On This Day … 01 April


  • 527 – Byzantine Emperor Justin I names his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne.
  • 1545 – Potosí, Bolivia, is founded after the discovery of huge silver deposits in the area.
  • 1572 – In the Eighty Years’ War, the Watergeuzen capture Brielle from the Seventeen Provinces, gaining the first foothold on land for what would become the Dutch Republic.
  • 1625 – A combined Spanish and Portuguese fleet of 52 ships commences the recapture of Bahia from the Dutch during the Dutch-Portuguese War.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: Union troops led by Philip Sheridan decisively defeat (Battle of Five Forks) Confederate troops led by George Pickett, cutting the Army of Northern Virginia’s last supply line.
  • 1867 – Singapore becomes a British crown colony.
  • 1908 – The Territorial Force (renamed Territorial Army in 1920) is formed as a volunteer reserve component of the British Army.
  • 1918 – The Royal Air Force is created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.
  • 1924 – Adolf Hitler is sentenced to five years imprisonment for his participation in the “Beer Hall Putsch” but spends only nine months in jail.
  • 1924 – The Royal Canadian Air Force is formed.
  • 1937 – Aden becomes a British crown colony.
  • 1937 – The Royal New Zealand Air Force is formed as an independent service.
  • 1939 – Spanish Civil War: Generalísimo Francisco Franco of the Spanish State announces the end of the Spanish Civil War, when the last of the Republican forces surrender.
  • 1941 – Fântâna Albă massacre: Between 200 and 2,000 Romanian civilians are killed by Soviet Border Troops.
  • 1941 – A military coup in Iraq overthrows the regime of ‘Abd al-Ilah and installs Rashid Ali al-Gaylani as Prime Minister.
  • 1944 – Navigation errors lead to an accidental American bombing of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Tenth United States Army attacks the Thirty-Second Japanese Army on Okinawa.
  • 1947 – The only mutiny in the history of the Royal New Zealand Navy begins.
  • 1948 – Cold War: Communist forces respond to the introduction of the Deutsche Mark by attempting to force the western powers to withdraw from Berlin.
  • 1948 – Faroe Islands gain autonomy from Denmark.
  • 1949 – Chinese Civil War: The Chinese Communist Party holds unsuccessful peace talks with the Nationalist Party in Beijing, after three years of fighting.
  • 1949 – The Government of Canada repeals Japanese-Canadian internment after seven years.
  • 1954 – United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.
  • 1955 – The EOKA rebellion against the British Empire begins in Cyprus, with the goal of unifying with Greece.
  • 1964 – The British Admiralty, War Office and Air Ministry are replaced by a unified Defence Council of the United Kingdom.
  • 1969 – The Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first operational fighter aircraft with Vertical/Short Takeoff and Landing capabilities, enters service with the Royal Air Force.
  • 1970 – President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, requiring the Surgeon General’s warnings on tobacco products and banning cigarette advertising on television and radio in the United States, effective 1 January 1971.
  • 1971 – Bangladesh Liberation War: The Pakistan Army massacre over 1,000 people in Keraniganj Upazila, Bangladesh.
  • 1979 – Iran becomes an Islamic republic by a 99% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah.
  • 1986 – Communist Party of Nepal (Mashal) cadres attack a number of police stations in Kathmandu, seeking to incite a popular rebellion.
  • 2001 – An EP-3E United States Navy surveillance aircraft collides with a Chinese People’s Liberation Army Shenyang J-8 fighter jet.
    • The Navy crew makes an emergency landing in Hainan, China and is detained.
  • 2001 – Former President of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Slobodan Milošević surrenders to police special forces, to be tried on war crimes charges.
  • 2016 – Nagorno-Karabakh clashes: The Four Day War or April War begins along the Nagorno-Karabakh line of contact on 01 April.

People (Births)

  • 1610 – Charles de Saint-Évremond, French soldier and critic (d. 1703).
  • 1815 – Otto von Bismarck, German lawyer and politician, 1st Chancellor of the German Empire (d. 1898).
  • 1910 – Bob Van Osdel, American high jumper and soldier (d. 1987).
  • 1919 – Joseph Murray, American surgeon and soldier, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2012).
  • 1924 – Brendan Byrne, American lieutenant, judge, and politician, 47th Governor of New Jersey (d. 2018).
  • 1951 – John Abizaid, American general.
  • 1969 – Lev Lobodin, Ukrainian-Russian decathlete.
  • 1977 – Haimar Zubeldia, Spanish cyclist.

People (Deaths)

  • 1431 – Nuno Álvares Pereira, Portuguese general (b. 1360).
  • 1839 – Benjamin Pierce, American soldier and politician, 11th Governor of New Hampshire (b. 1757).
  • 1878 – John C.W. Daly, English-Canadian soldier and politician (b. 1796).
  • 1890 – Alexander Mozhaysky, Russian soldier, pilot, and engineer (b. 1825).
  • 1924 – Lloyd Hildebrand, English cyclist (b. 1870).
  • 1924 – Stan Rowley, Australian sprinter (b. 1876).
  • 1950 – Recep Peker, Turkish soldier and politician, 6th Prime Minister of Turkey (b. 1889).
  • 1962 – Jussi Kekkonen, Finnish captain and businessman (b. 1910).
  • 2002 – Simo Häyhä, Finnish soldier and sniper (b. 1905).
  • 2006 – In Tam, Cambodian general and politician, 26th Prime Minister of Cambodia (b. 1916).
  • 2010 – Tzannis Tzannetakis, Greek soldier and politician, 175th Prime Minister of Greece (b. 1927).
  • 2012 – Lionel Bowen, Australian soldier, lawyer, and politician, Deputy Prime Minister of Australia (b. 1922).
  • 2013 – Moses Blah, Liberian general and politician, 23rd President of Liberia (b. 1947).
  • 2013 – Karen Muir, South African swimmer and physician (b. 1952).

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