 3rd-4th, 1974 remains the most outstanding severe convective weather episode of record in the continental United States. The outbreak far surpassed previous and succeeding events in severity, longevity and extent. The death toll was 330, with nearly 5,500 others injured.
The tornado in downtown Xenia, Ohio. It was striking the Adairs
furniture store and side swiping the Greene County Courthouse while
roaring towards Shawnee Park and the old Xenia High School
Photo by Kitty Marchant
~1975 – Bobby Fischer refused to play in a chess match against Anatoly Karpov, giving Karpov the title of World Champion by default. (CHICKEN!!!)
~1982 – Britain set plans in motion to send a naval task force to the south Atlantic to reclaim the disputed Falkland Islands that Argentinian troops had invaded the previous day.
~1986 - IBM unveiled the PC Convertible, their first laptop computer and also the first IBM computer to utilize the 3.5" floppy disk which went on to become the standard. Like modern laptops, it featured power management and the ability to run from batteries. It was the follow-up to the IBM Portable. The concept and the design of the body was made by the German industrial designer Richard Sapper.
The IBM PC Convertible
Photo courtesy Fred Jan Kraan
~1996 – FBI agents arrested the Unabomber at his remote cabin outside Lincoln, Montana, where he was found in an unkempt state. The Unabomber was the target of one of the most expensive investigations in the FBI's history.
~1996 – A USAF CT-43 (a modified Boeing 737) carrying United States Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown crashed in Croatia, killing all 35 on board. While attempting an instrument approach to Čilipi airport, the airplane crashed into a mountainside. Everyone aboard was killed instantly except Air Force Tech. Sgt. Shelley Kelly, a flight attendant, who died while being transported to a hospital. The final Air Force investigation attributed the crash to pilot error and a poorly designed landing approach.
A USAF MH-53J Pave Low helicopter hovers over the wreckage of the USAF CT-43A (approximately
3 kilometers north of the Dubrovnik Airport in Croatia) on April 4th, 1996
Photo by SSgt. Randy Yackiel, courtesy the US Air Force
~1997 – The Thalit Massacre took place in Algeria; all but 1 of the 53 inhabitants of Thalit were murdered by Islamist guerrillas who then burnt the town.
~2000 – United States v. Microsoft: Microsoft was ruled to have violated United States antitrust laws by keeping "an oppressive thumb" on its competitors.
~2004 – Islamic terrorists involved in the March 11th, 2004 Madrid Train Bombings were trapped by police in their apartment and killed themselves by setting off explosives. (No big loss...too bad they killed a badge in the process, though.)
~2007 – A French TVG train on the LGV Est high speed line set an official new world train speed record. The top speed of 574.8 km/h (357.2 mph) was reached at kilometer point 191 near the village of Le Chemin, between the Meuse and Champagne-Ardenne TGV stations, where the most favorable profile exists.
A TGV Duplex at Gare de Lyon (Paris) on Aug 31st, 2005
Photo by Sebastian Terfloth
~2008 – ATA Airlines, once one of the 10 largest U.S. passenger airlines and largest charter airline, filed for bankruptcy for the 2nd time in 5 years and ceased all operations. At the time of the shutdown ATA employed around 2,300 people all of whom were permanently laid off. According to press reports, up to 10,000 passengers were affected and many of them had to scramble for help on several airlines. Most of them, however, had to pay for new tickets.
The logo of ATA
(Yeah, it's in a copyright grey area...but it's not like there's anybody left to complain about it.)
Last edited by Da Grouch; 04-05-2010 at 12:32 PM..
~397 – Died this day: St. Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (b. circa 338).
~636 – Died this day: Saint Isidore of Seville (b. circa 560).
~896 – Died this day: Pope Formosus (b. 816).
~1081 – Alexios I Komnenos was crowned Byzantine emperor at Constantinople, beginning the Komnenian Dynasty.
~1284 – Died this day: King Alfonso X of Castile (b. 1221)
~1581 – Francis Drake was awarded a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth I aboard his ship Golden Hind in Deptford, England for completing a circumnavigation of the world.
~1588 – Died this day: King Frederick II of Denmark (b. 1534)
~1655 – The statue entitled the Infant Jesus of Prague was solemnly crowned by command of Cardinal Harrach. (Although I've got 2 sources that shoot this one down in flames...)
The statue Infant Jesus of Prague
Image provided courtesy Father Petr Šleich
~1660 – The Declaration of Breda, by King Charles II of England, was made. Charles made known the conditions of his acceptance of the crown of England which he was to accept, or resume, later in the same year. The declaration cemented the terms of the English Restoration after the Commonwealth period. It was written in response to a secret message sent by General George Monck, who was then the effective ruler of England.
~1687 - The Declaration of Indulgence was proclamed by James II of England. It was a first step at establishing freedom of religion in England. It was later revised, by him, on April 27th, 1688 to include further text. The declaration was greatly opposed in England for it did not guarantee that the Anglican Church of England would remain the established church, as Charles's 1671 Royal Declaration of Indulgence had. The declaration was voided when James II was deposed in the Glorious Revolution later that year, in part provoked by the trial of the 7 bishops who had petitioned against the declaration.
~1721 – Sir Robert Walpole entered office as the first Prime Minister of Britain, serving under King George I.
~1814 – Napoleon abdicated in favor of his son. The Allies of the Sixth Coalition refused to accept this and Napoleon was forced to abdicate unconditionally on April 11th.
~1818 – The United States Congress passed a plan, at the suggestion of U.S. Naval Captain Samuel C. Reid, in which the flag was changed to have 20 stars, with a new star to be added when each new state was admitted, but the number of stripes would be reduced to 13 so as to honor the original colonies. The act specified that new flag designs should become official on the first July 4th (Independence Day) following the admission of one or more states.
~1841 – William Henry Harrison died of pneumonia becoming the first President of the United States to die in office and the one with the shortest term served (32 days).
~1850 – The Great Fire of Cottenham, a large part of the Cambridgeshire village (England) was burnt to the ground under suspicious circumstances.
The damage caused by the fire, as seen from Lambs Lane Corner in Cottenham
As published in the Illustrated London News on April 13th, 1850
~1850 – Los Angeles, California was incorporated as a city. (160 years and the jury's still out on whether or not that was a good thing.)
~1865 – US President Abraham Lincoln arrived in Richmond just one day after the final engagements that saw the capture of the Confederate capital by Union forces, with the city still smoldering from the fires. Lincoln wanted to make a public gesture of sitting at Jefferson Davis's own desk, symbolically saying to the nation that the President of the United States held authority over the entire land. He was greeted at the city as a conquering hero by freed slaves, whose sentiments were epitomized by one admirer's quote, "I know I am free, for I have seen the face of Father Abraham and have felt him".
The Virginia State House (which served as the
last Confederate Capitol building) where
Jefferson Davis had his Presidential Office
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/a/ab/Virginia_Capitol_1865.jpg (broken link)
Photo courtesy the Library of Congress
~1866 – Alexander II of Russia narrowly escaped an assassination attempt at the gates of the Summer Garden in St.Petersburg. The attempt was thwarted by Osip Komissarov, a peasant-born hatter's apprentice, who jostled the assassin's elbow right before the shot was fired.
~1873 – In England, the Kennel Club was founded, the club is the oldest of the world’s all-breed kennel clubs. It is the governing body for dogs in Britain and its primary objective is "to promote in every way, the general improvement of dogs". It was the first official registry of purebred dogs in the world.
~1878 - The Gunfight of Blazer's Mills: A shootout between what were known as the Lincoln County Regulators and buffalo hunter Buckshot Roberts took place. at Blazer's Mills, New Mexico. The Regulators, including Henry McCarty (Billy the Kid), Charlie Bowdre, John Middleton, Doc Scurlock, George Coe and led by Dick Brewer, were in the process of hunting down anyone believed to have been associated with the murder of John Tunstall (which had sparked the Lincoln County War). Roberts had been implicated in crimes associated with the "Murphy-Dolan" faction, but in reality it is believed he wanted nothing to do with the ongoing range war. John Middleton received a serious chest wound in the gunfight, one slug grazed Doc Scurlock and another struck George Coe in the right hand, costing him his trigger finger. Buckshot Roberts and Dick Brewer were both killed.
~1887 – Argonia, Kansas elected Susanna M. Salter as the first female mayor in the United States. (You show 'em, Sue!)
~1905 – The Kangra Earthquake struck India's Kangra valley with a magnitude of 7.8. It killed over 20,000 and destroyed most of the buildings in Kangra, Mcleodganj and Dharamshala.
~1914 - The first known serialized moving picture opened in New York City, NY. It was The Perils of Pauline. (Only 2 of 7 sources list a date.)
~1939 - Died this day: King Ghazi I of Iraq. Killed in a sports car accident under mysterious circumstances. Today, it is generally believed that he was killed on the orders of Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri as-Said (b. 1912).
~1939 – Faisal II ascended the throne of Iraq upon the death of his father King Ghazi I.
~1944 – 28 USAAF B-24 Liberators of the 449th Bombing Group attacked the Bucharest rail marshalling yard, Gara de Nord. Warm weather and strong winds deflected some bombs which landed on Calea Griviţei and Giuleşti. Western/north-western Bucharest was severely hit, destroying hundreds of buildings and killing/injuring over 5,000.
The bombing of the Gara de Nord marshalling yard on April 4th, 1944
Photo courtesy the US Air Force
~1945 – American troops liberated Ohrdruf forced labor and extermination camp in Germany, the first Nazi concentration camp liberated by U.S. troops. When soldiers of the 4th Armored Division entered the camp, they discovered piles of bodies, some covered with lime, and others partially incinerated on pyres. The ghastly nature of their discovery led General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces in Europe, to visit the camp on April 12th, with Generals George S. Patton and Omar Bradley.
U.S. Generals Dwight Eisenhower, Omar Bradley and George Patton inspect theOhrdruf concentration camp on April 12th, 1945, after liberation
Photo courtesy the US Holocaust Memorial Museum
~1949 – In Washington, 12 Nations signed the North Atlantic Treaty bringing the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) into existence.
~1953 – Died this day: King Carol II of Romania (b. 1893)
~1960 – Senegal achieved (took) its independence from France. (Good on you, guys!)
~1967 – Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence" speech. Beginning in 1965, King began to express doubts about the United States' role in the Vietnam War. In an appearance at the New York City Riverside Church he delivered his famed anti-war speech. In this speech, he spoke strongly against the U.S.'s role in the war, insisting that the U.S. was in Vietnam "to occupy it as an American colony" and calling the U.S. government "the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today". Rev. King also argued that the country needed larger and broader moral changes:
"A true revolution of values will soon look uneasily on the glaring contrast of poverty and wealth. With righteous indignation, it will look across the seas and see individual capitalists of the West investing huge sums of money in Asia, Africa and South America, only to take the profits out with no concern for the social betterment of the countries, and say: "This is not just."
~1968 – In Memphis, Tennessee an assassin's bullet felled Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as he stood on the 2nd floor balcony of the Lorraine Motel where he was staying. As news of the assassination spread, it led to a nationwide wave of riots in more than 100 cities.
The Lorraine Motel, where Dr. King was assassinated,
is now the site of the National Civil Rights Museum
Photo by Bob Jagendorf
~1968 – NASA launched Apollo 6. It was the Apollo program's second and last unmanned test flight of the Saturn V launch vehicle. While the vehicle experienced a number of significant malfunctions, the flight nonetheless provided NASA with enough confidence in the Saturn V rocket to proceed to manned launches.
Launch of Apollo 6, filmed from the top of the launch tower
Photo courtesy NASA
~1968 – AEK Athens BC became the first Greek team to win the European Basketball Cup by defeating Slavia Prague in the finals with a score of 89-82 in front of 120,000 spectators, 80,000 watching from inside the arena and 40,000 watching from outside the arena (the Guinness world record in basketball attendance).
~1969 – Drs. Denton Cooley and Domingo Liotta implanted the first temporary artificial heart at the Texas Heart Institute in Houston. The patient lived for 64 hours on the device until it was replaced by a donor heart. Cooley and his associates have since performed over 100,000 operations, more than any other group in the world.
~1975 – Microsoft was founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Their founding product was the programming language Altair BASIC.
~1975 – The Tan Son Nhut C-5 Accident: A Lockheed C-5A Galaxy participating in Operation Babylift (the mass evacuation of children from South Vietnam to the United States, Australia, France, and Canada at the end of the Vietnam War) crashed on approach to an emergency landing at Tan Son Nhut Air Base in Vietnam. The locks on the rear loading ramp had failed at 23,000 ft. causing the cargo door to blow open explosively. Following the crash the cargo compartment was completely destroyed, killing 141 of the 149 orphans and attendants. Only 3 of 152 in the troop compartment perished. 5 of the flight crew, 3 of the medical team and 3 others lost their lives, but 175 of the 328 aboard survived. The official cause of the disaster was ascribed to loss of flight control due to explosive decompression and structural failure. The incident marked the 2nd operational loss and first fatal crash for the C-5 Galaxy fleet.
~1976 – The Khmer Rouge forced Prince Sihanouk out of office as leader of Cambodia and into political retirement.
~1979 – Former Pakistani President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was executed (murdered) after being tried for murder. Even though he wasn't found guilty at trial he had been sentenced to death anyway by what can only be described as a kangaroo court. (Ah yes...the Pakistani judicial system at its best!)
~1983 – STS 6: Space Shuttle Challenger was launched on its maiden voyage into space.
The launch of Challenger
Photo courtesy NASA
~1988 – Evan Mecham, the 17th Governor of Arizona, was convicted in his impeachment trial and removed from office. Arizona Secretary of State Rose Mofford assumed the governorship upon Mecham's removal.
~1991 – Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and 6 others were killed when a Bell 412 helicopter collided with their small Piper Aerostar plane over an elementary school in Merion, Pennsylvania.
~1994 – Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark founded Netscape Communications Corporation under the name "Mosaic Communications Corporation".
~1995 - During the Don Imus radio program U.S. Senator Alfonse D'Amato ridiculed judge Lance Ito using a mock Japanese accent. D'Amato apologized 2 days later for the act. (That's OK, Alfonse...we all know how pathetically feeble your mind is.)
~2002 – The Angolan government and UNITA rebels signed a Memorandum of Understanding as an addendum to the Lusaka Protocol, which would lead to the end of the Angolan Civil War.
~2007 – 15 British Royal Navy personnel held in Iran were released upon orders of the Iranian President who claimed it was a "gift" to Britain. (Translation: "We saw what happened to the Argentinians in the Falkland War so you guys can go home now...no hard feelings, right?")
~2008 – A raid by authorities took place on the FLDS owned ranch called the YFZ Ranch just outside of Eldorado, Texas. 401 children and 133 women were taken into state custody. The courts would later rule the seizing of the children as unwarranted.
~582 – Died this day: Eutychius, Patriarch of Constantinople (b. circa 512)
~1242 – The Battle of the Ice: During a battle on the frozen surface of Lake Peipus, Russian forces under the command of Alexander Nevsky repelled an invasion attempt by the Teutonic Knights. (I dunno...fighting a battle in full armor atop a frozen lake in April? Sounds kinda suicidal to me.)
~1566 – 300 Dutch kinights, led by Hendrik van Brederode, forced themselves into the presence of regent Margaret of Parma and presented the petition Compromise of Nobles, denouncing the Spanish Inquisition in the Netherlands.
~1614 – In Virginia, Indian princess Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe.
~1621 – The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts on a return trip to Great Britain, where she arrived on May 6th.
~1654 - The Treaty of Westminster was signed, ending the First Anglo-Dutch War. Based on the terms of the accord, the United Provinces recognized Oliver Cromwell's Navigation Acts, which required that imports to the Commonwealth of England must be carried in English ships, or ships from the goods' origin. Since the Navigation Acts had been one of the causes of the war, the treaty failed to resolve the dispute between the two countries and merely set the stage for the Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667). The Treaty of Westminster also had a secret clause: the Act of Seclusion which excluded William III, Prince of Orange from being appointed Stadtholder. This was a "deal" from the leading Dutch politicians Johan de Witt and his uncle Cornelis de Graeff.
~1697 – Died this day: King Charles XI of Sweden (b. 1655)
~1722 – The expedition of Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.
~1792 – U.S. President George Washington vetoed the Apportionment Act, on constitutional grounds. This was the first time the presidential veto was used in the United States.
~1804 – The High Possil Meteorite: A meteorite fell into a quarry near High Possil, on the northern outskirts of Glasgow. The High Possil meteorite was the first of only 4 ever to have been found in Scotland.
~1818 – The Battle of Maipú was fought near Santiago, Chile between South American rebels and Spanish royalists, during the South American wars of independence. The rebels, commanded by José de San Martín, leader of the resistance to Spain in southern South America, achieved a major victory. This completed the independence of Chile from Spanish domination.
The painting, Battle of Maipú, painted in 1837
Artist: Juan Mauricio Rugendas (1800-1858)
~1847 – Birkenhead Park, the first civic public park in Britain, was opened in Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula, England. It was designed by Joseph Paxton.
~1862 – In Virginia, the Battle of Yorktown began. Despite outnumbering Confederate forces almost 3 to 1, at the end of the month long battle the results of the Union assault were inconclusive at best.
~1879 – Chile declared war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.
~1910 - The battleship USS Delaware (BB-28) received her commission from the US Navy.
The USS Delaware underway (circa 1913)
Photo scanned as published in the January 1914 edition of "Popular Mechanics"
~1930 – After marching to the sea, in an act of civil disobedience, Mohandas Gandhi broke British law at Dandi and made salt.
~1932 – Prohibition in Finland ended following a national referendum and alcohol sales began in Alko liquor stores.
~1932 – In the Dominion of Newfoundland, a large parade was organized by the government opposition. They marched to the Colonial Building which was the seat of the House of Assembly. There were over 10,000 people at the protest and things got out of control. The crowd got angry when no one came out to address them and after a short while, several people managed to break into the building. Prime Minister Squires and government members had to escape around the back. Squires was nearly caught trying to get into a cab; he got away only by running through a house on Colonial Street (near the Colonial Building) to a waiting cab on the other side.
The riot at the Colonial Building on April 5th, 1932
Photo courtesy the Provincial Archives of Newfoundland and Labrador
~1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 "forbidding the Hoarding of Gold Coin, Gold Bullion, and Gold Certificates" by U.S. citizens. (Ow...it hurts when I bite my tongue that hard.)
~1934 - In Japan, the first flight of the Nakajima A4N fighter took place. The A4N was the last biplane designed by Nakajima and generally regarded as their best.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/03/NakajimaA4N.jpg (broken link)
Photo courtesy the Military Archives of Japan
~1936 – The Tupelo-Gainesville Tornado Outbreak: 17 tornadoes struck the Southeastern United States from April 5th to 6th. 436 people were killed by the tornadoes and although the outbreak was centered around Tupelo, Mississippi along with Gainesville, Georgia, other destructive tornadoes associated with the outbreak struck Columbia, Tennessee, Anderson, South Carolina and Acworth, Georgia. Severe flash floods from the associated storms also produced millions of dollars in damage across the region.
~1937 - Born this day: Colin Powell, US 4 star general, 12th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former U.S. Secretary of State.
~1942 – The Easter Sunday Raid: The Japanese Imperial Navy attacked Colombo in Ceylon. During the raid the Royal Navy cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire were sunk by aerial bombardment southwest of the island.
HMS Dorsetshire and Cornwall under heavy air attack by Japanese carrier aircraft on April 5th, 1942.
Photographed from a Japanese aircraft
~1943 – In the Belgian town of Mortsel, the Minerva car factory, which was then being used to repair Luftwaffe aircraft, was the target of a large bombing raid by the USAAF. Due to navigational errors the target was missed and a residential area hit instead, resulting in the deaths of 936 civilians (including 209 children) and the injuring of an additional 1,300.
~1944 – 270 inhabitants of the Greek town of Kleisoura were murdered by the occupying Germans.
~1949 – Fireside Theater debuted on NBC television.
~1949 – In Effingham, Illinois, St. Anthony's hospital caught fire and burned to the ground. 70 people were killed in the blaze and as a result, fire codes nationwide were improved. Due to the extensive media coverage, including a LIFE magazine cover story, donations for rebuilding the hospital came in from all 48 states and several foreign countries.
~1951 – Ethel and Julius Rosenberg were sentenced to death by Judge Irving Kaufman under Section 2 of the Espionage Act of 1917, which prohibits transmitting or attempting to transmit to a foreign government information "relating to the national defense." To the very end they both denied having performed espionage for the Soviet Union. The conviction helped to fuel Senator Joseph McCarthy's investigations into anti-American activities by U.S. citizens.
~1955 – Winston Churchill tendered his resignation as Prime Minister of Britain (taking effect on April 7th) amid indications of failing health.
~1956 – In Sri Lanka, the Mahajana Eksath Peramuna won the general elections in a landslide and S.W.R.D. Bandaranaike became Prime Minister.
~1958 – Ripple Rock: In British Columbia's Seymour Narrows, the submerged rock that had claimed many ships over the years as an underwater threat to navigation was destroyed in one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions of the history. The Ripple Rock explosion was seen throughout Canada, live on CBC Television, and was one of the first live coast to coast television coverages of an event in the country.
~1964 – Died this day: Douglas MacArthur, United States Army general (b. 1880).
~1971 – In Sri Lanka, the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna Communist political party launched an (ultimately unsuccessful) insurrection against the United Front government of Mrs. Sirimavo Bandaranaike. An estimated 15,000 insurgents, most of them only in their teens, died in the conflict.
~1975 – Died this day: Chiang Kai-shek, 1st President of the Republic of China (b. 1887). (If this was anything other than the mentioning of his death I'd let loose with one hell of a barrage right now...)
~1976 - Died this day: Howard Hughes, American aviation pioneer, film director, entrepreneur (b. 1905).
~1986 – The La Belle Discothèque Bombing took place in West Berlin, Germany. A bomb placed under a table near the DJ booth exploded at the club, killing a Turkish woman, 3 U.S. servicemen and injured 230 others, including more than 50 American servicemen. Libya was blamed for the bombing after telex messages had been intercepted from Libya to the Libyan East Berlin embassy congratulating them on a job well done. U.S. President Ronald Reagan retaliated by ordering airstrikes against the Libyan capital of Tripoli and city of Benghazi.
~1991 – Atlantic Southeast Airlines Flt. 2311, an EMB 120, crashed in Brunswick, Georgia after the port (left) engine propeller control unit malfunctioned. All 23 aboard died in the crash.
~1992 – Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori Fujimori appeared on television and announced that he was "temporarily dissolving" the Congress of the Republic and "reorganizing" the Judicial Branch of the government. He then ordered the Army of Peru to drive a tank to the steps of Congress to shut it down. When a group of senators attempted to hold session, tear gas was deployed against them. That same night, the military was sent to detain prominent members of the political opposition. (He was and is SUCH a pompous arrogant bastard...)
~1992 – Died this day: Sam Walton, American retailer, founder of WalMart (b. 1918).
~1992 – The Siege of Sarajevo: In the longest siege of a capital city in the history of modern warfare, Serb forces of the self-proclaimed Republika Srpska and the Yugoslav People's Army besieged Sarajevo, the capital city of Bosnia and Herzegovina, during the Bosnian War. The siege lasted until February 29th, 1996.
~1998 – In Japan, the 3,911 meter (12,831 ft) long Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge, linking Kobe with Iwaya and costing about $3.8 billion USD, opened to traffic. As of 2010 it is still the longest suspension bridge in the world.
View of the bridge from water level
Photo by Sam Hamilton
~2009 – North Korea launched its Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 rocket. The satellite passed over mainland Japan, which prompted an immediate reaction from the United Nations Security Council, as well as participating states of "six-party talks".
~46 BC – The army of Julius Caesar annihilated that of Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger) at the Battle of Thapsus in modern day Tunisia, inflicting well over 30,000 casualties upon the Republican forces.
~402 – The forces of General Stilicho, the commander of the Western Roman Armies, defeated the Visigoths under King Alaric I at the Battle of Pollentia fought near Asti, Italy.
~885 – Died this day: Saint Methodius (b. circa 815).
~1199 – Died this day: King Richard I of England (b. 1157).
~1320 – The Scots reaffirm their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath. It is in the form of a letter submitted to Pope John XXII and sealed by 51 magnates and nobles. This letter is the sole survivor of 3 such letters created at the time. The others were a letter from the King of Scots, Robert I, and a letter from 4 Scottish bishops which all presumably made similar points.
~1327 – The poet Petrarch first saw his idealized love, Laura, in the church of Saint Clare in Avignon.
~1385 – John, Master of the Order of Aviz, ascended the throne of Portugal as King John I.
~1483 - Born this day: Rafael (Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino), master Italian Renaissance painter and architect (d. 1520).
The painting Saint George and the Dragon, showing Raphael's mastery of light imagery, color blending and above all, perspective.
Artist: Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino
~1520 - Died this day: Rafael (Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino), master Italian Renaissance painter and architect (b. 1483). (Lousy way to spend your birthday, Raf...)
~1652 – At the Cape of Good Hope, Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck established a resupply camp that eventually became Cape Town.
~1667 – On the Adriatic coast a major earthquake devastated Dubrovnik killing over 5,000 residents. At the time, Dubrovnik was the capital of Republic of Ragusa and the earthquake marked the beginning of the end of the Republic.
~1782 – Rama I of Siam ascended the throne of Siam, after defeating a rebellion which had deposed King Taksin of Thonburi, founding the Chakri Dynasty.
~1808 – John Jacob Astor incorporated the American Fur Company. The company grew to monopolize the fur trade in the United States by 1830 and became one of the largest businesses in the country. The company was also one the first great trusts in American business. In spite of this the firm folded in 1842, largely due to fashion tastes drifting away from fur.
~1812 – British forces under the command of the Duke of Wellington assaulted the Fortress of Badajoz. This was the turning point in the Peninsular War against Napoleon led France.
~1832 – The Black Hawk War began. Black Hawk, a war chief of the Sauk, Fox, and Kickapoo Indians, began attacks on white settlers in the native's former (ceded) territory in Michigan and Illinois.
~1841 - John Tyler was sworn in as the 10th President of the United States following the death of President William H. Harrison 2 days earlier.
~1862 – The opening engagements of the Battle of Shiloh were fought, in southwestern Tennessee. Confederate forces under Generals Albert Sidney Johnston and P.G.T. Beauregard launched a surprise attack against the Union Army of Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. The Confederates achieved considerable success on the first day but were ultimately defeated on the 2nd day.
Chromolithograph of the Battle of Shiloh
Artist: Thure de Thulstrup (1848-1930)
~1865 – The Battle of Sayler's Creek was fought southwest of Petersburg, Virginia, as part of the Appomattox Campaign, in the final days of the Civil War. As with all battles near the very end of the war, the result was a decisive Union victory.
~1866 – The Grand Army of the Republic, an American patriotic organization composed of Union veterans of the Civil War, was founded by Benjamin F. Stephenson. It remained active until 1956.
~1886 - Vancouver, British Columbia was incorporated as a city. (And then promptly burnt to the ground less than 10 weeks later, just to mark the ocassion.)
~1888 – Thomas Green Clemson died, bequeathing his estate to the State of South Carolina to establish Clemson Agricultural College.
~1893 – Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was dedicated by Wilford Woodruff.
Salt Lake Temple in Salt Lake City, Utah
Photo by someone who calls himself/herself Entheta (???)
(I once knew somebody that was diagnosed with Entheta; it was a sad case...)
~1895 – Oscar Wilde was arrested in the Cadogan Hotel, London for gross indecency after losing a libel case against the John Sholto Douglas, 9th Marquess of Queensberry.
~1896 – In Athens, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games was celebrated, 1,500 years after the original games were banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I.
~1903 – The Kishinev Pogrom (an anti-Jewish riot) in Kishinev began and lasted until the following day. Tens of thousands of Jews were forced to later seek refuge in Israel and the Western world.
~1909 – Although impossible to prove with absolute certainty, Robert Peary and Matthew Henson are believed to have reached the North Pole. The first humans to ever do so.
~1917 – The United States declared war on Germany and entered into the First World War as an Allied combatant.
~1926 – Varney Airlines began operations as an air-mail carrier. Formed by Walter Varney, the airline was based in Boise, Idaho. In 1930 it merged with Boeing Air Transport to form United Airlines.
~1938 - The first flight of the Bell P-39 Airacobra took place in the skies over upstate New York. The sleek mid engined fighter saw extensive service in World War II, particularly with the Soviet Air Force (under the Lend-Lease Act) where they proved themselves to be an excellent ground attack aircraft, as well.
The Bell P-39 Airacobra
Photo courtesy the US Air Force
~1941 - The Invasion of Yugoslavia (code-name Directive n. 25): The Axis Powers' attacked the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. The military invasion ended with the unconditional surrender of the Royal Yugoslav Army on April 17th, 1941, annexation and occupation of the region by the Axis and the creation of the Independent State of Croatia.
~1941- The Battle of Greece: Operation Marita began with German troops invading Greece through Bulgaria in an effort to secure its southern flank. The combined Greek and British Commonwealth forces fought back with great tenacity, but were vastly outnumbered and outgunned, and finally collapsed. Athens fell on April 27th however, the British managed to evacuate about 50,000 troops before the city surrendered. The Greek campaign ended in a quick and complete German victory with the fall of Kalamata in the Peloponnese; it was all over within 24 days. The Battle of Greece is generally regarded as a continuation of the Greco-Italian War, which began when Italian troops invaded Greece on October 28th, 1940. Within weeks the Italians were driven out of Greece and Greek forces pushed on to occupy much of southern Albania. In March of 1941, a major Italian counterattack failed, and Germany was forced to come to the aid of its inept ally.
German artillery firing during the advance through Greece
Photo by G. Bauer, courtesy the Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive)
~1941 – Born this day: Don "The Snake" Prudhomme, American drag racer who dominated the NHRA Funny Car class for much of his 35 year career. (Enjoy your retirement, Donno!)
The Snake's 1990 NHRA season Funny Car racing in Denver
Photo as originally posted on Flickr
~1945 – Sarajevo was liberated from the occupying German and Croatian forces by the Yugoslav Partisans.
~1957 – Olympic Airlines was founded by Aristotle Onassis. In July of 1956 the Hellenic State reached an agreement with the Greek shipping magnate to sell TAE Greek National Airlines to Onassis. The company flew under the T.A.E. name until the end of the year and for the first few months of 1957 until the newly formed airline was ready to launch.
Olympic's first logo used in 1957
Image courtesy Olympic Airlines
~1965 – The launch of Early Bird (Intelsat I) took place, it was the first communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit (an orbit around the planet with an orbital period that matches the planet's sidereal rotation period).
~1965 – In a move eerily similar to the treacherous cancellation of the Avro Arrow by the Diefenbaker Conservative government in Canada 6 years earlier, the British Government announced the cancellation of the TSR-2 (Tactical Strike/Reconnaissance) aircraft project. It had been developed by the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC) for the Royal Air Force. The TSR-2 was designed to penetrate a well defended forward battle area at low altitudes and very high speeds, then attack high value targets in the rear with close in bomb runs along with precision drops. The TSR-2 included a number of advanced features that made it the highest performing aircraft in this role, yet the programme was controversially cancelled in favor of the General Dynamics F-111; a procurement that itself was later cancelled.
Xaraxtreme image of the TSR-2
Image created by and courtesy of Emoscopes
~1968 – In Richmond, Indiana's downtown district, a double explosion killed 41 and injured another 150. The primary explosion was due to natural gas leaking from one or more faulty transmission lines under the Marting Arms sporting goods store, located at the intersection of 6th and Main streets. A secondary explosion was caused by gunpowder stored inside the building.
~1970 – The Newhall Incident: In the parking lot of a restaurant near Newhall, California, 4 CHP officers were killed in a gun battle with 2 criminals much more heavily armed than they were.
~1971 - Died this day: Igor Stravinsky, Russian composer, pianist, and conductor, widely acknowledged as one of the most important and influential composers of 20th century music (b. 1882).
~1973 – NASA launched the Pioneer 11 spacecraft. Pioneer 11 completed a successful Saturn flyby in 1979 and it is now estimated (assuming it is still intact) to be following an escape trajectory from the solar system. There is no longer communication with the spacecraft as the last contact was made in November of 1995.
~1984 – Members of Cameroon's Republican Guard unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the government headed by Paul Biya following his decision on the previous day to disband the Republican Guard and disperse its members across the military. Northern Muslims were the primary participants in this coup attempt, which was seen by many as an attempt to restore that group's supremacy.
~1987 - In Las Vegas, one of boxing history's most controversial fights was held when Sugar Ray Leonard took the middleweight boxing title from Marvin Hagler. (Even though Hagler kicked Sugar's ass for most of the fight...!)
~1994 – The aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down as it made its final approach to Kigali International Airport. The Rwandan Genocide, that saw upwards of 800,000 murdered, began as a result of this incident. (The rest of the world just sat by and watched the ensuing carnage with a yawn.)
~1998 – The merger between Citicorp and Travelers Group (into Citigroup) was announced to the world, creating a $140 billion firm with assets of almost $700 billion. The deal would enable Travelers to market mutual funds and insurance to Citicorp's retail customers while giving the banking divisions access to an expanded client base of investors and insurance buyers.
~2005 – Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani was elected as the President of Iraq by the Iraqi National Assembly and sworn in the following day.
~2005 – Died this day: Rainier III, Prince of Monaco and husband of Grace Kelly (b. 1923).
~2009 – A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck near L'Aquila, Italy, killing 308 and injuring more than 1,500. Over 65,000 were left homeless in the quake that was felt throughout central Italy.
The quake damage at L'Aquila
Photo by Ra Boe
Last edited by Da Grouch; 04-10-2010 at 12:42 PM..
~529 – The Code of Justinian: The first draft of the Corpus Juris Civilis, a fundamental work in jurisprudence was issued by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I.
~1348 – Charles University: King Charles of Bohemia, gave the recently established university privileges and immunities from the secular power, in a Golden Bull.
~1498 – Died this day: King Charles VIII of France (b. 1470).
~1506 - Born this day: St. Francis Xavier (d. 1552).
~1521 – Ferdinand Magellan arrived at Cebu, where he would be killed just weeks later.
~1541 – Francis Xavier left Lisbon together with 2 other Jesuits and the new Viceroy Martim Afonso de Sousa aboard the ship Santiago, on a mission to the Portuguese East Indies for King John III of Portugal.
~1776 – The USS Lexington, commanded by Captain John Barry, engageded the British sloop of war Edward. After a fierce fight which lasted about an hour Edward struck her colors. Lexington then took her prize into Philadelphia.
The USS Lexington
Artist: F. Muller, courtesy the National Archives and Records Administration
~1782 – Died this day: Taksin, King of Thailand (b. 1734).
~1788 – The American Pioneers to the Northwest Territory arrived at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, establishing Marietta, Ohio as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory. This openeding the westward expansion of the new country.
~1789 – Died this day: Abd-ul-Hamid I, Ottoman Sultan (b. 1725).
~1798 – The Mississippi Territory was organized from disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain. It was expanded in 1804 and again in 1812.
~1805 – The Lewis and Clark Expedition: The Corps of Discovery broke its winter camp among the Mandan Indian tribe and resumed its journey West along the Missouri River.
~1827 – John Walker, an English chemist, sold the first friction match that he had (accidently) invented the previous year. (Now there was a whack job for ya'!)
~1864 - The first camel race in America was held in Sacramento, California. Sultan beat out 5 other camels with Desert Daisy coming in a distant last.
~1868 – Thomas D'Arcy McGee, one of the Canadian Fathers of Confederation was (allegedly) assassinated by an Irish Fenian sympathizer, in one of the few Canadian political assassinations and (to date) the only one of a federal politician.
The McGee funeral procession in downtown Ottawa on April 13th, 1868
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/91/McGee_Funeral01.jpg (broken link)
Photo by James Inglis, courtesy Library and Archives Canada
~1888 - P.F. Collier published a weekly periodical for the first time under the name Collier's Once a Week.
~1890 – The first Lake Biwa Canal was completed. It was built to transport water, freight, and passengers from Lake Biwa to the nearby City of Kyoto. This waterway was also used as Japan's first hydroelectric power generator, which served to provide electricity for Kyoto's trams.
~1891 – Died this day: P. T. Barnum, American circus impresario (b. 1810).
~1904 - The London class battleship HMS Queen received her commission from the Royal Navy. She would go on to serve with distinction during World War I.
HMS Queen (c. 1908)
Photo courtesy the Imperial War Museum
~1906 – Mount Vesuvius erupted and devastated the city of Naples. The eruption killed over 100 people and ejected the most lava ever recorded from a Vesuvian eruption.
~1906 – The Algeciras Conference gave France and Spain basic control over Morocco. (The Moroccan delegates were prepared to tell the French and Spaniards to go pound it, but a decree by Sultan Abdelaziz of Morocco on June 18th finally ratified the Act.)
~1916 - The Sopwith 1½ Strutter entered into service with the Royal Flying Corps in the air war over Europe during World War I. It is significant as the first British designed two seater tractor fighter and the first British aircraft to enter service with a synchronised machine gun. 6,000 of the versatile little aircraft would be built before production ended.
Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter (c. summer 1916)
Photo courtesy the RAF Archives
~1922 – The Teapot Dome scandal: United States Secretary of the Interior Albert B. Fall leased the Teapot Dome petroleum reserves in Wyoming to Sinclair Oil. This was done without the reserves being offered for competitive bidding.
~1933 – Prohibition was repealed for beer of no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight, 8 months before the ratification of the 21st amendment.
~1939 – Italian forces invaded Albania and siezed control of the country, with the Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini proclaiming Italy's figurehead (read: Puppet) King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy as King of Albania.
~1943 – In the Ukraine, German SS troops ordered 1,100 Jews to undress and march through the city of Terebovlia to the nearby village of Plebanivka where they were shot dead and buried in ditches.
~1945 – The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, was sunk by American naval aircraft 200 miles north of Okinawa while en-route to a suicide mission in Operation Ten-Go.
Yamato blows up, following attacks by U.S. Navy carrier planes
Photo taken from a USS Yorktown CV-10
Photo from the Collection of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN. Courtesy the U.S.
Naval Historical Center
~1945 – Visoko, Yugoslavia was liberated from the occupying German troops by the Yugoslav Partisan forces.
~1947 – Died this day: Henry Ford, American automobile manufacturer and industrialist (b. 1863).
~1948 – The World Health Organization was established by the United Nations. (More bureaucracy, more paper pushers, more resolutions, more money down the crapper and what do we get for it? Jack Shyte...that's what.)
~1949 - The musical South Pacific by Rogers and Hammerstein opened on Broadway at the Majestic Theatre. The production ran for more than 5 years. At the time it closed on January 16th, 1954, after 1,925 performances, it was the 5th longest running show in Broadway history.
~1954 – US President Dwight D. Eisenhower gave his Domino Theory speech during a news conference. The domino theory was used by successive United States administrations during the Cold War to clarify the need for American intervention around the world.
An illustration of the domino theory as it had been predicted in Asia
OK, so this whiz bang goes and makes up this little diagram, fair enough; good on him/her.
Then he/she states that "proper attribution should be made". Again, fair enough. Only
problem is...NO NAME IS GIVEN! (You brain-dead, imbecillic, knuckle dragging cretin!)
~1956 – Spain voluntarily relinquished its protectorate in Morocco.
~1957 - The last of New York City's electric trolleys completed its final run from Queens to Manhattan.
~1963 – Yugoslavia was proclaimed to be a Socialist republic.
~1963 - At the age of 23, Jack Nicklaus became the youngest golfer to win the Green Jacket at the Masters Tournament.
~1964 – IBM announced the System/360 mainframe computer system family. It was the first family of computers designed to cover the complete range of applications, from small to large, both commercial and scientific. The design made a clear distinction between architecture and implementation, allowing IBM to release a suite of compatible designs at different prices. All but the most expensive systems used microcode to implement the instruction set, which featured 8 bit byte addressing and binary, decimal and floating point calculations. (And today we have handhelds that can do far more than that...go figure.)
~1970 - At the 42nd Academy Awards, John Wayne won his first and only Oscar for his role in True Grit. He had been in over 200 films.
~1976 – Former British Cabinet Minister John Stonehouse resigned from the Labour Party making them a minority government. A few days later he joined the English National Party. (What a piece of work THAT jerk was...!)
~1977 – German Federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback and his driver were shot by two Red Army Faction members while waiting at a red light.
~1983 – During STS-6, astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson performed the first space shuttle spacewalk. (Yeah, more space walks...sorry, but it's been done.)
~1985 - In Goteborg, Sweden, China swept all of the world table tennis titles except for men's doubles. (Sometimes it's really, really, REALLY hard not to fire off a cheap shot...)
~1989 – The Soviet submarine Komsomolets caught fire and sank in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway killing 42 sailors.
~1990 – Former National Security Advisor John Poindexter was convicted on multiple felony counts for conspiracy, obstruction of justice, perjury, defrauding the government, and the alteration and destruction of evidence pertaining to the Iran-Contra Affair. The convictions were reversed in 1991 on appeal.
~1998 - Mary Bono, the widow of Sonny Bono, won a special election to serve out the remainder of her husband's congressional term.
Mary Bono, member of the
United States House of Representatives
Photo courtesy the US Congress
~1999 – The World Trade Organisation ruled in favor of the United States in its long running trade dispute with the European Union over bananas. (Well...I'm certainly glad we finally got THAT dire threat to world peace and modern civilization out of the way!)
~2000 - U.S. President Clinton signed the Senior Citizens Freedom to Work Act of 2000. The bill reversed a Depression-era law and allows senior citizens to earn money without losing Social Security retirement benefits.
~2001 – NASA launched the orbiter Mars Odyssey. To date the spacecraft is still fully functional and operating well in its orbit over the Red Planet. (Now if GM, Ford and Chrysler could just get their American made products to do the same for this amount of time...)
~2003 – U.S. troops reached Baghdad. They occupied the city 2 days later and Saddam Hussein's regime fell.
~2009 – Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori was convicted of human rights violations and sentenced to 25 years in prison for his role in killings and kidnappings by the Grupo Colina death squad during his government's battle against leftist guerrillas in the 1990s. The verdict, delivered by a 3 judge panel, marked the first time that an elected head of state has been extradited back to his home country, tried, and convicted of human rights violations. Fujimori was specifically found guilty of murder, bodily harm, and 2 cases of kidnapping. On July 20th a Peruvian court sentenced Fujimori to an additional 7 1/2 years in prison for embezzlement after the former president admitted paying his spy chief (USD) $15 million in state funds. He also later pled guilty to bribery. (So nice to see that miserable little puke finally getting his...)
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~217 – Roman Emperor Caracalla was assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus.
~1093 – The new Winchester Cathedral was dedicated by Walkelin.
~1143 – Died this day: John II Comnenus, Byzantine Emperor (b. 1087).
~1149 – Pope Eugene III fled to the castle of Ptolemy II of Tusculum and took refuge there.
~1271 – In Syria, The forces of Sultan Baybars conquered the Krak of Chevaliers, with the aid of heavy trebuchets and mangonels, at least one of which was later used to attack Acre in 1291. However, to conquer the castle Baibars resorted to deception by presenting a forged letter from the Crusader Commander in Tripoli, ordering the defenders to surrender the castle. This immensely strong castle would probably never have fallen otherwise.
~1364 – Died this day: King John II of France (b. 1319).
~1513 – The expedition of explorer Juan Ponce de León encountered a current so strong that it pushed their ships backwards and forced them to seek anchorage. Their smallest ship, the San Cristobal, was carried out of sight and lost for 2 days. This was the first encounter with the Gulf Stream where it reaches maximum force between the Florida coast and the Bahamas. Because of the powerful boost provided by the current, it would soon become the primary route for eastbound ships leaving the Spanish Indies bound for Europe.
~1808 – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore was promoted to an archdiocese, with the founding of the dioceses of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown (now Louisville) by Pope Pius VII.
~1820 – The Venus de Milo was discovered by a peasant named Yorgos Kentrotas, inside a buried niche within the ancient city ruins of Milos, on the Aegean island of Milos.
The Venus de Milo
Photo image courtesy the Louvre
~1864 – The Battle of Mansfield: In the first major clash of the Union Army's Red River Campaign during the Civil War, Confederate forces achieved a decisive victory which eventually led to the defeat of General Banks' Red River campaign and the Federal evacuation at Grand Encore.
~1866 – Italy and Prussia allied against the Austrian Empire in preparation for the Austro-Prussian War.
~1886 – The First Home Rule Bill was introduced by British Prime Minister William Gladstone into the British House of Commons. It proposed to create a devolved assembly for Ireland which would govern Ireland in specified areas. The Irish Parliamentary Party under Charles Stewart Parnell had been campaigning for home rule for Ireland since the 1870s.
~1893 – The first recorded college basketball game took place in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania when the intramural team from Geneva College defeated the New Brighton YMCA.
~1895 – In Pollock v. Farmers' Loan & Trust Co. the Supreme Court of the United States declared unapportioned income tax on interest, dividends, and rents to be unconstitutional because they violated the rule that direct taxes be apportioned.
~1902 - The Canopus class battleship HMS Vengeance received her commission from the Royal Navy. She would go on to serve with distinction in the First World War.
Photo courtesy the US Navy Historical Center
~1904 – The Entente-cordiale: A series of agreements was signed between Great Britain and the French Republic. Beyond the immediate concerns of colonial expansion addressed by the agreement, the signing of the Entente cordiale marked the end of almost a millennium of intermittent conflict between the 2 nations and their predecessor states and the start of a peaceful co-existence that has continued to date. (Even if they do hate each others guts...)
~1904 – British mystic Aleister Crowley first heard a voice talking to him and calling itself "Aiwass". Aiwass claimed to be a messenger from the god Ho or-Paar-Kraat, meaning Horus as the child of Isis and Osiris. Crowley wrote down everything the voice told him over the course of the next three days, and subsequently titled it Liber AL vel Legis or The Book of the Law. The god's commands explained that a new "Aeon" for mankind had begun, and that Crowley would serve as its prophet. As a supreme moral law, it declared "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law", and that people should learn to live in tune with their "True Will". (Maybe he just partook of far too many recreational pharmaceuticals, but old Crowley was one whacked out Louie!!!)
~1904 – Longacre Square, in Midtown Manhattan, was renamed Times Square by proclamation of Mayor George B. McClellan Jr. at the urging of Adolph Ochs, owner and publisher of the New York Times. (No self interest on the part of Ochs there, no siree...)
~1905 - The Connecticut class battleship USS Minnesota (BB-22) was launched at Newport News, Viginia. She would serve until December of 1921 before finally being decommissioned.
USS Minnesota at her full speed of 18.1 knots during builder's trials (c. early 1907)
Photo courtesy the US Navy Historical Center
~1906 – Died this day: Auguste Deter, she was the first person to be diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease (b. 1850).
~1913 – The 17th Amendment to the United States Constitution, requiring direct election of Senators, became law.
~1916 - German fighter ace Oswald Boelcke became involved in a dogfight with a pair of British fighters while piloting his Halberstadt D.II biplane fighter in the wartorn skies over the French countryside. His guns jammed and he spent the next 1/2 hour desperately trying to out-manoeuvre the enemy aircraft before managing to escape into cloud formations. Following this Boelcke was detailed to share his expertise with the head of German military aviation. The Dicta would go on to be used by the Luftwaffe in World War II.
Blue Halberstadt D.II flown by Oswald Boelcke
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/3/3f/HalberstadtDII.jpg (broken link)
Photo courtesy the Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archives)
~1917 - Chevrolet's first V8 engine, the 288 cu. in. (4.7 liter) Series D was run for the first time at their design factory in Detroit. The overhead valve design allowed it to produce 36 horsepower @2700 RPM. It was discontinued in 1918 when Chevy decided that the 4 cylinder was the way to go to catch up with industry sales leader, the Ford Model-T. Chevrolet wouldn't produce another V8 until the debut of the famous "small block" in the 1955 models.
~1918 – Actors Douglas Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin went out and sold war bonds on the streets of New York City's financial district.
~1929 – Inside the Delhi Central Assembly, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt threw a small non-lethal bomb and then followed up with a shower of leaflets stating that "it takes a loud voice to make the deaf hear".
~1935 – The Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935 was passed during the Second Hundred Days as a part of US President Franklin D Roosevelt's New Deal. It was a large scale public works program for the jobless which included the Works Progress Administration, it allocated $5 billion for this purpose. The bill also included funds for the Federal Arts Project, the Federal Writer Project and the Federal Theater Project.
~1935 - After witnessing the astonishing agility of the new Bücker Bü 133 Jungmeister advanced trainer aircraft, Adolph Hitler immediately ordered 3 of the planes so that they could be shown off to the world at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.
A privately owned Bücker 133C Jungmeister in 2001
Photo by Cartsen Clasohm
~1940 – Britain and France announced that they had mined Norwegian territorial waters to prevent their use by German supply ships.
~1940 - The destroyer HMS Glowworm was sunk in an engagement with the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, but not before ramming and almost sinking the massive German battlewagon. 111 of the ship's company were killed and 39 were taken prisoner.
HMS Glowworm (c. 1937)
Photo courtesy the Imperial War Museum
~1940 - The first Arado Ar 196 to fall into allied hands, belonging to the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper, was captured in Lyngstad. (It just wasn't a good day for the Admiral Hipper...)
An Ar 196 onboard the German heavy cruiser Admiral Hipper
Photo courtesy the Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archive)
~1943 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in an attempt to check inflation, froze wages and prices, prohibited workers from changing jobs unless the war effort would be aided by doing so and barred rate increases by common carriers and public utilities.
~1943 - Wendell Wilkie’s One World was published for the first time. One World is a travelogue documentary of Wilkie's world travels and meetings with many of the then Allies heads of state as well as ordinary citizens and soldiers in locales such as El Alamein, Russia, and Iran. Willkie also discussed the need for some sort of World government.
~1944 - The Japanese aircraft carrier HIJMS Taihō was commissioned. She would last for just over 3 months before being sunk on June 19th at the Battle of the Philippine Sea by US carrier borne aircraft. (3 out of 7 sources list this as occurring on April 7th.)
The aircraft carrier HIJMS Taihō
Photo courtesy the Japanese Naval Archives
~1950 – India and Pakistan signed the Liaquat-Nehru Pact, providing a "bill of rights" for the minorities of both countries. (I would suggest that in the ensuing 60 years India has done a far better job of meeting this treaty's obligations than has Pakistan.)
~1952 – U.S. President Harry Truman nationalized all domestic steel mills to prevent a nationwide strike the next day. The steel companies sued to regain control of their facilities and on June 2nd, 1952, in a landmark decision, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co. v. Sawyer that the president lacked the authority to seize the steel mills.
~1953 – Mau Mau leader Jomo Kenyatta was sentenced to 7 years imprisonment with hard labor and indefinite restriction thereafter by Kenya's British rulers. The subsequent appeal was refused by the British Privy Council in 1954.
~1954 – A Royal Canadian Air Force Canadair Harvard Mark II trainer collided with a Trans-Canada Airlines Canadair North Star in mid-air over Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, killing all 36 people in the 2 aircraft and 1 person on the ground.
A Canadian Car & Foundry Harvard Mark II (T-6 Texan) of the New Zealand Air Force in 1961
Photo by Graham Bould
Trans Canada Airlines DC-4M-2 North Star at London Airport (Heathrow) in 1951, the tail number indicates that
this is the aircraft involved in the Moose Jaw disaster
Photo by Ruth AS
~1968 – An engine on BOAC Flt. 712, a Boeing 707, caught fire shortly after take off and the crew was forced to make a fiery emergency landing at London Heathrow. In the ensuing scramble to escape the burning plane 5 people died and 38 more were injured. As a result of her actions in the accident, Stewardess Barbara Jane Harrison was awarded a posthumous George Cross, the only GC awarded to a woman in peacetime.
(Low rez) image of the
~1970 – The Bahr el-Baqar Incident: The Israeli airforce carried out a raid on the Egyptian village of Bahr el-Baqar, south of Port Said, in the eastern province of Sharqiyya. It resulted in the destruction of a primary school full of school children. 5 bombs and 2 air to surface missiles struck the single floor school which consisted of 3 classrooms. Of the 130 school children who attended the school, 46 were killed and over 50 wounded, many of them maimed for life. The school itself was completely demolished. The Israelis claimed that they believed the target was a hostile military installation. (Oh hell yeah! I believe you. I mean, I go by primary schools and mistake them for hostile military installations all the bloody time...the similarity is frightening!)
~1974 – Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run, surpassing Babe Ruth's 39 year old record. The record breaking shot was hit off of Al Downing of the Los Angeles Dodgers into the left field bullpen at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
~1981 – Died this day: Omar Bradley, renowned U.S. general, commander of US forces on D-Day (b. 1893).
~1985 – The Bhopal Disaster: India files suit against Union Carbide for the disaster which killed an estimated 2,000 and injured another 200,000.
~1992 – Retired tennis great Arthur Ashe announced that he had AIDS, acquired from blood transfusions during the 2nd of his 2 heart surgeries.
~2004 – The Darfur Conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement was signed by the Sudanese government and 2 rebel groups. (Yet another meaningless piece of paper that did nothing to stop the ongoing carnage.)
~2006 – The Shedden Massacre: The bodies of 8 men, all shot to death, were found in a field in Ontario. The murders were soon linked to the Bandidos motorcycle gang.
~2008 – The Bahrain World Trade Center: The construction of the world's first building to integrate wind turbines was completed and the 3 wind turbines were turned on for the first time.
The Bahrain World Trade Center during the final stages of construction showing the 3 wind turbines
Photo by Omar Chatriwala
Last edited by Da Grouch; 04-13-2010 at 10:58 PM..
~475 – Byzantine Emperor Basiliscus re-instated Timothy Aelurus and Peter Fullo to their sees. Timothy then persuaded Basiliscus to issue a circular letter (Enkyklikon) to the bishops of his empire supporting the Monophysite christological position and calling on them to accept as valid only the first 3 ecumenical synods, and reject the Council of Chalcedon.
~491 – Died this day: Zeno, Byzantine Emperor (b. circa 425).
~715 – Died this day: Pope Constantine (b. circa 646).
~1024 – Died this day: Pope Benedict VIII (b. circa 954).
~1241 – The Battle of Liegnitz: A combined force of Poles, Czechs and Germans under the command of the Polish duke Henry II the Pious of Silesia, supported by feudal nobility and a few knights from military orders sent by the Pope, attempted to halt the Mongol invasion of Europe near the city of Legnica in Silesia. The defending Europeans, however, were no match for the Mongols who completely routed them and very nearly wiped them out to a man.
~1413 – The coronation of Henry V of England took place at Westminster Abbey.
~1440 – Christopher of Bavaria was proclaimed King of Denmark at the Viborg Assembly.
~1483 – Died this day: King Edward IV of England (b. 1442)
~1626 - Died this day: Sir Francis Bacon, English philosopher, statesman and essayist (b. 1561).
~1682 – Robert Cavelier de La Salle discovered the mouth of the Mississippi River and claimed it for France.
~1860 – A 10 second recording (of low fidelity but recognizable) of the French folk song Au Clair de la Lune was made by Scott de Martinville. Today it is the oldest known recording of a human voice.
~1865 – CSA General Robert E. Lee surrendered the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia (26,765 troops) to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at the Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia, effectively ending the Civil War.
Union soldiers in front of the Appomattox Court House on April 9th, 1865
following the surrender of the CSA Army of Northern Virginia
Photo courtesy the Library of Congress
~1867 – The Alaska purchase: The United States Senate ratified a treaty, to purchase Alaska from Russia, by a vote of 37-2. However, the appropriation of money needed to purchase Alaska was delayed by more than a year due to opposition in the House of Representatives. The House finally approved the appropriation in July 1868, by a vote of 113-48.
~1909 – The U.S. Congress passes the Payne-Aldrich Tariff Act.
~1910 - HMS Colossus, the lead ship of her class of dreadnought battleships, was launched. With the outbreak of World War I she became the flagship of the 1st Battle Squadron. Colossus would play a significant role at the Battle of Jutland in 1916.
HMS Colossus (c. 1915)
Photo courtesy the Imperial War Museum
~1916 - At the Battle of Verdun, German forces launched their 3rd offensive of the operation.
~1917 – The Battle of Arras: The opening day of the battle saw the Canadian Corps execute a massive assault against 3 divisions of the German Sixth Army on Vimy Ridge.
A Canadian 18 pounder crew move their gun into a new position during the Battle of Arras
Photo courtesy the Imperial War Museum (Why in hell this isn't available from the Canadian
archives is totally beyond me...)
~1918 – The Battle of the Lys: The Portuguese Expeditionary Corps was crushed by German forces during the Spring Offensive in the Belgian region of Flanders. This action was one of the greatest defeats ever suffered by Portuguese forces. The 2nd Portuguese Division, approximately 20,000 men commanded by General Gomes da Costa (later President of Portugal), lost about 300 officers and 7,000 men killed, wounded and prisoners.
~1918 - An intial batch of 10 Pfalz Dr.I fighters arrived at the Western Front, entering service for testing purposes prior to mass production. Although an extremely beautiful little aircraft it did not match up to the Allied fighters it would face. Service pilots involved in testing the Dr.I considered it too slow and its Sh III engine too unreliable for frontline use. As such no further examples were produced.
The Pfalz Dr.I
Photo courtesy the Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German
~1937 – The Kamikaze-go, a Mitsubishi Ki-15 Karigane, arrived with her 2 man crew to much fanfare at Croydon Airport in London. It was the first Japanese built aircraft to fly Japan to to Europe and made the grueling 15,357 km (9,480 mi) trip in 51 hours, 17 minutes.
Photo courtesy the Asahi Shimbun
~1939 – Marian Anderson sang at the Lincoln Memorial, after being denied the right to sing at the Daughters of the American Revolution's Constitution Hall due to her being black.
~1940 – Operation Weserübung: German forces invaded Denmark and Norway, ostensibly as a preventive manoeuvre against a planned and openly discussed Franco-British occupation of both these countries. After the invasions, envoys of the Germans informed the governments of Denmark and Norway that the Wehrmacht had come to protect the countries' neutrality against Franco-British aggression. (No, the Danes and Norwegians didn't believe them either...)
~1941 - The USS North Carolina (BB-55), lead ship of her class, received her commission from the US Navy. The first of the Fast Battleships she would go on to win 15 Battle Stars for her service during the Second World War. Today the North Carolina serves as a floating museum ship.
The USS North Carolina underway
Photo courtesy the US Naval Historical Center
~1942 – The Battle of Bataan: US and Filipino forces surrendered to the Japanese high command on the Bataan Peninsula.
US General Edward King discusses the terms of surrender with Japanese officers
~1942 - The Japanese Imperial Navy launched a massive air raid on the port of Trincomalee in Ceylon. The British had warning of the attack and the aircraft carrier Hermes, along with her escorts, had left the night before. They were returning to port when they were discovered at 08:55. Hermes had no aircraft on board, and so was defenceless when 70 bombers attacked her at 10:35 off Batticaloa. Hit 40 times, Hermes sank with the loss of 307 men. The destroyer HMAS Vampire and the corvette HMS Hollyhock were also sunk.
The British carrier Hermes sinking after Japanese carrier air attack.
Photo taken from a Japanese aircraft, courtesy the Japanese Naval Archives
HMAS Vampire in 1940
Photo courtesy the Australian War Memorial
~1945 – In Kiel, during a RAF bombing raid on the dockyards, the German pocket battleship Admiral Scheer was struck and capsized at her berth.
~1945 – The Battle of Königsberg, in East Prussia, finally ended in a Soviet victoy after 2 1/2 months of fierce fighting. The battle concluded when the German garrison surrendered to the Red Army after a massive 3 day assault by the Soviets made their position untenable.
German POWs at Königsberg
Photo courtesy the Deutsches Bundesarchiv (German Federal Archives)
~1947 – The Glazier-Higgins-Woodward Tornadoes: A system of related tornadoes swept through Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. The event was similar to the Tri-State Tornado 2 decades before in that it appeared to observers to be a single, very long lived tornado. Later analysis suggested that it was a multiple tornado outbreak. These tornadoes, although deadly, did not match the astounding death toll of the 1925 event, nor did they match the record speed of that tornado, although at over 40 mph (64 km/h), they qualified as a fast tracking storm. A total of 181 people died and a further 970 were injured in the outbreak.
~1948 – The assassination of Columbia's front running presidential candidate, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, provoked a violent riot in Bogotá and a further 10 years of violence in Colombia known as La violencia.
~1948 – The Massacre at Deir Yassin: Deir Yassin, a Palestinian Arab village of around 600 people near Jerusalem, had declared its neutrality during the civil war between Arab and Jewish Palestinians. In spite of this a massacre of some 107 of its residents was committed by paramilitaries from the Irgun and Lehi groups.
~1959 – Died this day: Frank Lloyd Wright, renowned American architect (b. 1867)
~1959 – Project Mercury: NASA announces the selection of the United States' first 7 astronauts, whom the news media quickly dubbed the "Mercury Seven".
~1961 – Died this day: King Zog of Albania (b. 1895)
~1965 – The Houston Astrodome opened and the first indoor baseball game was played. Judy Garland along with The Supremes performed on opening night to a capacity crowd.
~1967 – A civil aviation milestone was reached when the (now infamous) Boeing 737 took to the skies over Western Washington on its maiden flight. After 43 years the 737 remains in production and has long been recognized as one of the greatest airliners in history.
A Lufthansa Boeing 737-300 on final approach to London Heathrow in September, 2003
Photo by Adrian Pingstone
~1968 – The Funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. took place.
~1975 – The first game of the Philippine Basketball Association, the second oldest professional basketball league in the world behind the NBA, was held at the Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City featuring Mariwasa-Noritake and Concepcion Carrier.
~1975 – In South Korea, 8 individuals who were involved in the People's Revolutionary Party Incident, were sentenced to death. They were hanged 18 hours later.
~1980 – The Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein killed philosopher Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr and his sister Bint al-Huda after 3 days of torture.
~1989 – The Tbilisi Massacre: A peaceful anti-Soviet demonstration, demanding the restoration of Georgian independence, was dispersed violently by Soviet troops. 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries resulted.
~1991 – Georgia declared its independence from the Soviet Union.
~1992 – A U.S. Federal Court found former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega guilty of drug and racketeering charges. He was later sentenced to 40 years in prison (reduced to 30 years in 1993).
~1992 – John Major's Conservative Party won a 4th consecutive general election victory in the United Kingdom over the much favored Labour Party.
~2002 - The funeral of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth, the "Queen Mother of the United Kingdom" was held at Westminster Abbey. On the day of the Queen Mother's funeral more than a million people filled the area outside Westminster Abbey and along the 23 mile (37 km) route from central London to her final resting place beside her husband and younger daughter in St George's Chapel at Windsor Castle.
The Queen Mother's funeral carriage escorted by the Queen's Guard
Photo by N Hosko
~2003 – The Invasion of Iraq: Baghdad fell to American forces. No longer under fear of persecution, Saddam Hussein's statue was toppled as Iraqis turn on symbols of their former leader. The pulled down the statue and broke it into pieces.
~2005 – The Wedding of Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall: Charles, Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker Bowles in a civil ceromony at Windsor's Guildhall. (Well now, this calls for a celebration...slap a feed bag on that old girl!)
Charles enroute to the wedding
Camilla enroute to the wedding ceremony
(OK, I'll admit it...that wasn't very nice of me.)
Last edited by Da Grouch; 04-15-2010 at 12:48 AM..
~ 1945. Hilter killed himself on April 30th 1945. In my book, that was the end of WW2.
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