On This Day

What Happened in April 1878

Historical Events

  • Apr 2 1st issue of Rotterdam's Newspaper
  • Apr 10 California Street Cable Car Railroad Co starts service
  • Apr 15 Harley Procter introduces Ivory Soap
  • Apr 21 First Lady Lucy Hayes begins egg rolling contest on White House lawn
  • Apr 21 NY installs 1st firehouse pole

Catholic Encyclical

Apr 21 Pope Leo XIII publishes encyclical Inscrutabili

  • Apr 21 Ship Azor leaves Charleston with 206 blacks for Liberia
  • Apr 23 1st Dutch test drive of steam tram

Famous Birthdays

  • Apr 1 Carl Sternheim, German playwright (Hyperion/Tabula Rasa)
  • Apr 2 Émilie Charmy, French avant-garde artist, born in Saint-Etienne, France (d. 1974)
  • Apr 6 Carl Emil Theodor Ehrenberg, composer
  • Apr 6 Erich Mühsam, German author (d. 1934)
  • Apr 7 Maitland Hathorn, South African cricketer (12 tests 1901-11), born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa (d. 1920)
  • Apr 7 Jozef C Bittremieux, Flemish theologist (Virgin & Mother of God)
  • Apr 8 Rudolf Nelson, German composer, born in Berlin (d. 1960)
  • Apr 12 Richard B Goldschmidt, German-American zoologist (butterflies), born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany (d. 1958)
  • Apr 15 Robert Walser, Swiss writer, born in Biel (d. 1956)
  • Apr 16 R. E. Foster, English cricketer (287 on debut England v Aust SCG 1903), footballer and the only man to have captained England in both sports, born in Malvern, Worcestershire, England (d. 1914)
  • Apr 21 Albert Weisgerber, German painter and graphic artist, born in Sankt Ingbert, Germany (d. 1915)
  • Apr 22 Kitty Gordon, English entertainer, born in Folkestone, Kent (d. 1974)
  • Apr 24 Jean Crotti, Swiss-French artist, born in Bulle, Fribourg, Switzerland (d. 1958)
  • Apr 26 Ethel Griffies, British actress (Billy Liar, The Birds, We Live Again), born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England (d. 1975)
  • Apr 26 Rafael Guízar y Valencia, Mexican Catholic bishop (cared for the wounded, sick, and dying during the Mexican Revolution), born in Cotija, Michoacán, Mexico (d. 1938)
  • Apr 27 Frank Gotch, American professional wrestler, born in Humboldt, Iowa (d. 1917)

Lionel Barrymore

Apr 28 Lionel Barrymore [Blythe], American actor (It's A Wonderful Life; Dr. Kildare (films); Key Largo), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1954)


Famous Deaths

  • Apr 1 Eugene Gautier, composer, dies at 56
  • Apr 1 John Corry Wilson Daly, Canadian politician (b. 1796)
  • Apr 4 Richard Brewer, American gunslinger/cowboy (b. 1850)
  • Apr 5 Wilhelm Speyer, German violinist and composer, dies at 87

Boss Tweed

Apr 12 William Magear Tweed "Boss Tweed", American politician and corrupt New York fraudster, dies in prison of pneumonia at 55

  • Apr 21 Temistocle Solera, composer, dies at 62
  • Apr 23 Friedrich Preller the elder, German landscape painter, dies at 73
  • Apr 25 Anna Sewell, English author (Black Beauty), dies at 58