On This Day … 19 April


  • AD 65 – The freedman Milichus betrays Piso’s plot to kill the Emperor Nero and all the conspirators are arrested.
  • 531 – Battle of Callinicum: A Byzantine army under Belisarius is defeated by the Persians at Raqqa (northern Syria).
  • 797 – Empress Irene organizes a conspiracy against her son, the Byzantine emperor Constantine VI. He is deposed and blinded. Shortly after, Constantine dies of his wounds; Irene proclaims herself basileus.
  • 1608 – In Ireland: O’Doherty’s Rebellion is launched by the Burning of Derry.
  • 1677 – The French army captures the town of Cambrai held by Spanish troops.
  • 1713 to ensure that Habsburg lands and the Austrian throne would be inheritable by a female; his daughter and successor, Maria Theresa was not born until 1717.
  • 1770 – Captain James Cook, still holding the rank of lieutenant, sights the eastern coast of what is now Australia.
  • 1775 – American Revolutionary War: The war begins with an American victory in Concord during the battles of Lexington and Concord.
  • 1782 – John Adams secures the Dutch Republic’s recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The Hague, Netherlands becomes the first American embassy.
  • 1809 – An Austrian corps is defeated by the forces of the Duchy of Warsaw in the Battle of Raszyn, part of the struggles of the Fifth Coalition. On the same day the Austrian main army is defeated by a First French Empire Corps led by Louis-Nicolas Davout at the Battle of Teugen-Hausen in Bavaria, part of a four-day campaign that ended in a French victory.
  • 1810 – Venezuela achieves home rule: Vicente Emparán, Governor of the Captaincy General is removed by the people of Caracas and a junta is installed.
  • 1839 – The Treaty of London establishes Belgium as a kingdom and guarantees its neutrality.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Baltimore riot of 1861: A pro-Secession mob in Baltimore attacks United States Army troops marching through the city.
  • 1942 – World War II: In Poland, the Majdan-Tatarski ghetto is established, situated between the Lublin Ghetto and a Majdanek subcamp.
  • 1943 – World War II: In Poland, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins, after German troops enter the Warsaw Ghetto to round up the remaining Jews.
  • 1943 – Albert Hofmann deliberately doses himself with LSD for the first time, three days after having discovered its effects on April 16.
  • 1971 – Sierra Leone becomes a republic, and Siaka Stevens the president.
  • 1989 – A gun turret explodes on the USS Iowa, killing 47 sailors.
  • 2011 – Fidel Castro resigns as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba after holding the title since July 1961.
  • Army Day (Brazil).

People (Births)

  • 1655 – George St Lo, Royal Navy officer and administrator (d. 1718).
  • 1757 – Edward Pellew, 1st Viscount Exmouth, English admiral and politician (d. 1833).
  • 1758 – William Carnegie, 7th Earl of Northesk, Scottish admiral (d. 1831).
  • 1787 – Deaf Smith, American soldier (d. 1837).
  • 1917 – Sven Hassel, Danish-German soldier and author (d. 2012).
  • 1922 – Erich Hartmann, German colonel and pilot (d. 1993).
  • 1926 – Rawya Ateya, Egyptian captain and politician (d. 1997).
  • 1933 – Philip Lavallin Wroughton, English captain and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire.

People (Deaths)

  • 1578 – Uesugi Kenshin, Japanese samurai and warlord (b. 1530).
  • 1833 – James Gambier, 1st Baron Gambier, Bahamian-English admiral and politician, 36th Commodore Governor of Newfoundland (b. 1756).
  • 1993 – George S. Mickelson, American captain, lawyer, and politician, 28th Governor of South Dakota (b. 1941).
  • 2004 – Jenny Pike, Canadian WWII servicewoman and photographer (b. 1922).

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