On This Day

On This Day in History for April 4

Events in History

  • 1081 Alexius I Comnenus occupies Byzantine throne
  • 1460 University of Basle in Swizerland forms
  • 1541 Ignatius of Loyola becomes 1st superior-general of Jesuits
  • 1552 Mauritius van Saksen begins alliance with Karel Anikita Stroganov
  • 1558 Tsar Ivan IV gives parts of North-Russia to fur traders


1581 Francis Drake knighted by Queen Elizabeth I aboard Golden Hind at Deptford

Admiral and Navigator Francis Drake
Admiral and Navigator
Francis Drake
Queen of England and Ireland Elizabeth I
Queen of England and Ireland
Elizabeth I
  • 1588 Christian IV succeeds Frederick II as king of Denmark
  • 1655 Battle at Postage Farina, Tunis: English fleet beats Barbary pirates
  • 1655 The miraculous statue entitled the Infant of Prague is solemnly crowned by command of Cardinal Harrach

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1660 English King Charles II sends Declaration of Breda (freedom of religion)

King of England Charles II
King of England
Charles II
  • 1686 English King James II publishes Declaration of Indulgence
  • 1687 King James II orders his declaration of indulgence read in English churches
  • 1737 Anthony van Heim installed as Dutch pension advisor

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1789 1st US Congress begins regular sessions during George Washington's presidency at Federal Hall, NYC (ending 1791)

First US President George Washington
First US President
George Washington

Victory in battleVictory in Battle

1794 Battle of Racławice, part of the Polish-Lithuanian uprising led by Tadeusz Kościuszko with a tactical Polish victory

Military Leader and Statesman Tadeusz Kościuszko
Military Leader and Statesman
Tadeusz Kościuszko

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1814 Napoleon abdicates for the first time in favour of his son

French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte
French Emperor
Napoléon Bonaparte

  • 1818 Congress decides on the US flag: 13 red & white stripes & 20 stars
  • 1828 Casparus van Wooden patents chocolate milk powder (Amsterdam)

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1832 Charles Darwin aboard the HMS Beagle reaches Rio de Janeiro

Naturalist Charles Darwin
Charles Darwin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1841 Vice President John Tyler becomes the 10th President of the United States after the death of President William Henry Harrison

10th US President John Tyler
10th US President
John Tyler
  • 1850 City of Los Angeles incorporated
  • 1859 Bryant's Minstrels debut "Dixie" in New York City in the finale of a blackface minstrel show
  • 1862 Siege of Yorktown, fought in York County and Newport News, Virginia begins (Yorktown campaign), inconclusive result (US Civil War)
  • 1862 Peninsular Campaign, launched in southeastern Virginia, aimed at capturing Richmond during US Civil War begins, Confederate victory (US Civil War)
  • 1864 Skirmish at Elkin's Ford (Little Missouri River), Arkansas

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1865 General Robert E. Lee's Confederate army arrives at Amelia Courthouse, Amelia County, Virginia

Confederate General Robert E. Lee
Confederate General
Robert E. Lee

MurderAssassination Attempt

1866 Alexander II of Russia narrowly escapes an assassination attempt by Dmitry Karakozov in the city of St. Petersburg

Tsar of Russia Alexander II
Tsar of Russia
Alexander II
  • 1870 Golden Gate Park forms by City Order #800
  • 1887 Susanna Madora Salter elected 1st US woman mayor in Argonia, Kansas
  • 1896 Announcement of gold discovery in Yukon
  • 1899 South Africa all out 35 vs England (Trott 4-19, Haigh 6-11)

MurderAssassination Attempt

1900 Assassination attempt on Prince of Wales, later British King Edward VII when shot by Jean-Baptiste Sipido in protest over Boer war

King of England Edward VII
King of England
Edward VII
  • 1900 British garrison of Reddersberg surrenders to Boer general De Wet

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1902 Cecil Rhodes scholarship fund forms with $10 million

British Businessman and Imperialist Politician Cecil Rhodes
British Businessman and Imperialist Politician
Cecil Rhodes
  • 1905 Earthquake in Kangra India, kills 20,000
  • 1912 Army fires on striking mine workers at Lena-gold fields in Siberia

  • 1912 Chinese republic proclaimed in Tibet
  • 1913 Greek aviator Emmanuel Argyropoulos becomes the first pilot victim of the Hellenic Air Force when his plane crashes
  • 1915 Germany protests vigorously to the US, claiming it must insist that Britain lifts its blockade and assert American neutrality
  • 1917 US Senate agrees (82-6) to participate in WWI
  • 1918 Food riot in Amsterdam
  • 1920 Arabs attack Jews in Jerusalem
  • 1922 WAAB (Baton Rouge La) becomes 1st US radio station with "W" calls
  • 1926 Greek dictator Theodoros Pangalos elected president
  • 1929 1st AAU Greco-Roman wrestling championships held
  • 1930 The Communist Party of Panama is founded

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1932 George Bernard Shaw's "Too True to be Good" premieres in NYC

  • 1932 Vitamin C 1st isolated, CC King, Univ of Pittsburgh
  • 1933 US Dirigible Akron crashes off coast of NJ, 73 die
  • 1939 Faisal II ascends to throne of Iraq
  • 1941 German troops conquer Benghazi, Libya
  • 1944 British troops capture Addis Ababa Ethiopia
  • 1944 De Gaulle forms new regime in exile, with communists
  • 1944 Allied Bucharest bombings targeting railroads kills 5,000
  • 1945 World War II: Soviet forces liberate Hungary from German occupation, establishing their own communist satellite state. This was celebrated as Liberation Day until 1989.
  • 1945 The Holocaust: US forces liberate the Ohrdruf concentration camp in Germany, the first such camp to be liberated by the US Army
  • 1945 World War II: US Army occupies Bielefeld in north-eastern Germany
  • 1947 Convention on International Civil Aviation goes into effect
  • 1947 Largest group of sunspots on record
  • 1947 UN's International Civil Aviation Organization forms
  • 1949 Israel & Jordan sign armistice agreement
  • 1949 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) treaty signed in Washington, D.C.
  • 1950 Dirk Stikker becomes chairman of OES

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1951 Dutch Prince Bernhard visits Argentine President Juan & Eva Perón in Buenos Aires

First Lady of Argentina Eva Perón
First Lady of Argentina
Eva Perón
  • 1955 British government signs military treaty with Iraq
  • 1956 Enid Bagnold's "Chalk Garden" premieres in London
  • 1958 1st march against nuclear weapons (Aldermaston, England)
  • 1958 Eugene Ionesco's "Tueur sans Gages" premieres in Darmstadt
  • 1958 The CND Peace Symbol displayed in public for the first time in London
  • 1959 Mali Federation founded, consisting of Senegal & French Sudan (dissolved 1960)
  • 1960 Oscar awarded to Netherlands director Bert Haanstra
  • 1960 Project Ozma begins at Green Bank radio astronomy center
  • 1960 Senegal declares independence from France
  • 1965 The first model of the new Saab Viggen fighter aircraft plane is unveiled.
  • 1966 Pirate Radio Scotland changes name to Radio Ireland
  • 1966 US performs nuclear test at Nevada Test Site
  • 1967 Amsterdam Marines chase "Nozems" or rebellious youth out of Central Station
  • 1967 Dutch De Young government forms
  • 1968 Apollo 6 launched atop Saturn V; unmanned

Martin Luther King Shot DeadMartin Luther King Shot Dead

1968 US civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee

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Martin Luther King waves to supporters after delivering his 'I have a dream' speech
Martin Luther King waves to supporters after delivering his 'I have a dream' speech
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USAMartin Luther King Assassination Riots

1968 Riots break out in over 100 cities in the United States following the assassination of African-American civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr

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Front page of The Washington Post on April 7, 1968, three days after the assassination of Martin Luther King
Front page of The Washington Post on April 7, 1968, three days after the assassination of Martin Luther King
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  • 1969 Haskell Karp receives the 1st temporary artificial heart, implanted by surgeon Denton Cooley at Texas Heart Institute in Houston
  • 1970 Firestone World Tournament of Champions won by Don Johnson
  • 1971 Marine clay under houses liquefies in St-Jean-Vianney, Quebec, 31 die
  • 1972 1st electric power plant fueled by garbage begins operating
  • 1973 World Trade Center, then the world's tallest building, opens in New York (110 stories). Later destroyed in 9/11 terrorist attacks.
  • 1975 138 killed as a USAF plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crashes on approach during an emergency landing at Tân Sơn Nhứt Air Base in South Vietnam
  • 1975 Steve Miller is arrested for burning his girlfriend's clothes

Historic InventionFounding of Microsoft

1975 Microsoft is founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800

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Paul Allen and Bill Gates, the founders of Microsoft
Paul Allen and Bill Gates, the founders of Microsoft
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  • 1976 Seni Pramoj's Democratic Party wins elections in Thailand
  • 1979 Ex-President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan is executed.
  • 1980 USSR performs nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh/Semipalitinsk USSR
  • 1981 Henry Cisneros becomes 1st Mexican-American mayor (San Antonio)
  • 1983 6th space shuttle mission, Challenger 1 launched
  • 1984 Michael Frayn's "Benefactors" premieres in London

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1984 Winston Smith in Orwell's novel "Nineteen Eighty-Four" begins his secret diary in defiance of the totalitarian government of Oceania

  • 1987 Dow Jones up 69.89 points, ending at record 2,390.34 pts
  • 1988 Largest crowd (55,438) at a season game at Riverfront (Reds Vs Cards)
  • 1988 Last broadcast of "Crossroads" on British TV
  • 1988 Mets set Opening Day record with 6 HRs

Birthdays in History

Person of interestCaracalla

188 Caracalla, Roman emperor (198-217), born in Lugdunum, Gaul (d. 217)

Roman Emperor Caracalla
Roman Emperor
  • 1492 Ambrosius Blarer, German reformer, born in Konstanz, Germany (d. 1564)
  • 1572 William Strachey, English writer (early history of the English colonisation of North America), born in Saffron Walden, Essex (d. 1621)
  • 1593 Edward Nicholas, English statesman (Secretary of State to Charles I and Charles II), born in Winterbourne Earls, United Kingdom (d. 1669)
  • 1646 Antoine Galland, French orientalist and archaeologist, born in Rolot, France (d. 1715)
  • 1648 Grinling Gibbons, Dutch-born British sculptor and woodcarver, born in Rotterdam, Netherlands (d. 1721)
  • 1688 Joseph-Nicolas Delisle, French astronomer and cartographer, born in Paris (d. 1768)
  • 1718 Benjamin Kennicott, English churchman and Hebrew scholar, born in Totnes, Devon (d. 1783)
  • 1758 John Hoppner, English portrait painter, born in Whitechapel, London (d. 1810)
  • 1758 Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, French Romantic painter and draughtsman - allegorical paintings and portraits, born in Cluny, Saône-et-Loire (d. 1823)
  • 1772 Nachman of Breslov, Ukrainian founder of Breslov Hasidut, born in Międzybóż, Kingdom of Poland (d. 1810)
  • 1792 Thaddeus Stevens, US Radical Republican congressional leader (Rep-R), born in Danville, Vermont (d. 1868)

Person of interestDorothea Dix

1802 Dorothea Dix, American pioneering nurse and social activist who created the first American mental asylums, born in Hampden, Maine (d. 1887)

Nurse and Social Activist Dorothea Dix
Nurse and Social Activist
Dorothea Dix
  • 1809 Benjamin Pierce, American mathematician and astronomer (Peirce's criterion for outliers), born in Salem, Massachusetts (d. 1880)
  • 1814 John Blair Smith Todd, American politician and Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Lexington, Kentucky (d. 1872)
  • 1817 John Wilson Sprague, American Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in White Creek, New York (d. 1893)
  • 1818 Thomas Mayne Reid, Irish-American novelist (The Headless Horseman), born in Ballyroney, County Down, Ireland (d. 1883)
  • 1819 Queen Maria II of Portugal, Daughter of Emperor Pedro I of Brazil, born in Palace of São Cristóvão, Rio de Janeiro, Kingdom of Brazil (d. 1853)
  • 1820 Charles Devens Jr, American lawyer, jurist, statesman and Brevet Major General (Union Army), born in Charlestown, Boston, Massachusetts (d. 1891)
  • 1821 Linus Yale Jr., American portrait painter and inventor (Yale cylinder lock), born in Salisbury, New York (d. 1868)
  • 1823 Carl Wilhelm Siemens, German engineer and inventor (laid undersea cables), born in Gehrden, Hanover, Germany (d. 1883)
  • 1823 Robert Byington Mitchell, American Brigadier General (Union Army), born in Mansfield, Ohio (d. 1882)
  • 1826 Zénobe Gramme, Belgian electrical engineer (Gramme dynamo), born in Jehay-Bodegnée, Belgium (d. 1901)
  • 1828 Margaret Oliphant, Scottish novelist and biographer (Beleaguered City), born in Wallyford, Scotland (d. 1897)
  • 1831 Edward Cary Walthall, American Brigadier General (Confederate Army), born in Richmond, Virginia (d. 1898)
  • 1842 Edouard Lucas, French mathematician (Lucas sequences), born in Amiens, France (d. 1891)
  • 1846 Comte de Lautréamont, French writer (Les Chants de Maldoror), born in Montevideo, Uruguay (d. 1870)
  • 1846 Raoul Pictet, Swiss physicist who invented liquid nitrogen and was a pioneer of cryogenics, born in Geneva, Switzerland (d. 1929)
  • 1853 Tad Lincoln, youngest son of U.S. president Abraham Lincoln, born in Springfield, Illinois (d. 1871)
  • 1858 Remy de Gourmont, French poet, born in Bazoches-en-Houlmes, France (d. 1915)
  • 1866 George P Baker, American educator and playwright (47 Workshop), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1935)
  • 1869 Mary Colter, American architect and designer (Fred Harvey Company, Santa Fe Railroad), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (d. 1958)
  • 1870 George Albert Smith, American religious leader, 8th President of Latter-day Saints, born in Salt Lake City, Utah (d. 1951)
  • 1876 Maurice de Vlaminck, Fauvist painter (Village in the Snow), born in Paris, France (d. 1958)
  • 1880 Georg von Trapp, Austrian WWI submarine commander and inspiration for "The Sound of Music" character, born in Zara, Kingdom of Dalmatia, Austria-Hungary (d. 1947)
  • 1881 Charles Earle Funk, American lexicographer (Funk & Wagnalls) (d. 1957)

Person of interestIsoroku Yamamoto

1884 Isoroku Yamamoto, Japanese WWII Marshall Admiral and Commander-in-Chief of the Japanese fleet who led the attack on Pearl Harbor, born in Nagaoka, Niigata (d. 1943)

WWII Admiral who Led the Attack on Pearl Harbor Isoroku Yamamoto
WWII Admiral who Led the Attack on Pearl Harbor
Isoroku Yamamoto
  • 1887 William Cumming Rose, American biochemist who discovered threonine (an amino acid), born in Greenville, South Carolina (d. 1985)
  • 1888 Zdzisław Żygulski, Sr., Polish literary historian, born in Przemyśl, Poland (d. 1975)
  • 1896 Robert Sherwood, American dramatist (Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Idiot's Delight), born in New Rochelle, New York (d. 1955)
  • 1896 Tristan Tzara [Samuel Rosenfeld] Romanian-French poet (Approximate Man), born in Moinești, Romania (d. 1963)
  • 1902 Louise Lévêque de Vilmorin, French poet and author (Lutin Sauvage), born in Verrières-le-Buisson, Essonne, Paris (d. 1969)
  • 1902 Stanley G. Weinbaum, American sci-fi author (Martian Odyssey), born in Louisville, Kentucky (d. 1935)
  • 1907 Nathan M. Pusey, American educator, 24th president of Harvard University (1953-71), born in Council Bluffs, Iowa (d. 2001)
  • 1908 Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, American author (Cheaper by the Dozen), born in NYC, New York (d. 2006)
  • 1913 Jerome Weidman, American writer (Tenderloin), born in NYC, New York (d. 1998)
  • 1913 Jules Léger, Canadian diplomat and Governor General of Canada, born in Saint-Anicet, Quebec (d. 1980)
  • 1914 Gustave Camus, Belgian painter, born in Châtelet, Belgium (d. 1984)
  • 1914 John Beith, British diplomat, ambassador to Israel and Belgium (d. 2000)
  • 1914 Marguerite Duras, French novelist and playwright (Sea Wall), born in Saigon, French IndoChina (d. 1996)
  • 1915 Jan Drda, Czech writer (Nema Barikada, Mestecko Na Dlani), born in Příbram, Czech Republic (d. 1970)
  • 1915 Lars Ahlin, Swedish writer (My Death is My Own), born in Sundsvall, Sweden (d. 1997)
  • 1916 Nikola Ljubičić, President of the Presidency of Serbia (1982-84) and Communist politician, born in Karan, Užice, Kingdom of Serbia (d. 2005)
  • 1917 Joseph Ortiz, French-Algerian extremist and rebel (barricade uprising), born in Guyotville, Algeria (d. 1995)
  • 1918 George Jellicoe, Earl Jellicoe, British naval commander and member of the House of Lords (1939-2007), born in Hatfield (d. 2007)
  • 1920 Éric Rohmer [Maurice Schérer], French director, journalist and teacher (My Night at Maud's, Claire's Knee, Le rayon vert), born in Tulle, Corrèze, France (d. 2010)
  • 1921 Willem J "Wim" the Villiers, South African minister of Administration
  • 1924 Chris Prater, English screenprinter, born in London (d. 1996)
  • 1925 Claude Wagner, French-Canadian politician and judge, born in Shawinigan, Quebec, Canada (d. 1979)
  • 1925 Emmett Williams, American poet, born in Greenville, South Carolina (d. 2007)
  • 1925 Mother Divine [Edna Rose Ritchings], cult leader of the International Peace Mission Movement, born in Vancouver (d. 2017)
  • 1927 Bob Stump, American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Arizona, born in Phoenix, Arizona (d. 2003)
  • 1929 William F. Clinger Jr., American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania, born in Warren, Pennsylvania
  • 1931 Denis Frank Owen, British ecologist and natural historian, born in London (d. 1996)
  • 1931 Harold Volkmer, American politician, U.S. House of Representatives from Missouri, born in Jefferson City, Missouri (d. 2011)
  • 1931 Bobby Ray Inman, American admiral and intelligence director, born in Rhonesboro, Texas
  • 1932 Richard Lugar, American politician, U. S. Senator from Indiana, born in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 1933 Frits Bolkestein, Dutch politician (People's Party for Freedom and Democracy), born in Amsterdam
  • 1933 Robin Phillips, English multi-millionaire manufacturer (hand-dryer)
  • 1935 Lord Ichayra, secretary-general (British Banking Association)
  • 1935 Trevor Griffiths, English playwright (Absolute Beginners), born in Manchester
  • 1937 Ian St James, novelist (Balfour Conspiracy, Vengeance, Money Stones)
  • 1937 Hans van den Doel, Dutch politician and economist (PvdA), born in Zierikzee, Netherlands (d. 2012)
  • 1940 Bijan, Iranian men's apparel designer (Bijan), born in Tehran, Iran (d. 2011)
  • 1940 Vladimir Timofeyevich Isakov, Russian cosmonaut, born in Zilair, Russia
  • 1942 Kitty Kelley, American journalist and author (Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra), born in Spokane, Washington
  • 1943 Ian Robertson, British museum director (National Army Museum)
  • 1944 Magda Aelvoet, Belgian politician (Greens), born in Steenokkerzeel, Belgium
  • 1946 Katsuaki Sato, Japanese martial artist, founder and director of Satojuku Karate, born in Sakhalin, Japan
  • 1947 Wiranto, Indonesian army general (Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces), born in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
  • 1948 Dan Simmons, American sci-fi and horror writer (Song of Kali), born in Peoria, Illinois
  • 1949 Shing-Tung Yau, Hong Kong-born American mathematician, born in Shantou, Guangdong Province, China
  • 1951 Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, born in Kampong Cham, Cambodia
  • 1953 Robert Bertrand, Canadian politician (Liberal Party of Canada), born in Fort-Coulonge, Quebec, Canada
  • 1956 Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, Suk Giuma Libya, bomber (Pan Am Flight 103)
  • 1956 William Joseph Burns, American Diplomat and government official (Director of the CIA 2021-), born in Fort Bragg, North Carolina
  • 1970 Mix Master Mike [Michael Schwartz], American turntablist, born in San Francisco, California

Person of interestDavid Blaine

1973 David Blaine, American magician and illusionist, born in Brooklyn, New York

Magician and Illusionist David Blaine
Magician and Illusionist
David Blaine
  • 1975 Delphine Arnault, French businesswoman (Louis Vuitton), born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
  • 1978 Sam Moran, Australian entertainer (The Wiggles), born in Sydney, Australia
  • 2012 Grumpy Cat [Tardar Sauce], American cat internet celebrity, born in Morristown, Arizona (d. 2019)

Weddings in History

LoveWedding of Interest

1625 Viceroy Frederick Henry marries Amalia countess von Solms-Braunfels

Prince of Orange Frederick Henry
Prince of Orange
Frederick Henry

LoveWedding of Interest

1750 Statesman George Mason (24) weds Ann Eilbeck (16)

American Statesman George Mason
American Statesman
George Mason

Divorces in History

Broken heartDivorce of Interest

2019 Amazon's Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Bezos agree record-breaking $35 billion divorce settlement

Amazon Entrepreneur Jeff Bezos
Amazon Entrepreneur
Jeff Bezos

Deaths in History

  • 397 Saint Ambrose, Governor of Liguria and Bishop of Milan (374-97), dies at about 57
  • 636 Saint Isidore of Seville, Church Father and the proposed patron of the Internet (b. cira 560)
  • 896 Formosus, Pope (891-96), dies
  • 1229 Hugo van Pierrepont, bishop of Liege, dies
  • 1284 Alfonso X, "El Sabio" King of Castile/Leon (1252-84), dies at 62
  • 1292 Nicholas IV [Girolamo Masci], Pope (1288-92), dies
  • 1305 Jeanne of Navarre, wife of Philip IV of France (b. circa 1217)
  • 1393 Floris van Wevelinkhoven, bishop of Utrecht, dies
  • 1406 Robert III, King of Scots (1390-1406), dies, succeeded by 12 year old son James I
  • 1417 John van Touraine, 1st husband of Jacoba of Bavaria, dies
  • 1536 Frederick I, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach (1486-1536), dies at 75
  • 1585 Caspar de Robles, Spanish viceroy of Frisia, dies at about 57
  • 1588 Frederick II, King of Denmark and Norway (1559-88), dies at 53
  • 1604 Thomas Churchyard, poet/pamphleteer, dies
  • 1609 Charles de L'Ecluse, Flemish botanist (b. 1526)

Person of interestJohn Napier

1617 John Napier, Scottish mathematician and inventor (logarithms), dies from effects of gout at 67

Mathematician John Napier
John Napier
  • 1643 Simon Episcopius [Bisschop], Dutch theologist, dies at 60
  • 1661 Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven, Scottish soldier (b. circa 1580)
  • 1662 Leonhart Kern, German sculptor, dies at about 73
  • 1664 Adam Willaerts, Dutch seascape painter, dies
  • 1701 Joseph Haines, entertainer and author
  • 1714 Karel, duke of Berry/French heir to the throne, dies
  • 1734 Johann C van Erckel, old Catholic theologist, dies at about 79
  • 1743 Daniel Neal, English historian, dies at 64
  • 1761 Théodore Gardelle, Swiss painter and enameler, dies at 38
  • 1766 John Taylor, English classical scholar (b. 1704)
  • 1774 Oliver Goldsmith, Irish novelist and dramatist (She Stoops to Conquer), dies at 45
  • 1784 Mary Mead, wife of English radical and journalist John Wilkes (b. 1715)
  • 1792 James Sykes, American politician (b. 1725)
  • 1807 Joseph Jerome Le Francais de Lalande, French astronomer, dies a 74
  • 1817 André Masséna, Duke of Rivoli, Prince d'Essing and Marshal of France (b. 1758)

Person of interestWilliam Henry Harrison

1841 William Henry Harrison, 9th US President (Whig: March 4-April 4, 1841), dies of pneumonia and becomes 1st president to die in office

9th US President William Henry Harrison
9th US President
William Henry Harrison
  • 1844 Charles Bulfinch, 1st US pro architect (Mass State House), dies at 80
  • 1846 Solomon Sibley, American senator from Michigan Territory (b. 1769)

Person of interestLudwig Leichhardt

1848 Ludwig Leichhardt, German explorer of northern and central Australia, dies on an expedition at 34

Explorer and Naturalist Ludwig Leichhardt
Explorer and Naturalist
Ludwig Leichhardt
  • 1861 John McLean, American Supreme Court Justice (1829-61) and Postmaster General, dies at 76
  • 1862 Harmen S Sytstra, Dutch poet/editor (Iduna), dies at 45
  • 1863 Ludwig Emil Grimm, German painter and engraver, dies at 73
  • 1864 Joseph Pitty Couthouy, American naval officer (b. 1808)
  • 1870 Heinrich Gustav Magnus, German chemist and physicist (b. 1802)
  • 1874 Charles Ernest Beulé, French archaeologist and politician (b. 1826)
  • 1878 Richard Brewer, American gunslinger/cowboy (b. 1850)
  • 1879 Heinrich Wilhelm Dove, Prussian physicist and meteorologist, dies at 75
  • 1883 Peter Cooper, American industrialist, inventor and philanthropist (Cooper Union, steam locomotive), dies at 92
  • 1889 Thomas T H Jorissen, historian, dies at 56
  • 1890 Pierre-Joseph-Olivier Chauveau, French Canadian politician (1st Premier of Quebec), dies at 69
  • 1890 Edmond Hébert, French geologist, dies at 77
  • 1893 Alphonse Pyramus de Candolle, French-Swiss botanist, dies at 86
  • 1905 Constantin Meunier, Belgian painter and sculptor, dies at 73
  • 1912 Isaac Kauffman Funk, American publisher (Funk & Wagnalls), dies at 72
  • 1912 Charles Brantley Aycock, 50th Governor of North Carolina (1901-05), dies at 52
  • 1919 William Crookes, English chemist and physicist (Crookes-pipe, thallium), dies at 86
  • 1923 L Martov [Joulij O Tsederbaum], Russ revolutionary, dies at 49
  • 1923 John Venn, English mathematician (Venn Diagram), dies at 88

Person of interestKarl Benz

1929 Karl Benz, German inventor, engine designer and automobile manufacturer (Mercedes-Benz), dies of bronchial inflammation at 84

Automobile Engineer and Inventor Karl Benz
Automobile Engineer and Inventor
Karl Benz
  • 1930 Vladimir Majakovski, Russian poet, dies

Person of interestAndré Michelin

1931 Andre Michelin, French industrialist, tire manufacturer and publisher of the Michelin Guide, dies of respiratory failure at 78

Industrialist and Publisher André Michelin
Industrialist and Publisher
André Michelin
  • 1932 Ottokar Czernin, Austro-Hungarian diplomat (Imperial Foreign Minister of Austria-Hungary) and politician, dies at 59
  • 1932 Wilhelm Ostwald, physical chemist (Nobel 1909), dies
  • 1937 Frantisek X Salda, Czech writer/critic, dies at 69
  • 1941 Max Frisch, writer, dies at 29
  • 1943 Oskar Schlemmer, German painter, sculptor and choreographer (Triadisches Ballett), dies at 54
  • 1944 John Peale Bishop, American poet (Undertaker's Garland), dies at 51
  • 1947 William O'Donnell, Irish politician (b. ?)
  • 1951 George Albert Smith, President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, dies
  • 1953 Carol II, King of Romania (1930-40), dies at 59
  • 1953 Rachilde [Marguerite Vallette-Eymery], French author, dies at 93
  • 1957 E. Herbert Norman, Canadian diplomat (b. 1909)
  • 1958 Hendrik Heyman, Belgian minister of Nijverheid/mayor, dies at 78
  • 1961 Simion Stoilow, Romanian mathematician (b. 1873)
  • 1962 James Hanratty, executed at Bedford Prison, England, for the murder of Michael Gregsten (b. 1936)

MurderMartin Luther King Jr.

1968 Martin Luther King Jr., American clergyman and leader of the Civil Rights Movement (Nobel 1964), assassinated at the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, Tennessee at 39

Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.
Civil Rights Activist
Martin Luther King Jr.
  • 1970 Victor Otto Stomps, German writer and publisher, dies at 72

Person of interestAdam Clayton Powell Jr.

1972 Adam Clayton Powell Jr., American politician (Rep-D-NY), dies of acute prostatitis at 63

  • 1972 John A H J S Bruins Slot, co-founder/editor in chief (illegal), dies
  • 1976 Harry Nyquist, Swedish contributor to information theory (b. 1889)
  • 1979 Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistani president, hanged in Pakistan at 51
  • 1984 Oleg Antonov, Soviet airplane engineer (b. 1906)
  • 1985 Kate Roberts, Welsh nationalist and writer (b. 1891)
  • 1986 Frank Mortelmans, Belgian painter, dies at 87
  • 1987 C. L. Moore, American science fiction and fantasy writer (Judgment Night), dies at 76
  • 1991 John Heinz, American businessman and Republican politician (Senator from Pennsylvania, 1977-1991), dies in a plane crash at 52
  • 1991 Max Frisch, Swiss architect/writer (Stiller, Biedermann), dies at 79
  • 1992 Karl Tunberg, US scriptwriter (Ben Hur), dies
  • 1993 Alfred Mosher Butts, American architect and game inventor (Scrabble), dies at 93
  • 1994 Olga Lowina, Dutch yodeler (Edelweisskapel), dies at 69
  • 1995 Jo Sinclair [Ruth Seid], American writer (Wasteland), dies at 81
  • 1996 Seamas NacNeill, Classical physicist and piper, dies at 79
  • 1997 Vladimir Solouchin, Russian writer, dies at 72
  • 2001 Ed "Big Daddy" Roth, American custom car designer (b. 1932)
  • 2004 Casey Sheehan, American soldier, son of Cindy Sheehan (b. 1979)
  • 2005 Edward Bronfman, Canadian businessman (b. 1924)
  • 2010 Clifford M. Hardin, American politician (17th U.S. Secretary of Agriculture), dies at 94
  • 2010 Rudy Kousbroek, Dutch writer and literary (Leopold the Buch), dies at 81
  • 2013 Carmine Infantino, American comic book artist, dies at 87
  • 2015 John Read, British businessman, CEO (TSB Group), dies at 97
  • 2020 Alexander Thynn, 7th Marquess of Bath, dies at 87