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1943In Basel, Switzerland, Albert Hoffman, a Swiss chemist working at the Sandoz pharmaceutical research laboratory, accidentally consumes LSD-25, a synthetic drug he had created in 1938 as part of his research into the medicinal value of lysergic acid compounds. After taking the drug, formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide, Dr. Hoffman was disturbed by unusual sensations and hallucinations. After intentionally taking the drug again to confirm that it had caused this strange physical and mental state, Dr. Hoffman published a report announcing his discovery, and so LSD made its entry into the world as a hallucinogenic drug. Widespread use of the so-called "mind-expanding" drug did not begin until the 1960s, when counterculture figures such as Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, and The Beatles publicly expounded on the benefits of using LSD as a recreational drug. The manufacture, sale, possession, and use of LSD, known to cause negative reactions in some of those who take it, were made illegal in the United States in 1965.
BC 1457The Battle of Megiddo takes place between Thutmose III and a large Canaanite coalition under the King of Kadesh.
69Roman Emperor, Otho, dies by stabbing himself in the heart with a dagger in Rome, Italy, at age 36. He was emperor for three months, from January 15 to April 16, 69. He was the second emperor of the Year of the Four Emperors.
73Masada, a Jewish fortress, falls to the Romans after several months of siege, ending the Jewish Revolt.
556Pelagius I begins his reign as Catholic Pope.
1113Sviatopolk II of Kiev dies in Vyshhorod, Ukraine, at age 62.
1346Dusan the Mighty is proclaimed Emperor, with the Serbian Empire occupying much of the Balkans.
1435Jan II the Mad (Jan II Szalony) is born. A controversial figure, Jan II was praised by some historians for his ambitions and criticized by others for his fussiness and crazy ideas.
1488Jungjong of Joseon is born Yi Yeok in present-day Korea.
1516Burmese King, Tabinshwehti, is born in Toungoo, Burma. He was King of Toungoo Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) from 1530 to 1550, and the founder of the Toungoo Empire. His military campaigns created the largest kingdom in Burma since the fall of the Pagan Empire in 1287.
1520The Revolt of the Comuneros begins in Spain against the rule of Charles V.
1521Martin Luther makes his first appearance before the Diet of Worms to be examined by the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V and the other estates of the Empire.
1582Spanish conquistador, Hernando de Lerma, founds the settlement of Salta, Argentina.
1640Countess Charlotte Flandrina of Nassau dies in St. Croix, Poitiers, France, at age 59.
1646Architect, Jules Hardouin-Mansart, is born in Paris, France. One of the most important architects of the 17th century, his work is considered the pinnacle of the French Baroque style. As Louis XIV's chief architect, he enlarged the royal chateau of Saint-Germain-en-Laye. He designed all the additions and rebuildings at Versailles, and the acclaimed Hall of Mirrors. He also designed numerous works which are still eminent in the face of Paris today, such as the Place des Victoires and the Place Vendôme.
1705Queen Anne of England knights Isaac Newton at Trinity College.
1724The first Easter is observed.
1746The Battle of Culloden is fought between the French-supported Jacobites and the British Hanoverian forces, commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, in Scotland. After the battle, many highland traditions were banned and the Highlands of Scotland were cleared of inhabitants.
1780The University of Münster is founded in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany.
1799Napoleon drives Ottoman Turks across the River Jordan near Acre, in the Battle of Mount Tabor.
1818The U.S. Senate ratifies the Rush-Bagot Treaty, establishing the border with Canada.
1828Spanish painter, Francisco de Goya, dies of a stroke at age 82. A romantic painter and printmaker, he is regarded both as the last of the Old Masters and the first of the Moderns. From 1824 until his death, he lived in voluntary exile in France. Originally buried in Bordeaux, his remains were transferred to the Royal Chapel of St. Anthony of La Florida in Madrid, Spain, in 1919.
1847The accidental shooting of a Maori by an English sailor results in the opening of the Wanganui Campaign of the New Zealand land wars.
1850Madame Marie Tussaud, maker of wax figures, dies in her sleep in London, England, at age 88. She founded Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. In 1777, she created her first wax figure, that of Voltaire. During the French Revolution, Tussaud was employed to make death masks of the victims of the time, including some of the most infamous dead, such as Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, Marat, and Robespierre. In 1835, she established her first permanent exhibition on Baker Street, on the upper floor of the "Baker Street Bazaar" in London, England.
1851The Lighthouse Storm rages near Boston Harbor in Massachusetts. Whole gales and gigantic waves destroy Minot Light with its two keepers still inside.
1853The first passenger rail opens in India, from Bori Bunder, Bombay, to Thane.
1854San Salvador is destroyed by an earthquake.
1858The Wernerian Natural History Society, a former Scottish learned society, winds down.
1862The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act, a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia, becomes law.
1866Karakozov attempts to assassinate Tsar Alexander II of Russia.
1867Aircraft inventor, Wilbur Wright, is born in Millville, Indiana. He and his brother, Orville, are credited with inventing and building the world's first successful airplane, and making the first controlled, powered, and sustained heavier-than-air human flight, on December 17, 1903, four miles south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Although not the first to build and fly experimental aircraft, the Wright brothers were the first to invent aircraft controls that made fixed-wing powered flight possible.
1879The first Bulgarian constitution is voted and adopted by the Constituent National Assembly held in Veliko, Tarnovo, as part of the establishment of the Principality of Bulgaria.
1881Bat Masterson fights his last gun battle in Dodge City, Kansas.
1889Actor-director, Charlie Chaplin, is born Charles Spencer Chaplin in South London, England. His stage career began at age five, when his actress mother lost her singing voice, and the stage manager led little Charlie out to sing in her place. As a boy he passed in and out of orphanages, and he started working with a touring company as an actor at the age of 12. Twelve years later he went to Hollywood, California, to make comedy shorts for Mack Sennet. By the time he made his second one, Kid Auto Races at Venice, in 1914, he had settled on the costumefor the Tramp: baggy trousers, oversized shoes, tight frock coat, derby hat, cane, and false mustache. Within two years he was the highest paid entertainer in the world. His films include The Kid, A Woman of Paris, The Gold Rush, The Circus, City Lights, Modern Times, The Great Dictator, and Limelight. He was married to actress, Paulette Goddard.
1894In Manchester, England, the Manchester City Football Club is formed from the Ardwick Association Football Club.
1905Andrew Carnegie donated $10 million to set up the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
1908The Natural Bridges National Monument is established in Utah.
1910Dr. William Chester Minor, the major contributor of illustrative quotations to the Oxford English Dictionary (despite the fact that he had spent the last 38 years in an asylum for the criminally insane), is paroled so that he may be returned to hospitalization in his native America.
1910Boston Arena opens in Boston, Massachusetts. It is the oldest existing indoor ice hockey arena still used for the sport in the 21st century.
1912Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly an airplane across the English Channel.
1912Actor, David Langton, is born Basil Muir Langton-Dodds in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland. He is best known for his role on the TV series Upstairs Downstairs. He appeared in the films Abandon Ship, Saint Joan, The World of Suzie Wong, The Pumpkin Eater, A Hard Days Night, and Quintet.
1913Actor, Les Tremayne, is born Lester Tremayne in Balham, London, England. His radio career began in 1931, and during the 1930s and 1940s Tremayne was heard in as many as 45 shows a week. He appeared in the films A Man Called Peter, The Racket, The Angry Red Planet, The War of The Worlds, Say One for Me, North by Northwest, The Monolith Monsters, The Monster of Piedras Blancas, and The Fortune Cookie.
1917Vladimir Lenin returns to Petrograd, Russia, from exile in Switzerland.
1917Actor, Barry Nelson, is born Haakon Robert Nielsen in San Francisco, California. He appeared in the films Johnny Eager, The Affairs of Martha, The Human Comedy, A Guy Named Joe, Casino Royal, Mary, Mary, Airport, Pete n Tillie, and The Shining.
1918Actor-comedian, Spike Milligan, is born Terence Alan Milligan in Ahmednagar, India. He was the co-creator, main writer, and a principal cast member of the BBCs The Goon Show, performing a range of roles including the popular Eccles and Minnie Bannister characters. He appeared in the films The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film, The Invasion Quartet, What a Whopper, The Bed-Sitting Room, The Magic Christian, The Cucumber Castle, The Ruling Class, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, The Three Musketeers, The Last Remake of Beau Geste, Monty Python's Life of Brian, History of the World Part I, and Yellowbeard.
1919Mohandas Gandhi organizes a day of prayer and fasting in response to the British slaughter of Indian protestors in the Amritsar Massacre.
1919The Polish army launches the Vilna offensive to capture Vilnius in modern Lithuania, during the Polish-Soviet War.
1919Avant Garde choreographer, Merce Cunningham, is born Mercier Philip Cunningham in Centralia, Washington. As a teacher and leader of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, he had a profound influence on modern dance. He was a long-time collaborator with John Cage.
1921Actor, Peter Ustinov, is born Peter Alexander, Baron von Ustinov in London, England. He was a filmmaker, theatre and opera director, stage designer, author, screenwriter, comedian, humorist, newspaper and magazine columnist, and radio broadcaster. He appeared in the films One of Our Aircraft Is Missing, Carnival, Vice Versa, Odette, The Magic Box, Quo Vadis, Beau Brummell, Were No Angels, Spartacus, The Sundowners, Romanoff and Juliet, Billy Budd, Topkapi, Lady L, The Comedians, Blackbeards Ghost, Viva Max!, Logans Run, The Last Remake of Beau Geste, Death on the Nile, The Great Muppet Caper, Murder in Three Acts, Around the World in Eighty Days, and Lorenzos Oil.
1922The Treaty of Rapallo is signed, re-establishing German and Soviet Union diplomatic relations.
1924Film composer and conductor, Henry Mancini, is born Enrico Nicola Mancini in Cleveland, Ohio. He is best known for his film and television scores. His work includes The Music from Peter Gun, High Time, Breakfast at Tiffanys, A Change of Seasons, Charade, The Pink Panther, The Great Race, Darling Lili, The Molly McGuires, Silver Streak, and The Thorn Birds. His hits include Moon River, Days of Wine and Roses, Charade, Dear Heart, The Sweetheart Tree, Love Theme from Romeo and Juliet, and Love Story.
1924Rudy Pompilli, saxophonist for Bill Haley & His Comets, is born Rudolph Clement Pompilii in Chester, Pennsylvania. Within a few months of joining The Comets, Pompilli had become the band's most visible member (aside from Haley himself), becoming the focus of Rudy's Rock, a show-stopping instrumental co-written by Pompilli and Haley that debuted in the film Rock Around the Clock in 1956.
1925During the Communist St, Nedelya Church assault in Sofia, Bulgaria, 150 people are killed and 500 others are wounded.
1927Actress, Edie Adams, is born Edith Elizabeth Enke in Kingston, Pennsylvania. She worked regularly on television and was seen on the shows The Ernie Kovacs Show, The Garry Moore Show, Lucy-Desi Comedy Hour, and As the World Turns. She appeared in the films The Apartment, Lover Come Back, Under the Yum Yum Tree, Love with the Proper Stranger, The Best Man, Made in Paris, and The Oscar. She was married to comedian, Ernie Kovacs.
1927Pope Benedict XVI is born Joseph Aloisius Ratzinger in Marktl, Bavaria, Germany. He served as Catholic Pope from 2005 to 2013.
1928Businessman, Ellsworth Milson Statler, dies. His was the founder of Statler Hotels. His Statler Hotel in Buffalo, New York, was the first hotel in America to have private baths with running water in each room.
1930Jazz flautist, Herbie Mann, is born Herbert Jay Solomon in Brooklyn, New York. He was among the first jazz musicians to specialize on the flute. His most popular single was Hijack, which was a Billboard #1 dance hit for three weeks in 1975.
1934Music manager, Robert Stigwood, is born in Adelaide, South Australia. He was a music entrepreneur and impresario, best known for managing Cream and the Bee Gees. He also produced stage musicals and the films Grease, Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy, Saturday Night Fever, Staying Alive, and Evita.
1935The first radio broadcast of Fibber McGee & Molly goes out over the radio airwaves.
1935Blues singer and guitarist, Haskell Cool Papa Sadler, is born Haskell Robert Sadler in Denver, Colorado.
1935Singer, Bobby Vinton, is born Stanley Robert Vinton, Jr. in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. His biggest hit was Blue Velvet.
1937German planes bomb the small Spanish town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War. The horrific event was the inspiration for Pablo Picasso's famous mural of the same name.
1939The Stanley Cup: The Boston Bruins beats the Toronto Maple Leafs, 4 games to 1.
1939Zydeco accordionist, John Delafose, is born in Duralde, Louisiana. He began his career playing in the fais do-do of his area, a Cajun dance party. Later he gained public recognition with the albums Joe Pete Got Two Women and Blues Stay Away from Me. In the mid-1970s, he formed the band The Eunice Playboys, with which he played until his death in 1994.
1939Singer, Dusty Springfield, is born Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O'Brien in West Hampstead, North London, England. She was one of the most popular girl singers during the British Invasion, with numerous Top 10 hits. Her image, which included a peroxide blonde bouffant hairstyle, evening gowns, and heavy make-up, made her an icon of the Swinging Sixties. Her hits include I Only Want to Be with You, Wishin and Hopin, In the Middle of Nowhere, You Dont Have to Say You Love Me, The Look of Love, Son of a Preacher Man, and Brand New Me.
1940Bob Feller, of the Cleveland Indians, throws the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball, beating the Chicago White Sox 1-0.
1940Margrethe II of Denmark is born Margrethe Alexandrine Porhildur Ingrid in Copenhagen, Denmark. She is the Queen of Denmark. She is also the supreme authority of the Church of Denmark and Commander-in-Chief of the Danish Defence Forces.
1942Princess Alexandra of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha dies at Schwäbisch Hall, Baden-Wurttemberg, Germany, at age 63. She was the fourth child and third daughter of Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, and Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia. She was a granddaughter of Queen Victoria, as well as of Tsar Alexander II of Russia.
1943In Basel, Switzerland, Albert Hoffman, a Swiss chemist working at the Sandoz pharmaceutical research laboratory, accidentally consumes LSD-25, a synthetic drug he had created in 1938 as part of his research into the medicinal value of lysergic acid compounds. A tiny amount of the substance accidentally seeped through the skin of his finger. After taking the drug, formally known as lysergic acid diethylamide, Dr. Hoffman was disturbed by unusual sensations and hallucinations. In his notes, he related the experience: "Last Friday, April 16, 1943, I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant, intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away." After intentionally taking the drug again to confirm that it had caused this strange physical and mental state, Dr. Hoffman published a report announcing his discovery, and so LSD made its entry into the world as a hallucinogenic drug. Widespread use of the so-called "mind-expanding" drug did not begin until the 1960s, when counterculture figures such as Albert M. Hubbard, Timothy Leary, Ken Kesey, and The Beatles publicly expounded on the benefits of using LSD as a recreational drug. The manufacture, sale, possession, and use of LSD, known to cause negative reactions in some of those who take it, were made illegal in the United States in 1965.
1944Allied forces start bombing Belgrade, Serbia, killing about 1,100 people. The bombing fell on the Orthodox Christian Easter.
1945The Red Army begins its final assault on German forces around Berlin, with nearly one million troops fighting in the Battle of the Seelow Heights.
1945More than 7,000 people die when the German refugee ship, Goya, is sunk by a Soviet submarine torpedo.
1945The U.S. Army liberates Nazi Sonderlager (high security) prisoner-of-war camp Oflag IV-C (better known as Colditz).
1945Goran Antunac, International Chess Master, is born in Yugoslavia.
1946Arthur Chevrolet, Swiss-born race car driver and automobile designer, dies from suicide by hanging in Slidell, Louisiana, at age 62. He had been suffering from depression. His brother was Louis Chevrolet, founder of the Chevrolet car company.
1947NBC-TV demonstrates the first zoom lens, the Zoomar, in New York. It had been invented by Dr. Frank Back.
1947An explosion on board a freighter in port causes the city of Texas City, Texas, to catch fire, killing almost 600 people.
1947Bernard Baruch coins the term "Cold War" to describe the relationship between the United States and the Soviet Union.
1947Basketball player, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, is born Ferdinand Lewis Alcindor, Jr. in New York, New York. He played 20 seasons in the National Basketball Association (NBA) for the Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers.
1947Musician, Gerry Rafferty, is born in Paisley, Scotland. Rafferty was the voice behind the group, Stealers Wheel. His biggest solo hit was Baker Street.
1947Rudolf Höss, commandant of the Auschwitz concentration camp, is excuted by hanging in Oswiecim, Poland, at age 47. He was tried for murder, and when he was accused of murdering three and a half million people, Höss replied, "No. Only two and one half million: the rest died from disease and starvation."
1949The Stanley Cup: The Toronto Maple Leafs beats the Detroit Red Wings, in 4 games.
1949Actress, Melody Patterson, is born in Inglewood, California. She is best known for the role of Wrangler Jane on the TV series F Troop. She appeared in the films Bye Bye Birdie, The Angry Breed, The Cycle Savages, Blood and Lace, and The Harrad Experiment. She was married to actor, James MacArthur.
1953Queen Elizabeth II launches the Royal Yacht HMY Britannia.
1953The Stanley Cup: The Montreal Canadiens beats the Boston Bruins, 4 games to 1.
1954The Stanley Cup: The Detroit Red Wings beats the Montreal Canadiens, 4 games to 3.
1954Actress, Ellen (Rona) Barkin, is born in the Bronx, New York. She appeared in the films Diner, Tender Mercies, Daniel, Eddie and the Cruisers, Harry & Son, Desert Bloom, The Big Easy, Siesta, Sea of Love, Switch, Into the West, This Boys Life, Wild Bill, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and Oceans Thirteen. She was married to actor, Gabriel Byrne.
1956Rock and roll pioneer, Buddy Holly, releases his first single, Blue Days, Black Nights.
1957The USSR conducts an atmospheric nuclear test.
1957The Stanley Cup: The Montreal Canadiens beats the Boston Bruins, 4 games to 1.
1961In a nationally broadcast speech, Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, declares that he is a Marxist-Leninist and that Cuba is going to adopt Communism.
1961The Stanley Cup: The Chicago Blackhawks beats the Detroit Red Wings, 4 games to 2.
1962CBS-TV appoints Walter Cronkite to succeed Douglas Edwards as the chief news anchorman of the CBS Evening News. He would anchor the program for nearly two decades and become an American icon of journalism, known as "the most trusted man in America."
1963Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. pens his Letter from Birmingham Jail while incarcerated in Birmingham, Alabama, for protesting against segregation.
1963Jimmy Osmond, of The Osmond Brothers, is born James Arthur Osmond in Canoga Park, California. He is the youngest member of the sibling musical group.
1964The Beatles record the title track for their first film, A Hard Day's Night. The writing of the song was a bit unusual in that John Lennon and Paul McCartney had the title first, and had to write a song to order. The song is completed in nine takes. A Hard Day's Night ended up being the title of the film, the title of a song, and the title of the soundtrack album.
1965Actor, Jon Cryer, is born Jonathan Niven Cryer in New York, New York. He appeared in the films No Small Affair, Pretty in Pink, Morgan Stewarts Coming Home, Dudes, Hiding Out, Hot Shots!, Holy Man, and Stay Cool.
1965Comedian, Martin (Fitzgerald) Lawrence, is born in Frankfurt, West Germany. He starred in the TV series Martin from 1992 to 1997. He appeared in the films Do the Right Thing, House Party, You So Crazy, Bad Boys, Big Mommas House, Wild Hogs, and Death at a Funeral.
1968Writer, Edna Ferber, dies of stomach cancer in New York, New York, at age 82. Her novels were especially popular and included the Pulitzer Prize-winning So Big, Show Boat, Saratoga Trunk, Cimarron, and Giant.
1969A chart topper: The Israelites by Desmond Dekker & The Aces.
1971Actor, Peter Billingsley, is born in New York, New York. He is best known for the role of Ralphie in the film A Christmas Story. He also appeared in the films If I Ever See You Again, Honky Tonk Freeway, Paternity, The Dirt Bike Kid, Ruskies, Elf, and Iron Man.
1971Singer, Selena, is born Selena Quintanilla in Lake Jackson, Texas. Called the Queen of Tejano music, her contributions to music and fashion made her one of the most celebrated Mexican-American entertainers of the late 20th century.
1972China sends two giant pandas to the U.S.
1972Apollo 16 is launced from Cape Canaveral, Florida.
1973American journalist, Elliot Mintz, interviews the John Lennon and Yoko Ono at the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles, California. Faced with the rumor that the couples marriage is on the rocks, Lennon replies: Its much better now. They program you to say youre gonna get sick of each other, but its entirely different... it grows! (Within the year, they had separated.) Mintz had been fired from his radio job the year before for playing the entire Some Time In New York City LP. He became close with the Lennons and later served as the official spokesperson for Yoko Ono.
1973Paul McCartney's television special, James Paul McCartney, is broadcast by ABC-TV in the U.S. ATV will broadcast the special in the U.K. on May 10th. It receives very mixed reviews.
1974The USSR conducts a nuclear test at Eastern Kazakh.
1974The rock group, Queen, play their first American concert at Denver's Regis College.
1976Songwriter, Boz Scaggs, is cold-cocked by two bouncers outside Antone's, a blues club in Austin, Texas, after attempting to go backstage to see the headliner, Bobby Blue Bland.
1976Actor, Lukas (Daniel) Haas, is born in West Hollywood, California. He appeared in the films Testament, Witness, Solarbabies, Lady in White, See You in the Morning, Music Box, Convicts, Rambling Rose, Leap of Faith, Boys, Mars Attacks!, Zoolander, and Lincoln.
1979The 83rd Boston Marathon is won by Bill Rodgers of Massachusetts, with a time of 2:09:27.
1979The 8th Boston Women's Marathon is won by Joan Benoit Samuelson, with a time of 2:35:15.
1980The U.S. conducts a nuclear test at Nevada Test Site.
1984The 88th Boston Marathon is won by Geoff Smith of Great Britain, with a time of 2:10:34.
1984The 13th Boston Women's Marathon is won by Lorraine Moller of New Zealand, with a time of 2:29:28.
1985Actor, Scott Brady, dies of pulmonary fibrosis in Los Angeles, California, at age 60. He appeared in the films He Walked by Night, Undertow, Yankee Buccaneer, Bloodhounds of Broadway, A Perilous Journey, Johnny Guitar, Terror at Midnight, Mohawk, The Restless Breed, John Goldfarb Please Come Home, Journey to the Center of Time, Marooned, $, The China Syndrome, and Gremlins.
1986To dispel rumors that he is dead, Moammar Gadhafi appears on TV.
1987The FCC imposes a broader definition of indecency over American radio airwaves.
1990The "Doctor of Death," Jack Kevorkian, participates in his first assisted suicide.
1990Over 72,000 people gather at Londons Wembley Stadium for an anti-aparthied concert honoring Nelson Mandela. Mandela had recently been released from prison.
1990Thunderstorms produce baseball-size hail south of Carney, Oklahoma, and wind gusts to 100 mph in the Oklahoma City area, sweeping away many income tax returns that are being transported from a mail cart to a waiting truck near the time of the midnight deadline.
1990The 94th Boston Marathon is won by Gelindo Bordin of Italy, with a time of 2:08:19.
1990The 19th Boston Women's Marathon is won by Rosa Mota of Portugal, with a time of 2:25:23.
1991Film director, David Lean, dies of throat cancer in Limehouse, London, England, at age 83. His films include This Happy Breed, Blithe Spirit, Brief Encounter, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, Hobsons Choice, Summertime, The Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, Doctor Zhivago, Ryans Daughter, and A Passage to India.
1992The Katina P runs aground off of Maputo, Mozambique, and 60,000 tons of crude oil spill into the ocean.
1992Actor, Neville Brand, dies of emphysema in Sacramento, California, at age 71. He appeared in the films D.O.A., Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye, Halls of Montezuma, Kansas City Confidential, Stalag 17, Riot in Cell Block 11, Love Me Tender, The Tin Star, Birdman of Alcatraz, and That Darn Cat!
1993Paul McCartney headlines a concert at the Hollywood Bowl to celebrate Earth Day. He had last performed there as a member of The Beatles in 1965. Other performers at the concert include Ringo Starr, Steve Miller, and Don Henley.
1994Novelist, Ralph Waldo Ellison, dies of pancreatic cancer in New York, New York, at age 80. His novel, Invisible Man, published in 1952, explores the theme of man's search for his identity and place in society, as seen from the perspective of an unnamed black man in the New York City of the 1930s.
1995Cheyenne Brando commits suicide by hanging in Punaauia, Tahiti, at age 25. She had been formally diagnosed with schizophrenia. She was the daughter of actor, Marlon Brando.
1998Super-centenarian, Marie-Louise Meilleur, dies in Corbeil, Ontario, Canada, at age 117 (and 230 days). Meilleur was the oldest validated Canadian ever. She had 85 grandchildren, 80 great-grandchildren, 57 great-great-grandchildren, and four great-great-great-grandchildren.
1999Skip Spence, of Jefferson Airplane, dies of lung cancer in Santa Cruz, California, at age 52. Mental illness, drug addiction, and alcoholism prevented Spence from sustaining a career in the music industry. Much of his life was spent in third-party care, as a ward of the State of California, and either homeless or in transient accommodations in his later years.
2001India and Bangladesh begin a five-day border conflict, but are unable to resolve the dispute.
2001The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: David Willman, of The Los Angeles Times, for his pioneering exposé of seven unsafe prescription drugs that had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, and an analysis of the policy reforms that had reduced the agency's effectiveness; Fiction: The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon (Random House); Drama: Proof by David Auburn (Faber and Faber); Non-Fiction: Hirohito and the Making of Modern Japan by Herbert P. Bix (HarperCollins); History: Founding BrothersThe Revolutionary Generation by Joseph J. Ellis (Alfred A. Knopf); Biography or Autobiography: W.E.B. Du BoisThe Fight for Equality and the American Century 1919-1963 by David Levering Lewis (Henry Holt and Company); Poetry: Different Hours by Stephen Dunn (W.W. Norton & Company); Photography: Matt Rainey, of The Star-Ledger, Newark, New Jersey, for his emotional photographs that illustrate the care and recovery of two students critically burned in a dormitory fire at Seton Hall University; Music: Symphony No. 2 for String Orchestra by John Corigliano (G. Schirmer).
2001Producer, director and screenwriter, Michael Ritchie, dies of complications related to prostate cancer in New York, New York, at age 62. His films include Downhill Racer, The Candidate, Prime Cut, The Bad News Bears, Semi-Tough, Divine Madness!, Student Bodies, The Survivors, Fletch, Wildcats, The Couch Trip, and The Scout.
2002Businesswoman, Ruth Fertel, dies of cancer in New Orleans, Louisiana, at age 75. She founded Ruth's Chris Steak House.
2002Actor, Robert Urich, dies of synovial cell sarcoma in Thousand Oaks, California, at age 56. He is best known for his starring role in the action TV series Vega$. He also starred in in TV series Spenser: For Hire. He appeared in the films Magnum Force, Endangered Species, The Ice Pirates, Turk 182!, and Lonesome Dove.
2003The Treaty of Accession is signed in Athens admitting 10 new member states to the European Union. The countires are the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, and Slovakia.
2007The Virginia Tech massacre is the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history: gunman, Seung-Hui Cho, shoots and kills 32 people and injures 23 others before committing suicide.
2007The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: Staff of The Wall Street Journal for its sharply edged reports on the adverse impact of China's booming capitalism on conditions ranging from inequality to pollution; Fiction: The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Alfred A. Knopf); Drama: Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire (TCG); Non-Fiction: The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright (Alfred A. Knopf); History: The Race Beat by Gene Roberts and Hank Klibanoff (Alfred A. Knopf); Biography or Autobiography: The Most Famous Man in America by Debby Applegate (Doubleday); Poetry: Native Guard by Natasha Trethewey (Houghton Mifflin); Photography: Oded Balilty, of the Associated Press, for his powerful photograph of a lone Jewish woman defying Israeli security forces as they remove illegal settlers in the West Bank; Music: Sound Grammar by Ornette Coleman. Special Citations are given to Ray Bradbury for his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy, and John Coltrane for his masterful improvisation, supreme musicianship and iconic centrality to the history of jazz.
2010Police officer, Daryl Gates, dies of bladder cancer in Dana Point, California, at age 83. He was the Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) from 1978 to 1992. As chief of police, he took a hardline, aggressive, paramilitary approach to law enforcement. Gates is co-credited with the creation of SWAT teams with LAPD's John Nelson, who others claim was the originator of SWAT in 1965. Gates also co-founded Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E), along with the Los Angeles Unified School District.
2011Screenwriter and producer, Sol Saks, dies of respiratory failure in Sherman Oaks, California, at age 100. He is best known as the creator of the TV sitcom Bewitched.
2012The trial for Anders Behring Breivik, the perpetrator of the 2011 Norway attacks, begins in Oslo, Norway.
2012The Pulitzer Prizes are awarded. Reporting: David Wood, of The Huffington Post, for his riveting exploration of the physical and emotional challenges facing American soldiers severely wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan during a decade of war; Fiction: No award given; Drama: Water by the Spoonful by Quiara Alegría Hudes; Non-Fiction: The SwerveHow the World Became Modern by Stephen Greenblatt; History: Malcolm XA Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable; Biography or Autobiography: George F. KennanAn American Life by John Lewis Gaddis; Poetry: Life on Mars by Tracy K. Smith; Photography: Craig F. Walker, of The Denver Post, for his compassionate chronicle of an honorably discharged veteran, home from Iraq and struggling with a severe case of post-traumatic stress; Music: Silent NightOpera in Two Acts by Kevin Puts.
2013A 7.8 earthquake strikes Sistan and Baluchestan Province, Iran, killing at least 35 people and injuring 117 others.
2013Sports broadcaster, Pat Summerall, dies after undergoing surgery for a broken hip at age 82. He became part of the most popular sports broadcast team in the country upon joining forces with John Madden for 21 seasons. Summerall also called NBA games for CBS-TV, as well as golf and tennis events. He broadcast his last Super Bowl in 2002, and retired soon after.
2014The South Korean ferry, MV Sewol, capsizes and sinks near Jindo Island, killing 304 passengers and crew members.
2015A five-legged lamb is born at Rhiwlas Farm in Powys, Wales. Lambs with deformities often die shortly after birth, but the owner told the media that the lamb is acting "perfectly normal." The family named the lamb Jake, and he will be kept as a family pet.
2015Kim Richards, cast member of the Bravo reality series The Housewives of Beverly Hills, is arrested at The Beverly Hills Hotel on suspicion of public intoxication, trespassing, resisting an officer, and battery on a police officer. Richards shows objective symptoms of alcohol intoxication and is escorted from the restaurant by security. She had "slurred speech and belligerent, insolent behavior, cursing at the officers and passively resisting arrest," police said. Richards' battle with alcohol abuse has been documented on the show.
2015Singer, Johnny Kemp, dies of drowning in Montego Bay, Jamaica, at age 55. His hits include Dancin' with Myself and Just Got Paid.
2017The U.S. Pacific Command and South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff report that a North Korean missile, tested near the city of Sinpo on the country's east coast, blew up almost immediately after the launch, just hours before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence was due in South Korea for talks about the North's arms program.
2017Nine people are injured in a shooting at the J&R Party Hall after-hours club in Columbus, Ohio.
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