On This Day … 29 April


  • 1091 – Battle of Levounion: The Pechenegs are defeated by Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos.
  • 1386 – Battle of the Vikhra River: The Principality of Smolensk is defeated by the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and becomes its vassal.
  • 1429 – Joan of Arc arrives to relieve the Siege of Orléans.
  • 1483 – Gran Canaria, the main island of the Canary Islands, is conquered by the Kingdom of Castile.
  • 1521 – Swedish War of Liberation: Swedish troops defeat a Danish force in the Battle of Västerås.
  • 1770 – James Cook arrives in Australia at Botany Bay, which he names.
  • 1781 – American Revolutionary War: British and French ships clash in the Battle of Fort Royal off the coast of Martinique.
  • 1834 – Charles Darwin during the second survey voyage of HMS Beagle, ascended the Bell mountain, Cerro La Campana on 17 August 1834, his visit being commemorated by a memorial plaque.
  • 1861 – American Civil War: Maryland’s House of Delegates votes not to secede from the Union.
  • 1862 – American Civil War: The Capture of New Orleans by Union forces under David Farragut.
  • 1864 – Theta Xi fraternity is founded at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the only fraternity to be founded during the American Civil War.
  • 1910 – The Parliament of the United Kingdom passes the People’s Budget, the first budget in British history with the expressed intent of redistributing wealth among the British public.
  • 1916 – World War I: The UK’s 6th Indian Division surrenders to Ottoman Forces at the Siege of Kut in one of the largest surrenders of British forces up to that point.
  • 1916 – Easter Rising: After six days of fighting, Irish rebel leaders surrender to British forces in Dublin, bringing the Easter Rising to an end.
  • 1944 – World War II: British agent Nancy Wake, a leading figure in the French Resistance and the Gestapo’s most wanted person, parachutes back into France to be a liaison between London and the local maquis group.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Surrender of Caserta is signed by the commander of German forces in Italy.
  • 1945 – World War II: Airdrops of food begin over German-occupied regions of the Netherlands.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Captain-class frigate HMS Goodall (K479) is torpedoed by U-286 outside the Kola Inlet becoming the last Royal Navy ship to be sunk in the European theatre of World War II.
  • 1945 – World War II: Führerbunker: Adolf Hitler marries his longtime partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker and designates Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor; Hitler and Braun both commit suicide the following day.
  • 1945 – Dachau concentration camp is liberated by United States troops.
  • 1945 – The Italian commune of Fornovo di Taro is liberated from German forces by Brazilian forces.
  • 1946 – The International Military Tribunal for the Far East convenes and indicts former Prime Minister of Japan Hideki Tojo and 28 former Japanese leaders for war crimes.
  • 1967 – After refusing induction into the United States Army the previous day, Muhammad Ali is stripped of his boxing title.
  • 1968 – The controversial musical Hair, a product of the hippie counter-culture and sexual revolution of the 1960s, opens at the Biltmore Theatre on Broadway, with some of its songs becoming anthems of the anti-Vietnam War movement.
  • 1970 – Vietnam War: United States and South Vietnamese forces invade Cambodia to hunt Viet Cong.
  • 1975 – Vietnam War: Operation Frequent Wind: The US begins to evacuate U.S. citizens from Saigon before an expected North Vietnamese takeover. US involvement in the war comes to an end.
  • 1975 – Vietnam War: The North Vietnamese army completes its capture of all parts of South Vietnamese-held Trường Sa Islands.
  • 1997 – The Chemical Weapons Convention of 1993 enters into force, outlawing the production, stockpiling and use of chemical weapons by its signatories.
  • Day of Remembrance for all Victims of Chemical Warfare (United Nations).

People (Births)

  • 912 – Minamoto no Mitsunaka, Japanese samurai (d. 997).
  • 1665 – James Butler, 2nd Duke of Ormonde, Irish general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (d. 1745).
  • 1758 – Georg Carl von Döbeln, Swedish general (d. 1820).
  • 1837 – Georges Ernest Boulanger, French general and politician, French Minister of War (d. 1891).
  • 1880 – Fethi Okyar, Turkish military officer, diplomat and politician (d. 1943).
  • 1882 – Hendrik Nicolaas Werkman, Dutch printer, typographer, and Nazi resister (d. 1945).
  • 1900 – Concha de Albornoz, Spanish feminist and intellectual, exiled during the Spanish Civil War (d. 1972).
  • 1901 – Hirohito, Japanese emperor (d. 1989).
  • 1934 – Peter de la Billière, English general.

People (Deaths)

  • 643 – Hou Junji, Chinese general and politician, Chancellor of the Tang dynasty.
  • 1630 – Agrippa d’Aubigné, French soldier and poet (b. 1552).
  • 1676 – Michiel de Ruyter, Dutch admiral (b. 1607).
  • 1854 – Henry Paget, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, English field marshal and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland (b. 1768).
  • 1920 – William H. Seward Jr., American general and banker (b. 1839).
  • 1945 – Matthias Kleinheisterkamp, German SS officer (b. 1893).
  • 1956 – Harold Bride, English soldier and operator (b. 1890).
  • 1956 – Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, German field marshal (b. 1876).
  • 1959 – Kenneth Arthur Noel Anderson, India-born English soldier and Governor of Gibraltar (b. 1891).
  • 2007 – Milt Bocek, American baseball player and soldier (b. 1912).

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