This Day in History - April 2

April 2

742 – Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, is born

1453 – Mehmed II begins a siege of Constantinople aka Istanbul

1513 – Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon discovers Florida

1725 – Italian adventurer Giovanni Casanova is born

1777 – The Continental Congress promotes Colonel Ebenezer Learned to brigadier general of the Continental Army

1792 – The US authorizes the minting of the silver dollar, dollar, quarter, dime, half-dime, the $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle, and 2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins

1796 – Haitian revolt leader Toussaint L’Ouverture takes command of French forces at Santo Domingo

1800 – Ludwig van Beethoven’s First Symphony premiers

1801 – The British navy defeats the Danish at the Battle of Copenhagen

1805 – Danish author Hans Christian Andersen is born

1834 – Sculptor Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi is born

1840 – French activist and novelist Emile Zola is born

1863 – Angry women riot in Richmond, Virginia, demanding the government release emergency supplies in response to major food shortages

1865 – Confederate President Jefferson Davis flees Richmond, Virginia as Grant breaks Lee’s line at Petersburg

1870 – Victoria Woodhull announces her candidacy for president of the US

1872 – Painter, inventor, and co-inventor of the Morse code, Samuel Morse dies

1875 – Founder of Chrysler, Walter P. Chrysler is born

1891 – German painter, sculptor and founder of Surrealism, Max Ernst is born

1902 – Esther Morris, the first woman judge in American history, dies

1905 – American conductor Kurt Adler is born

1905 – Dancer and opera director Serge Lifar is born

1910 – Karl Harris perfects the process for the artificial synthesis of rubber

1914 – The US Federal Reserve Board announces plans to divide the country into 12 districts

1914 – British actor Alec Guinness is born

1917 – President Woodrow Wilson presents a declaration of war against Germany to Congress

1917 – Jeannette Pickering Rankin is sworn in as the first woman to serve in the US House of Representatives

1930 – Ras Tafari Makonnen becomes Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia aka Ethiopia

1931 – Virne “Jackie” Mitchell becomes the first woman to play for an all-male pro baseball team, striking out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game

1932 – Charles Lindbergh pays over $50,000 ransom for his kidnapped son

1933 – Cricket player Ranjitsinhji dies

1941 – German Lieutenant General Erwin Rommel, “the Desert Fox,” resumes his advance into Cyrenaica aka modern-day Libya. Nine days later, Libya will be recaptured by Axis forces

1944 – Soviet forces enter Romania

1948 – American singer Emmylou Harris is born

1958 – The National Advisory Council on Aeronautics is renamed NASA

1963 – Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King begins his campaign in Birmingham, Alabama

1968 – Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey premieres

1972 – Silent film actor Charlie Chaplin prepares a return to the US-the first since 1952 when he was denied re-entry due to questions about his leftist politics

1972 – North Vietnamese troops capture part of Quang Tri City and Dong Ha

1974 – President of France, Georges Pompidou dies

1975 – South Vietnamese evacuation begins at Qui Nhon as North Vietnamese and infantry continue to push into Quang Ngai Province

1977 – Racehorse, Red Rum, wins a record third Grand National Championship in England

1979 – An anthrax epidemic in Russia kills 62, injures 32 and kills livestock. The poisoning began as a result of a biological-weapons plant’s workers failing to replace a necessary filter, thus releasing anthrax spores into the outside air

1982 – Argentina invades the British-owned Falkland Islands

1989 – Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev meets with Fidel Castro in Cuba

1992 – Mobster John Gotti is convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison

2002 – Israeli forces besiege the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem to capture wanted Palestinians

2005 – Pope John Paul II dies

2015 – Portuguese director and screenwriter Manoel de Oliveira 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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