On This Day

April 1916 in History

Events in History

  • Apr 2 German troops overtake Bois de Caillette
  • Apr 2 57 armed New Zealand police invade the remote Ngāi Tūhoe settlement of Maungapōhatu in the Urewera Ranges to arrest the Māori prophet Rua Kēnana
  • Apr 5 French troops occupy Bois de Caillette
  • Apr 6 German parliament approves unrestricted submarine warfare
  • Apr 8 Norway approves active & passive female suffrage

SS Libau Sets Sail

Apr 9 The Libau sets sail from Germany with a cargo of 20,000 rifles to assist Irish republicans; Captain Karl Spindler changes the name of the vessel to the Aud to avoid British detection

  • Apr 12 Irish nationalist activist and poet Roger Casement boards submarine U-19 at Wilmshaven, Germany, bound for a rendezvous with the Aud at Tralee
  • Apr 18 US Secretary of State Warns Germany that the USA may break diplomatic relations unless torpedo attacks on unarmed ships stop

Appointment of Interest

Apr 18 Edith Wharton is appointed Chevalier of the Legion of Honour, France’s highest award, for her contribution to the war effort

  • Apr 19 "Bing Boys are Here" opens in London
  • Apr 19 Italians troops conquer Col di Lana at Merano
  • Apr 19 Alderman Kelly reads the 'Castle Order' to a meeting of Dublin Corporation; this forged document supposedly from Dublin Castle, indicated that there was to be mass arrests of Irish Volunteers to prevent "trouble"
  • Apr 20 German-British sea battle off Belgian coast
  • Apr 21 Ulster Protestant and Irish nationalist Sir Roger Casement lands at Tralee Bay, Ireland from a German submarine; discovered at McKenna's Fort and arrested by the Royal Irish Constabulary
  • Apr 21 The Aud, carrying a cargo of 20,000 rifles to assist Irish republicans in staging what would become the 1916 Rising, is captured by the British Navy and forced to sail towards Cork Harbour
  • Apr 22 France battles at Fort Douaumont
  • Apr 22 Karl Spindler scuttles the Aud near Daunt's Rock, to prevent its cargo of 20,000 rifles destined for Irish republicans falling into enemy hands
  • Apr 22 Chief of Staff of the Irish Volunteers Eóin MacNeill issues the Countermanding order in Dublin to try to stop what would become the Easter Rising
  • Apr 23 Lord Dunsany's "Night at an Inn" premieres in NYC

Easter Proclamation of 1916

Apr 24 Easter Rising of Irish republicans against British occupation begins in Dublin

Historic Expedition

Apr 24 Ernest Shackleton and five men of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition launch a lifeboat from uninhabited Elephant Island in the Southern Ocean to organise a rescue for ice-trapped ship Endurance

  • Apr 27 The British renew their assault on the Irish Volunteer position in Mount Street; shelling also sets the buildings on fire
  • Apr 29 Irish republicans abandon the post office in Dublin and surrender unconditionally, marking the end of the Easter Rising
  • Apr 30 Germany ratifies bill bringing in Daylight Saving Time - first country in the world

Birthdays in History

  • Apr 3 Herb Caen, American columnist (SF Chronicle), born in Sacramento, California (d. 1997)
  • Apr 3 Robert Jesse Charleston, museum Curator
  • Apr 4 Nikola Ljubičić, President of the Presidency of Serbia (1982-84) and Communist politician, born in Karan, Užice, Kingdom of Serbia (d. 2005)
  • Apr 5 Baroness Delacourt-Smith of Alteryn [Margaret Rosalind Delacourt-Smith], British Labour politician, born in Newport, Wales (d. 2010)
  • Apr 5 Bernard Baily, American comic artist (co-creator of DC Comics), born in New York (d. 1996)
  • Apr 12 Beverly Cleary, American Newberry Medal winning writer of children's and young adult fiction (Ramona series, 1955-99), born in McMinnville, Oregon (d. 2021)
  • Apr 12 Benjamin Libet, American scientist (human consciousness), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2007)
  • Apr 15 Alfred S. Bloomingdale, American businessman and heir to the Bloomingdale's department store, born in NYC, New York (d. 1982)
  • Apr 17 Ryoei Saito, Japanese businessman (Daishowa Paper Manufacturing), born in Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan (d. 1996)

Sirimavo Bandaranaike

Apr 17 Sirimavo Bandaranaike, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka (1960-65, 1970-77 and 1994-2000) and 1st female head of state, born in Ratnapura, British Ceylon (d. 2000)

  • Apr 22 Yvette Lundy, French resistance fighter during WWII, born in Oger, France (d. 2019)
  • Apr 24 Stanley Kauffmann, American playwright (Red Handkerchief Man), born in NYC, New York (d. 2013)
  • Apr 26 Morris West, Australian novelist (Shoes of the Fisherman), born in St Kilda, Victoria (d. 1999)
  • Apr 26 Werner Bischof, Swiss photographer (Magnum), born in Zurich, Switzerland (d. 1954)
  • Apr 28 Ferruccio Lamborghini, Italian auto-designer (Lamborghini), born in Cento, Ferrara (d. 1993)
  • Apr 30 Claude Shannon, American mathematician and information theorist (A Mathematical Theory of Communication), born in Petoskey, Michigan (d. 2001)

Deaths in History

  • Apr 1 Gabrielle Petit, Belgian resistance fighter, executed
  • Apr 11 Richard Harding Davis, American journalist and author (Soldiers of Fortune, The King's Jackal), dies of a heart attack at 52
  • Apr 15 Alfred Cogniaux, Belgian botanist, dies at 75
  • Apr 19 Ephraim Shay, American inventor of Shay type of geared steam locomotive, dies at 76
  • Apr 29 Jørgen Pedersen Gram, Danish mathematician (Gram-Schmidt process), dies at 65