Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

Glance at Aprils past

Since early December, I’ve been tweeting each day a quick note on something that happened on that date in the past. Here is a compilation of April events. To keep up with them in real time, use the link in the right column to follow me, smartaindale, on Twitter.

April 1: In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect after Jan. 1, 1971.

April 2: In 1968, the science-fiction film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, had its world premiere in Washington D.C.

April 3: In 1968, the day before he was assassinated, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “mountaintop” speech to a rally of striking sanitation workers.

April 4: In 1975, Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, NM.

April 5: In 2010, 115 Chinese coal miners were freed after spending eight days trapped in a flooded mine.

April 6: In 1896, the first modern Olympic games formally opened in Athens, Greece.

April 7: In 1927, the first long-distance demonstration of television occurred, Washington to New York.

April 8: In 1935, Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act, which provided money for programs such as the Works Progress Administration.

April 9: In 1682, French explorer Robert de La Salle claimed the Mississippi River Basin for France.

April 10: In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers President Branch Rickey purchased the contract of Jackie Robinson from the Montreal Royals.

April 11: In 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the notorious Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in Germany.

April 12: In 1955, the Salk vaccine against polio was declared safe and effective.

April 13: In 1742, Handel’s “Messiah” had its first public performance in Dublin, Ireland.

April 14: In 1828, the first edition of Noah Webster’s “American Dictionary of the English Language” was published.

April 15: In 2013, two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, killing 3 and injuring at least 170 others.

April 16: In 1947, the French ship Grandcamp blew up at the harbor in Texas City, Texas.

April 17: In 1964, Ford Motor Co. unveiled the Mustang at the New York World’s Fair.

April 18: In 1775, Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, warning American colonists that the British were coming.

April 19: In 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.

April 20: In 1972, Apollo 16’s lunar module, carrying astronauts John W. Young and Charles M. Duke Jr., landed on the moon.

April 21: In 1836, an army of Texans led by Sam Houston defeated the Mexicans at San Jacinto, assuring Texas independence.

April 22: In 1970, millions of Americans concerned about the environment observed the first “Earth Day.”

April 23: In 1985, the Coca-Cola Co. announced it was changing its secret flavor formula, creating the ill-fated “New Coke.”

April 24: In 1990, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.

April 25: In 1901, New York Gov. Benjamin Barker Odell Jr. signed an automobile registration bill which imposed a 15 mph speed limit on highways.

April 26: In 1994, voting began in South Africa’s first all-race elections, resulting in victory for the African National Congress and the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president.

April 27: In 2005, touting technology as a way to solve energy problems, President George W. Bush urged Congress to give tax breaks for fuel-efficient hybrid and clean-diesel cars.

April 28: In 1789, the crew of the HMS Bounty mutinied against Capt. William Bligh.

April 29: In 1913, Swedish-born engineer Gideon Sundback of Hoboken, New Jersey, received a U.S. patent for a “separable fastener” — later known as the zipper.

April 30: In 1900, engineer John Luther “Casey” Jones died in a train wreck after staying at the controls in a successful effort to save the passengers.

See you in May!

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