April 6th in History

This day in historyApril 6 is the 96th day of the year (97th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 269 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 648, B.C., the earliest total solar eclipse chronicled by Greeks was observed.

In 46 BC,  Julius Caesar defeats Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger) in the battle of Thapsus.

In 402,  Stilicho stymies the Visigoths under Alaric in the Battle of Pollentia.

Church of Fontevraud Abbey Richard I effigy.jpgIn 1199,  King Richard I of England dies from an infection following the removal of an arrow from his shoulder. He was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He also ruled as Duke of Normandy (as Richard IV), Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Anjou, Count of Maine, Count of Nantes, and Overlord of Brittany at various times during the same period. He was the third of five sons of King Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was known as Richard Cœur de Lion, or mainly Richard the Lionheart, even before his accession, because of his reputation as a great military leader and warrior. The Muslims called him Melek-Ric (King Richard) or Malek al-Inkitar (King of England).

In 1250,  Seventh Crusade: Ayyubids of Egypt capture King Louis IX of France in the Battle of Fariskur.

In 1320,  The Scots reaffirm their independence by signing the Declaration of Arbroath.

In 1327,  The poet Petrarch first sees his idealized love, Laura, in the church of Saint Clare in Avignon.

In 1385,  John, Master of the Order of Aviz, is made king John I of Portugal.

In 1453,  Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (Istanbul), which falls on May 29.

In 1520,  Raphael, Italian painter and architect (b. 1483) dies.

In 1580,  One of the largest earthquakes recorded in the history of England, Flanders, or Northern France, takes place.

In 1652,  At the Cape of Good Hope, Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck establishes a resupply camp that eventually becomes Cape Town the 1st European settlement in S Africa.

In 1663, King Charles II signed the Carolina Charter.

In 1667,  An earthquake devastates Dubrovnik, then an independent city-state.

In 1712,  The New York Slave Revolt of 1712 begins near Broadway.

In 1722, Peter the Great proclaims end of tax on those with beards.

In 1776,  American Revolutionary War: Ships of the Continental Navy fail in their attempt to capture a Royal Navy dispatch boat.

In 1782,  King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) of Siam (modern day Thailand) founded the Chakri dynasty.

In 1793,  During the French Revolution, the Committee of Public Safety becomes the executive organ of the republic.

In 1808,  John Jacob Astor incorporates the American Fur Company, that would eventually make him America’s first millionaire.

In 1812,  British forces under the command of the Duke of Wellington assault the fortress of Badajoz. This would be the turning point in the Peninsular War against Napoleon-led France.

In 1814,  Nominal beginning of the Bourbon Restoration; anniversary date that Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to Elba.

In 1830,  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the original church of the Latter Day Saint movement, is organized by Joseph Smith, Jr. and others at Fayette or Manchester, New York.

In 1860,  The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints—later renamed Community of Christ—is organized by Joseph Smith III and others at Amboy, Illinois

In 1861,  First performance of Arthur Sullivan‘s debut success, his suite of incidental music for The Tempest, leading to a career that included the famous Gilbert and Sullivan operas.

In 1862,  American Civil War: The Battle of Shiloh begins – in Tennessee, forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant meet Confederate troops led by General Albert Sidney Johnston. The Confederate surprise attack on Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s unprepared troops at Shiloh on the Tennessee River results in a bitter struggle with 13,000 Union killed and wounded and 10,000 Confederates, more men than in all previous American wars combined. The president is then pressured to relieve Grant but resists. “I can’t spare this man, he fights,” Lincoln says.

ASJohnston.jpgIn 1862, Albert Sidney Johnston, American general (b. 1803) at about 2:30 pm takes a bullet behind his right knee. He apparently did not think the wound was serious at the time, or even possibly did not feel it, and so he sent his personal physician away to attend to some wounded captured Union soldiers instead. It is possible that Johnston’s duel in 1837 had caused nerve damage or numbness to his right leg and that he did not feel the wound to his leg as a result. The bullet had in fact clipped a part of his popliteal artery and his boot was filling up with blood. He dies within the hour. He served as a general in three different armies: the Texian (i.e., Republic of Texas) Army, the United States Army, and the Confederate States Army. He saw extensive combat during his military career, fighting actions in the Texas War of Independence, the Mexican–American War, the Utah War, and the American Civil War.

Considered by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to be the finest general officer in the Confederacy before the emergence of Robert E. Lee, he was killed early in the Civil War at the Battle of Shiloh. Johnston was the highest-ranking officer, Union or Confederate, killed during the entire war. Davis believed the loss of Johnston “was the turning point of our fate”.

In 1865,  American Civil War: The Battle of Sayler’s Creek – Confederate General Robert E. Lee‘s Army of Northern Virginia fights its last major battle while in retreat from Richmond, Virginia. One 3rd of Lee’s army cut off.

In 1866,  The Grand Army of the Republic, an American patriotic organization composed of Union veterans of the American Civil War, is founded. It lasts until 1956.

In 1869,  Celluloid is patented.

In 1883, Start of Sherlock Holmes “Adventure of the Speckled Band” (BG).

In 1887, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, teacher Anne Sullivan achieved a major breakthrough with her blind and deaf pupil, Helen Keller, by conveying to her the meaning of the word “water” in the manual alphabet.

In 1888,  Thomas Green Clemson dies, bequeathing his estate to the State of South Carolina to establish Clemson Agricultural College.

In 1889, the Kodak Camera was placed on sale by George Eastman.

In 1893,  Salt Lake Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is dedicated by Wilford Woodruff.

In 1895,  Oscar Wilde is arrested in the Cadogan Hotel, London after losing a libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry.

In 1896,  In Athens, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games is celebrated, 1,500 years after the original games are banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I.

In 1909,  Robert Peary and Matthew Henson reach the North Pole.

In 1909, St. Canadian Credit Union of Manchester, New Hampshire received a charter to become the first credit union was established in the U.S.

In 1911,  During the Battle of Deçiq, Dedë Gjon Luli Dedvukaj, leader of the Malësori Albanians, raises the Albanian flag in the town of Tuzi, Montenegro, for the first time after George Kastrioti (Skenderbeg).

In 1917,  World War I: The United States declares war on Germany (see President Woodrow Wilson’s address to Congress).

In 1917, “Over There” was introduced as new song by George M. Cohan; WWI Theme Song.

In 1919,  Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi orders a general strike.

In 1923,  The first Prefects Board in Southeast Asia is formed in Victoria Institution, Malaysia.

In 1924,  First round-the-world flight commences.

In 1926,  Varney Airlines makes its first commercial flight (Varney is the root company of United Airlines).

In 1929,  Huey P. Long Governor of Louisiana is impeached by the Louisiana House of Representatives.

In 1930,  Gandhi raises a lump of mud and salt and declares, “With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire,” beginning the Salt Satyagraha.

In 1930, Hostess Twinkies were invented by bakery executive James Dewar. It is a creamy-filled sponge cake in order to use small baking pans that would otherwise remain in storage except for each year’s brief strawberry shortcake season. About a billion Twinkies are eaten every year.

In 1936,  Tupelo-Gainesville tornado outbreak: Another tornado from the same storm system as the Tupelo tornado hits Gainesville, Georgia, killing 203.

In 1941,  World War II: Nazi Germany launches Operation 25 (the invasion of Kingdom of Yugoslavia) and Operation Marita (the invasion of Greece).

In 1941, The 7th Army was a Royal Yugoslav Army formation, raised three days before the German-led invasion of Yugoslavia of 6 April 1941, during World War II. On the first day of the invasion, the army’s commander Dušan Trifunović was alarmed when the 4th Army, on the right flank of the 7th, was undercut by fifth column activities by Croats within its major units and higher headquarters. The Germans captured Maribor two days later and expanded their bridgeheads, supported by the Luftwaffe. On 10 April, the German 14th Panzer Division captured Zagreb. Italian offensive operations began the following day, with thrusts towards Ljubljana and down the Adriatic coast, capturing more than 30,000 Yugoslav troops near Delnice. When fifth column supporters of the Croatian nationalist Ustaše movement arrested the headquarters staff of the 7th Army later that day, the formation effectively ceased to exist. On 12 April, the Germans linked up with the Italians near the Adriatic coast, encircling the remnants of the 7th Army, which offered no further resistance. Ceasefires were implemented on 15 April, and the Yugoslav Supreme Command surrendered unconditionally.

In 1945,  World War II: Sarajevo is liberated from German and Croatian forces by the Yugoslav Partisans.

In 1945,  World War II: the Battle of Slater’s Knoll on Bougainville comes to an end.

In 1945, during World War II, the Japanese warship Yamato and nine other vessels sailed on a suicide mission to attack the U.S. fleet off Okinawa; the fleet was intercepted the next day.

In 1947,  The first Tony Awards are presented for theatrical achievement.

In 1954, The TV Dinner was first put on sale by Swanson & Sons. It was black and white at the time.

In 1957,  Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis buys the Hellenic National Airlines (TAE) and founds Olympic Airlines.

In 1962,  Leonard Bernstein causes controversy with his remarks from the podium during a New York Philharmonic concert featuring Glenn Gould performing BrahmsFirst Piano Concerto.

In 1965,  Launch of Early Bird, the first communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit.

In 1965,  The British Government announces the cancellation of the TSR-2 aircraft project.

In 1968,  In Richmond, Indiana‘s downtown district, a double explosion kills 41 and injures 150.

In 1968,  Pierre Elliot Trudeau wins the Liberal Leadership Election, and becomes Prime Minister of Canada soon after.

In 1970,  Newhall Incident: Four California Highway Patrol officers are killed in a shootout.

In 1970,  Sam Sheppard, American wrestler and physician (b. 1923)  was found dead in his home in Columbus, Ohio dead. It was later determined that Sheppard died of liver failure. He was an American osteopathic physician and, toward the end of his life, a professional wrestler. He was convicted in 1954 of the brutal murder of his pregnant wife, Marilyn Reese Sheppard, at their Bay Village, Ohio, home. He spent almost a decade in prison, mostly at the Ohio Penitentiary, before a retrial was ordered, where he was acquitted in 1966. To his death, he maintained his innocence of the murder.

The murder of Marilyn Sheppard and the controversial murder trial of Sam Sheppard in 1954 drew widespread, nationwide attention from the media, creating what the U.S. Supreme Court later described as a “carnival atmosphere” which denied Sheppard his right to due process.

In 1972,  Vietnam War: Easter Offensive – American forces begin sustained air strikes and naval bombardments.

In 1973,  Launch of Pioneer 11 spacecraft.

In 1973,  The American League of Major League Baseball begins using the designated hitter.

In 1973, the then tallest building, the World Trade Center, opened in New York City with 110 stories.

In 1974,  The Swedish pop band ABBA wins the Eurovision Song Contest 1974 with the song “Waterloo“, launching their international career.

In 1982,  Estonian Communist Party bureau declares “fight against bourgeois TV”—meaning Finnish TV—a top priority of the propagandists of Estonian SSR

In 1984,  Members of Cameroon‘s Republican Guard unsuccessfully attempt to overthrow the government headed by Paul Biya.

Isaac.Asimov01.jpgIn 1992,  Isaac Asimov, Russian-American author and educator (b. 1920) dies. He was born Isaak Yudovich Ozimov; circa January 2, 1920 – April 6, 1992) was an American author and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, best known for his works of science fiction and for his popular science books. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, having written or edited more than 500 books and an estimated 90,000 letters and postcards.  His books have been published in 9 of the 10 major categories of the Dewey Decimal Classification.  Asimov is widely considered a master of hard science fiction and, along with Robert A. Heinlein and Arthur C. Clarke, he was considered one of the “Big Three” science fiction writers during his lifetime. Asimov’s most famous work is the Foundation Series;  his other major series are the Galactic Empire series and the Robot series. The Galactic Empire novels are explicitly set in earlier history of the same fictional universe as the Foundation series. Later, beginning with Foundation’s Edge, he linked this distant future to the Robot and Spacer stories, creating a unified “future history” for his stories much like those pioneered by Robert A. Heinlein and previously produced by Cordwainer Smith and Poul Anderson.  He wrote hundreds of short stories, including the social science fictionNightfall“, which in 1964 was voted by the Science Fiction Writers of America the best short science fiction story of all time. Asimov wrote the Lucky Starr series of juvenile science-fiction novels using the pen name Paul French. The prolific Asimov also wrote mysteries and fantasy, as well as much nonfiction. Most of his popular science books explain scientific concepts in a historical way, going as far back as possible to a time when the science in question was at its simplest stage. He often provides nationalities, birth dates, and death dates for the scientists he mentions, as well as etymologies and pronunciation guides for technical terms. Examples include Guide to Science, the three-volume set Understanding Physics, and Asimov’s Chronology of Science and Discovery, as well as works on astronomy, mathematics, the Bible, William Shakespeare’s writing, and chemistry. Asimov was a long-time member and vice president of Mensa International, albeit reluctantly; he described some members of that organization as “brain-proud and aggressive about their IQs”. He took more joy in being president of the American Humanist Association. The asteroid 5020 Asimov, a crater on the planet Mars, a Brooklyn, New York elementary school, and a literary award are named in his honor.

In 1994,  The Rwandan Genocide begins when the aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira is shot down.

In 1994, Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun announced his retirement after 24 years. Justice Blackmun wrote the Roe vs. Wade opinion on the constitutionality of abortion.

In 1996,  Greer Garson, English-American actress (b. 1904) dies. She was a British American actress who was very popular during World War II, being listed by the Motion Picture Herald as one of America’s top ten box office draws in 1942–46. As one of MGM‘s major stars of the 1940s, Garson received seven Academy Award nominations, including a record of five consecutive nominations, winning the Best Actress award for Mrs. Miniver (1942).

In 1998,  Pakistan tests medium-range missiles capable of reaching India.

In 1998, The Justice Department considers a new antitrust case against Microsoft involving the new Windows 98 software. Justice investigators issued a new round of civil subpoenas to major computer makers concerning Microsoft Corp., but haven’t decided yet if they will file a case.

In 1998,  Travelers Group announces an agreement to undertake the $76 billion merger between Travelers and Citicorp, and the merger is completed on October 8, of that year, forming Citibank.

In 1999, Sony Corp. announces plans to begin selling Super Audio CD players and related products in Japan. Sony’s first SACD products are targeted mainly at the high end of the audio market. The SCD-1 SACD player has a suggested retail price of 500,000 Yen ($4,200).

In 2000,  The father of Elian Gonzalez, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, arrived in the United States to press for the return of his six-year-old son to Cuba.

In 2000, The Human Genome Project (HGP) , an international scientific research project with the goal of determining the sequence of chemical base pairs which make up human DNA mapping the human genetic blueprint announced it had decoded all of the DNA pieces that make up the genetic pattern of a single human being.

In 2004,  Rolandas Paksas becomes the first president of Lithuania to be peacefully removed from office by impeachment.

In 2005,  Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani becomes Iraqi president; Shiite Arab Ibrahim al-Jaafari is named premier the next day.

In 2008,  2008 Egyptian general strike starts led by Egyptian workers later to be adopted by April 6 Youth Movement and Egyptian activities .

In 2009,  A 6.3 magnitude earthquake strikes near L’Aquila, Italy, killing 307.

In 2010,  Maoist rebels kill 76 CRPF officers in Dantewada district, India.

In 2011,  In San Fernando, Tamaulipas, Mexico, over 193 bodies were exhumed from several mass graves made by Los Zetas.

In 2012,  Azawad Declaration of Independence is declared.

Mickey Rooney still.jpgIn 2014, Mickey Rooney, the pint-size, precocious actor and all-around talent whose more than 80-year career spanned silent comedies, Shakespeare, Judy Garland musicals, Andy Hardy stardom, television and the Broadway theater, died at age 93.

Rooney started his career in his parents’ vaudeville act while still a toddler, and broke into movies before age 10. He was still racking up film and TV credits more than 80 years later — a tenure likely unmatched in the history of show business.

“I always say, ‘Don’t retire — inspire,’” he told The Associated Press in March 2008. “There’s a lot to be done.”

Among his roles in recent years was a part as a guard in the smash 2006 comedy “A Night at the Museum.”

Rooney won two special Academy Awards for his film achievements, and reigned from 1939 to 1942 as the No. 1 moneymaking star in movies, his run only broken when he joined the Army. At his peak, he was the incarnation of the show biz lifer, a shameless ham and hoofer whom one could imagine singing, dancing and wisecracking in his crib, his blond hair, big grin and constant motion a draw for millions. He later won an Emmy and was nominated for a Tony.

“Mickey Rooney, to me, is the closest thing to a genius I ever worked with,” Clarence Brown, who directed his Oscar-nominated performance in “The Human Comedy,” once said.

Rooney’s personal life matched his film roles for color. His first wife was the glamorous — and taller — Ava Gardner, and he married seven more times, fathering seven sons and four daughters.

Through divorces, money problems and career droughts, he kept returning with customary vigor.

“I’ve been coming back like a rubber ball for years,” he commented in 1979, the year he returned with a character role in “The Black Stallion,” drawing an Oscar nomination as supporting actor, one of four nominations he earned over the years.

That same year he starred with Ann Miller in a revue called “Sugar Babies,” a hokey mixture of vaudeville and burlesque. It opened in New York in October 1979, and immediately became Broadway’s hottest ticket. Rooney received a Tony nomination (as did Miller) and earned millions during his years with the show.

“I loved working with Mickey on ‘Sugar Babies.’ He was very professional, his stories were priceless and I love them all … each and every one. We laughed all the time,” Carol Channing said.

To the end, he was a non-stop talker continually proposing enterprises, some accomplished, some just talk: a chain of barbecue stands; training schools for talented youngsters; a Broadway show he wrote about himself and Judy Garland; screenplays, novels, plays.

Rooney was among the last survivors of Hollywood’s studio era, which his career predated. Rooney signed a contract with MGM in 1934 and landed his first big role as Clark Gable as a boy in “Manhattan Melodrama.” A loanout to Warner Bros. brought him praise as an exuberant Puck in Max Reinhardt’s 1935 production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which also featured James Cagney and a young Olivia de Havilland.

Rooney was soon earning $300 a week with featured roles in such films as “Riff Raff,” ”Little Lord Fauntleroy,” ”Captains Courageous,” ”The Devil Is a Sissy,” and most notably, as a brat humbled by Spencer Tracy’s Father Flanagan in “Boys Town.”

In 2017,  U.S. military launches 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at an air base in Syria. Russia describes the strikes as an “aggression”, adding they significantly damage US-Russia ties.[6]

In 2018,  A bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior ice hockey team collides with a semi-truck in SaskatchewanCanada, killing 16 people and injuring 13 others.

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