On This Day … 14 April


  • 43 BC – Battle of Forum Gallorum: Mark Antony, besieging Caesar’s assassin Decimus Brutus in Mutina, defeats the forces of the consul Pansa, but is then immediately defeated by the army of the other consul, Aulus Hirtius.
  • AD 69 – Vitellius, commander of the Rhine armies, defeats Emperor Otho in the Battle of Bedriacum to take power over Rome.
  • AD 70 – Siege of Jerusalem: Titus, son of emperor Vespasian, surrounds the Jewish capital with four Roman legions.
  • 193 – Septimius Severus is proclaimed Roman emperor by the army in Illyricum (in the Balkans).
  • 966 – After his marriage to the Christian Doubravka of Bohemia, the pagan ruler of the Polans, Mieszko I, converts to Christianity, an event considered to be the founding of the Polish state.
  • 1205 – Battle of Adrianople between Bulgarians and Crusaders.
  • 1341 – Sack of Saluzzo (Italy) by Italian-Angevine troops under Manfred V, Marquess of Saluzzo.
  • 1471 – In England, the Yorkists under Edward IV defeat the Lancastrians under the Earl of Warwick at the Battle of Barnet; the Earl is killed and Edward IV resumes the throne.
  • 1561 – A celestial phenomenon is reported over Nuremberg, described as an aerial battle.
  • 1639 – Imperial forces are defeated by the Swedes at the Battle of Chemnitz. The Swedish victory prolongs the Thirty Years’ War and allows them to advance into Bohemia.
  • 1699 – Khalsa: The Sikh religion was formalised as the Khalsa – the brotherhood of Warrior-Saints – by Guru Gobind Singh in northern India, in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar.
  • 1775 – The first abolition society in North America is established. The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage is organized in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.
  • 1816 – Bussa, a slave in British-ruled Barbados, leads a slave rebellion and is killed. For this, he is remembered as the first national hero of Barbados.
  • 1849 – Hungary declares itself independent of Austria with Lajos Kossuth as its leader.
  • 1865 – U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and his family are attacked at home by Lewis Powell (a Confederate soldier).
  • 1931 – The Spanish Cortes deposes King Alfonso XIII and proclaims the Second Spanish Republic.
  • 1940 – World War II: Royal Marines land in Namsos, Norway in preparation for a larger force to arrive two days later.
  • 1941 – World War II: German general Erwin Rommel attacks Tobruk.
  • 1942 – Malta is awarded the George Cross for heroism and devotion during the siege of Malta; the cross is now an emblem on the Maltese national flag.
  • 1944 – Bombay explosion: A massive explosion in Bombay harbour kills 300 and causes economic damage valued then at 20 million pounds.
  • 1945 – Razing of Friesoythe: The 4th Canadian (Armoured) Division deliberately destroyed the German town of Friesoythe on the orders of Major General Christopher Vokes.
  • 1988 – The USS Samuel B. Roberts strikes a mine in the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnest Will.
  • 1988 – In a United Nations ceremony in Geneva, Switzerland, the Soviet Union signs an agreement pledging to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan.
  • 1991 – The Republic of Georgia introduces the post of President after its declaration of independence from the Soviet Union.
  • 1994 – In a U.S. friendly fire incident during Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, two United States Air Force aircraft mistakenly shoot-down two United States Army helicopters, killing 26 people.
  • 1999 – NATO mistakenly bombs a convoy of ethnic Albanian refugees. Yugoslav officials say 75 people were killed.
  • 2002 – Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez returns to office two days after being ousted and arrested by the country’s military.
  • 2003 – U.S. troops in Baghdad capture Abu Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner the MS Achille Lauro in 1985.

People (Births)

  • 1668 – Magnus Julius De la Gardie, Swedish general and politician (d. 1741).
  • 1769 – Barthélemy Catherine Joubert, French general (d. 1799).
  • 1812 – George Grey, Portuguese-New Zealand soldier, explorer, and politician, 11th Prime Minister of New Zealand (d. 1898).
  • 1827 – Augustus Pitt Rivers, English general, ethnologist, and archaeologist (d. 1900).
  • 1925 – Rod Steiger, American soldier and actor (d. 2002).
  • 1931 – Geoffrey Dalton, English admiral.
  • 1936 – Frank Serpico, American-Italian soldier, police officer and lecturer.

People (Deaths)

  • 1322 – Bartholomew de Badlesmere, 1st Baron Badlesmere, English soldier and politician, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports (b. 1275).
  • 1471 – Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, English commander and politician (b. 1428).
  • 1943 – Yakov Dzhugashvili, Georgian-Russian lieutenant (b. 1907).
  • 2014 – Mick Staton, American soldier and politician (b. 1940).

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