April 1st in History

This day in historyApril 1 is the 91st day of the year (92nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 274 days remaining until the end of the year.  This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Wednesday, Friday or Sunday (58 in 400 years each) than on Monday or Tuesday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Thursday or Saturday (56). April 1 is most notable in many countries for being April Fools’ Day.




In 286,  Emperor Diocletian elevates his general Maximian to co-emperor with the rank of Augustus and gives him control over the Western regions of the Roman Empire.

In 325,  Crown Prince Jin Chengdi, age 4, succeeds his father Jin Mingdi as emperor of the Eastern Jin dynasty.

In 457,  Majorian is acclaimed emperor by the Roman army.

In 527,  Byzantine Emperor Justin I names his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne.

In 528,  The daughter of Emperor Xiaoming of Northern Wei was made the “Emperor” as a male heir of the late emperor by Empress Dowager Hu, deposed and replaced by Yuan Zhao the next day; she was the first female monarch in the History of China, but not widely recognized.

Church of Fontevraud Abbey Eleanor of Aquitaine effigy.jpgIn 1204,  Eleanor of Aquitaine (b. 1122) dies. She was one of the wealthiest and most powerful women in western Europe during the High Middle Ages and a member of the Ramnulfid dynasty of rulers in southwestern France. She became Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right while she was still a child, then later Queen consort of France (1137–1152) and of England (1154–1189). She was the patron of literary figures such as Wace, Benoît de Sainte-Maure, and Bernart de Ventadorn.

Eleanor’s succession to the duchy of Aquitaine in 1137 made her the most eligible bride in Europe. Three months after she became duchess, she married King Louis VII of France, son of her guardian, King Louis VI. As Queen of France, she participated in the unsuccessful Second Crusade. Soon after, Eleanor sought an annulment of her marriage, but her request was rejected by Pope Eugene III. However, after the birth of her second daughter Alix, Louis agreed to an annulment in consideration of her failure to bear a son after fifteen years of marriage. The marriage was annulled on 11 March 1152 on the grounds of consanguinity within the fourth degree. Their daughters were declared legitimate and custody was awarded to Louis, while Eleanor’s lands were restored to her.

As soon as the annulment was granted, Eleanor became engaged to Henry, Duke of Normandy and Count of Anjou, who became King Henry II of England in 1154. Henry was her third cousin (cousin of the third degree), and nine years younger. The couple married on 18 May 1152 (Whit Sunday), eight weeks after the annulment of Eleanor’s first marriage, in a cathedral in Poitiers, France. Over the next thirteen years, she bore Henry eight children: five sons, three of whom would become kings; and three daughters. However, Henry and Eleanor eventually became estranged. Henry imprisoned her in 1173 for supporting her son Henry‘s revolt against her husband. She was not released until 6 July 1189, when Henry died and their son ascended the English throne as Richard I.

Now queen dowager, Eleanor acted as regent while Richard went on the Third Crusade, where he was captured and held prisoner. Eleanor lived well into the reign of her youngest son, John. By the time of her death, she had outlived all her children except for King John and Queen Eleanor of Castile.

In 1293,Robert Winchelsey leaves England for Rome, to be consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury.

In 1318,  Berwick-upon-Tweed is captured by the Scottish from England.

In 1340,  Niels Ebbesen kills Gerhard III, Count of Holstein-Rendsburg in his bedroom, ending the 1332-1340 interregnum in Denmark.

In 1545,  Potosí is founded after the discovery of major silver deposits in the area.

In 1572,  In the Eighty Years’ War, the Watergeuzen capture Brielle from the Spaniards, gaining the first foothold on land for what would become the Dutch Republic.

In 1625,  A combined Spanish and Portuguese fleet of 52 ships commences the recapture of Bahia from the Dutch during the Dutch–Portuguese War.

In 1789,  In New York City, the United States House of Representatives holds its first quorum and elects Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first Speaker.

In 1826,  Samuel Morey patents the internal combustion engine.

In 1833,  The Convention of 1833, a political gathering of settlers in Mexican Texas to help draft a series of petitions to the Mexican government, begins in San Felipe de Austin

NHGOV Benjamin Pierce.jpgIn 1839,  Benjamin Pierce, American politician, 11th Governor of New Hampshire (b. 1757) dies. He was an American Democratic-Republican politician. He served as Governor of New Hampshire from 1827 to 1828 and from 1829 to 1830.

He was born in Chelmsford, Massachusetts, the son of Benjamin and Elizabeth (Merrill) Pierce, as well as a direct descendant of Thomas Pierce (1618–1683), the grandson of Sir Richard Carew, who was born in Norwich, Norfolk, England and settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Benjamin Pierce was a distinguished veteran of the Revolutionary War, serving in the 16th Continental Regiment, which was later renamed the 8th Massachusetts Regiment. He was promoted to Ensign in the 1st Massachusetts Regiment for bravery at Saratoga. He was an original member of the Society of the Cincinnati. Following the war, he moved to Hillsborough, New Hampshire, where he built the Franklin Pierce Homestead, and was assigned the task of forming the Hillsborough County militia. In 1805, he was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned command of the New Hampshire state militia. Prior to becoming governor, he served in the New Hampshire state legislature from 1789 to 1802 and twice as Sheriff of Hillsborough County, from 1809 to 1812 and later from 1818 to 1827. He was a delegate to the state Constitutional Convention in September 1791 and a member of the Governor’s Council from 1803 to 1809 and again in 1814.

In 1854,  Charles Dickens‘ novel Hard Times begins serialisation in his magazine Household Words.

In 1865,  American Civil War: Battle of Five Forks. Union Army led by Philip Sheridan decisively defeated Confederate States Army led by George Pickett, leading to Breakthrough at Petersburg and Appomattox Campaign.

In 1867,  Singapore becomes a British crown colony.

In 1871,  The first stage of the Brill Tramway opens.

In 1873,  The White Star steamer RMS Atlantic sinks off Nova Scotia, killing 547 in the worst marine disaster of the 19th century.

In 1887,  Mumbai Fire Brigade is established.

In 1891,  The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago, Illinois.

In 1893,  The rank of Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy is established.

In 1908,  The Territorial Force (renamed Territorial Army in 1920) is formed as a volunteer reserve component of the British Army.

Scott Joplin 19072.jpgIn 1917,  Scott Joplin, American pianist and composer (b. 1868) died on April 1 of syphilitic dementia at the age of 49 and was buried in a pauper’s grave that remained unmarked for 57 years. His grave at Saint Michaels Cemetery in East Elmhurst was finally given a marker in 1974.

He an black composer and pianist. Joplin achieved fame for his ragtime compositions and was dubbed the “King of Ragtime Writers”. During his brief career, he wrote 44 original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two operas. One of his first pieces, the “Maple Leaf Rag“, became ragtime’s first and most influential hit, and has been recognized as the archetypal rag.

Joplin was born into a musical family of laborers in Northeast Texas, and developed his musical knowledge with the help of local teachers. Joplin grew up in Texarkana, where he formed a vocal quartet, and taught mandolin and guitar. During the late 1880s he left his job as a laborer with the railroad, and traveled around the American South as an itinerant musician. He went to Chicago for the World’s Fair of 1893, which played a major part in making ragtime a national craze by 1897.

In 1917, World War I, First U. S. serviceman to die in WWI. Navy Armed Guard Chief Boatswain’s Mate John Eopolucci perishes in a life boat after the steamer Aztec is torpedoed off France.

In 1918,  The Royal Air Force is created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

In 1919,  The Staatliches Bauhaus school is founded by Walter Gropius in Weimar.

In 1922,  Six Irish Catholic civilians are shot and beaten to death by a gang of policemen in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In 1924,  Adolf Hitler is sentenced to five years in jail for his participation in the “Beer Hall Putsch“. However, he spends only nine months in jail, during which he writes Mein Kampf.

In 1924,  The Royal Canadian Air Force is formed.

In 1933,  The recently elected Nazis under Julius Streicher organize a one-day boycott of all Jewish-owned businesses in Germany, ushering in a series of anti-Semitic acts.

In 1933,  English cricketer Wally Hammond sets a record for the highest individual Test innings of 336 not out, during a Test match against New Zealand.

In 1935,  India’s central banking institution, The Reserve Bank of India is formed.

In 1936,  Odisha formerly known as Kalinga or Utkal becomes a state in India.

In 1937,  Aden becomes a British crown colony.

In 1937,  Spanish Civil War: Jaén, Spain is bombed by Nazi forces.

In 1939,  Spanish Civil War: Generalísimo Francisco Franco of the Spanish State announces the end of the Spanish Civil War, when the last of the Republican forces surrender.

In 1941,  Fântâna Albă massacre: between 200 and 2,000 Romanian civilians are killed by Soviet Border Troops.

In 1941,  The Blockade Runner Badge for the German navy is instituted.

In 1941,  A military coup in Iraq overthrows the regime of ‘Abd al-Ilah and installs Rashid Ali al-Gaylani as Prime Minister.

In 1944,  Navigation errors lead to an accidental American bombing of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen.

In 1945,  World War II: Operation Iceberg – United States troops land on Okinawa in the last major campaign of the war.

In 1946,  Aleutian Islands earthquake: An 8.6 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands creates a tsunami that strikes the Hawaiian Islands killing 159, mostly in Hilo.

In 1946,  Formation of the Malayan Union.

In 1947,  Paul becomes king of Greece, on the death of his childless elder brother, George II.

In 1948,  Cold War: Berlin Airlift — Military forces, under direction of the Soviet-controlled government in East Germany, set-up a land blockade of West Berlin.

In 1948,  Faroe Islands gain autonomy from Denmark.

In 1949,  Chinese Civil War: The Chinese Communist Party holds unsuccessful peace talks with the Nationalist Party in Beijing, after three years of fighting.

In 1949,  The Government of Canada repeals Japanese Canadian internment after seven years.

In 1949,  The 26 counties of the Irish Free State become Ireland.

In 1954,  United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.

In 1955,  The EOKA rebellion against the British Empire begins in Cyprus, with the goal of obtaining the desired unification (“enosis”) with Greece.

In 1957,  The BBC broadcasts the spaghetti-tree hoax on its current affairs programme Panorama.

In 1959,  Iakovos is enthroned as Greek Orthodox Archbishop of America.

In 1960,  The TIROS-1 satellite transmits the first television picture from space.

In 1960,  Dr. Martens released its first boots, the model 1460.

In 1967,  The United States Department of Transportation begins operation.

In 1969,  The Hawker Siddeley Harrier enters service with the Royal Air Force.

In 1970,  President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, requiring the Surgeon General‘s warnings on tobacco products and banning cigarette advertising on television and radio in the United States, starting on January 1, 1971.

In 1971,  Bangladesh Liberation War: The Pakistan Army massacre over 1,000 people in Keraniganj Upazila, Bangladesh.

In 1973,  Project Tiger, a tiger conservation project, is launched in the Jim Corbett National Park, India.

In 1974,  The metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties of England come into being.

In 1976,  Apple Inc. is formed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne.

In 1976,  Conrail takes over operations from six bankrupt railroads in the Northeastern U.S..

In 1976,  The Jovian–Plutonian gravitational effect, soon revealed as an April Fools’ Day hoax, is first reported by British astronomer Patrick Moore.

In 1978,  The Philippine College of Commerce, through a presidential decree, becomes the Polytechnic University of the Philippines.

In 1979,  Iran becomes an Islamic republic by a 99% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah.

In 1986,  Sector Kanda: Communist Party of Nepal (Mashal) cadres attacks a number of police stations in Kathmandu, seeking to incite a popular rebellion.

In 1989,  Margaret Thatcher‘s new local government tax, the Community Charge (commonly known as the “poll tax”), is introduced in Scotland.

In 1997,  Comet Hale–Bopp is seen passing at perihelion.

In 1999,  Nunavut is established as a Canadian territory carved out of the eastern part of the Northwest Territories.

In 2001,  An EP-3E United States Navy surveillance aircraft collides with a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Shenyang J-8 fighter jet. The Navy crew makes an emergency landing in Hainan, China and is detained.

In 2001,  Former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević surrenders to police special forces, to be tried on war crimes charges.

In 2001,  Same-sex marriage becomes legal in the Netherlands, the first contemporary country to allow it.

In 2004,  Google announces Gmail to the public.

In 2004,  Korea Train Express was opened to traffic from Seoul to –Dongdaegu.

In 2006,  The Serious Organised Crime Agency, dubbed the “British FBI”, is created in the United Kingdom.

In 2009,  Croatia and Albania join NATO.

John Forsythe - 1957.jpgIn 2010,  John Forsythe, American actor (b. 1918) died on April 1, 2010, from pneumonia in Santa Ynez, California, at the age of 92. His widow, Nicole, died five weeks later. Forsythe’s wife of 51 years, Julie Warren (October 20, 1919 — August 15, 1994), died at the age of 74. He was an American stage, television, and film actor. Forsythe starred in three television series, spanning four decades and three genres: as single playboy father, Bentley Gregg, in the sitcom Bachelor Father (1957–62); as the unseen millionaire, Charles Townsend, on the crime drama Charlie’s Angels (1976–81), and as patriarch, Blake Carrington, on the soap opera Dynasty (1981–89). He hosted World of Survival (1971–77).

In 2011,  After protests against the burning of the Quran turn violent, a mob attacks a United Nations compound in Mazar-i-Sharif, Afghanistan, resulting in the deaths of thirteen people, including eight foreign workers.

John Paul Hammerschmidt 97th Congress 1981.jpg

John Paul Hammerschmidt 97th Congress 1981

In 2015, John Paul Hammerschmidt, American soldier and politician (b. 1922) dies. He was an American politician from the state of Arkansas. A Republican, Hammerschmidt served for 13 terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from the Northwestern Arkansas district before he retired in 1993. In 1974, a nationally Democratic year, he secured his fifth term by defeating the then 28-year-old future President Bill Clinton. He was also the first Republican elected to the House of Representatives from Arkansas since Reconstruction.

In 2015, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray banned city-funded travel to Indiana. He plans to sign an executive order next week. “Laws that say you can discriminate have no place in this country,” he told reporters Saturday. Indiana’s governor Mike Pence signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act the prior week. It protects businesses from lawsuits if they refuse service to customers based on religious values. The Supreme Court ruled in the summer of 2015 that such acts were unconstitutional.

In 2016,  Nagorno-Karabakh clashes: The Four Day War or April War, began along the Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact on April 1

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