On This Day in History April 2

April 2 – Events:

  • 68 – Galba, governor of Hispania, names himself legatus senatus populique Romani, breaking the line of Roman emperors begun with Julius Caesar and Augustus.
  • 1453 – Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (Istanbul), which would fall on May 29.
  • 1513 – Juan Ponce de Leon sets foot on Florida becoming the first known European to do so.
  • 1755 – Commodore William James captures pirate fortress of Suvarnadurg on west coast of India.
  • 1792 – The Coinage Act is passed establishing the United States Mint.
  • 1801 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Copenhagen – The British destroy the Danish fleet.
  • 1804 – Forty merchantmen are wrecked when a convoy led by HMS Apollo runs aground off Portugal.
  • 1810 – Napoleon Bonaparte marries Archduchess Marie Louise of Austria.
  • 1863 – Richmond Bread Riot: Food shortages incite hundreds of angry women to riot in Richmond, Virginia and demand the Confederate government to release emergency supplies.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: Siege of Petersburg broken – Union troops capture the trenches around Petersburg, Virginia, forcing Confederate General Robert E. Lee to retreat.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet flee the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
  • 1900 – The Foraker Act passes through Congress, giving Puerto Ricans limited self-rule.
  • 1902 – Dmitry Sipyagin, Minister of Interior of the Russian Empire, is assassinated by a terrorist in the Marie Palace, St Petersburg.
  • 1902 – “Electric Theatre,” the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opens in Los Angeles, California.
  • 1917 – World War I: The Battle of Vimy Ridge commences when the Canada Corps launches an artillery bombardment of the German trenches. To that time, the biggest artillery bombardment in history.
  • 1917 – World War I: U.S. President Woodrow Wilson asks the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.
  • 1917 – The first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress, Jeannette Rankin, takes her seat as a representative from Montana.
  • 1930 – Haile Selassie is proclaimed emperor of Ethiopia.
  • 1945 – The diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Brazil were established.
  • 1962 – The first official Panda crossing is opened outside Waterloo station, London.
  • 1972 – Actor Charlie Chaplin returns to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist in the early 1950s during the Red Scare.
  • 1972 – Vietnam War: Easter Offensive begins – North Vietnamese soldiers of the 304th Division take the northern half of Quang Tri Province.
  • 1973 – Launch of LexisNexis computerized legal research service.
  • 1975 – Vietnam War: Thousands of civilian refugees flee from the Quang Ngai Province in front of advancing North Vietnamese troops.
  • 1975 – CN Tower completed in Toronto Ontario Canada: reaches 553.33 metres in height, becoming the world’s tallest free-standing structure.
  • 1980 – U.S. President Jimmy Carter signs the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act in an effort to help the U.S. economy rebound.
  • 1982 – Falklands War: 1982 invasion of the Falkland Islands by Argentina.
  • 1984 – Sqn Ldr Rakesh Sharma is launched aboard Soyuz T-11, and becomes the first Indian in space.
  • 1989 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in Havana, Cuba to meet with Fidel Castro in an attempt to mend strained relations.
  • 1991 – First female Premier of a Canadian province takes office. Rita Johnston succeeds William Vander Zalm, who resigned, as Premier of British Columbia.
  • 1992 – In New York, Mafia boss John Gotti is convicted of murder and racketeering and is later sentenced to life in prison.
  • 2002 – Israeli forces surrounded the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem into which armed Palestinians retreated. A siege ensues.
  • 2004 – Islamist terrorists involved in the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks attempt a thwarted bombing of the Spanish high-speed train AVE near Madrid.
  • 2006 – Over 60 tornadoes breakout, hardest hit is Tennessee with 29 people killed.

April 2 – Birthdays:

  • 742 – Charlemagne (d. 814)
  • 1348 – Andronikos IV Palaiologos, Byzantine Emperor (d. 1385)
  • 1527 – Abraham Ortelius, Flemish cartographer and geographer (d. 1598)
  • 1565 – Cornelis de Houtman, Dutch explorer (d. 1599)
  • 1618 – Francesco Maria Grimaldi, Italian mathematician and physicist (d. 1663)
  • 1653 – Prince George of Denmark, prince consort of Anne of England (d. 1708)
  • 1719 – Johann Wilhelm Ludwig Gleim, German poet (d. 1803)
  • 1725 – Giacomo Casanova, Italian adventurer and writer (d. 1798)
  • 1743 – Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States (d. 1826)
  • 1781 – Bhagwan Swaminarayan, religious leader (d. 1830)
  • 1788 – Francisco Balagtas, Filipino poet (d. 1862)
  • 1798 – August Heinrich Hoffmann von Fallersleben, German poet (d. 1874)
  • 1805 – Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer (d. 1875)
  • 1812 – Louise-Marie of France, queen of Belgium (d. 1850)
  • 1814 – Erastus Brigham Bigelow, American inventor (d. 1879)
  • 1827 – William Holman Hunt, English painter (d. 1910)
  • 1838 – Léon Gambetta, French statesman (d. 1882)
  • 1840 – Émile Zola, French novelist and critic (d. 1902)
  • 1862 – Nicholas Murray Butler, president of Columbia University, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1947)
  • 1867 – Eugen Sandow, German bodybuilder and circus performer (d. 1925)
  • 1869 – Hughie Jennings, American baseball player and manager (d. 1928)
  • 1875 – Walter Chrysler, American automobile pioneer (d. 1940)
  • 1884 – Sir John Squire, British poet, writer, and historian (d. 1958))
  • 1891 – Max Ernst, German painter (d. 1976)
  • 1900 – Roberto Arlt, Argentine writer (d. 1942)
  • 1902 – Jan Tschichold, German typographer (d. 1974)
  • 1903 – Lionel Chevrier, Canadian politician (d. 1987)
  • 1907 – Luke Appling, American baseball player (d. 1991)
  • 1908 – Buddy Ebsen, American actor and dancer (d. 2003)
  • 1910 – Paul Triquet, Canadian military officer (d. 1980)
  • 1912 – Herbert Mills, American singer (The Mills Brothers) (d. 1989)
  • 1914 – Sir Alec Guinness, English actor (d. 2000)
  • 1917 – Dabbs Greer, American actor (d. 2007)
  • 1917 – Lou Monte, American singer (d. 1989)
  • 1920 – Jack Webb, American actor, director, and producer (d. 1982)
  • 1923 – G. Spencer-Brown, English mathematician
  • 1923 – Clifford Scott Green, American Federal Judge
  • 1926 – George MacDonald Fraser, English author
  • 1926 – Sir Jack Brabham, Australian race car driver, three-time F1 world champion and co-founder of eponymous race team
  • 1927 – Carmen Basilio, American boxer
  • 1927 – Ferenc Puskás, Hungarian footballer (d. 2006)
  • 1927 – Kenneth Tynan, English critic and writer (d. 1980)
  • 1928 – Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, American cardinal (d. 1996)
  • 1928 – Serge Gainsbourg, French singer (d. 1991)
  • 1934 – Paul Joseph Cohen, American mathematician (d. 2007)
  • 1934 – Brian Glover, British actor and wrestler (d. 1997)
  • 1937 – Dick Radatz, American baseball player (d. 2005)
  • 1938 – John Larsson, 17th General of The Salvation Army
  • 1938 – Whirlaway, American thoroughbred racehorse, 1941 Triple Crown Winner (d. 1953)
  • 1938 – Booker Little, American jazz trumpeter (d. 1961)
  • 1939 – Marvin Gaye, American singer (d. 1984)
  • 1939 – Lise Thibault, Lieutenant-governor of Quebec
  • 1940 – Penelope Keith, English actress
  • 1941 – Dr. Demento, American radio personality
  • 1942 – Leon Russell, American blues-rock pianist/guitarist session musician
  • 1942 – Hiroyuki Sakai, Japanese chef
  • 1945 – Linda Hunt, American actress
  • 1945 – Reggie Smith, American baseball player
  • 1945 – Don Sutton, American baseball player
  • 1945 – Anne Waldman, American poet
  • 1946 – Kurt Winter, Canadian guitarist (The Guess Who) (d. 1997)
  • 1947 – Emmylou Harris, American singer
  • 1947 – Camille Paglia, American feminist writer
  • 1948 – Dimitris Mitropanos, Greek singer
  • 1949 – Paul Gambaccini, British television presenter
  • 1949 – Pamela Reed, American actress
  • 1949 – Ron Palillo, American actor
  • 1951 – Ayako Okamoto, Japanese golfer
  • 1951 – Moriteru Ueshiba, Japanese martial artist
  • 1952 – Pat Drummond, Australian singer-songwriter
  • 1952 – Thierry Le Luron, French humorist (d. 1986)
  • 1952 – Leon Wilkeson, American rock bassist (Lynyrd Skynyrd) (d. 2001)
  • 1953 – Jim Allister, Northern Irish politician
  • 1953 – David Robinson, American musician
  • 1953 – Debralee Scott, American actress (d. 2005)
  • 1954 – Allan Davis, Australian diplomat
  • 1954 – Susumu Hirasawa, Japanese electropop musician
  • 1955 – Dana Carvey, American actor, SNL
  • 1955 – Michael Stone, British terrorist
  • 1959 – Juha Kankkunen, Finnish race car driver
  • 1959 – Badou Zaki, Morrocan footballer and manager
  • 1960 – Linford Christie, English athlete
  • 1960 – Brad Jones, Australian racing driver
  • 1961 – Christopher Meloni, American actor
  • 1961 – Keren Woodward, English singer (Bananarama)
  • 1962 – Pierre Carles, French documentarist
  • 1962 – Clark Gregg, American actor
  • 1962 – Mark Shulman, American children’s author
  • 1963 – Mike Gascoyne, British engineer
  • 1964 – Pete Incaviglia, American baseball player
  • 1965 – Rodney King, American victim of police brutality
  • 1966 – Bill Romanowski, American football player
  • 1966 – Teddy Sheringham, English footballer
  • 1966 – Garnet Silk, Jamaican singer (d. 1994)
  • 1967 – Greg Camp, American musician (Smash Mouth)
  • 1967 – Helen Chamberlain, British television presenter
  • 1970 – Roselyn Sanchez, Puerto Rican actress
  • 1971 – Todd Woodbridge, Australian tennis player
  • 1971 – ZEEBRA, Japanese hip hop artist
  • 1972 – Chico Slimani, Moroccoan-British singer
  • 1974 – Håkan Hellström, Swedish musician
  • 1975 – Adam Rodriguez, American actor
  • 1976 – Rory Sabbatini, South African golfer
  • 1977 – Michael Fassbender, Actor
  • 1977 – Jelena Abbou, Serbian fitness model
  • 1976 – Andreas Anastasopoulos, Greek shot putter
  • 1978 – John Gall, American baseball player
  • 1979 – Jesse Carmichael, American musician (Maroon 5)
  • 1980 – Carlos Salcido, Mexican footballer
  • 1980 – Adam Fleming, English news reporter
  • 1980 – Ricky Hendrick, NASCAR driver and owner
  • 1981 – Michael Clarke, Australian cricketer
  • 1981 – Bethany Joy Lenz-Galeotti, American actress
  • 1982 – Marco Amelia, Italian World Cup-winning footballer
  • 1982 – Jeremy Bloom, American skier and football player
  • 1982 – Bianca Chatfield, Australian netballer
  • 1982 – Jack Evans, American professional wrestler
  • 1982 – Leyla Milani, Canadian actress and model
  • 1983 – Felix Borja, Ecuadorian footballer
  • 1983 – Yung Joc, American rapper
  • 1983 – Paul Capdeville, Chilean tennis player
  • 1984 – Meryl Cassie, New Zealand actress
  • 1991 – Taylor Henderson, Australian musician

April 2 – Deaths:

  • 1118 – Baldwin I of Jerusalem, King of Jerusalem
  • 1272 – Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1209)
  • 1335 – Duke Henry of Carinthia
  • 1412 – Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo, Spanish traveler and writer
  • 1502 – Prince Arthur Tudor, son of Henry VII of England (b. 1486)
  • 1507 – Francis of Paola, Italian founder of the Order of the Minims (b. 1416)
  • 1657 – Ferdinand III, Holy Roman Emperor (b. 1608)
  • 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 Jacob Dillenius, German botanist (b. 1684)
  • 1754 – Thomas Carte, English historian (b. 1686)
  • 1787 – Thomas Gage, British general (b. 1719)
  • 1791 – Mirabeau, French statesman (b. 1749)
  • 1801 – Thomas Dadford Junior, British canal engineer
  • 1803 – Sir James Montgomery, 1st Baronet, Scottish politician and judge (b. 1721)
  • 1817 – Johann Heinrich Jung, German author (b. 1740)
  • 1827 – Ludwig Heinrich Bojanus, German physician and naturalist (b. 1776)
  • 1845 – Philip Charles Durham, Royal Navy Admiral (b. 1763)
  • 1865 – General A. P. Hill, American Confederate general (b. 1825)
  • 1872 – Samuel F. B. Morse, American painter and inventor of the telegraph (b. 1791)
  • 1902 – Esther Morris, suffragist and first female American judge (b. 1814)
  • 1914 – Paul von Heyse, German writer, Nobel laureate (b. 1830)
  • 1922 – Hermann Rorschach, Swiss psychologist (b. 1884)
  • 1928 – Theodore William Richards, American chemist, Nobel laureate (b. 1868)
  • 1930 – Empress Zauditu of Ethiopia (b. 1876)
  • 1936 – Jean-Baptiste Eugène Estienne, French general (b. 1860)
  • 1953 – Hugo Sperrle, German field marshal (b. 1885)
  • 1966 – C. S. Forester, English author (b. 1899)
  • 1972 – Franz Halder, German general (b. 1884)
  • 1972 – Toshitsugu Takamatsu, Japanese Martial Arts Grandmaster (b. 1887)
  • 1972 – Gil Hodges, American baseball player and manager (b. 1924)
  • 1974 – Georges Pompidou, President of France (b. 1911)
  • 1987 – Buddy Rich, American drummer (b. 1917)
  • 1992 – Tomisaburo Wakayama, Japanese actor (b. 1929)
  • 1992 – Juan Gómez González, Spanish footballplayer (b. 1954)
  • 1994 – Betty Furness, American actress (b. 1916)
  • 1995 – Harvey Penick, American golf instructor (b. 1904)
  • 1995 – Hannes Alfvén, Swedish physicist (b. 1908)
  • 1998 – Rob Pilatus, American model and entertainer (Milli Vanilli) (b. 1965)
  • 2000 – Tommaso Buscetta, Sicilian mafioso and pentito (b. 1928)
  • 2001 – Charles Daudelin, Canadian artist (b. 1920)
  • 2001 – Jennifer Syme, American actress (b. 1972)
  • 2003 – Edwin Starr, American singer (b. 1942)
  • 2004 – John Argyris, Greek aeronautical engineer (b. 1913)
  • 2005 – Pope John Paul II (b. 1920)
  • 2006 – Nina Schenk von Stauffenberg, German wife of freedom fighter Claus Schenk von Stauffenberg (b. 1913)

April 2 – Holidays:

  • International Children’s Book Day
  • Malvinas Day in Argentina
  • Sizdah be dar in Iran
  • Saint Franciscus of Paola
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