On This Day … 30 April


  • 313 – Battle of Tzirallum: Emperor Licinius defeats Maximinus II and unifies the Eastern Roman Empire.
  • 1492 – Spain gives Christopher Columbus his commission of exploration.
  • 1513 – Edmund de la Pole, Yorkist pretender to the English throne, is executed on the orders of Henry VIII.
  • 1557 – Mapuche leader Lautaro is killed by Spanish forces at the Battle of Mataquito in Chile.
  • 1598 – Juan de Oñate begins the conquest of Santa Fe de Nuevo México.
  • 1636 – Eighty Years’ War: Dutch Republic forces recapture a strategically important fort from Spain after a nine-month siege.
  • 1789 – On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.
  • 1803 – Louisiana Purchase: The United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of the young nation.
  • 1838 – Nicaragua declares independence from the Central American Federation.
  • 1863 – A 65-man French Foreign Legion infantry patrol fights a force of nearly 2,000 Mexican soldiers to nearly the last man in Hacienda Camarón, Mexico.
  • 1871 – The Camp Grant massacre takes place in Arizona Territory.
  • 1897 – J. J. Thomson of the Cavendish Laboratory announces his discovery of the electron as a subatomic particle, over 1,800 times smaller than a proton (in the atomic nucleus), at a lecture at the Royal Institution in London.
  • 1900 – Hawaii becomes a territory of the United States, with Sanford B. Dole as governor.
  • 1943 – World War II: The British submarine HMS Seraph surfaces near Huelva to cast adrift a dead man dressed as a courier and carrying false invasion plans.
  • 1945 – World War II: Führerbunker: Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun commit suicide after being married for less than 40 hours. Soviet soldiers raise the Victory Banner over the Reichstag building.
  • 1945 – World War II: Stalag Luft I prisoner-of-war camp near Barth, Germany is liberated by Soviet soldiers, freeing nearly 9000 American and British airmen.
  • 1961 – K-19, the first Soviet nuclear submarine equipped with nuclear missiles, is commissioned.
  • 1963 – The Bristol Bus Boycott is held in Bristol to protest the Bristol Omnibus Company’s refusal to employ Black or Asian bus crews, drawing national attention to racial discrimination in the United Kingdom.
  • 1975 – Fall of Saigon: Communist forces gain control of Saigon. The Vietnam War formally ends with the unconditional surrender of South Vietnamese president Dương Văn Minh.
  • 1980 – The Iranian Embassy siege begins in London.
  • 1993 – CERN announces World Wide Web protocols will be free.
  • 2004 – US media release graphic photos of American soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison.
  • 2008 – Two skeletal remains found near Yekaterinburg, Russia are confirmed by Russian scientists to be the remains of Alexei and Anastasia, two of the children of the last Tsar of Russia, whose entire family was executed at Yekaterinburg by the Bolsheviks.
  • Armed Forces Day (Georgia).
  • Camaron Day (French Foreign Legion).
  • Martyr’s Day (Pakistan).
  • Reunification Day (Vietnam).

People (Births)

  • 1710 – Johann Kaspar Basselet von La Rosée, Bavarian general (d. 1795).
  • 1758 – Emmanuel Vitale, Maltese commander and politician (d. 1802).
  • 1803 – Albrecht von Roon, Prussian soldier and politician, 10th Minister President of Prussia (d. 1879).
  • 1883 – Jaroslav Hašek, Czech soldier and author (d. 1923).
  • 1893 – Joachim von Ribbentrop, German soldier and politician, 14th German Reich Minister for Foreign Affairs (d. 1946).
  • 1908 – Frank Robert Miller, Canadian air marshal and politician (d. 1997).
  • 1945 – Michael J. Smith, American captain, pilot, and astronaut (d. 1986).

People (Deaths)

  • 1305 – Roger de Flor, Italian military adventurer (b. 1267).
  • 1439 – Richard de Beauchamp, 13th Earl of Warwick, English commander (b. 1382).
  • 1524 – Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard, French soldier (b. 1473).
  • 1632 – Johann Tserclaes, Count of Tilly, Bavarian general (b. 1559).
  • 1637 – Niwa Nagashige, Japanese daimyō (b. 1571).
  • 1863 – Jean Danjou, French captain (b. 1828).
  • 1865 – Robert FitzRoy, English admiral, meteorologist, and politician, 2nd Governor of New Zealand (b. 1805).
  • 1995 – Maung Maung Kha, Burmese colonel and politician, 8th Prime Minister of Burma (b. 1920).
  • 2005 – Phil Rasmussen, American lieutenant and pilot (b. 1918).

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