April 7th in History

This day in history

April 7 is the 97th day of the year (98th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 268 days remaining until the end of the year.



In 451,  Attila the Hun sacks the town of Metz and attacks other cities in Gaul.

In 529,  First draft of the Corpus Juris Civilis (a fundamental work in jurisprudence) is issued by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I.

In 611,  Maya king Uneh Chan of Calakmul sacks rival city-state Palenque in southern Mexico.

In 1141,  Empress Matilda, became the first female ruler of England, adopting the title ‘Lady of the English’

In 1348, Prague University, the first in central Europe, was founded by Charles IV, King of Bohemia.

In 1521, Magellan lands at Cebu, Phillipines

In 1798, the Mississippi Territory was organized.

In 1805,  Lewis and Clark Expedition: The Corps of Discovery breaks camp among the Mandan tribe and resumes its journey West along the Missouri River.

In 1805,  German composer Ludwig van Beethoven premiered his Third Symphony, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna.

In 1827, John Walker, an English chemist, sells the first friction match that he had invented the previous year.

In 1829,  Joseph Smith, Jr., founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, commences translation of the Book of Mormon, with Oliver Cowdery as his scribe.

In 1831,  D. Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil, resigns. He goes to his native Portugal to become King D. Pedro IV.

In 1862, Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.

In 1863, The First Battle of Charleston SC, failed Federal fleet attack on Fort Sumter.

In 1868,  Thomas D’Arcy McGee, one of the Canadian Fathers of Confederation is assassinated by the Irish, in one of the few Canadian political assassinations, and the only one of a federal politician.


Cover of Collier’s magazine with art by Frederic Remington

In 1888, P.F. Collier published a weekly periodical for the first time. “Collier’s” became the publication’s name at a later date. The magazine was popular for 69 years.

In 1888, Start of Sherlock Holmes adventure “Yellow Face”

In 1890,  Completion of the first Lake Biwa Canal.

In 1891, Nebraska introduced the 8 hour work day.

In 1906,  Mount Vesuvius erupts and devastates Naples.

In 1922,  Teapot Dome scandal: United States Secretary of the Interior leases Teapot Dome petroleum reserves in Wyoming.

In 1923, The first operation for a brain tumor under local anesthetic is performed at Beth Israel Hospital in New York City by Dr. K. Winfield Ney.

In 1927,  First distance public television broadcast (from Washington, D.C., to New York City, displaying the image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover).

In 1933, Prohibition in the United States is repealed for beer of no more than 3.2% alcohol by weight, eight months before the ratification of the XXI amendment.

In 1939, World War II: Italy invades Albania, which offered only token resistance. (Less than a week later, Italy annexed Albania.).

In 1940,  Booker T. Washington becomes the first African American to be depicted on a United States postage stamp.

In 1941, British generals O’Connor & Neame captured in North Africa.

In 1942, Heavy German assault on Malta.


Skeletal formula and ball-and-stick and space-filling models of the lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) molecule, C20H25N3O.

In 1943, The drug LSD  was first produced in Switzerland in 1938 from ergotamine, a chemical from the fungus ergot at Sandoz Laboratories, Basel, Switzerland, by Albert Hofmann. Hofmann discovered its psychedelic properties in 1943.[16]LSD was introduced as a commercial medication under the trade-name Delysid for various psychiatric uses in 1947.[17] In the 1950s, officials at the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) thought the drug might be useful for mind control and chemical warfare and tested the drug on young servicemen and students, and others without their knowledge. The subsequent recreational use by youth culture in the Western world as part of 1960s counterculture resulted in its prohibition.

In 1943, British/US troops make contact at Wadi Akarit, South-Tunisia.

In 1943, Lt Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg was seriously wounded at allied air raid.  Stauffenberg lost his left eye, his right hand, and two fingers on his left hand. He jokingly remarked to friends never to have really known what to do with so many fingers when he still had all of them. For his injuries, Stauffenberg was awarded the Wound Badge in Gold on 14 April and for his courage the German Cross in Gold on 8 May.

In 1943,  Ioannis Rallis becomes collaborationist Prime Minister of Greece during the Axis Occupation.

In 1943,  Holocaust: In Terebovlia, Ukraine, Germans order 1,100 Jews to undress to their underwear and march through the city of Terebovlia to the nearby village of Plebanivka where they are shot dead and buried in ditches.

In 1945, first & last assault of German Rammkommando on US bombers.

In 1945, World War II: The Japanese battleship Yamato, the largest battleship ever constructed, is sunk by American planes 200 miles north of Okinawa while en route to a suicide mission in Operation Ten-Go.

In 1945, World War II: Visoko is liberated by the 7th, 9th, and 17th Krajina brigades from the Tenth division of Yugoslav Partisan forces.

In 1946, Syria‘s independence from France is officially recognised.

Henry ford 1919.jpgIn 1947,  Henry Ford, American engineer and businessman, founded the Ford Motor Company (b. 1863) dies. He was an American industrialist, the founder of the Ford Motor Company, and the sponsor of the development of the assembly line technique of mass production.

Although Ford did not invent the automobile or the assembly line, he developed and manufactured the first automobile that many middle class Americans could afford. In doing so, Ford converted the automobile from an expensive curiosity into a practical conveyance that would profoundly impact the landscape of the twentieth century. His introduction of the Model T automobile revolutionized transportation and American industry. As the owner of the Ford Motor Company, he became one of the richest and best-known people in the world. He is credited with “Fordism“: mass production of inexpensive goods coupled with high wages for workers. Ford had a global vision, with consumerism as the key to peace. His intense commitment to systematically lowering costs resulted in many technical and business innovations, including a franchise system that put dealerships throughout most of North America and in major cities on six continents. Ford left most of his vast wealth to the Ford Foundation and arranged for his family to control the company permanently.

Ford was also widely known for his pacifism during the first years of World War I, and also for being the publisher of antisemitic texts such as the book The International Jew.

In 1948, The World Health Organization is established by the United Nations.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower gives his “domino theory” speech during a news conference.

In 1955,  Winston Churchill resigns as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom amid indications of failing health.

In 1956,  Spain relinquishes its protectorate in Morocco.

In 1964,  IBM announces the System/360.

In 1967,  Film critic Roger Ebert published his very first film review in the Chicago Sun-Times.

In 1968,  Motor racing world champion Jim Clark was killed in an accident during a Formula Two race at Hockenheim.

In 1969,  The Internet‘s symbolic birth date: Publication of RFC 1.

In 1971,  President Richard Nixon announces his decision to increase the rate of American troop withdrawals from Vietnam.

In 1976,  Former British Cabinet Minister John Stonehouse resigns from the Labour Party.

In  1977,  German Federal prosecutor Siegfried Buback and his driver are shot by two Red Army Faction members while waiting at a red light.

In 1978,  Development of the neutron bomb is canceled by President Jimmy Carter.

In 1980,  The United States severs relations with the Iran.

In 1983,  During STS-6, astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson perform the first Space Shuttle spacewalk.

In 1985,  Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev declares a moratorium on the deployment of middle-range missiles in Europe.

In 1989,  Soviet submarine Komsomolets sinks in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway killing 42 sailors.

In 1990,  Iran–Contra affair: John Poindexter is found guilty of five charges for his part in the scandal (the conviction is later reversed on appeal).

In 1990,  A fire breaks out on the passenger ferry Scandinavian Star, killing 159 people.

In 1992,  Republika Srpska announces its independence.

In 1994,  Rwandan genocide: Massacres of Tutsis begin in Kigali, Rwanda.

In 1994,  Auburn Calloway attempts to hijack Federal Express Flight 705 and crash it to allow his family to benefit from his life insurance policy. The crew subdues him and lands the aircraft safely.

In 1995,  First Chechen War: Russian paramilitary troops begin a massacre of civilians in Samashki, Chechnya.

In 1999,  The World Trade Organization rules in favor of the United States in its long-running trade dispute with the European Union over bananas.

In 2001,  Mars Odyssey is launched.

In 2003,  U.S. troops capture Baghdad; Saddam Hussein‘s regime falls two days later.

In 1959, The first atomic generated electricity is produced in Los Alamos, New Mexico. No problems to date.

In 1959, The first radar bounced off the sun from Stanford California.

In 1966, The United States recovered a hydrogen bomb it had lost off the coast of Spain.

In 1969, The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material.

In 1970, A U.S. court confirmed it had closed the investigation of Sen. Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, over the car crash in which Mary Jo Kopechne died at Cahappaquiddick in 1969.

In 1971, As public support for the Vietnam War ebbs, President Nixon pledges to withdraw 100,000 more American soldiers from Southeast Asia by December.

In 1976, China’s leadership deposed Deputy Prime Minister Deng Xiaoping and appointed Hua Kuo-feng prime minister and first deputy chairman of the Communist Party.

In 1983, Old human skeleton aged 80,000 years old was discovered in Egypt.

In 1989, In the Norwegian Sea, 42 seamen died when Soviet Mike-class nuclear-powered submarine,the Komsomolets, sank more than 300 miles off coast of Norway after an undersea accident and fire. Twenty-seven crew members were rescued.

In 1990, Former national security adviser John Poindexter, the last of the original Iran-Contra defendants, was convicted on felony charges in the worst scandal of the Reagan presidency.

In 1994, Civil war erupted in Rwanda, a day after a mysterious plane crash claimed the lives of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. In the months that followed, hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsi and Hutu intellectuals were slaughtered.

In 1995, In a prime-time television address, House Speaker Newt Gingrich declared the GOP “Contract with America” was only a beginning.

In 1995, President Clinton threatened to veto a lengthy list of bills passed by the Republican-controlled House if they were not modified in the Senate.

In 1998, Mary Bono, the widow of entertainer-turned-politician Sonny Bono, won a special election to serve out the remainder of her husband’s congressional term.

In 2000, Attorney General Janet Reno met in Washington with the father of Elian Gonzalez; Reno later told reporters that officials would arrange for Juan Miguel Gonzalez to reclaim his son, but she gave Elian’s Miami relatives one more chance to drop their resistance and join in a peaceful transfer.

In 2003,  U.S. troops capture Baghdad; Saddam Hussein‘s regime falls two days later.

In 2008, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., is on the witness list for the upcoming trial of a woman accused of running a high-end prostitution ring in the nation’s capital. Defense lawyers for Deborah Palfrey listed Vitter as a potential witness when jury selection began this morning. Vitter has acknowledged his involvement with the escort service and apologized for “a very serious sin.” Former State Department official Randall Tobias, who stepped down after he was identified as a client of the service, is also on Palfrey’s witness list.

In 2008, This story hit the headlines… British Grandmother Forced to Pull Her Own Teeth Because of Socialized Medicine – A story out of England illustrates the kind of problems the socialized medical system can generate. The London Daily Mail newspaper reports 76-year-old Elizabeth Green was turned away by 12 dentists after having no luck in searching for an NHS practitioner under the health system. She ultimately resorted to pulling her own teeth because she couldn’t find anyone to treat her. American bioethics watchdog Wesley J. Smith commented on the case: “There are lessons here for the USA as we strive to find a way to expand coverage, without sinking our own boat. One lesson is that any nationalized system will have to be sparse. If we try to cover everything, we will, in the end, cover very little. Moreover, it seems clear to me that a robust private sector component will be crucial to reforming our health care system.”

In 2009,  Former Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori is sentenced to 25 years in prison for ordering killings and kidnappings by security forces.

In 2009,  Mass protests begin across Moldova under the belief that results from the parliamentary election are fraudulent.

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