5th April In History

The French novelist Gustave Flaubert once said, "Our ignorance of history causes us to slander our own times." Paying heed to the eminent writer let us take a look at the past and uncover the secrets hidden away in pages of the times bygone. Since history would be too much of an abstract term to delve into let us begin with April 5; it has witnessed events of mammoth significance, many of which shaped the world as it is today. In the political arena, erstwhile US President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a decree banning hoarding of gold, while in Cuba Fidel Castro declared war with President Batista. Several important chapters unfolded in the World Wars on this day, and numerous landmark battles were fought across the globe throughout history, on this day. Natural and man-made disasters wreaked havoc on mankind and several advancements were made in the field of science and technology. Stay tuned to Today in History for more interesting tidbits from the annals of history.


HISTORICAL EVENTS ON 5th April



1792

Politics

George Washington Exercises Presidential Veto For The First Time

A Congressional bill was introduced in the Parliament of United States proposing a new plan for division of seats in the House of Representatives. The Bill was vetoed by President George Washington on April 5, 1792 who deemed it unconstitutional. It was the first time a President used this power in the United Sates.


1993

Politics

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt Signs Executive Orders Banning The Hoarding Of Gold

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 6102 on this day in 1993. The order barred "hoarding of gold coin, gold bullion, and gold certificates within the continental United States." It was a part of economic reforms initiated to promote economic growth and reverse the depression.


1951

Politics

Soviet Spies Ethel And Julius Rosenberg Are Sentenced To Death

Julius Rosenberg and Ethel Greenglass Rosenberg were citizens of America who spied for the USSR. They were alleged of conspiracy against the nation and leaking secrets regarding the atomic bomb to the Russians and on April 5, 1951, they were sentenced to death.


1956

Politics

Fidel Castro Declares War With President Batista

Fidel Castro, the Cuban politician and revolutionary, declared war against President Fulgencio Batista, on April 5, 1956. Batista rose to power after over throwing the authoritarian regime of Gerardo Machado and Castro's announcement laid the founding stone for Cuban Revolution.


1969

Politics

Antiwar Demonstrations Occur In Many U.S. Cities

As the US troops became more and more embroiled in the bloody Vietnam War, the citizens of America took the streets to express their displeasure. On April 5, 1969 antiwar demonstrations were held in several cities including New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.


1976

Politics

The Tiananmen Incident Occurred In China

The people of China celebrate the Qingming Festival every year to mourn their dead ancestors by offering flowers and paper wreaths at the Monument to the People's Heroes in Tiananmen Square. The demise of Chinese leader Zhou Enlai caused an outpour of public grief and his supporters began celebrating the mourning festival even before the actual traditional date which falls on 15th day after the Spring Equinox. The central authorities ordered the square to be cleared and thus ensued a public protest against the order on April 5, 1976.


1992

Politics

Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori Dissolves Congress By Military Force

On this day in 1992, incumbent President Fujimori declared that he was temporarily dissolving the Congress and exercised complete authority over the judiciary and armed forces. The coup d’état marked the beginning of a new authoritarian yet progressive era in the history of the nation.


1242

Wars

Teutonic Knights Are Defeated By Alexander Nevsky Of Novgorod In The Battle Of The Ice

The Battle on the Ice was a thirteenth century battle fought when the Teutonic Knights invaded the Republic of Novogord on April 5, 1242. The troops of Orthodox Novogord Republic led by Alexander Nevsky defeated the crusaders in the encounter which occurred on the icy surface of Lake Peipus.


1566

Wars

Hendrick Van Brederode Led Two-Hundred Dutch Noblemen, And Denounces The Spanish Inquisition In The

On this day in 1556, as many as 200 Dutch nobles used force to appear in front of Margaret of Parma, who was then the Governor of Netherlands. The purpose of the protestors was to present a petition that would end the Spanish Inquisition in Netherland. As a result the inquisition was suspended and the petition forwarded to Philip II for resolving.


1862

Wars

The Battle Of Yorktown Begins

The Union and Confederate forces fought the Battle of Yorktown which lasted from April 5 till May 4, 1862. Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan led the union forces to victory against the confederate troops led by Maj. Gen. John B. Magruder.


1879

Wars

War Of The Pacific Between Chile, Bolivia And Peru Commences

The nations of Bolivia and Peru fought the War of Pacific against Chile between 1879- 83. The battle started on April 5, 1879 and was decisive in establishing mining rights in the desert of Atacama. Chile ended up acquiring large areas of land from Bolivia at the end of the war.


1897

Wars

Greece And The Ottoman Empire Fought The "Thirty Days' War"

The province of Crete was under the control of Ottoman Empire but majority of the population residing in the state were Greeks who wanted the state to be united with the Kingdom of Greece. It led to a war between the two nations, known as the Greco-Turkish War or the Thirty Days' War, which began on April 5, 1897.


1932

Wars

Dominion Of Newfoundland Surrenders Self-Government Status

Newfoundland was a British dominion but during the Great Depression the nation’s finances hit rock bottom. Tired of the corrupt and inefficient government, as many as 10,000 residents of Newfoundland marched to the Colonial Building on April 5, 1932, which housed the assembly and the Dominion willingly suspended their self-governance status. Thereupon the British Government took over the administration.


1942

Wars

The Imperial Japanese Navy Attacks Colombo, Ceylon During The Indian Ocean Raid, In WWII

On April 5, 1942, the Japanese naval fleet launched an air assault on Colombo, Ceylon (present day Sri Lanka). The British suffered heavy loss as two of their Navy Cruisers HMS Cornwall and HMS Dorsetshire sunk. The port and civilian facilities also suffered damage.


1943

Wars

American Bomber Aircraft Accidentally Hits The Belgian Town Of Mortsel During WWII

An error on the part of American bomber aircraft caused heavy causalities in the densely populated residential town of Mortsel in Belgium. The bomb was one kilometer off its mark in Erla factory and led to death of 900 civilians of which 209 were children. More than a thousand people were wounded.


1944

Wars

Two Hundred Seventy Greeks Executed In Kleisoura

During the WWII, the Nazi gestapo performed some of the most heinous crimes in the history of mankind. On April 5, 1944 the Germans executed 270 Greek citizens in the town of Kleisoura, West Macedonia.


1945

Wars

Yugoslav Leader Josip Broz Tito Signs Friendly-Treaty With USSR

In the post-WWII era, the nation of Yugoslavia was faced with the problem of maintaining its independence and keeping the Soviet as well as the west at bay. The partisan leader Josip Broz signed a friendly treaty with the USSR on April 5, 1945, which allowed “temporary entry of Soviet troops into Yugoslav territory.” He thus ensured that the Soviets will move out once the War was over.


1936

Disasters & Natural Calamities

Tornado Outbreak In Tupelo–Gainesville

A tornado rated F5 on the Fujita scale hit Tupelo in Mississippi on April 5, 1936. The windstorm, which is named the fourth-deadliest tornado in the history of United States, killed more than 200 people and injured several others.


1986

Disasters & Natural Calamities

La Belle Discotheque Bombing In West Berlin, Germany

A bomb explosion in the LA Belle discotheque in West Berlin on April 5, 1986 resulted in the death of a Turkish woman and two US Army sergeants. Several others were injured in the explosion and in retaliation the US government launched attacks on Libyan cities of Tripoli and Benghazi, as Libya was alleged of sponsoring the bombings.


1991

Disasters & Natural Calamities

ASA EMB 120 Flight Crashes In Brunswick, Georgia

On April 5, 1911 in an unfortunate turn of events an Atlantic Southeast Airlines flight suffered a collision during landing. The aircraft which was en route to Brunswick Golden Isles Airport from Atlanta international Airport suffered from technical difficulties that caused it to collide with a terrain as it was approaching the runway for landing. 20 passengers, including Texas senator John Tower and US astronaut Sonny Carter, and 3 crew members onboard the aircraft were killed in the accident.


2010

Disasters & Natural Calamities

The Upper Big Branch Mine Disaster Occurred In West Virginia

Twenty-nine miners were killed in the deadly coal dust explosion which occurred at the Massey Energy's mine in West Virginia on this fateful day in 2010. Investigations would later reveal that violations of safety guidelines on the part of the coal extraction company caused the mishap.


2012

Disasters & Natural Calamities

Severe Floods In Argentina Kill 14 People

More than a dozen people were killed when heavy seasonal rains in Colombia and Peru caused flash floods. Tens of thousands houses were submerged and agriculture and infrastructure also suffered heavy damage.


1904

Sports

England And An ‘Other Nationalities’ Team Play The First International Rugby League Match In England

It was on April 5, 1904, nine years after a new code for rugby was established, that a national team played an international league match. The England team was pitted against the team titled 'Other Nationalities' which comprised of ten Welsh and two Scottish players. The English were defeated by 3-9 in the match.


1915

Sports

Jess Willard Beats Jack Johnson To Claim The Title Of World Heavyweight Champion

A huge crowd had gathered in Havana, Cuba to witness the heavyweight boxing championship battle between Jack Johnson and Jess Willard on this day in 1915. Johnson was knocked out by the giant Willard in the twenty-sixth round.


1949

Literature & Entertainment

Fireside Theater Is Aired For The First Time

The Fireside Theatre popularly known as Jane Wyman Presents is an anthological filmed series which became the first ever successful TV series in America. With stories from freelance writers, the low budget show was aired by NBC for the first time on April 5, 1949.


1965

Literature & Entertainment

"My Fair Lady", Rex Harrison &Julie Andrews Win At The 37th Academy Awards

The 37th Academy Awards, produced by Joe Pasternak and hosted by Bob Hope were presented on April 5, 1965. 'My Fair Lady' won in the Best Movie category, whereas actor Rex Harrison who played the lead in the movie won the award for Best Actor. Julie Andrews won the Best Actress award for her role in 'Mary Poppins'.


1997

Literature & Entertainment

"The Crocodile Hunter" Debuts In America

Late TV show host and nature lover Steve Irwin became a household name with his show 'The Crocodile Hunter.' The documentary TV series, which originally aired in Australia, was hosted by Steve and his wife Terri. On April 5, 1997 the show forayed into American television when its first episode was aired.


2009

Literature & Entertainment

Carrie Underwood & Brad Paisley Win At The 44th Academy Of Country Music Awards

The 44th Academy of Country Music was organized on April 5, 2009 at Las Vegas, Nevada. Carrie Underwood won the awards for Entertainer of the Year and Best Female Vocalist of the Year. Taylor Swift's album 'Fearless ' won in the Best Album of the Year category and the singer was bestowed with Crystal Milestone Award.


1536

Trivia

Royal Entry Of Charles V Into Rome

In ancient Rome, a ruler who led the forces to victory against enemies was publicly honored in a civil ceremony known as the Roman triumph. April 5, 1536, marked the royal entry of Charles V into Rome and it was the last ever triumph religious rite observed.


1614

Trivia

Native American Pocahontas Marries English Colonist John Rolfe In Virginia

In the early 1600s when the Anglo-Indian hostilities were at a peak, a seemingly impossible love story unfolded between the daughter of a native-Indian chief and an English colonist. Pocahontas, the native Indian was captured by the English and she converted to Christianity during that time. On April 5, 1614 she married an English tobacco cultivator John Rolfe.


1621

Trivia

Return Trip Of The Mayflower To England From Plymouth Commences

The first English separatists took sail from Plymouth, England to the New World in a ship that was named Mayflower. The colonists travelled to far lands across the Atlantic in order to find a land where they could establish a new church. On April 5, 1621 the merchant ship set sail for its return journey to Plymouth.


1710

Trivia

Copyright Law Established In The United Kingdom

In a landmark act the British monarchy approved the Statute of Anne on this day in 1710, which authorized the government and courts to regulate and grant copyrights. It heralded a new concept of copyright as earlier it was handled by private parties.


1722

Trivia

Easter Island Discovered By Explorer Jacob Roggeveen

Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen stumbled upon the Rapa Nui or Easter Island during a voyage that he undertook for discovering the hypothetical continent of Terra Australis. The continent was named so because it was on the Easter Sunday of 1722, (April 5) that the island was found.


1804

Trivia

High Possil Meteorite Recorded In Scotland

On April 5, 1805 a stony meteorite fell in the High Possil region of Glasgow, Scotland. The meteorite was one of the only four meteorites to have fallen in Scotland and was a major specimen that contributed to modern day meteorite science.


1806

Trivia

Isaac Quintard Patents Apple Cider

Apple cider is a tangy alcoholic beverage brewed by fermenting apple juice in wooden barrels. The drink was quite popular in the American colonies and the patent for apple cider was granted to Isaac Quintard on April 5, 1806.


1847

Trivia

The First Civic Public Park In Britain, Opens In Birkenhead

Birkenhead Park is the first public park of England that was inaugurated on April 5, 1847. The recreation hub was designed by architect and gardener Joseph Paxton.


1887

Trivia

Anne Sullivan Teaches “Water” To Helen Keller

A childhood illness left Helen Keller devoid of eyesight and auditory senses. However Anne Sullivan her teacher and mentor came into her life as a blessing. Anne used several unique techniques to teach Helen the art of communicating. On April 5, 1887, she made her understood the meaning of 'water'.


1900

Trivia

Archaeologists In Knossos, Crete, Discover A Large Cache Of Clay Tablets With Hieroglyphic Writings

On this day in 1900, archaeologists discovered a huge collection of clay tablets with hieroglyphic symbols etched into them, in Knossos, Crete. It was identified later that the writings belonged to the Greeks and the syllabic script was named as Linear B.


1922

Trivia

The American Birth Control League Is Established

American Birth Control League was established in New York on April 5, 1922 by writer and nurse, Margaret Sanger. The organization was founded with the aim of popularizing birth control clinics and creating awareness among women about the benefits of planned parenting.


1923

Trivia

Firestone Tire And Rubber Company Begins Production Of Balloon-Tires

Firestone Tire and Rubber Company was a forerunner in the field of manufacturing tires for motor vehicles. Harvey Firestone the founder of company and an innovator introduced the balloon tires and the company began manufacturing them on April 5, 1923.


1932

Trivia

Alcohol Prohibition In Finland Ends

After gaining independence from the Russian regime, the reigning government in Finland passed an act that prohibited the sale of alcohol in the nation. The ban was finally lifted in 1932 and on April 5, the Alko stores started selling alcoholic beverages.


1958

Trivia

Ripple Rock, In The Seymour Narrows In Canada Is Destroyed

Ripple Rock is an underwater mountain whose twin peaks of height 9feet and 21 feet (underwater) were reduced to 45 feet and 50 feet by means of controlled nuclear explosion. The preparations for the explosion commenced on November 1955 and continued for more than two years before finally being executed on April 5, 1958.


1971

Trivia

Canadian Fran Phipps Becomes The First Woman To Reach The North Pole

Canadian nationals Frances Phipps and husband Weldy Well Phipps charted history on April 5, 1971 when the couple flew to North Pole in a Twin Otter ski plane. The flight was made with the intent of installing a radar beacon was included in the Guinness Book of World records as it was the first time a woman had reached the Pole.


1976

Trivia

American Billionaire Howard Hughes Dies

The movie mogul and entrepreneur Howard Hughes died of kidney failure on this day in 1976. He spent a greater part of the last two decades before his death in isolation and there was much speculation about his secluded lifestyle in the media. Many theories, which included him being Mysophobic were put forth describing his eccentric behavior.


1994

Trivia

Musician Kurt Cobain Commits Suicide

Kurt Cobain was a popular American rock singer who committed suicide on April 5, 1994 in his Seattle residence. He was only 27 at the time of death and the incident gave birth to the concept of Club 27 in popular culture.


1998

Trivia

The Akashi Kaikyō Bridge In Japan Opens To Traffic

Akashi Kaikyō Bridge which connects the Awaji Island to the Japanese mainland was opened to public on this day in 1998. The suspension bridge holds the record for being the largest in the world with a central span of 1,991 metres.


1999

Trivia

Two Libyans Suspected Of Bringing Down Pan Am Flight 103 Are Handed Over For Trial In The Netherland

Two Libyans, Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed Al Megrahi and Al Amin Khalifa Fhimah, were alleged of involvement in the Pan Am Flight bombing in December 1988 after a British investigation in 1991. Libya initially refused to handover the two suspects but after UN sanctions were imposed the duo were finally handed over for a trial in Netherlands (a neutral territory) on April 5, 1999.


2009

Trivia

North Korea Launches Its Controversial Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2 Rocket

On April 5, 2009 North Korea launched the satellite Kwangmyŏngsŏng-2. The launch drew much criticism even before its execution as foreign countries expressed its concern over the launch being a precursor to future nuclear attacks. After lift off the satellite took its course over Japan thus drawing immediate action by United Nations Security Council.


2012

Trivia

International Internet Group Anonymous Hack Several Chinese Bureaus

The Communist regime of China faced a grave attack by the International Internet group Anonymous. The latter hacked into the Government's website on April 5, 2012 in protest of the censorship campaign carried out by the government.


2015

Trivia

Rolling Stone Magazine Retracts Its "Rape On Campus" Story

The Rolling Stone magazine published an article titled Rape of Campus in its November 2014 issue. Written by Sabrina Erdely the article drew much flak after several inconsistencies were reported in the narrative and even police investigation denied the claims of a girl being gang raped at a frat house party in University of Virginia. The magazine retracted the piece and published an apology on April 5, 2015.


People Born This Day

Thomas Hobbes
(1588-1679)
Philosopher [ British ]
Alfred Blalock
(1899-1964)
Surgeon [ American ]
Joseph Lister
(1827-1912)
Surgeon and Scientist [ British ]
Bette Davis
(1908-1989)
Actress [ American ]
Booker T. Washington
(1856-1915)
[ American ]
Colin Powell
(1937-)
65th United States Secretary of State [ American ]
Pharrell Williams
(1973-)
Singer [ American ]
Spencer Tracy
(1900-1967)
[ American ]
Gregory Peck
(1916-2003)
[ American ]
Agnetha Faltskog
(1950-)
[ Swedish ]
Robert Bloch
(1917-1994)
Novelist, Short-story Writer [ American ]
Michael Moriarty
(1941-)
Actor [ American ]
Franklin Chang Díaz
(1950-)
Former NASA Astronaut [ Costa Rican ]
Satcha Pretto
(1980-)
Journalist [ Honduran ]
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
(1947-)
Former President of Philippines [ Filipino ]
Walter Huston
(1883-1950)
Actor [ American ]
Ivar Giaever
(1929-)
Physicist [ Norwegian ]
Alisha Marie
(1993-)
YouTuber, Vlogger [ American ]
Hunter Rowland
(2001-)
YouNow Star, Social Media Personality [ American ]
Juicy J
(1975-)
Rapper, Songwriter [ American ]
Rachel Ballinger
(1991-)
YouTube star, Vlogger & Social Media Sensation [ American ]
Joshua David Evans
(1984-)
YouTube [ American ]
Saba Qamar
(1984-)
Actress [ Pakistani ]
Heath Hussar
(1993-)
Viner, Instagram Star [ American ]
Rene Nezhoda
(1977-)
Reality TV Star, Entrepreneur [ American ]
Tessa Brooks
(1999-)
Dancer [ American ]


People Died This Day

Allen Ginsberg
(1926-1997)
Poet [ American ]
Sam Walton
(1918-1992)
Businessman [ American ]
Douglas MacArthur
(1880-1964)
[ American ]
Kurt Cobain
(1967-1994)
Singer, Songwriter [ American ]
Layne Staley
(1967-2002)
[ American ]
Abe Fortas
(1910-1982)
U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice [ American ]
Edward Young
(1683-1765)
Poet [ British ]
Howard Hughes
(1905-1976)
Entrepreneur, Aerospace Engineer, Filmmaker, Inventor, Aviator, Philanthropist [ American ]
Chiang Kai-shek
(1887-1975)
President of the Republic of China [ Chinese ]
Saul Bellow
(1915-2005)
Novelist [ American ]
Charlton Heston
(1923-2008)
Actor [ American ]
Baruch Samuel Blumberg
(1925-2011)
Physician, Geneticist [ American ]
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