On This Day

What Happened in April 1951

Historical Events

  • Apr 3 Christopher Fry's "Sleep of Prisoners" premieres in Oxford

Historic Event

Apr 4 Dutch Prince Bernhard visits Argentine President Juan & Eva Perón in Buenos Aires

Historic Event

Apr 5 Julius & Ethel Rosenberg, atomic spies, sentenced to death

Film Premiere

Apr 5 "A Place in the Sun", film adaptation of Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy", directed by George Stevens, starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Shelley Winters premieres at the Cannes Film Festival in France

US Masters Golf

Apr 7 15th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Ben Hogan wins the first of his 2 Masters titles, 2 strokes ahead of runner-up Skee Riegel

  • Apr 7 American Bowling Congress begins 1st masters tournament
  • Apr 7 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak
  • Apr 7 105th Grand National: John Bullock wins aboard 40/1 shot Nickel Coin; of 36 runners, only 3 complete the course

Historic Event

Apr 11 US President Harry Truman relieves General Douglas MacArthur of command in Korea

  • Apr 12 Israeli Knesset officially designates April 13 as Holocaust Day
  • Apr 15 Michael Gorsira is 1st person in charge of Curacao
  • Apr 16 British submarine Affray sank in English Channel, killing 75
  • Apr 16 55th Boston Marathon won by Shigeki Tanaka of Japan in 2:27:45

Sports History

Apr 17 NY Yankee Mickey Mantle's 1st game, he goes 1 for 4

  • Apr 18 "Make a Wish" opens at Winter Garden Theater, NYC; runs for 102 performances
  • Apr 18 Dutch Antilles government of Da Costa Gomez forms
  • Apr 18 France, West Germany & Benelux form European Steel & Coal Community
  • Apr 19 "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn" opens at Alvin Theater NYC for 267 performances
  • Apr 19 General Douglas MacArthur ends his military career
  • Apr 20 US performs atmospheric nuclear test at Enwetak
  • Apr 20 Velsen city council demands investigation of police collaborators
  • Apr 20 4th Cannes Film Festival: "Miss Julie" directed by Alf Sjoberg and "Miracle in Milan" directed by Vittorio De Sica jointly awarded the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film
  • Apr 21 NBA Championship: Rochester Royals beat New York Knicks, 79-75 to take series 4 games to 3; first Finals appearance for both teams
  • Apr 21 Stanley Cup Final, Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, ON: Toronto Maple Leafs beat Montreal Canadiens, 3-2 for a 4-1 series victory
  • Apr 22 Ticker-tape parade for General MacArthur in NYC
  • Apr 26 Queen Juliana of the Netherlands opens Brielsche Mausoleum

Election of Interest

Apr 28 Mohammad Mosaddegh elected Prime Minister of Iran by the Parliament of Iran (Majlis)

  • Apr 29 China seizes the assets of the Asiatic Petroleum Company, a joint venture between the Shell and Royal Dutch oil companies in retaliation for the Hong Kong Government's requisitioning of the tanker Yung Hao

Famous Birthdays

  • Apr 1 John Philip Abizaid, U.S. Army General, former CENTCOM commander
  • Apr 1 Henry Gross, American guitarist (Sha Na Na, 1969-70), and singer-songwriter ("Shannon"), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Apr 2 Ayako Okamoto, Japanese golfer (US Open 1987 runner-up, 17 LPGA Tour titles), born in Hiroshima, Japan
  • Apr 2 Moriteru Ueshiba, Japanese martial artist, born in Tokyo
  • Apr 4 Steve Gatlin, American country singer (Gatlin Bros-Broken Lady), born in Olney, Texas
  • Apr 4 Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, born in Kampong Cham, Cambodia
  • Apr 5 Everett Morton, Nevisian-born English drummer and percussionist (English Beat), born in Saint Kitts, West Indies (d. 2021)
  • Apr 5 Roosevel Ferguson, Arkansas, murderer (FBI Most Wanted List)
  • Apr 5 Dean Kamen, American engineer and inventor (Segway), born in Long Island, New York
  • Apr 5 Rennie Stennett, Panamanian baseball infielder (World Series 1979; SF Giants; one of 3 players to collect 7 hits in a MLB game), born in Colón, Panama (d. 2021)
  • Apr 6 Ralph Cooper, Australian drummer (Air Supply - "All Out of Love")
  • Apr 6 Bert Blyleven, American Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher (2-time WS champion Twins 1979, 87), born in Zeist, Netherlands
  • Apr 7 Janis Ian [Fink], American singer-songwriter and folk musician ("At Seventeen"; "Society's Child"), born in NYC, New York
  • Apr 7 John Dittrich, American country music drummer (Restless Heart - "Wheels"; "The Bluest Eyes In Texas"), born in Union, New Jersey
  • Apr 8 Mel Schacher, American bassist (Grand Funk Railroad - "Some Kind of Wonderful"'; "We're An American Band"), born in Owosso, Michigan
  • Apr 8 Phil Schaap, American Grammy Award-winning jazz historian, DJ, author and educator, born in Queens, New York City (d. 2021)
  • Apr 9 John Teerlinck, American NFL defensive end (SD Chargers) and coach (annual award for NFL best defensive line coach named after him), born in Rochester, New York (d. 2020)
  • Apr 9 Andrzej Krzanowski, Polish classical composer and accordionist (The Wind Carries the Echo Across a Wood Clearing), born in Bielsko-Biała, Poland (d. 1990)
  • Apr 10 Mark Roth, American pro bowler (4 x PBA Player of Year), born in Brooklyn, New York

Steven Seagal

Apr 10 Steven Seagal, American actor (Above the Law, Hard to Kill), born in Detroit, Michigan

  • Apr 10 David Helvarg, American journalist and environmental activist, born in Long Island, New York
  • Apr 11 Robbie House, American country-rockabilly guitarist (Snuff - "Bad, Bad, Billy")
  • Apr 11 Doris Angleton, American socialite and murder victim (d. 1997)
  • Apr 11 Paul Fox, English musician and singer (The Ruts), born in United Kingdom (d. 2007)
  • Apr 11 James Patrick Kelly, American sci-fi author (Think Like a Dinosaur), born in Mineola, New York
  • Apr 11 Jim Holton, Scottish soccer defender (15 caps; Manchester United, Coventry City), born in Lesmahagow, Scotland (d. 1993)
  • Apr 11 Glyn Shaw, Welsh rugby union prop (12 caps; Neath RFC), and rugby league prop (7 caps Wales, 1 GB; Widnes RLFC, Wigan RLFC), born in Rhigos, Wales (d. 2022)
  • Apr 12 Jakson Spires, American rock drummer (Blackfoot), born in Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Apr 13 Beatrix "Trixie" Schuba, Austrian figure skater considered to be one of the best compulsory figure skaters ever (Olympic gold 1972), born in Vienna, Austria
  • Apr 13 Jack Quinn, American politician (US House of Representatives from New York (R), 1993-2005), and college president (Erie Community, 2008-17), born in Buffalo, New York
  • Apr 13 Max Weinberg, American rock drummer (E Street Band; Conan O'Brien Show), born in Newark, New Jersey
  • Apr 13 Peabo Bryson, American R&B, soul, and pop vocalist ("Show and Tell"; "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love"; "A Whole New World"), born in Greenville, South Carolina
  • Apr 13 Peter Davison, English actor (fifth Doctor in Doctor Who; All Creatures Great and Small), born in London
  • Apr 13 Joachim Streich, German soccer striker (102 caps GDR; FC Hansa Rostock, 1. FC Magdeburg) and manager (1. FC Magdeburg), born in Wismar, Germany (d. 2022)
  • Apr 14 Matima Kinuani Mpiosso, Zairen rock guitarist (Zaika Langa-Langa) (d. 1996)
  • Apr 14 Julian Lloyd Webber, English cellist (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire), born in London
  • Apr 14 Gregory "Greg" Winter, British biochemist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018) known for the therapeutic use of antibodies, born in Leicester, England
  • Apr 15 Heloise [Ponce Kiah Marchelle Heloise Cruse Evans], American writer and columnist (Heloise's Helpful Hints), born in Waco, Texas
  • Apr 15 John L. Phillips, NASA astronaut, born in Fort Belvoir, Virginia
  • Apr 15 Marsha S. Ivins, American astronaut (STS 32, 46, 62, 81), born in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Apr 16 John Bentley, English bass guitarist (Fabulous Poodles), born in Kingston upon Hull, Yorkshire, England
  • Apr 16 Pierre Toutain-Dorbec, French photographer, born in Orbec, Normandy, France
  • Apr 16 Ioan Mihai Cochinescu, Romanian writer and photographer, born in Timişoara, Romania
  • Apr 16 Björgvin Halldórsson, Icelandic singer, born in Hafnarfjörður, Iceland
  • Apr 16 Mordechai Ben David, American Jewish singer, born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Apr 17 Olivia Hussey, Argentine-British actress (Romeo & Juliet, Death on Nile), born in Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Apr 18 Ricardo Fortaleza, Australian-Filipino boxer, born in Malate, Manila, Philippines
  • Apr 18 Pierre Pettigrew, Canadian politician (Minister for International Trade), born in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  • Apr 19 Barry Brown, American actor (Frederick Winterbourne-Daisy Miller), born in San Jose, California (d. 1978)
  • Apr 19 Jóannes Eidesgaard, Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands (2004-08), born in Tvøroyri, Suðuroy
  • Apr 20 Luther Vandross, American soul singer, songwriter ("Endless Love"; "Dance With My Father"), and vocal arranger (David Bowie - Young Americans), born in NYC, New York (d. 2005)
  • Apr 20 Steve Nathan, American rock and country session pianist, Hammond organ, and keyboard player (Muscle Shoals' FAME studio; Nashville's A-Team), born in Buffalo, New York
  • Apr 21 Aleksandr Ivanovich Laveykin, Russian cosmonaut (Soyuz TM-2)
  • Apr 21 Nicoel Barclay, rocker
  • Apr 21 Tony Danza, (Tony Banta-Taxi, Tony Micelli-Who's the Boss), born in Brooklyn, New York
  • Apr 21 Michael Hartley Freedman, American mathematician
  • Apr 21 Robert Gotobed, English drummer (Wire)
  • Apr 22 Paul Carrack, English rock singer (Ace - "How Long"; Mike + The Mechanics - "The Living Years"; Squeeze - "Tempted"), born in Sheffield, England
  • Apr 22 Ana María Shua, Argentine poet
  • Apr 24 Andrew John Fairclough, trade union educator
  • Apr 24 Nigel Harrison, British rock bassist and songwriter (Blondie, 1978-82 - "One Way Or Another"), born in Stockport, Cheshire, England
  • Apr 25 Ian McCartney, British MP for Makerfield (1987-10), born in Lennoxtown, Scotland
  • Apr 26 Diego Verdaguer [Miguel Boccadoro], Argentine-Mexican singer-songwriter, bandoneón player, and trumpeter ("Volveré"; "Voy a Conquistarte"), born in Buenos Aires, Argentina (d. 2022)
  • Apr 27 Paul "Ace" Frehley, American rock guitarist (Kiss; Frehley's Comet), born in The Bronx, New York
  • Apr 27 Jim Justice, American businessman and politician, Governor of West Virginia (2017-), born in Charleston, West Virginia

Dale Earnhardt

Apr 29 Dale Earnhardt, American auto racer (7 NASCAR Winston Cup Series championships), born in Kannapolis, North Carolina (d. 2001)

  • Apr 30 Danuta Rosani, Polish discus thrower (Olympic 1976) disqualified for drugs

Famous Weddings

Doris Day

Apr 3 Actress and singer Doris Day (29) marries producer Martin Melcher (35) in Burbank, California

Henry J. Kaiser

Apr 10 Industrialist Henry J. Kaiser (68) weds nurse Alyce Chester

Charles M. Schulz

Apr 18 Cartoonist Charles M. Schulz (28) weds Joyce Halverson; divorce in 1972


Famous Deaths

  • Apr 1 Clement D'Hooghe, Belgian composer, dies at 51
  • Apr 2 Simon Barere, Russian pianist, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at 54 while performing Grieg's Piano Concerto at Carnegie Hall
  • Apr 3 Johannes C. Kielstra, Dutch economist & governor (Suriname 1933-44), dies at 72
  • Apr 4 Al Christie, Canadian film director and producer (b. 1881)
  • Apr 4 George Albert Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dies
  • Apr 5 Edward Rigby, British actor (Star Look Down, Young & Innocent), dies at 72
  • Apr 6 Halfdan Cleve, Norwegian composer, dies at 71
  • Apr 9 Sadiq Hidajat, Persian writer (Hadji Aga), dies at 48
  • Apr 9 Vilhelm F K Bjerknes, Norwegian/US physicist/meteorology, dies at 89
  • Apr 12 Harold Vincent Milligan, American musician and composer, dies at 62
  • Apr 18 António Óscar Carmona, 97th Prime Minister of Portugal & 11th President of Portugal, dies at 81
  • Apr 20 Ivanoe Bonomi, Prime Minister of Italy (b. 1873)
  • Apr 22 Stanley Ridges, British-born actor (possessed, Sgt York, Mr Ace), dies at 59
  • Apr 22 Horace Donisthorpe, British entomologist, dies at 81
  • Apr 23 Charles G. Dawes, 30th Vice President of the United States, banker and 1925 Nobel Peace Prize winner, dies at 85
  • Apr 25 Jerzy Fitelberg, Polish composer, dies at 47
  • Apr 26 John Alden Carpenter, American composer (Sea Drift), dies at 75
  • Apr 26 Arnold Sommerfeld, German physicist, dies at 82
  • Apr 27 Philip Hands, South African cricketer (7 Tests for South Africa), dies at 61
  • Apr 29 Jules Verstraete [Julien Gustave de Graef], Flemish actor (rubber, The Three Wishes), dies at 67
  • Apr 29 Ludwig Wittgenstein, Austria English philosopher (Philosophical Investigations), dies at 62