On This Day

Historical Events on April 2

  • 999 Gerbert of Aurillac elected as 1st French Pope

Historic Event

1416 Alfonso V succeeds his father as King of Aragon

Historic Siege

1453 Turkish forces under Sultan Mehmed II begin the siege of Constantinople (İstanbul), which falls May 29

Historic Event

1513 Explorer Juan Ponce de León claims Florida for Spain as the first known European to reach Florida

  • 1550 Jewish physician Joseph Hacohen expelled from city of Genoa, all Jews soon after
  • 1559 England & France sign 1st Treaty of Le Cateau-Cambrésis
  • 1590 States-General appoints earl Mauritius, viceroy of Utrecht
  • 1595 Cornelis de Houtman's ships depart to Asia through Cape of Good Hope
  • 1645 Robert Devereux resigns as parliament supreme commander
  • 1755 Commodore William James captures the pirate fortress of Suvarnadurg on west coast of India

Election of Interest

1783 William Cavendish-Bentinck becomes Prime Minister of Great Britain after an opposition coalition of Henry Fox and Frederick North forces William Petty to resign

  • 1792 The Coinage Act is passed establishing the United States Mint and authorizing the $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle & 2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins & silver dollar, ½ dollar, quarter, dime & half-dime

Music Premiere

1800 1st performance of Ludwig van Beethoven's 1st Symphony in C

Battle of Copenhagen

1801 Napoleonic Wars: The British led by Horatio Nelson destroy the Danish fleet in the naval Battle of Copenhagen

  • 1804 Forty merchantmen are wrecked when a convoy led by HMS Apollo runs aground off Portugal.
  • 1819 1st successful agricultural journal ("American Farmer") first publishes
  • 1827 US inventor Joseph Dixon of Salem, Massachusetts, begins manufacturing lead pencils
  • 1845 H L Fizeau & Leon Foucault take 1st photo of the Sun
  • 1860 1st Italian Parliament meets at Turin
  • 1863 Bread revolt in Richmond, Virginia
  • 1864 Skirmish at Crump's Hill (Piney Woods), Louisiana
  • 1864 Skirmish at Spoonville, Antoine, Arkansas
  • 1865 Battle of Petersburg ends as the Army of Northern Virginia is forced to retreat under heavy fire from a general Union offensive

Historic Event

1865 Confederate President Jefferson Davis flees Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia (US Civil War)

  • 1865 Battle of Fort Blakely Alabama, last major battle of the US Civil War
  • 1865 Battle of Selma, Alabama, Union forces break Confederates defenses to secure the town

Historic Event

1866 US President Andrew Johnson ends civil war in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee & Virginia

  • 1872 US engineer George Brayton patents an internal combustion engine (Brayton Cycle)
  • 1877 1st Easter egg roll held on White House lawn

Flash! Bang! It's the Human Cannonball!

1877 1st human cannonball act performed by 14-year-old Rossa Matilda Richter known as Zazel at the Royal Aquarium in London

  • 1878 1st issue of Rotterdam's Newspaper

Historic Event

1881 Sixth Impressionist Exhibition opens in Paris organized by Edgar Degas and showing his famous "Little Dancer of Fourteen Years", the only sculpture shown in his lifetime

  • 1883 Battle at Bamako: French assault on Fabous arm forces attack
  • 1884 London prison for debtors closed
  • 1900 1st edition of The Volk published (Amsterdam)
  • 1902 Dutch football club Maatschappelijke Voetbal Vereniging (MVV) is established in Maastricht, Netherlands
  • 1902 Dmitry Sipyagin, Minister of Interior of the Russian Empire, is assassinated by a terrorist in the Marie Palace, St Petersburg
  • 1902 "Electric Theatre", the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opens in Los Angeles, California
  • 1905 Cairo-Capetown railway opens
  • 1906 Dave Nourse takes 4 wickets and Reggie Schwarz 3 as South Africa wins the 5th cricket Test in Cape Town to complete a 4-1 series drubbing of England
  • 1908 Mills Committee declares baseball was invented by in 1839 by future American Civil War general Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York; known as 'the Doubleday myth'
  • 1912 Sun Yet Sen forms Guomindang Party in China

Historic Event

1912 Titanic undergoes sea trials under its own power

  • 1916 German troops overtake Bois de Caillette
  • 1916 57 armed New Zealand police invade the remote Ngāi Tūhoe settlement of Maungapōhatu in the Urewera Ranges to arrest the Māori prophet Rua Kēnana

Historic Event

1917 Jeannette Rankin (Rep-R-Montana) begins her term as 1st woman member of US House of Reps

Historic Event

1917 US President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to declare war against Germany

Historic Event

1921 Albert Einstein lectures in New York City on his new "Theory of Relativity"

  • 1926 Riots between Muslims & Hindus in Calcutta
  • 1930 1st NY-Bermuda airplane flight lands in Bermuda

Historic Event

1930 Ras Tafari Makonnen becomes Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia (Ethiopia)

Baseball Record

1931 17-year old girl Jackie Mitchell strikes out New York Yankees stars Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition baseball game at Engel Stadium in Chattanooga, Tennessee

Historic Event

1932 Charles Lindbergh turns over $50,000 as ransom for his kidnapped son

Historic Invention

1935 Scottish physicist Robert Watson-Watt receives a British patents for RADAR

US Masters Golf

1939 6th US Masters Tournament, Augusta National GC: Ralph Guldahl wins his only Masters title with a tournament record 279 (−9), 1 stroke ahead of runner-up Sam Snead

  • 1941 German occupier disallows Dutch scouting association

Historic Event

1942 USS Hornet with Jimmy Doolittles B-25 departs from San Francisco

  • 1942 LPGA Titleholders Championship Women's Golf, Augusta CC: Dorothy Kirby retains title by 5 strokes ahead of Eileen Stulb
  • 1944 Palmiro Togliatti, leader of the Italian Communist Party returns to Italy from the Soviet Union

Music Premiere

1944 Dmitri Shostakovich's 8th Symphony premieres in NY

  • 1944 Soviet Army marches into pro-German Romania
  • 1945 Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Brazil are established
  • 1947 Carlo Terron's "Il diamente del profeta" premieres in Rome
  • 1950 WTAR (now WTKR) TV channel 3 in Norfolk, VA (CBS) begins broadcasting
  • 1953 Raab forms his 1st government in Austria
  • 1954 Plans to build Disneyland 1st announced [see Jan 26]
  • 1956 Peter Ustinovs' "Romanoff & Juliet" premieres in Manchester
  • 1956 Soap operas "As the World Turns" & "Edge of Night" premiere on TV
  • 1958 Antillean Brewery (Amstel beer) opens
  • 1958 Wind speed reaches a record 450 kph in tornado, Wichita Falls, Texas
  • 1960 Mabry Harper catches a world record 25lb Walleye at Cedar Bluff on the Cumberland River in Tennessee
  • 1960 Cuba buys oil from USSR
  • 1960 KPEC TV channel 56 in Lakewood Center-Tacoma, WA (PBS) 1st broadcast
  • 1962 The first official Panda crossing is opened outside Waterloo station, London.
  • 1963 Explorer 17 attains Earth orbit (254/914 km)
  • 1963 USSR launches Luna 4; missed Moon by 8,500 km
  • 1964 Military coup in Brazil by Gen Castello Branco, President Goulart ousted
  • 1964 USSR launches Zond 1 to Venus; no data returned
  • 1965 Hochhuths play "Stellvertreter" banned in Italy
  • 1966 Soviet Union's Luna 10 becomes 1st spacecraft to orbit Moon
  • 1966 WJET TV channel 24 in Erie, PA (ABC) begins broadcasting
  • 1968 Beatles form Python Music Ltd
  • 1968 Chad creates Union of Central African States

Historic Event

1968 Senator Eugene McCarthy wins Democratic primary in Wisconsin

Film Premier

1968 "2001 A Space Odyssey" directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, premieres at the Uptown Theater in Washington, D.C.

  • 1969 Toronto center Forbes Kennedy sets a Stanley Cup playoff record for most penalties in one game with 8 as the Maple Leafs crash 10-0 to the Bruins at Boston; Boston’s first NHL playoff victory in 10 years
  • 1970 Meghalaya becomes autonomous state within India's Assam state
  • 1970 2 men begin ascent of south face of Annapurna I, highest final stage in a wall climb in world
  • 1971 Dark Shadows, American Gothic supernatural soap opera, concludes an almost 5 year run on ABC
  • 1971 Libya concludes 5 weeks of negotiations with Western oil companies in Tripoli

Historic Event

1972 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin visits Cairo

Historic Event

1972 Tennessee Williams' "Small Craft Warnings" premieres in NYC

Sports History

1972 New York Mets manager Gil Hodges collapses just minutes after completing a round of golf in West Palm Beach, Florida, and dies of a heart attack

  • 1973 CBS radio begins on the hour news, 24 hours a day
  • 1973 ITT admits to asking CIA to influence Chilean presidential election
  • 1973 Launch of the LexisNexis computerized legal research service.
  • 1974 Arganat Comm publishes report concerning Yom Kippur War

Sports History

1974 England cricket fast bowler Tony Greig takes 8-86 in West Indies' 1st innings in tourists' 26 run 5th Test win in Port-of-Spain; Greig also captures 5-70 in 2nd innings

  • 1975 Vietnam War: Thousands of civilian refugees flee from the Quang Ngai Province in front of advancing North Vietnamese troops.
  • 1976 Cambodia Khieu Sampan succeeds Prince Sihanouk as Premier
  • 1976 Portuguese constitution assumed

Sports History

1976 Oakland Athletics trade 2 key members from recent World Series C'ship team, sending outfielder Reggie Jackson and pitcher Ken Holtzman to Baltimore Orioles in exchange for outfielder Don Baylor and pitchers Mike Torrez and Paul Mitchell

  • 1977 Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" album goes to No. 1 & stays atop charts for 31 weeks
  • 1977 Montreal Canadiens rout the Washington Capitals, 11-0 at the Montreal Forum to set an NHL record of 34 straight home games without a loss
  • 1977 131st Grand National: Tommy Stack wins aboard 9/1 Red Rum; record third GN victory (1973-74); Charlotte Brew first female to ride in the race
  • 1978 Jamaican batsman Basil Williams scores 100 on debut for the West Indies in Australia's 3 wicket 3rd Test victory in Georgetown, Guyana

Television Premiere

1978 TV show "Dallas" starring Larry Hagman and Barbara Bel Geddes premieres on CBS as a 5 week mini-series; ratings success leads to a 13 year run

  • 1978 Georges de Mestral's patent for "velvet type fabric" expires, puts "Velcro" in the open market

Sports History

1978 Czech tennis star Martina Navratilova wins her first WTA Tour Championship; beats Evonne Goolagong Cawley of Australia 7-6, 6-4 at Oakland Coliseum Arena

  • 1979 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin meets Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in Cairo

Sports History

1980 In his first full season in the NHL, Wayne Gretzky scores for Edmonton in a 1-1 tie with Minnesota North Stars to become the youngest player to reach 50 goals at 19 years and 2 months of age

Sports History

1980 Montreal right wing Guy Lafleur scores twice to become the first player in NHL history to record 6 straight 50-goal seasons, as the Canadiens beat the Red Wings, 7-2 at Detroit

  • 1981 Belgium's 4th government of Martens resigns
  • 1981 Heavy battle between Christian militia & Syrian army in East Lebanon
  • 1982 Several thousand Argentine troops seize the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands from Great Britain

Sports History

1983 New York Islanders right wing Mike Bossy scores in a 6-3 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins to become the first player in NHL history to score 60 goals in 3 consecutive seasons

Sports History

1984 46th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Georgetown beats Houston, 84-75; Hoyas center Patrick Ewing tournament MOP; John Thompson first African-American head coach to lead his team to any NCAA Division I title

  • 1985 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1985 Edmonton center Wayne Gretzky sets an NHL record with his 34th career hat trick as the Oilers beat the Kings 6-4 in Los Angeles
  • 1985 Quebec's Czech center Peter Stastny scores his 100th NHL point of the season for the 5th straight year, with an assist for the Nordiques in a 6-4 win over the Boston Bruins in Quebec City
  • 1985 The NCAA Rules Committee adopts a 45-second shot clock for men’s basketball to begin in the 1986 season in an effort to eliminate stalling
  • 1986 4 US passengers killed by bomb at TWA counter Athens Airport Greece
  • 1986 George Corley Wallace (Gov-D-Ala) announces retirement plans
  • 1986 NCAA Basketball Rules Committee votes to adopt the 3-point shot beginning the 1986-87 season; sets college distance at 19 feet, 9 inches, compared to 21 feet in the NBA

Historic Event

1986 NYC Mayor Ed Koch signs & brings the Gay Rights Bill into effect

NHL Record

1986 Paul Coffey of the Edmonton Oilers scores his 47th and 48th goals of the season in an 8-4 win over the Vancouver Canucks to break Bobby Orr's NHL record for most goals by a defenseman

  • 1987 "Mikado" opens at Virginia Theater NYC for 46 performances
  • 1987 IBM introduces PS/2 & OS/2
  • 1988 West Indies cricket fast bowling great Curtly Ambrose makes his debut in 9 wicket 1st Test defeat to Pakistan in Georgetown, Guyana; low key debut with 2-108
  • 1989 Nabisco Dinah Shore Women's Golf, Mission Hills CC: Juli Inkster leads wire-to-wire to win her second DS event, 5 strokes ahead of runners-up JoAnne Carner and Tammie Green
  • 1989 8th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: Tennessee beats Auburn, 76-60; Lady Vols forward Bridgette Gordon MOP


1989 WrestleMania V, Historic Atlantic City Convention Hall, NJ: Hulk Hogan beats Randy "Macho Man" Savage for WWF Heavyweight title

  • 1989 Calgary Flames right wing Joe Mullen sets new NHL record for most points in a season by a American-born player, with a goal and 2 assists in a 4-2 win over Edmonton Oilers gives him 110 points
  • 1990 52nd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Nevada-LV beats Duke, 103-73; record largest margin of victory in a championship game; Runnin' Rebels' first title
  • 1991 Rotterdam Daily Newspaper begins publishing
  • 1992 "Hamlet" opens at Criterion Theater NYC for 45 performances
  • 1992 Edith Cresson, France's 1st female premier, resigns

Murder of Interest

1992 Mafia boss John Gotti is found guilty of 5 murders (Paul Castellano, Thomas Bilotti, Robert DiBernardo, Liborio Milito and Louis Dibono), plus conspiracy to murder, loansharking, illegal gambling, obstruction of justice, bribery and tax evasion

  • 1992 Space Shuttle STS-45 (Atlantis 11) lands
  • 1993 1st test flight of Fokker 70 (Amsterdam)
  • 1993 Venezuelan DC-10 crashes at Margarita, killing 10
  • 1993 Cleveland Cavaliers guard Mark Price has his consecutive free throw streak end at 77, during a 114-113 loss at Charlotte; falls 1 short of Calvin Murphy’s NBA record of 78 straight free throws
  • 1995 14th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: Connecticut beats Tennessee, 70-64; Huskies' first NCAA title, completing first undefeated season since 1986 Texas

Golf Tournament

1995 The Tradition Senior Men's Golf, GC at Desert Mountain: 2-time champion Jack Nicklaus wins with birdie on 3rd playoff hole against Isao Aoki

  • 1995 NY Police Department & NY Transit Police merge into one organization
  • 1995 North & Western Colorado begins using new area code 970
  • 1995 Longest strike in American major league sports history (232 days) ends as MLB owners accept players’ offer to return to work without a contract; MLB is first major pro sports league to lose an entire postseason due to labor struggles
  • 1995 Sunday NY Times raises price from $2.00 to $2.50


1995 WrestleMania XI, Hartford Civic Centre, CT: NFL linebacker Lawrence Taylor defeats Bam Bam Bigelow

  • 1996 Detroit Tigers slugger Cecil Fielder steals 1st base in 1,097th career game, a 10-6 win at Minnesota Twins; longest duration in MLB history without a stolen base

Sports History

1996 Sri Lankan cricket batsman Sanath Jayasuriya hits century in 48 balls (134 off 65), in 34 run win over Pakistan in Singapore; world ODI record

  • 1996 Vancouver Grizzlies beat Minnesota Timberwolves, 105-103 at General Motors Place Arena to end their NBA single-season record 23-game consecutive loss streak
  • 1997 "Doll's House" opens at Belasco Theater NYC
  • 2000 19th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: Connecticut beats Tennessee, 71-52; Huskies' point guard Shea Ralph is named the Most Outstanding Player


2000 WrestleMania XVI, Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim, CA: Triple H beats The Rock, Mick Foley and The Big Show in a 4-way elimination match for the WWF Heavyweight tile

Sports History

2000 The Tradition Senior Men's Golf, GC at Desert Mountain: Tom Kite wins his lone Champions Tour major with birdie on 6th playoff hole with Tom Watson & Larry Nelson

  • 2000 Atlanta center Ray Ferraro scores a goal and added 2 assists as the Thrashers end an NHL record 17-game home winless streak (0-15-2) with a 5-4 win against the visiting New York Islanders
  • 2000 Adam Gilchrist takes his 10th catch in the 3rd cricket Test against New Zealand in Hamilton to create an Australian record for dismissals by a wicketkeeper; Australia wins by 6 wickets for 3-0 series sweep
  • 2001 63rd NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Duke beats Arizona, 82-72; Blue Devils' 3rd title; forward Shane Battier MOP

Baseball Record

2001 New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens becomes American League all-time strikeout leader, recording his 3,509th K in a 7-3 victory over the Kansas City Royals; Walter Johnson previous record 3,508 Ks

Sports History

2001 Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki has 2 hits and becomes first Japanese position player to play in a regular season MLB game as Mariners beat Oakland A's, 5-4 at Safeco Field

  • 2002 Israeli forces surround the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem into which armed Palestinians had retreated. A siege ensues.
  • 2003 At 27 years, 249 days Texas Rangers infielder Alex Rodriguez becomes the youngest MLB player to hit 300 home runs; homers off Ramon Ortiz in 5th inning of an 11-5 loss to the Angels in Anaheim
  • 2004 Islamist terrorists involved in the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks attempt to bomb the Spanish high-speed train AVE near Madrid. Their attack is thwarted.
  • 2005 Bubba Stewart becomes first African-American to win a major motor sports event when he takes out the Monster Energy AMA Supercross C'ship event in Irving, Texas
  • 2005 Newcastle United teammates Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer are sent off for fighting each other in a 3-0 home defeat to EPL rivals Aston Villa at St. James’ Park
  • 2006 Over 60 tornadoes break out, hardest hit is Tennessee with 29 people killed.

Golf Major

2006 Kraft Nabisco Championship Women's Golf, Mission Hills CC: Australian Karrie Webb beats Lorena Ochoa of Mexico with a birdie on the 1st playoff hole; earlier eagles same hole to force the playoff


2006 WrestleMania XXII, Allstate Arena, Chicago, IL: John Cena beats Triple H; Rey Mysterio defeats Kurt Angle and Randy Orton in a Triple Threat title match

  • 2007 69th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Florida beats Ohio State, 84-75; Gators' back-to-back titles; forward Corey Brewer named Most Outstanding Player

Sports History

2007 Laureus World Sports Awards, Palau Sant Jordi, Barcelona, Spain: Sportsman: Roger Federer; Sportswoman: Yelena Isinbayeva; Team: Italy Men's National Football team

Contract of Interest

2010 Basketball superstar Kobe Bryant signs a three-year contract extension with the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers worth $87 million

Sports History

2011 Cricket World Cup, Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai: India beats Sri Lanka by 6 wickets; first country to win on home soil; MS Dhoni Man of the Match, Yuvraj Singh, Player of Series

  • 2012 Oikos University, Oakland shooting kills seven people and injures 3
  • 2012 74th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Kentucky defeats Kansas, 67-59; Wildcats guard Doron Lamb, 22 points
  • 2013 9 mutilated bodies are found in an SUV in Tamaulipas, Mexico
  • 2013 7 people are killed in an attack on a power plant in Peshawar, Pakistan
  • 2013 Eurozone unemployment reaches a high of 12%
  • 2013 13 children are killed in a fire in a mosque in Yangon, Burma
  • 2013 13 people are killed in a quarry accident, in Arusha, Tanzania
  • 2013 4 more critical cases of bird flu (H7N9) are reported in China
  • 2013 The UN General Assembly approves the first Arms Trade Treaty
  • 2013 Uruguay passes legislation to legalize same-sex marriage
  • 2015 140 people are killed after gunmen attack Garissa University College, Kenya
  • 2017 Attack on visitors to Muslim shrine by a custodian and others in Sargodha, Pakistan leaves 20 dead
  • 2017 ANA Inspiration Women's Golf, Mission Hills CC: Ryu So-yeon of South Korea wins 2nd major in a playoff with Lexi Thompson who had earlier been penalised 4 strokes
  • 2017 36th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship: South Carolina defeats Mississippi State, 67-55; Gamecocks power forward A'ja Wilson, 23 points
  • 2017 WrestleMania XXXIII, Camping World Stadium, Orlando, FL: Roman Reigns defeats The Undertaker; Brock Lesnar beats Goldberg, first wrestler to win both WWE and Universal Championships
  • 2018 ANA Inspiration Women's Golf, Mission Hills CC: Pernilla Lindberg of Sweden gains her first pro win in a sudden-death playoff against Inbee Park and Jennifer Song that extends to 8 holes
  • 2018 80th NCAA Men's Basketball Championship: Villanova defeats Michigan, 79–62; Wildcats guard Donte DiVincenzo 31 points
  • 2019 Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika (82) resigns after 20 years in office after widespread protests over running for another term
  • 2019 Canada is warming at twice the speed of the rest of the world, according to a federal report, increasing 2.3% in northern Canada
  • 2019 70 villages evacuated in Khuzesta province, Iran, after at least 45 killed in flooding after unprecedented rainfall
  • 2019 Lori Lightfoot elected first female African American Mayor of Chicago
  • 2019 NASA states it wants to send astronauts to Mars by 2033, and land on the Moon again in 2024
  • 2019 OKC guard Russell Westbrook becomes 2nd player in NBA history to have 20+ points, rebounds and assists in a game; records 20-20-21 in 119-103 win over LA Lakers
  • 2020 Record 6.6 million Americans filed claims for unemployment in last week according to the US Department of Labor, 10 million over 2 weeks


2020 Number of COVID-19 cases worldwide passes 1 million, with 1,002,159 cases and 51,485 deaths reported, according to Johns Hopkins University

COVID-19 Pandemic

2020 Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro downplays the COVID-19 pandemic saying "its not all its being made out to be"