14th April In History

“The fine line between roaring with laughter and crying because it's a disaster is a very, very fine line. You see a chap slip on a banana skin in the street and you roar with laughter when he falls slap on his backside. If in doing so you suddenly see he's broken a leg, you very quickly stop laughing and it's not a joke anymore.” Roald Dahl Talking about disasters, according to historians, April 14th is the most infamous of them all. From man-made to natural, the amount of disasters this very day has spawned, makes it the most infamous date in history. From the sinking of the Titanic, to the assassination of the United States President Abraham Lincoln by John Wilkes Booth, to the Black Sunday, the Sydney hailstorm, the Yushu, China earthquake, and the Bangladesh tornado that have collectively killed thousands of people and caused serious damages. These disasters have sent ripples of fear through these countries, cementing a spot in the history books because of the panic it spread and the depth of the wounds it formed amongst millions of people.




Mieszko I Converts To Christianity, Inevitably Founding The State Of Poland

Mieszko I got rid of his seven pagan wives and decided to marry Czech princess Dobrawa after his baptism in 966. The rule of Mieszko I is viewed as the advent of the Polish state. His contributions towards the state are still honored by the Polish people today.



Henry III Is Coronated As The King Of Germany

Soon after his father Conrad II rose to become the Holy Roman Emperor, he appointed his first son, Henry III, as the King of Germany. The coronation of Henry III took place at the cathedral of Aachen by the Archbishop of Cologne.



Temur Khan Becomes The Emperor Of The Yuan Dynasty

The grandson of Kublai Khan, who was the grandson of the founder of the Mongol dynasty, Genghis Khan, Temur Khan came to power and ascended the throne as the Emperor of the Yuan dynasty soon after the death of Kublai. He thus became the second emperor of the Yuan dynasty.



Edward IV Resumes To The Throne Of England

After his win at the Battle of Barnet, which proved conclusive with regard to the Wars of the Roses, Edward IV assumed the throne of England yet again. He defeated his Lancastrian antagonist Earl of Warwick during this battle and after another victory at the Battle of Tewkesbury, ascended the throne.



Lajos Kossuth Is Sworn In As The President Of Hungary After Independence

With just his eloquence, Lojos rose from a poverty-stricken family to being the President of free Hungary. Following the Hungarian revolution of 1848-49, Kossuth was sworn as the President of Independent Hungary. He is still regarded as one of the greatest orator’s.



United States President Abraham Lincoln Is Shot By John Wilkes Booth

On April 14th, stage actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth sneaked into the Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C and shot the President in the head at point blank range. The President was pronounced dead the next morning at 7.22 A.M.



U.S Secretary Of State William H. Seward And His Family Are Attacked In His Home

Almost simultaneous to Booth’s attack on President Lincoln, his partner in crime Lewis Powell stormed into the residence of Seward and stabbed him five times in the face and neck. Further injury to the secretary of state was thwarted by Private George F. Robinson who tackled the conspirator off the bed of the secretary, a move that caused him to flee.



The Pan-American Union Is Founded By The First International Conference Of American States In Washin

Also known as the “Day of the Americas”, the Pan American Union which was initially known as the International Bureau of American Republics formulated a decade after the vision of United States Secretary of State James G. Blaine’s aim to make the Americas as one, keeping the economic and political interest of all in sight.



Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Returns To Office Two Days After Being Ousted

Just 48-hours after a million people of the country of Venezuela marched into Caracas in protests of the rule of President Chavez, which resulted him in being ousted from the top post; Chavez was reinstated as President with the help of the lower class citizens and military loyalists.



Battle Of Forum Gallorum

Days after the betrayal and assassination of the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, General Mark Antony’s troops encompassed those of Brutus’s at Mutina. The effort was seen as a brief moment of victory as Aulus Hirtius’s army slammed into the flanks of his exhausted troops, forcing them to retreat in defeat.



The Battle Of Bedriacum

A Battle for the throne of the Roman Empire, Marcus Salvius Otho claimed the throne as his after assassinating his predecessor. The move forced Aulus Vitellius, who had also claimed the throne a month earlier to march into Rome to subjugate his opponents. The battle resulted in Aulus Vitellius emerging victorious and Otho killing himself rather than waste another life of a soldier in battle.



Siege Of Jerusalem

In what was the first conflict between the Romans and the Jews, Roman Emperor Titus ordered his army to besiege Jerusalem and reduce it to ashes. The invasion resulted in the destruction of the Second Temple, the first being King Solomon’s, a destruction that is still moaned by Jews every year on this day.



Battle Of Chemnitz

A battle that proved inevitable in the prolonging of the Thirty Years’ War, the battle of Chemnitz was fought between the Swedes and the Saxons. Swede commander Johan Banér marched into Chemintz (Now Germany) and trounced the Saxon army commanded by Rodolfo Giovanni Marazzino.



The Yamasee War Begins In South Carolina

On April 14th, the Yamasee war, which was fought between the Native American tribes and the British colonizers, began. The attacks disrupted the settlements of the British and threatened the European trade and settlements in the Americas.



The Bussa's Rebellion Shakes The Ground Of The British Settlers

The Bussa rebellion, which was inspired and named after African-born slave Bussa, was the largest slave revolt in Barbadian history. Though the rebellion was doused by the gun power of the settlers, the influence of Bussa on the Barbadians still lives on till today.



A Massacre Is Organized By Ottoman Empire Against Armenian Population Of Cilicia

According to a source, on hearing of the possibility of an Armenian Muslim insurrection, a mob gathered on April 14th by an Armenian quarter and began massacring the masses. Thousands of Armenians succumbed to this attack.



The Siege Of Tobruk

In what was known as the Western Desert Campaign of the Second World War, German General Erwin Rommel initiated the attack of Tobruk, Libya, on 14th night on the El Adem road. The battle continued till the 27th of November, resulting in a victory for the allies.



Osijek, Croatia, Is Liberated From Fascist Occupation

After years of being a political playground for the Italians and Germans, Osijek was finally liberated from fascist rule after the invasion of the allies, the fall of Benito Mussolini and his fascist party.



The USS Samuel B. Roberts Strikes A Mine In The Persian Gulf

The USS Samuel B. Roberts, which was one of the last of Oliver Hazard Perry-class of guided missile frigates, was hit by a mine on the Persian Gulf, though it travelled the route just a few days back. The mine opened a 15-foot hole in the battleship and dismantled the gas turbines. After hours of fighting fire and attempts to repair it, the crew managed to save the ship. This very ship was decommissioned only in 2015.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

"Black Sunday Storm", The Worst Dust Storm Of The U.S. Dust Bowl

As a result of soil erosion, deforestation and drought, high-speed winds caused the Dust Bowl, which was a series of severe dust storms in Canada and America in the 1930’s. The worst of them was the Black Sunday storm. Still recorded as the worst dust storm in American history, the storm caused serious economic and agricultural effects. To combat the storms, the government issued the Soil Conservation Act of 1935.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

The Bombay Explosion Kills 800 People

The double explosion took place when the vessel, SS Fort Stikine, which was carrying 1,400 tons of explosives, ammunitions, gold and so on, caught fire at the Victoria Dock of Bombay. The explosions set neighboring ships on fire, causing many to sink and killing 800 people who were at work at the site.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

Heaviest Hailstones Ever Recorded Kills 92 In Gopalganj District, Bangladesh

On April 14th, 1986, the Gopalganj District, which is a five hour drive from the capital, Dhaka, received its heaviest hailstorm in history. The hails that fell were the size of grapefruits to a jaw dropping kilogram each. 92 people succumbed to this brutal force of nature.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

Black Hawk Shootdown Incident Kills 26

Also known as the Black Hawk incident, as part of Operation Provide Comfort in Iraq, two United States Air Force F-15 fighter aircrafts misidentified two United States Army UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters, thinking it was Iraqi fighting choppers and shot it down. The mistake led to the death of 26 military personnel and civilians from several nations.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

Sydney Hailstorm Leaves 50 Injured

In what was the costliest disaster in Australian history with regard to insurance, the Sydney Hailstorm recorded a shuddering 500,000 tons of hailstones throughout its course from the east coast of New South Wales to Sydney. The damaged caused amounted to a staggering A$2.3 billion.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

The Yushu Earthquake Results In The Deaths Of 2,698 People

Measuring a disastrous 6.9 on the magnitude scale, the earthquake which struck at 7:49 A.M at the Rima town, caused massive property damage and loss of life. At least 12,135 people were injured, out of which 1,434 were severely injured.


Disasters & Natural Calamities

Nyanya, Nigeria Bombing Kills 88

At exactly 6.45 A.M, twin bombs detonated at a crowded bus station in Nyanya, Nasarawa, resulting in the deaths of 88 and injuring more than 200. Terrorist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for the attacks in a video that they released five days later.



United States Wins The 1st Olympic Basketball Tournament

In what was the first appearance of the sport in the Summer Olympics, the United States toppled Canada by 19–8 to bag the first Basketball Olympic gold. The Olympics was hosted by Nazi Germany.



Ahmed Salah Wins 1st World Cup Marathon

In what was the first edition of the World Cup Marathon, organized by the International Association of Athletics Federations in Hiroshima, Djibouti’s long distance runner Ahmed Salah historically secured the top spot. Clocking 2:08:09 around the Japanese track, Salah made history by becoming the first World Cup marathon runner.



Mark McGwire Breaks The Rookie Home Run Record

Debuting with the Athletics, McGwire soon made headlines by breaking the rookie homerun record by smashing 33 homeruns. He ended the season with a sensational 49 homeruns.



Reigning Champions Chicago Blackhawks Stunned In The First Round

For the first time in 20-years, the season champions and favorites Chicago Blackhawks were stunned by the Minnesota North Stars in the first round of the playoffs. The Minnesota North Stars then went on to make an unprecedented appearance in the Stanley Cup Finals.



Detroit Red Wings Smashes All Time Record In The 1995-96 Season

Eclipsing the Montreal Canadiens 1976-77 record of notching 60 wins in a single season, Detroit Red Wings smashed the record by winning their 62nd game against the Dallas Stars, an all-time record.



Tiger Woods Wins The Masters Tournament Consecutively

His second Masters Tournament in a row, ace golfer Woods defeated Phil Mickelson by a margin of three strokes to lift his third overall Masters Tournament. He would win the slam yet again in 2005.



Bobby Cox Breaks The MLB Record For Most Amount Of Ejections

A record most players and coaches would rather not have, fiery Cox displaced John McGraw to hold the record for the most amount of ejections in a game. Cox holds the record with 161 ejections over his career.


Literature & Entertainment

Noah Webster Copyrights The First Edition Of His Dictionary

Known as the "Father of American Scholarship and Education", Webster on this day did the copyright for his first dictionary, which he called the Webster dictionary. Despite its importance, the dictionary sold only 2,500 copies forcing Webster to mortgage his house for the second edition, which resulted in him dying with a huge debt.


Literature & Entertainment

The First Ever Commercial Motion Picture House Opened In New York City Using Ten Kinetoscopes

Invented by Louis Le Prince and copied by Thomas Edison, on April 14th, the first kinetoscope parlor was set up in New York by the Holland Bros. This first commercial motion picture house had ten kinetoscope machines that stood parallel to each other and each played a different movie—every movie cost the viewer 25 cents.


Literature & Entertainment

The Academy Awards Is Televised Worldwide For The First Time

Screened worldwide for the first time ever, the 41st Academy Awards experienced an unusual outcome when Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand tied for Best Actress Oscar. It was the first time in three decades that the award in the best actor/actress category had been tied.



The Sikh Religion Was Formalized As The Khalsa

In what was a revolutionary step with regard to the Sikh religion, Guru Gobind Singh, the tenth Sikh Guru formalized the Khalsa on this very day. Known as the nation of the Sikhs, the Khalsa dealt with the executive, military and civil authority responsibility of the Sikh religion.



The First Abolition Society In North America Is Established

The abolition society, which was founded to counter the unlawful bondage or slavery of the Negros, was founded in Philadelphia. Headed by abolitionist Anthony Benezet, the society was supported by the likes of Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.



The First Pony Express Rider Reaches San Francisco

The Pony Express which was a network mail service carried out by a relay of horse riders completed its first journey on this very day. The trip which commenced from St. Joseph on April 3, 1860, reached San Francisco on the 14th of April.



The Famous ‘Four Dead In Five Seconds Gunfight’ Takes Place In Texas

A famously recounted tale, the ‘Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight’ took place at El Paso Street, El Paso, Texas. Three out of the four were killed by court Marshall Dallas Stoudenmire, the other was killed by an intoxicated John Hale. The incident was all started by John Hale who disapproved of Krempkau’s (one of the victims) association with the Mexicans.



The Azusa Street Revival Launches Pentecostalism As A Worldwide Movement

Known as the origin of the Pentecostal movement, the first meeting of the Azusa Street Revival took place on April 14th. The meeting was presided over by Pastor William J. Seymour and was dramatized by strange miracles, people talking in tongues and inter-racial bonding.



The First Volvo Car Is Rolled Out In Gothenburg, Sweden

Now a world renowned manufacture in the field of automobiles, Volvo rolled out their first car, Volvo ÖV 4, on April 14th, 1927. The car was custom made to withstand the climate and the harsh terrain of Sweden.



In Chicago, Videotape Is First Demonstrated

Showcasing the Mark IV at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters convention, as soon as William Lodge of CBS completed his speech, the machine replayed the moment to the awe of the onlookers.



Russian Spacecraft Sputnik 2 Become The First To Send A Living Animal Into Orbit

In order to examine the behavior of living animals in space, the Russian spacecraft carried a part-Samoyed terrier named Laika into space. The triangle shaped craft was just 13-foot high, two meters in width and weight 500 pounds. Scientists claimed that the dog died after few hours in orbit due to overheating.



The First Civilian Use Of Nuclear Batteries

In what was a significant breakthrough with regard to electricity, NASA’s Nimbus III weather satellite experimented with the first ever nuclear battery that used radioactive isotopes to generate electricity. The battery came with a hefty prize but assured longevity and mass production of electricity.



Space Shuttle Columbia Completes Its First Ever Flight

Making history for being the first ever operational space shuttle, the Space shuttle Columbus launched on April 12th and returned to the earth on 14th after making 36 orbits of the earth. The flight was commanded by veteran John Young, who was the ninth man to walk on the moon.



The Human Genome Project Is Completed

A project that resulted in what was one of the biggest medical breakthroughs; scientist finally completed the Human Genome project, which was the mapping of the human genome, with a 99.9% accuracy rate.



U.S Troops Apprehend Abu Abbas, A Convicted Palestinian Terrorist, In Baghdad

In what was a firm step towards their fight against terrorism, U.S troops encompassed the compound of a residing Palestinian terrorist. Abu Abbas was notorious for his hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and the killing of a wheelchair bound U.S citizen in 1985.



The Oregon Supreme Court Nullifies Marriage Licenses Issued To Gay Couples

Under the pretext that the marriage rights for gays is that of a state concern and not just that of Multnomah County, the Supreme Court invalidated the licenses of more than 3,000 gay couples which the county had granted.



Chibok Schoolgirls Kidnapping

On the very same day of the Nyanya, Nigeria bomb blasts carried out by the terrorist group Boko Haram, the group abducted 276 school girls from a Government Secondary School in Chibok. The girls were used as sex slaves and cooks.

People Born This Day

Friedrich von Amerling
Portrait Painter [ Austrian ]
Anne Sullivan
American Teacher, Instructor [ American ]
B. R. Ambedkar
Indian Jurist [ Indian ]
Loretta Lynn
Singer-songwriter [ American ]
Adrien Brody
Actor, Producer [ American ]
Arnold J. Toynbee
Historian [ British ]
Christiaan Huygens
Mathematician, Physicist [ Dutch ]
Sarah Michelle Gellar
Actress [ American ]
Ali Akbar Khan
Musician [ Indian ]
Abigail Breslin
Actress [ American ]
Julia Zemiro
Television presenter [ Australian ]
V. Gordon Childe
Archaeologist and Philologist [ Australian ]
Augustus Pitt Rivers
Father of British Archaeology [ British ]
Philosopher [ Spanish ]
Rod Steiger
Actor [ American ]
François Duvalier
Politician, Physician [ Haitian ]
Faisal of Saudi Arabia
Former King of Saudi Arabia [ Saudi Arabian ]
Amy Dumas (Lita)
Professional Wrestler [ American ]
Frances Ford Seymour
Socialite [ Canadian ]
Regent of Maratha Empire [ Indian ]
Gollapudi Maruti Rao
Actor [ Indian ]
Princess Beatrice of the United Kingdom
Youngest Child of Queen Victoria [ British ]
Antony Michael Hall
Actor [ American ]
Ellington Ratliff
Drummer [ American ]
Peter Capaldi
Actor [ Scottish ]
Abby Franke
YouTube Star [ American ]
Philip III of Spain
King [ Spanish ]
Kent Jones
Rapper, Record Producer [ American ]
Michael Vasquez
Instagram Star [ American ]
Da Brat
Rapper, Actress [ American ]
Chris Wood
Actor [ American ]
Alonzo Howard
Instagram Star [ American ]
Melissa Sandoval
Pop Singer, YouTube Star, Vine Star [ American ]
Michelle McNamara
Freelance Writer, Blogger [ American ]
Berry Berenson
Photographer [ American ]
Marsellos Wilder
Boxer, Brother of Deontay Wilder [ American ]
Matthew Rutler
Guitarist [ American ]
Sibylle Szaggars
Artist [ German ]
Sandra Blazic
Actress [ Serbian ]
James Alexander Hamilton
Son of Alexander Hamilton [ American ]
Paige McKenzie
YouTuber, Actress, Author [ American ]
Gina McKee
Actor [ British ]
Tom Franco
Actor [ American ]
Georgina Chapman
Fashion Designer [ British ]
Bradford Dillman
Actor [ American ]
Alex Martini
Assistant Director [ American ]
Adna Chaffee
Army General [ American ]
Brady Potter
Instagram Star, YouTube star [ American ]

People Died This Day

Aleksandr Scriabin
Composer, Pianist [ Russian ]
Emmy Noether
Mathematician [ German ]
George Frideric Handel
Composer [ German ]
Simone de Beauvoir
Writer [ French ]
Ramana Maharshi
Philosopher [ Indian ]
M. Visvesvaraya
Civil Engineer [ Indian ]
Louis Sullivan
Pioneering Architect [ American ]
Rachel Carson
Marine biologist [ American ]
Ernest Bevin
British statesman [ British ]
Fredric March
Actor [ American ]
William Lipscomb
Chemist [ American ]
John Singer Sargent
Artist [ Italian ]
Anthony Newley
Actor [ British ]
Frances Ford Seymour
Socialite [ Canadian ]
Yakov Dzhugashvili
Joseph Stalin's Son [ Georgian ]
Ellen Corby
Actress [ American ]
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