On This Day

What Happened in April 1997

Historical Events

  • Apr 1 69 year old Gordie Howe begins playing AHL game with Syracuse Crunch
  • Apr 1 Comet Hale-Bopp Perihelion (0.914 AU)
  • Apr 1 Shell Oil confirms it will declare force majeure at its Nigerian Bonny terminal due to local protests which disrupted 210 million barrels per day of the company's oil production
  • Apr 2 "Doll's House" opens at Belasco Theater NYC
  • Apr 3 "Dream-Johnny Mercer Musical" opens at Royale Theatre, NYC; runs for 109 performance
  • Apr 3 Thalit massacre begins in Algeria; all but 1 of the 53 inhabitants of Thalit are killed by guerrillas
  • Apr 4 Anaheim Ducks clinch their 1st-ever playoff berth
  • Apr 4 Braves officially open Turner Field against Cubs
  • Apr 4 DMSP Titan 2 launched
  • Apr 4 STS 83 (Columbia 22), launches
  • Apr 5 Galileo, 3rd Ganymede Flyby (Orbit 7)

Film & TV History

Apr 5 Steve Irwin's "The Crocodile Hunter" debuts

  • Apr 6 "3 Sisters" closes at Criterion Theater NYC
  • Apr 6 The Tradition Senior Men's Golf, GC at Desert Mountain: Gil Morgan wins first of 3 Champions Tour majors by 6 strokes from Isao Aoki
  • Apr 6 Progress M-34 Launch (Russia)
  • Apr 7 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Ft Myers FL on WRXK 96.1 FM
  • Apr 7 150th Grand National: Tony Dobbin aboard New Zealand bred Lord Gyllene wins at 14/1 by 25 lengths; race postponed 2 days because of IRA bomb threat
  • Apr 8 Microsoft releases Internet Explorer 4 Beta
  • Apr 8 STS 83 (Columbia 22) lands
  • Apr 9 Cleveland Indians pitcher Jose Mesa is acquitted of rape
  • Apr 9 Major League Soccer announces Miami & Chicago expansion
  • Apr 9 NFL announces it will give $3M to CFL & possible "World Classic Bowl"
  • Apr 13 "American Daughter" opens at Cort Theater NYC for 88 performances
  • Apr 13 48th time opposing pitchers hit HRs, Carlos Perez (Mon)/Darren Holmes

US Masters Golf

Apr 13 61st US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Tiger Woods wins his first major title, a record 12 strokes ahead of Tom Kite; 4-round total 270 (−18) is tournament record

  • Apr 13 Hartford Whalers last NHL game

Sports History

Apr 13 NHL Pitts Penguin Mario Lemieux's last NHL regular game

  • Apr 13 Rare double doubleheader played in the same city Giants vs Mets & Oakland A's vs Yankees in NY after rain previous day
  • Apr 15 America On Line begins service in Japan

Sports History

Apr 15 Baseball honors Jackie Robinson by retiring #42 for all teams

  • Apr 15 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Charlotte NC on WXRC 95.7 FM
  • Apr 15 Fire sweeps through a campsite of Muslims making the Hajj pilgrimage; the official death toll is 343.

Film Premiere

Apr 15 The disaster film "Volcano" directed by Mick Jackson starring Tommy Lee Jones and Anne Heche premieres in South Korea

  • Apr 16 Howard Stern Radio Show premieres in Minneapolis/St Paul on WRQC 100.3 FM
  • Apr 17 John Bell aged 115 receives a new pacemaker

Sports History

Apr 17 NJ Devil Martin Brodeur is 2nd NHL goalie to score in a playoff game

  • Apr 19 Renee Slaughter crowned 14th Miss Hawaiian Tropic Intl
  • Apr 19 San Diego Padres & St Louis Cards play at Aloha Stadium Hawaii
  • Apr 19 NFL Draft: Ohio State offensive tackle Orlando Pace first pick by St. Louis Rams
  • Apr 20 "Gin Game" opens at Lyceum Theater NYC for 144 performances
  • Apr 20 "Present Laughter" closes at Walter Kerr Theater NYC
  • Apr 20 1st baseball game in Hawaii, Cards beat Padres in doubleheader
  • Apr 20 27th Easter Seal Telethon raises $47,392,682

Sports History

Apr 20 PGA Seniors' Championship Men’s Golf, PGA National GC: Defending champion Hale Irwin wins his second of 3 straight Senior PGA C’ships by streeting runners-up Dale Douglass and Jack Nicklaus by 12 strokes

  • Apr 20 Cubs beat NY Mets ending NL worst opening, lost 14 straight games

Sports History

Apr 20 Mark McGwire is 4th to HR on Detroit Tiger left field roof (others are Frank Howard, Harmon Killibrew, & Cecil Fielder)

  • Apr 21 101st Boston Marathon: Lameck Aguta of Kenya wins men's event in 2:10:34; Fatuma Roba of Ethiopia women's champion in 2:26:23
  • Apr 21 Ashes of Timothy Leary & "Star trek" creator Gene Roddenberry launched into space orbit
  • Apr 21 I. K. Gujral sworn in as Prime Minister of India
  • Apr 22 Haouch Khemisti massacre in Algeria - 93 villagers killed.
  • Apr 22 The Japanese embassy hostage crisis ends in Lima, Peru.
  • Apr 23 32nd Academy of Country Music Awards: Brooks & Dunn, George Strait, and Patty Loveless win
  • Apr 23 Omaria massacre in Algeria: 42 villagers are killed.
  • Apr 24 Kandor and Ebb's musical "Steel Pier" opens at Richard Rodgers Theater,NYC; runs for 76 performances

Sports History

Apr 25 Seattle Mariner Ken Griffey Jr. hits his 250th HR

  • Apr 26 "Life" opens at Barrymore Theater NYC
  • Apr 27 "Little Foxes" opens at Vivian Beaumont NYC for 56 performances
  • Apr 27 "Stanley" closes at Circle in the Square Theater, NYC
  • Apr 27 Frank Nobilo wins Greater Greensboro Chrysler Classic at Forest Oaks
  • Apr 28 "Jekyll & Hyde" opens at Plymouth Theater NYC

Music Concert

Apr 28 Ringo Starr's fourth All-Starr Band debuts in concert; members include: Peter Frampton, Jack Bruce, Gary Brooker, Simon Kirke, and Mark Rivera

  • Apr 29 "Candide" opens at Gershwin Theater NYC for 103 performances
  • Apr 29 KC Royal Chili Davis is 75th to hit 300 HRs
  • Apr 29 Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 comes into force, outlaws production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons among its signatories
  • Apr 29 50th British Film and Television Awards (BAFTAs): "The English Patient" Best Film, Joel & Ethan Coen Best Director
  • Apr 29 43rd British Academy Television Awards: "Only Fools and Horses" Best Comedy, "EastEnders" Best Drama
  • Apr 30 "London Assurance" opens at Criterion Theater NYC for 72 performances

Film & TV History

Apr 30 42 million watch Ellen DeGeneres publicly declare she is gay

  • Apr 30 Atlanta Braves win record 19 games in April
  • Apr 30 Big Ben stops at 12:11 PM for 54 minutes
  • Apr 30 President Clinton's daughter Chelsea chooses to attend Stanford College
  • Apr 30 Tajik Prest Imomali Rakhmonov wounded in assassination attempt
  • Apr 30 Tino Martinez hits record 34 RBIs in April

Music Concert

Apr 30 Rock for the Rainforest benefit concert held at Carnegie Hall, NYC; performers include: Sting, Elton John, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Lyle Lovett, Bobby McFerrin, Bonnie Raitt, Shawn Colvin and Zucchero

Famous Birthdays

  • Apr 3 Gabriel Fernando de Jesus, Brazilian football player (Manchester City, Brazil national team), born in São Paulo, Brazil
  • Apr 14 D. J. Moore, American NFL player (Carolina Panthers), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Maisie Williams

Apr 15 Maisie Williams, English actress (Game of Thrones), born in Bristol, England

  • Apr 15 Toheeb Jimoh, English actor (Ted Lasso), born in England
  • Apr 16 Tayla Harris, Australian rules footballer, born in Australia
  • Apr 20 Alexander Zverev, German tennis player (ATP Finals 2018; US Open 2020 runner-up), born in Hamburg, Germany

Lydia Ko

Apr 24 Lydia Ko, New Zealand golfer, (Evian C'ship 2015, ANA Inspiration 2016), born in Seoul, South Korea

  • Apr 28 Denzel Ward, American NFL player (Cleveland Browns), born in Cleveland, Ohio
  • Apr 30 Ayaan Chawla, Indian entrepreneur

Famous Weddings

Alan Greenspan

Apr 6 Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan (71) weds NBC News correspondent Andrea Mitchell (50) at Little Washington in Washington, Virginia

Wedding of Interest

Apr 19 Tennis player champion Andre Agassi (26) weds actress and model Brooke Shields (31) in Monterey, California

Chris O'Donnell

Apr 19 Actor Chris O'Donnell (26) weds high school sweetheart Caroline Fentress (24)

Max Von Sydow

Apr 30 Actor Max Von Sydow (68) weds filmmaker Catherine Brelet

Famous Deaths

  • Apr 1 Jolie Gabor, Hungarian-American jeweler and mother of Zsa Zsa & Eva, dies at 100 (birth date disputed)
  • Apr 1 Nancy Woodhull, news editor (USA Today), dies of cancer at 52
  • Apr 1 Norman Carr, British conservationist working in Central and Southern Africa, dies at 84
  • Apr 2 Tomoyuki Tanaka, Japanese film producer (Godzilla), dies of a stroke at 86
  • Apr 2 Zsolt Durko, Hungarian composer, dies at 62
  • Apr 2 Anthony Bushell, British actor (Journey's End, A Night to Remember), dies at 92
  • Apr 3 Judy Flannery, American triathlete, killed by a car while training at 56
  • Apr 3 Sergei Filatov, Soviet equestrian dressage (Olympic gold 1960), dies at 70
  • Apr 4 Vladimir Solouchin, Russian writer, dies at 72

Allen Ginsberg

Apr 5 Allen Ginsberg, American beat poet (Howl, The Fall of America) and 1960s counterculture icon, dies of liver cancer via complications of hepatitis at 70

  • Apr 5 Alparslan Turkes, Turkish politician (MHP), dies
  • Apr 6 Jack Kent Cooke, Canadian entrepreneur, NFL team owner (Washington Redskins), dies at 84
  • Apr 6 Stephan Hermlin, German writer, dies at 81
  • Apr 7 Luis Aloma, Cuban baseball player, dies at 73
  • Apr 7 Georgy Shonin, Soviet cosmonaut (Soyuz 6), dies of a heart attack at 61
  • Apr 7 Sam Parks Jr., American golfer (US Open 1935), dies at 87
  • Apr 8 Laura Nyro, American singer-songwriter ("Wedding Bell Blues"; "Stoned Soul Picnic"; "And When I Die"), dies of ovarian cancer at 49
  • Apr 8 Charles Hayes, American politician (Rep-D-IL, 1983-93), dies at 79
  • Apr 9 Helene Hanff, author (84 Charing Cross Road), dies at 80
  • Apr 10 Toshiro Mayuzumi, Japanese composer (Sphenogramme), dies at 68
  • Apr 10 Francis Walder [Francois Waldburger], Belgian author, dies at 90
  • Apr 11 Michael Dorris, writer, commits suicide at 52

George Wald

Apr 12 George Wald, American physiologist and biologist (Nobel Prize 1967, vitamin A in retina), dies at 90

  • Apr 13 Dorothy Frooks, American author & military figure, dies at 101
  • Apr 13 Voldemar Väli, Estonian wrestler, dies at age 94
  • Apr 13 Foffie Williams, West Indian cricket all-rounder (4 Tests; 9 wickets, 1 x 50; Barbados), dies at 83
  • Apr 15 Sam Moskowitz, American writer & historian of science fiction, dies at 76
  • Apr 15 Zdenek Mlynar, Czech politician (secretary of the Czechoslovak communist party, 1968–70), dies at 66
  • Apr 16 Emilio Azcarraga Milmo, American Mexican media tycoon (Televisa), dies at 66
  • Apr 16 Mae Boren Axton, American songwriter, known as the"Queen Mother of Nashville" ("Heartbreak Hotel"), dies at 82
  • Apr 16 Michael Stroka, actor (Aristede-Dark Shadows), dies of cancer at 57
  • Apr 16 Roland Topor, French illustrator (b. 1938)
  • Apr 16 Doris Angleton, American socialite, murdered at 46
  • Apr 16 Ray Green, American composer and publisher, dies at 88
  • Apr 17 Chaim Herzog, 6th President of Israel (1983-93), dies at 78
  • Apr 17 Allan Francovich, American documentarian
  • Apr 18 Edward Barker, English cartoonist, dies at 46
  • Apr 19 El Duce [Eldon Wayne Hoke], American singer and drummer (The Mentors), dies from a "misadventure" on a train-track at 39
  • Apr 21 Andres Rodriguez, Paraguayan president (1989-93), dies
  • Apr 21 Diosdado Macapagal, President of the Philippines (1961-65), dies at 86
  • Apr 23 Dennis Compton, England cricket batsman & footballer (5,807 Test runs, Arsenal 1950 FA Cup), dies at 78
  • Apr 24 Pat Paulsen, American comedian (Smothers Brothers Show) and presidential candidate, dies at 69

Eugene Stoner

Apr 24 Eugene Stoner, American firearms designer and inventor of the M16, dies of cancer at 74

  • Apr 24 Robert Erickson, American composer, dies at 80
  • Apr 26 Joey Faye, American comedian (Joey Faye's Follies), dies at 86
  • Apr 26 Peng Zhen, mayor of Beijing China (1951-66), dies at 94
  • Apr 26 Gene Ames, American singer (Ames Brothers), dies of cancer at 73
  • Apr 26 John Beal [James Andrew Bliedung], American actor (10 Who Dare, I Am the Law, Les Misérables), dies at 87
  • Apr 27 Paul Lambert, American character actor (Executive Suite, Spartacus), dies at 74
  • Apr 28 Susan Seddon Boulet, American artist, dies of cancer at 45
  • Apr 28 Ann Lane Petry, American journalist & author (Street), dies at 88
  • Apr 29 Keith Ferguson, American blues-rock bassist (Fabulous Thunderbirds), dies of liver failure due to heroin use at 50
  • Apr 29 Mike Royko, American journalist (Chicago Daily News) and author (Boss), dies of stroke at 64
  • Apr 29 Peter Tali Coleman, Governor of American Samoa (1956-61, 78-85, 89-93), dies at 77
  • Apr 30 Henry Picard, American golfer (Masters 1938, PGA 1939), dies at 90