Today in History – April 1

33 – According to one historian’s account, Jesus Christ’s Last Supper was held.

1693 – Cotton Mather’s four-day-old son died and witchcraft was blamed.

1748 – The ruins of Pompeii were rediscovered by Spaniard Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre.

1778 – New Orleans businessman Oliver Pollock created the “$” symbol.

1789 – In New York City, the United States House of Representatives achieved its first quorum and elected Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first Speaker.

1826 – Samuel Morey was issued the first U.S. patent for an internal-combustion engine, which he called a “Gas or Vapour Engine”.

1833 – The Convention of 1833, a political gathering of settlers in Mexican Texas to help draft a series of petitions to the Mexican government, began in San Felipe de Austin.

1853 – Cincinnati became the first US city to employ fulltime professional firefighters.

1854 – “Hard Times: For These Times,” a Charles Dickens novel, began serialization in Dickens’s magazine, “Household Words”.  

1865 – American Civil War: Union troops led by Philip Sheridan decisively defeated Confederate troops led by George Pickett and cut the Army of Northern Virginia’s last supply line.

1873 – The White Star steamer RMS Atlantic sank off Nova Scotia and killed 547 in one of the worst marine disasters of the 19th century.

1889 – The first dishwashing machine was marketed (Chicago).

1905 – “SOS” was first adopted as a morse distress signal (· · · – – – · · ·) by the German government.

1910 – Dumitru Dan (Romania) completed a 62,137 mile walk.

1918 – The Royal Air Force was created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

1924 – Adolf Hitler was sentenced to five years imprisonment for his participation in the “Beer Hall Putsch” but spent only nine months in jail.

1924 – The Royal Canadian Air Force was formed.

1929 – Louie Marx introduced a toy called the Yo-Yo.

1930 – Chicago Cubs catcher Leo Hartnett broke the altitude record for a catch by gloving a baseball dropped from the Goodyear blimp 800 feet over Los Angeles, California.

1933 – The recently elected Nazis under Julius Streicher organized a one-day boycott of all Jewish-owned businesses in Germany, and ushered in a series of anti-Semitic acts.

1934 – Members of the gang most commonly referred to as Bonnie and Clyde killed two young highway patrolmen, H. D. Murphy and Edward Bryant Wheeler, at the intersection of Route 114 near Grapevine, Texas. Bonnie Parker’s supposed role in the murders helped turn public perception against the gang.

1936 – Charles “Lucky” Luciano” was arrested in Arkansas on a criminal warrant from New York.

1941 – Nazis forbade Jews access to cafés.

1944 – Navigation errors led to an accidental American bombing of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen.

1945 – World War II: The Tenth United States Army attacked the Thirty-Second Japanese Army on Okinawa.

1946 – The 8.6 Mw  Aleutian Islands earthquake shook the Aleutian Islands with a maximum Mercalli intensity of VI (Strong). A destructive tsunami reached the Hawaiian Islands which resulted in dozens of deaths, mostly in Hilo, Hawaii.

1948 – Cold War: Communist forces responded to the introduction of the Deutsche Mark by attempting to force the western powers to withdraw from Berlin.

1954 – United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorized the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

1960 – The TIROS-1 satellite transmitted the first television picture from space.

1964 – John Lennon was reunited with his father Freddie after 17 years.

1966 – Sam & Dave released the single “Hold On, I’m Comin'”.

1967 – The United States Department of Transportation began operation.

1969 – The Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first operational fighter aircraft with Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing capabilities, entered service with the Royal Air Force.

1970 – President Richard Nixon signed the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law.

1970 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono released a hoax which claimed they were having dual sex change operations.

1973 – John Lennon and Yoko Ono formed a new country with no laws or boundaries, called Nutopia.  Its national anthem was silence.

1977 – Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak founded Apple Computer, Inc.

1978 – “The Bob Newhart Show” ended its initial run on NBC.

1984 – Singer Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his father in his home in Arlington Heights, Los Angeles, California.

1990 – It became illegal in Salem, Oregon to be within 2 feet of nude dancers.

1992 – Rocker Billy Idol was fined $2,000 for hitting a woman.

1996 – Veteran American MLB umpire John McSheery died of a heart attack while umpiring on Opening Day at the Cincinnati Reds’ Riverfront Stadium; he was 51.

2001 – An EP-3E United States Navy surveillance aircraft collided with a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Shenyang J-8 fighter jet. The Chinese pilot ejected but was subsequently lost. The Navy crew made an emergency landing in Hainan, China and was detained.

2001 – Same-sex marriage became legal in the Netherlands, the first contemporary country to allow it.

2004 – Google launched its Email service Gmail.  The launch was met with skepticism on account of the launch date, April Fools’ Day.

2017 – Bob Dylan received his Nobel Prize for Literature at a private ceremony in Stockholm.


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