On This Day

What Happened in April 1896

Historical Events

  • Apr 4 Announcement of gold discovery in Yukon
  • Apr 6 1st modern Summer Olympic Games open in Athens, Greece; American athlete James Connolly Olympic becomes first modern Olympic champion when he wins the triple jump (then 2 hops and a jump); later 3rd in the long jump, 2nd in the high jump
  • Apr 7 American athlete Robert Garrett wins the throwing double at the Athens Olympics by taking out the shot putt (11.22m); wins the discus the previous day

OlympicsOlympic Gold

Apr 7 Australian Teddy Flack, wins Gold in the first Olympic 1500 meters final at Olympics in Athens. Goes on to win 800 meters two days later.

Olympic Runner Teddy Flack
Olympic Runner
Teddy Flack
  • Apr 9 Australian athlete edwin flack claims the middle distance double at the Athens Olympics winning the 800m final in 2:11.0; his 2nd victory of the Games after success in the 1,500m
  • Apr 9 Greek shooter Pantelis Karasevdas scores a perfect 40 hits to win the military rifle event at the Athens Olympics; Greek 1-2-3 with Pavlos Pavlidis and Nicolaos Trikupis taking out the minor placings
  • Apr 10 Spyridon Louis of Greece wins inaugural Olympic marathon (2:58:50) in Athens; runs last lap accompanied by Constantine I
  • Apr 10 High jumper Ellery Clark leads an American sweep of the placings with a leap of 1.81m at the Athens Olympics; his 2nd victory of the Games after taking out the long jump
  • Apr 10 American athlete Thomas Burke claims the sprint double at the Athens Olympics winning the 100m final in 12.0s; his 2nd victory of the Games after success in the 400m
  • Apr 11 Hungarian swimmer Alfréd Hajós beats Otto Herschmann of Austria by 0.6s to win the inaugural Olympic 100m freestyle final in 1:22.2 at the Athens Games; also takes out the 1,200m on the same day
  • Apr 11 Irish tennis player John Boland, representing Great Britain wins both the men's singles and doubles finals at the Athens Olympics; Dionysios Kasdaglis of Greece loses both matches
  • Apr 12 Stamasia Portrisi is 1st woman to win a marathon (5:30 in Athens)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

Apr 13 John Philip Sousa's "El Capitan" premieres at the Tremont Theatre in Boston

  • Apr 15 1st modern Summer Olympic Games close in Athens, Greece; USA wins gold medal count, 11; Greece wins total medal count, 46; IOC has retroactively assigned gold, silver & bronze medals to 3 best placed athletes in each event
  • Apr 20 1st public film showing in US John Philip Sousa's "El Capitan" premieres in NYC
  • Apr 23 Vitascope system of movie projection 1st shown at Koster & Bial's Music Hall (NYC)
  • Apr 25 Fight in Central Dance Hall starts fire at Cripple Creek, Colorado
  • Apr 25 Sidney Jones & Harry Greenbacks musical premieres in London

Famous Birthdays

  • Apr 2 Johnny Golden, American golfer (PGA C'ship 1922, 26, 27 3rd; Ryder Cup 1927, 29 [3-0-0 record]; 9 x PGA Tour titles), born in Tuxedo, New York (d. 1936)
  • Apr 3 Douwe Kalma, Dutch literary writer and leader (Young Frisian Movement), born in Boksum, Netherlands (d. 1953)
  • Apr 4 Robert Sherwood, American dramatist (Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Idiot's Delight), born in New Rochelle, New York (d. 1955)
  • Apr 4 Tristan Tzara [Samuel Rosenfeld] Romanian-French poet (Approximate Man), born in Moinești, Romania (d. 1963)
  • Apr 7 Benny Leonard, lightweight boxing champ (1917-25)
  • Apr 8 Karl Hermann Pillney, composer
  • Apr 8 Yip Harburg [Isidore Hochberg], American lyricist (Somewhere Over The Rainbow), born in NYC, New York; (d. 1981)
  • Apr 10 Edith Day, American actress (A Romance of the Air), born in Minneapolis, Minnesota (d. 1971)
  • Apr 11 Léo-Paul Desrosiers, Quebec novelist (Les Engagés du Grand Portage), born in Berthier, Canada (d. 1967)
  • Apr 15 Nikolay Nikolayevich Semyonov, Russian chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1986)
  • Apr 17 Senor Wences, Spanish ventriloquist (his hand acts as a puppet) and comedian, born in Peñaranda de Bracamonte, Salamanca, Spain (d. 1999)
  • Apr 18 Eugene Wegmann, Swiss geologist (Le Jura plisse), born in Schaffhausen, Switzerland (d. 1982)
  • Apr 20 Wop May, Canadian aviator, flying ace in the WWI, born in Carberry, Manitoba (d. 1952)
  • Apr 21 Henry de Montherlant, French novelist and stage author (La Reine Morte), born in Paris (d. 1972)
  • Apr 23 Margaret Kennedy, English novelist (The Constant Nymph), born in Hyde Park Gate, London (d. 1967)
  • Apr 26 Ernst Udet, German WWI pilot and notable flying ace who helped develop the Luftwaffe under the Nazi Party, born in Frankfurt am Main, German Empire (d. 1941)
  • Apr 27 Rogers Hornsby, American Baseball Hall of Fame 2nd baseman, manager (7-time NL batting champion), born in Winters, Texas (d. 1963)
  • Apr 27 Wallace Hume Carothers, American chemist and inventor (nylon), born in Burlington, Iowa (d. 1937)
  • Apr 29 Jacques Wolfe, Romanian-American composer, born in Botoşani, Romania (d. 1973)
  • Apr 29 Walter Mehring, German writer (Die Gedichte, Lieder und Chansons des Walter Mehring), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1981)
  • Apr 30 [Reverend] Gary Davis, American blues and folk guitarist (A Little More Faith), born in Laurens, South Carolina (d. 1972)
  • Apr 30 Hans List, Austrian scientist and inventor, born in Graz, Austria (d. 1996)
  • Apr 30 Anandamayi Ma [Nirmala Sundari], Indian spiritual leader, born in Kheora, British India (now Bangladesh)

Famous Weddings


LoveWedding of Interest

Apr 6 23rd US President Benjamin Harrison (63) weds Mary Scott (37) at St Thomas Protestant Episcopal Church in New York City

23rd US President Benjamin Harrison
23rd US President
Benjamin Harrison

Famous Deaths

  • Apr 5 John Rogers Thomas, American composer, dies at 66
  • Apr 12 Alexander Ritter, German composer, dies at 62
  • Apr 22 Thomas Meik, Scottish civil engineer, dies at 84
  • Apr 27 Henry Parkes, Australian politician (longest non-consecutive Premier of the Colony of New South Wales), dies at 80
  • Apr 28 Heinrich von Treitschke, German historian & political writer, dies at 61
  • Apr 30 Antonio Cagnoni, Italian opera composer, dies at 68