Home Today's History Lesson TODAY’S HISTORY LESSON: APRIL



1861 – The American Civil War begins – The bombardment of Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina marked the beginning of hostilities. The conflict was sparked by deepening economic, social, and political differences between the southern and northern states, which were most palpably embodied by the dispute about the legitimacy of slavery. The southern (pro-slavery) states, surrendered in 1865, ending the war.

0467 – Anthemius is elevated to Emperor of the Western Roman Empire

1065 – Pilgrims under bishop Gunther of Bamberg reach Jerusalem

1096 – Peter the Hermit gathered his army in Cologne.

1204 – The Fourth Crusade sacked Constantinople.

1545 – French King Francis I orders the Waldensian Protestants of the village of Mérindol to be punished, setting off a massacre

1606 – England adopts the Union Flag, replaced in 1801 by current Union Flag, also known as the Union Jack

1654 – Ordinance of Union between England and Scotland passed by the Council of State

1770 – British parliament repeals the Townshend Revenue Acts, which had fueled opposition to British rule in colonial America

1776 – North Carolina’s Provincial Congress authorized its delegates to the Second Continental Congress to vote for independence by issuing the Halifax Resolves.

1782 – The British navy won its only naval engagement against the colonists in the American Revolution at the Battle of Saints, off Dominica.

1799 – Phineas Pratt patented the comb cutting machine.

1811 – The first colonists arrived at Cape Disappointment, Washington.

1820 Alexander Ypsilantis is declared leader of Filiki Eteria, a secret organisation to overthrow Ottoman rule over Greece.

1838 – Rebel Col. Samuel Lount and Captain Peter Matthews publicly hanged for treason and sedition during the Rebellion of 1837 in Upper Canada

1861 – Fort Sumter was shelled by Confederacy, starting America’s Civil War.

1864 – American Civil War: Fort Pillow massacre — Confederate forces under General Nathan Bedford Forrest kill most of the African American soldiers who had surrendered at Fort Pillow, Tennessee.

1877 – A catcher’s mask was used in a baseball game for the first time by James Alexander Tyng.

1892 – Voters in Lockport, New York, became the first in the U.S. to use voting machines.

1900 – The US Congress passes the Foraker Act, establishing Puerto Rico as an unincorporated territory (effective 1 May)

1905 – The Hippodrome opened in New York City.

1907 – In Switzerland, parliament passes a new army bill reorganizing the nation’s forces into a standing militia, with training required for all males

1916 – American cavalrymen and Mexican bandit troops clashed at Parrel, Mexico.

1919 – British Parliament passes a 48-hour work week with minimum wages

1927 – The British Cabinet came out in favor of women voting rights.

1934 – The Auto-Lite Strike, which culminated in a five-day melee between Ohio National Guard troops and 6,000 strikers and picketers, began

1937 – The first aircraft jet engine is successfully tested – Sir Frank Whittle invented and tested the engine, only a few months before German engineer Hans von Ohain ran his jet engine, which was to power the first ever all-jet aircraft.

1941 – Vichy-France’s head of government Admiral François Darlan consults with Adolf Hitler

1945 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt died in Warm Spring, GA. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 63. Harry S Truman became president.

1951 – Israeli Knesset officially designates April 13 as Holocaust Day

1955 – The University of Michigan Polio Vaccine Evaluation Center announced that the polio vaccine of Dr. Jonas Salk was “safe, effective and potent.”

1959 – France Observator reports torture practice by French army in Algeria

1961 – Soviet Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin became first man to orbit the Earth.

1963 – Police used dogs and cattle prods on peaceful civil rights demonstrators in Birmingham, AL.

1975 – Six Catholic civilians are killed in a Ulster Volunteer Force gun and grenade attack on Strand Bar in Belfast, North Ireland

1980 – Samuel Doe takes control of Liberia in a coup d’etat, killing President William Talbert and 27 others, ending over 130 years of national democratic presidential succession

1981 – The space shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral, FL, on its first test flight.

1982 – Three CBS employees were shot to death in a New York City parking lot.

1984 – Israeli troops stormed a bus that had been hijacked the previous evening by four Arab terrorists. All the passengers were rescued and 2 of the hijackers were killed.

1985 – Federal inspectors declared that four animals of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus were not unicorns. They were goats with horns that had been surgically implanted.

1987 – Texaco filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy after it failed to settle a legal dispute with Pennzoil Co.

1988 – Harvard University won a patent for a genetically altered mouse. It was the first patent for a life form.

1989 – In the U.S.S.R, ration cards were issued for the first time since World War II. The ration was prompted by a sugar shortage.

1990 – Greyhound Bus hires new drivers to replace strikers

1991 – US announces closing of 31 major US military bases

1992 – Disneyland Paris opened in Marne-La-Vallee, France.

1993 – NATO began enforcing a no-fly zone over Bosnia and Herzegovina.

1999 – American President Bill Clinton was cited for contempt of court for giving “”intentionally false statements”” in the Paula Jones sexual harassment civil lawsuit

2000 – More than 1,500 anti-drug agents raided four cities in Colombia and arrested 46 members of the “most powerful” heroin ring.

2002 – It was announced that the South African version of “Sesame Street” would be introducing a character that was HIV-positive.

2009 – President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian National Authority makes a courtesy phone call to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, restarting the Palestinian-Israeli dialogue

2012 – Civilian rule in Mali is returned after Dioncounda Traore is sworn in as interim president

2013 – A man-made 32-foot and 60 tonne monument that is dates around 2000 BC is discovered in the Sea of Galilee

2020 – OPEC and other major oil companies agree to the largest-ever drop in production to stabilize world prices

2022 – Global COVID-19 known cases pass 500 million, with 5.1 billion (66%) having received at least one vaccine shot

2023 – US Environmental Protection Agency proposes landmark set of pollution regulations to drive down greenhouse-gas emissions, including electric vehicles making up 67% of new passenger-car sales by 2032

REFERENCE: history.net, onthisday.com, thepeopleshistory.com, timeanddate.com, scopesys.com, on-this-day.com