On This Day in History for April 2

Events in History

Events 1 - 100 of 125

  • 999 Gerbert of Aurillac elected as 1st French Pope

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1416 Alfonso V succeeds his father as king of Aragon

  • 1453 Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (İstanbul), which falls May 29

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Explorer and  Conquistador Juan Ponce de León
Explorer and Conquistador
Juan Ponce de León
  • 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
  • 1745 Austria & Bavaria sign peace
  • 1755 Commodore William James captures the pirate fortress of Suvarnadurg on west coast of India

Electoral defeatElection 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

British Prime Minister William Cavendish-Bentinck
British Prime Minister
William Cavendish-Bentinck
British Prime Minister William Petty
British Prime Minister
William Petty
  • 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

BattleBattle of Interest

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

British Admiral Horatio Nelson
British Admiral
Horatio Nelson
French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

President of the Confederate States of America Jefferson Davis
President of the Confederate States of America
Jefferson Davis
  • 1865 Battle of Fort Blakely Alabama, last major battle of the US Civil War
  • 1865 Battle of Selma, Alabmaa, Union forces break Confederates defenses to secure the town

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

17th US President Andrew Johnson
17th US President
Andrew Johnson
  • 1872 US engineer George Brayton patents an internal combustion engine (Brayton Cycle)
  • 1876 Philadelphia A's and Boston Red Caps play 1st NL game, in Philadelphia
  • 1877 1st Easter egg roll held on White House lawn
  • 1878 1st issue of Rotterdam's Newspaper
  • 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 Dmitry Sipyagin, Minister of Interior of the Russian Empire, is assassinated by a terrorist in the Marie Palace, St Petersburg
  • 1905 Cairo-Capetown railway opens
  • 1906 South Africa complete a 4-1 series drubbing of England
  • 1912 Sun Yet Sen forms Guomindang Party in China
  • 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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

1st Woman Elected to Congress Jeannette Rankin
1st Woman Elected to Congress
Jeannette Rankin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

28th US President Woodrow Wilson
28th US President
Woodrow Wilson

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

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

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie
Ethiopian Emperor
Haile Selassie

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

InventionHistoric Invention

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

Physicist and Radar Pioneer Robert Watson-Watt
Physicist and Radar Pioneer
Robert Watson-Watt
  • 1941 German occupier disallows Dutch scouting association

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Aviation Pioneer Jimmy Doolittle
Aviation Pioneer
Jimmy Doolittle

  • 1944 CPI-leader Palmiro Togliatti returns to Italy
  • 1944 Soviet Army marches into pro-German Romania
  • 1945 1st US units reach east coast of Okinawa
  • 1945 Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Brazil are established
  • 1947 Carlo Terron's "Il diamente del profeta" premieres in Rome
  • 1953 Raab forms his 1st government in Austria
  • 1954 Plans to build Disneyland 1st announced [see Jan 26]
  • 1955 US female Figure Skating championship won by Tenley Albright
  • 1955 US male Figure Skating championship won by Hayes A Jenkins
  • 1956 Peter Ustinovs' "Romanoff & Juliet" premieres in Manchester
  • 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 25 lb Walleye in Tennessee
  • 1960 Cuba buys oil from USSR
  • 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
  • 1968 Chad creates Union of Central African States
  • 1968 Senator E Mccarthy wins Democratic primaries in Wisconsin
  • 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 Libya concludes 5 weeks of negotiations with Western oil companies in Tripoli

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1972 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin visits Cairo

Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin
Israeli Prime Minister
Menachem Begin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

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

Playwright Tennessee Williams
Tennessee Williams
  • 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
  • 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
  • 1977 Fleetwood Mac's "Rumours" album goes #1 & stays #1 for 31 weeks
  • 1978 Velcro was 1st put on the market
  • 1979 Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin meets Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in Cairo
  • 1980 Wayne Gretzky becomes 1st teenager to score 50 goals in a season
  • 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
  • 1985 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1986 4 US passengers killed by bomb at TWA counter Athens Airport Greece
  • 1986 George Corley Wallace (Gov-D-Ala) announces retirement plans
  • 1986 NYC Mayor Ed Koch signs & brings the Gay Rights Bill into effect
  • 1987 Doc Gooden undergoes cocaine rehabilitation
  • 1987 IBM introduces PS/2 & OS/2

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1989 Wrestlemania V at Trump Plaza, Hulk Hogan beats "Macho Man" Savage

WWF Wrestler Hulk Hogan
WWF Wrestler
Hulk Hogan
  • 1989 Yanks beat Mets 4-0, sweeping 1989 mayor's trophy series in 2 games

Birthdays in History

Person of interestPerson of Interest

742 Charlemagne, 1st Holy Roman emperor (800-14), born in Liège, Frankish Kingdom (d. 814)

Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne
Holy Roman Emperor
  • 1348 Andronikos IV Palaiologos, Byzantine Emperor (d. 1385)
  • 1565 Cornelis de Houtman, Dutch explorer (d. 1599)
  • 1602 Maria de Jesus de Agreda, [Maria Coronel], Spanish franciscan
  • 1618 Francesco M Grimaldi, mathematician/physicist (light defraction)
  • 1653 Prince George of Denmark, prince consort of Anne of England (d. 1708)
  • 1713 Onno Zwier van Haren, Frisian poet (Fatherland)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1725 Giacomo Casanova, Italian writer, adventurer and famous lover, born in Venice, Italy (d. 1798)

Adventurer, Writer and famous Lover Giacomo Casanova
Adventurer, Writer and famous Lover
Giacomo Casanova
  • 1740 Armand-Gaston Camus, French CEO (Council of 500)
  • 1781 Bhagwan Swaminarayan, religious leader (d. 1830)
  • 1788 Francisco Balagtas, Filipino poet (d. 1862)
  • 1798 H v Fallersleben, writer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1805 Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author of 150 fairy tales (The Ugly Duckling, The Snow Queen), born in Odense, Denmark (d. 1875)

  • 1806 Giacomo Antonelli, Italian cardinal/asst sec of state for Pius IX
  • 1812 Louise-Marie of France, queen of Belgium (d. 1850)
  • 1814 Henry Lewis "Old Rock" Benning, Brigadier General (Confederate Army
  • 1814 Erastus Brigham Bigelow, American inventor (d. 1879)
  • 1826 Philip Dale Roddey, Brigadier General (Confederate Army), (d. 1897)
  • 1827 William Holman Hunt, Cheapside London, English painter (Light of the World), (d. 1910)
  • 1833 Thomas Howard Ruger, American lawyer and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Livingston County, New York (d. 1907)
  • 1840 Émile Zola, French novelist and critic (J'accuse), born in Paris, France (d. 1902)
  • 1862 Nicholas Murray Butler, American philosopher, diplomat (Nobel Peace Prize 1931), educator (Columbia University President), born in Elizabeth, New Jersey (d. 1947)
  • 1863 Henry C Van de Velde, Flemish painter/architect (Art Nouveau)
  • 1867 Eugen Sandow, German bodybuilder and circus performer (d. 1925)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1875 Walter Chrysler, American founder of car company Chrysler, born in Wamego, Kansas (d. 1940)

Founder of Chrysler Walter Chrysler
Founder of Chrysler
Walter Chrysler
  • 1878 Émilie Charmy, Saint-Etienne France, avant-garde artist
  • 1884 Sir John Squire, British poet, writer, and historian (d. 1958))
  • 1891 Max Ernst, German painter/sculptor (founded surrealism)
  • 1894 Rudolph P Cleveringa, Dutch anti-nazi lawyer
  • 1894 Walter Mittelholzer, Swiss aviation pioneer (Swiss Air)
  • 1900 Roberto Arlt, Argentine writer (d. 1942)
  • 1902 Jan Tschichold, German typographer (d. 1974)
  • 1903 Lionel Chevrier, Canadian politician (d. 1987)
  • 1905 Edmond Jouhaud, general
  • 1905 Kurt Adler, therapist/writer
  • 1910 Irene Mayer Selznick, producer (Street Car Named Desire)
  • 1910 Joeri German, Russian writer
  • 1910 Paul Triquet, Canadian military officer (d. 1980)
  • 1915 Antony Dornhorst, professor of medicine
  • 1915 Arthur Ballard, artist
  • 1919 Antoon J Hubben, Dutch mayor (Maasbree)/trade union leader
  • 1922 Nicolay G. Basov, Soviet physicist who specialized in quantum electronics (laser, maser) and 1964 Nobel laureate, born in Usman, Russia (d. 2001)
  • 1923 Hugh Overton, British diplomat
  • 1923 Jacob "Jaap" Firet, Dutch theologist (Agogisch Moment)
  • 1923 Clifford Scott Green, American Federal Judge (d. 2007)
  • 1924 Denis Rooke, CEO (British Gas)
  • 1925 George MacDonald Fraser, poet/author (Flashman at the Charge)
  • 1926 Michael Rizzello, sculpter/coin designer
  • 1928 Joseph "Cardinal" Bernardin, of Chicago
  • 1929 Catherine Gaskin, romantic novelist (Fiona, Coporation Wife)
  • 1929 Frans Andriessen, Dutch politician (KVP/CDA)
  • 1930 W Hambleden Smith, English newspaper magnate
  • 1934 Christopher France, British permanent secretary (Department of Health)
  • 1934 Peter Middleton, British permanent secretary (Treasury)
  • 1934 Paul Joseph Cohen, American mathematician (d. 2007)
  • 1937 Paul E Kanjorski, (Rep-D-PA, 1985- )
  • 1938 John Larsson, 17th General of The Salvation Army
  • 1939 Lise Thibault, Lieutenant-governor of Quebec
  • 1940 Peter Haining, writer/editor (Anatomy of Witchcraft)
  • 1942 Graham Bright, British politician private secretary to British PM John Major
  • 1942 Hiroyuki Sakai, Japanese chef
  • 1945 Lord Skelmersdale, British minister (C)
  • 1945 Anne Waldman, American poet
  • 1946 Kurt Winter, rocker (Guess Who)
  • 1946 Lynda Carr, educationist
  • 1947 Camille Paglia, author and social critic, born in Endicott, New York
  • 1948 Eleanor Margaret Burbridge, astronomer/educator
  • 1948 Joan [Carol] D[ennison] Vinge, American sci-fi author (2 Hugos, Dune)
  • 1949 Paul Gambaccini, British disc jockey
  • 1951 Moriteru Ueshiba, Japanese martial artist
  • 1953 Jim Allister, Northern Irish politician
  • 1955 Michael Stone, British terrorist
  • 1962 Pierre Carles, French documentarist
  • 1962 Mark Shulman, American children's author
  • 1963 Mike Gascoyne, British engineer

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1965 Rodney King, African American motorist beaten by LA cops, born in Sacramento, California (d. 2012)

Victim of Police Violence Rodney King
Victim of Police Violence
Rodney King
  • 1971 ZEEBRA, Japanese hip hop artist
  • 1976 Evan McMullin, American independent candidate for President (2016), born in Provo, Utah
  • 1980 Adam Fleming, English news reporter
  • 1983 Martin Shkreli, pharmaceutical executive (Pharma), born in Brooklyn, New York

Weddings in History

HeartWedding of Interest

1836 English novelist and social critic Charles Dickens (24) marries Catherine Thomson Hogarth (20)

Novelist Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens

HeartWedding of Interest

1939 Author Jacqueline Susann (20) weds Irving Mansfield at Har Zion Temple in Philadelphia

  • 2011 Former Alias star Michael Vartan (42) weds Lauren Skaar at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, California

Divorces in History

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

1984 Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau (64) divorces Margaret Trudeau (35) due to irreconcilable differences after 13 years of marriage

Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Trudeau
Prime Minister of Canada
Pierre Trudeau

Deaths in History

  • 1118 Boudouin I, of Bologne/Edessa, 1st crusader/king of Jerusalem, dies
  • 1272 Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1209)
  • 1335 Duke Henry of Carinthia (b. circa 1265)
  • 1412 Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo, Spanish traveler and writer (b. ????)
  • 1416 Ferdinand I, the Justified, king of Aragon/Sicily, dies at 52
  • 1502 Arthur, English crown prince/husband of Catharina of Aragon, dies
  • 1507 Francis of Paola, Italian founder of the Order of the Minims (b. 1416)
  • 1640 Matthias C Sarbiewski, [Sarbievius], Polish jesuit/poet, dies at 45
  • 1657 Ferdinand III, King of Hungarian/Bohemia/German Emperor, dies at 48
  • 1657 Jean-Jacques Olier - French catholic priest, founder of the Society of Saint-Sulpice (b. 1608)
  • 1720 Joseph Dudley, colonial Governor of Massachusetts (b. 1647)
  • 1742 James Douglas, Scottish physician and anatomist (b. 1675)
  • 1747 Johann J Dillenius, German botanist, dies at 63
  • 1754 Thomas Carte, English historian (b. 1686)
  • 1787 Thomas Gage, British general (b. 1719)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1791 Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, Comte de Mirabeau, French revolutionary (influential member of the National Constituent Assembly), dies of natural causes at 42

Revolutionary and Politician Comte de Mirabeau
Revolutionary and Politician
Comte de Mirabeau
  • 1801 Thomas Dadford Junior, British canal engineer (b. circa 1761)
  • 1803 Hieronymus van Alphen, Dutch attorney/poet (church hymns), dies at 56
  • 1817 Johann Heinrich Jung, German author (Heinrich Stillings Leben), dies at 76
  • 1827 Ludwig Heinrich Bojanus, German physician and naturalist (b. 1776)
  • 1831 Charles Felix, blind King of Sardina (1821-31), dies at 74
  • 1845 Philip Charles Durham, Royal Navy Admiral (b. 1763)
  • 1852 Theodor Althaus, writer, dies
  • 1865 A. P. Hill, Confederate general, killed in action at 39
  • 1865 Richard Cobden, founder Anti-Corn-Law League, dies at 60

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1872 Samuel Morse developer of electric telegraph, dies at 80

Inventor Samuel Morse
Samuel Morse
  • 1876 Paul van Vlissingen, Dutch ship owner, dies at 78
  • 1890 Marinus FAG Campbell, bibliographer, dies at 70
  • 1892 Willem J d'Ablaing van Giessenburg, Dut baron/genealogist, dies at 79
  • 1902 Esther Morris, suffragist and first female American judge (b. 1814)
  • 1910 Boyd Alexander, English explorer (Niger to the Nile), murdered at 37
  • 1910 Friedrich von Bodelschwingh, German theologist, dies at 79
  • 1914 Paul von Heyse, German writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1830)
  • 1922 Hermann Rorschach, Swiss psychologist (b. 1884)
  • 1924 Johannes E. B. Warming, Danish Botanist (plant ecology, environment-organism interactions), dies at 82
  • 1928 Theodore Richards, US chemist (atomic weight, Nobel 1914), dies
  • 1930 Empress Zauditu of Ethiopia (b. 1876)
  • 1932 Bill Pickett, American cowboy and rodeo performer who invented bulldogging, dies after being kicked in the head by a bronco at 61
  • 1936 Jean-Baptiste Eugène Estienne, French general (Father of The Tank), dies at 75
  • 1937 Nathan Birnbaum, Austria philosopher (Zionism), dies at about 72
  • 1938 Alice Berend, writer, dies
  • 1941 Paul Teleki, premier Hungary, dies
  • 1948 Sabahattin Ali, Turkish poet, author and journalist (Esirler, Içimizdeki Şeytan), killed at 41
  • 1952 Bernard F Lyot, Fren astronomer (chronograph, Lyot-filter), dies at 55
  • 1953 Jean Epstein, French director (Vive la Vie), dies at 56
  • 1956 Albert MLA de Bassompierre, Belgium ambassador to Tokyo, dies at 82
  • 1956 Philippo de Pisis, Italian painter, dies at 59
  • 1958 Josei Toda, Japanese second president of the Buddhist association Soka Gakkai (b. 1900)
  • 1964 Josef Klaus, Chancellor of Austria (1966-70), dies at 90
  • 1966 Cecil Scott Forester, English author (Horatio Hornblower), dies at 66
  • 1972 Franz Halder, German general (b. 1884)
  • 1972 Toshitsugu Takamatsu, Japanese Martial Arts Grandmaster (b. 1887)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

1974 Georges Pompidou, French President (1969-1974) and Prime Minister (1962-1968), dies in Paris at 62

French President Georges Pompidou
French President
Georges Pompidou
  • 1995 Hannes Alfven, physicist (Nobel prize), dies at 86
  • 1997 Tomoyuki Tanaka, producer (Godzilla), dies of a stroke at 86
  • 2000 Tommaso Buscetta, Sicilian mafioso and pentito (b. 1928)
  • 2001 Charles Daudelin, Canadian artist (b. 1920)
  • 2004 John Argyris, Greek aeronautical engineer (b. 1913)

Person of interestPerson of Interest

2005 Pope John Paul II, Polish Roman Catholic Pope, dies of heart failure at 84

264th Pope John Paul II
264th Pope
John Paul II
  • 2006 Nina Schenk von Stauffenberg, German wife of Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg (b. 1913)
  • 2012 Elizabeth Catlett, American-born Mexican artist, dies at 96
  • 2014 Urs Widmer, Swiss writer, dies at 75