Today in History – April 6

1580 – One of the largest earthquakes recorded in the history of England, Flanders, or Northern France, took place.

1652 – At the Cape of Good Hope, Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck established a resupply camp that eventually became Cape Town.

1712 – The New York Slave Revolt of 1712 began near Broadway.

1776 – American Revolutionary War: Ships of the Continental Navy failed in their attempt to capture a Royal Navy dispatch boat.

1793 – During the French Revolution, the Committee of Public Safety became the executive organ of the republic.

1808 – John Jacob Astor incorporated the American Fur Company, which would eventually make him America’s first millionaire.

1814 – Nominal beginning of the Bourbon Restoration; anniversary date that Napoleon abdicated and was exiled to Elba.

1830 – Church of Christ, the original church of the Latter Day Saint movement, was organized by Joseph Smith and others at either Fayette or Manchester, New York.

1841 – U.S. President John Tyler was sworn in two days after having become president upon William Henry Harrison’s death.

1860 – The Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, later renamed Community of Christ, was organized by Joseph Smith III and others at Amboy, Illinois.

1862 – American Civil War: The Battle of Shiloh began: In Tennessee, forces under Union General Ulysses S. Grant met Confederate troops led by General Albert Sidney Johnston.

1865 – American Civil War: The Battle of Sailor’s Creek: Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia fought and lost its last major battle while in retreat from Richmond, Virginia, during the Appomattox Campaign.

1866 – The Grand Army of the Republic, an American patriotic organization composed of Union veterans of the American Civil War, was founded. It lasted until 1956.

1889 – George Eastman began selling his Kodak flexible rolled film for the first time.

1896 – In Athens, the opening of the first modern Olympic Games was celebrated 1,500 years after the original games were banned by Roman emperor Theodosius I.

1906 – The world’s first animated cartoon was released, “Humorous Phases of Funny Faces” by J. Stuart Blackton.

1909 – Robert Peary and Matthew Henson became the first people to reach the North Pole; Peary’s claim has been disputed because of failings in his navigational ability.

1917 – World War I: The United States declared war on Germany.

1926 – Varney Airlines made its first commercial flight (Varney was the root company of United Airlines).

1929 – Huey P. Long, Governor of Louisiana, was impeached by the Louisiana House of Representatives.

1936 – Tupelo–Gainesville tornado outbreak: Another tornado from the same storm system as the Tupelo tornado hit Gainesville, Georgia, and killed 203 people.

1947 – The first Tony Awards were presented for theatrical achievement.

1965 – Launch of Early Bird, the first commercial communications satellite to be placed in geosynchronous orbit.

1968 – In the downtown district of Richmond, Indiana, a double explosion killed 41 and injured 150.

1970 – Newhall massacre: Four California Highway Patrol officers were killed in a shootout.

1972 – Vietnam War: Easter Offensive: American forces began sustained air strikes and naval bombardments.

1973 – Launch of Pioneer 11 spacecraft.  Pioneer 11 was designed to study the asteroid belt, the environment around Jupiter and Saturn, solar winds, and cosmic rays. It was the first probe to encounter Saturn, the second to fly through the asteroid belt, and the second to fly by Jupiter.

1973 – The American League of Major League Baseball began using the designated hitter.

1997 – In Greene County, Tennessee, the Lillelid murders occurred.  

2017 – U.S. military launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles at an air base in Syria. Russia described the strikes as an “aggression”, adding they significantly damaged US-Russia ties.

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