This Day in History - April 4

April 4

1581 – Francis Drake completes circumnavigation of the world

1655 – The English fleet beats Barbary pirates in the Battle at Postage Farina, Tunis

1776 – General George Washington begins marching from Massachusetts toward New York, anticipating a British invasion

1780 – Quaker preacher and painter Edward Hicks is born

1792 – US Republican congressional leader Thaddeus Stevens is born

1802 – American social reformer Dorothea Dix is born

1812 – The Territory of Orleans becomes the 18th state and will become known as Louisiana

1818 – The US flag is declared to have 13 red and white stripes with 20 stars

1821 – Inventor of the Yale lock, Linus Yale is born

1841 – President William Henry Harrison becomes the first president to die in office, just a month after being sworn in

1843 – William Jackson, a photographer of Yellowstone whose photography helped make Yellowstone the first national park, is born

1862 – The Battle of Yorktown begins

1865 – President Abraham Lincoln visits the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia after Union forces capture it

1865 – According to one of his friends, Ward Hill Lamon, President Abraham Lincoln dreamed tonight of being assassinated and complains later that the dream “strangely annoyed” him. Ten days later, Lincoln was assassinated in a theater

1875 – French conductor Pierre Monteux is born

1884 – Japanese naval commander during WWII and the mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attack, Isoroku Yamamoto is born

1896 – Ballroom dance instructor Arthur Murray is born

1896 – Playwright Robert Sherwood is born

1905 – An earthquake in Kangra, India kills over 20,000

1913 – Blues musician Muddy Waters is born

1914 – French author Marguerite Duras is born

1915 – American blues musician Muddy Waters is born

1917 – The US Senate votes 90-6 to enter World War I on the Allied side

1918 – The Second Battle of the Somme ends

1928 – American poet and author Maya Angelou is born

1929 – Founder of Mercedes-Benz, Karl Benz, dies

1932 – Actor Anthony Perkins is born

1933 – The dirigible Akron crashes in New Jersey, killing 73 people in one of the first air disasters of history

1933 – Man partly responsible for transforming NASCAR into a multi-billion dollar industry, Bill France Jr., is born

1938 – Baseball commissioner and president of Yale, Bart Giamatti is born

1941 – Field Marshal Erwin Rommel captures the British-held town of Benghazi in North Africa

1945 – The Ohrdruf death camp is liberated from Nazi occupation

1949 – The North Atlantic Treaty Organization treaty is signed, aka NATO

1952 – Singer, songwriter, producer and guitarist Gary Moore is born

1967 – The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. speaks out against the war, at Riverside Church in New York City

1968 – Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee

1973 – The ribbon is cut opening the World Trade Center in New York City

1974 – Hank Aaron ties Babe Ruth’s homerun record

1975 – Bill Gates and Paul Allen found Microsoft

1975 – An Air Force cargo jet, on a mission to airlift Vietnamese orphans to the US to be adopted by Americans, known as Operation Baby Lift, begins in disaster when one of the planes crashes in Saigon killing 138, mostly children

1979 – Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the president of Pakistan, is executed

1979 – Actor and director Heath Ledger is born

1979 – Canadian hockey player Roberto Luongo is born

1981 – Henry Cisneros becomes the first Hispanic mayor of a US city today as he is sworn in as mayor of San Antonio

1982 – Wayne Gretzky finishes his NHL season with 212 points, the first player in NHL history to break the 200-point barrier

1983 – Sally Ride becomes the first US woman in space aboard the space shuttle Challenger

1984 – Soviet aircraft designer Oleg Antonov dies

1985 – A coup in Sudan ousts President Nimeiry and replaces him with General Dahab

2013 – One of America’s best-known and most influential movie critic, Roger Ebert, dies

Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.

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