On This Day … 09 April


  • 190 – Dong Zhuo has his troops evacuate the capital Luoyang and burn it to the ground.
  • 537 – Siege of Rome: The Byzantine general Belisarius receives his promised reinforcements, 1,600 cavalry, mostly of Hunnic or Slavic origin and expert bowmen. He starts, despite shortages, raids against the Gothic camps and Vitiges is forced into a stalemate.
  • 1241 – Battle of Liegnitz: Mongol forces defeat the Polish and German armies.
  • 1288 – Mongol invasions of Vietnam: Yuan forces are defeated by Trần forces in the Battle of Bach Dang in present-day northern Vietnam.
  • 1388 – Despite being outnumbered 16 to 1, forces of the Old Swiss Confederacy are victorious over the Archduchy of Austria in the Battle of Näfels.
  • 1454 – The Treaty of Lodi is signed, establishing a balance of power among northern Italian city-states for almost 50 years.
  • 1585 – The expedition organised by Sir Walter Raleigh departs England for Roanoke Island (now in North Carolina) to establish the Roanoke Colony.
  • 1609 – Eighty Years’ War: Spain and the Dutch Republic sign the Treaty of Antwerp to initiate twelve years of truce.
  • 1682 – Robert Cavelier de La Salle discovers the mouth of the Mississippi River, claims it for France and names it Louisiana.1782 – American Revolutionary War: Battle of the Saintes begins.
  • 1784 – The Treaty of Paris, ratified by the US Congress on 14 January 1784, is ratified by King George III of the Kingdom of Great Britain, ending the American Revolutionary War.
    • Copies of the ratified documents are exchanged on 12 May 1784.
  • 1860 – On his phonautograph machine, Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville makes the oldest known recording of an audible human voice.
  • 1865 – American Civil War: Robert E. Lee surrenders the Army of Northern Virginia (26,765 troops) to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the war.
  • 1914 – Mexican Revolution: One of the world’s first naval/air skirmishes takes place off the coast of western Mexico.
  • 1916 – World War I: The Battle of Verdun: German forces launch their third offensive of the battle.
  • 1917 – World War I: The Battle of Arras: The battle begins with Canadian Corps executing a massive assault on Vimy Ridge.
  • 1918 – World War I: The Battle of the Lys: The Portuguese Expeditionary Corps is crushed by the German forces during what is called the Spring Offensive on the Belgian region of Flanders.
  • 1940 – World War II: Operation Weserübung: Germany invades Denmark and Norway.
  • 1940 – Vidkun Quisling seizes power in Norway.
  • 1942 – World War II: The Battle of Bataan ends.
    • An Indian Ocean raid by Japan’s 1st Air Fleet sinks the British aircraft carrier HMS Hermes and the Australian destroyer HMAS Vampire.
  • 1945 – Execution of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, anti-Nazi dissident and spy, by the Nazi regime.
  • 1945 – World War II: The German heavy cruiser Admiral Scheer is sunk by the Royal Air Force.
  • 1945 – World War II: The Battle of Königsberg, in East Prussia, ends.
  • 1947 – United Nations Security Council Resolution 22 relating to Corfu Channel incident is adopted.
  • 1948 – Fighters from the Irgun and Lehi Zionist paramilitary groups attacked Deir Yassin near Jerusalem, killing over 100.
  • 1952 – Hugo Ballivián’s government is overthrown by the Bolivian National Revolution, starting a period of agrarian reform, universal suffrage and the nationalization of tin mines
  • 1957 – The Suez Canal in Egypt is cleared and opens to shipping following the Suez Crisis.
  • 1969 – The first British-built Concorde 002 makes its maiden flight from Filton to RAF Fairford.
  • 1981 – The U.S. Navy nuclear submarine USS George Washington accidentally collides with the Nissho Maru, a Japanese cargo ship, sinking it.
  • 1989 – Tbilisi massacre: an anti-Soviet peaceful demonstration and hunger strike in Tbilisi, demanding restoration of Georgian independence, is dispersed by the Soviet Army, resulting in 20 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
  • 1990 – An IRA bombing in County Down, Northern Ireland, kills three members of the UDR.
  • 1992 – A US Federal Court finds former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega guilty of drug and racketeering charges. He is sentenced to 30 years in prison.
  • 1999 – Kosovo War: The Battle of Košare begins.
  • 2003 – Iraq War: Baghdad falls to American forces.
  • Anniversary of the German Invasion of Denmark (Denmark).
  • Baghdad Liberation Day (Iraqi Kurdistan).
  • Bataan Day or Araw ng Kagitingan (Philippines).
  • Martyr’s Day (Tunisia).
  • National Former Prisoner of War Recognition Day (United States).
  • Vimy Ridge Day (Canada).

People (Births)

  • 1624 – Henrik Rysensteen, Dutch military engineer (d. 1679).
  • 1648 – Henri de Massue, Earl of Galway, French soldier and diplomat (d. 1720).
  • 1649 – James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth, English general and politician, Lord Lieutenant of Staffordshire (d. 1685).
  • 1865 – Erich Ludendorff, German general and politician (d. 1937).
  • 1916 – Heinz Meyer, German Fallschirmjäger (paratrooper) during World War II (d. 1987).
  • 1926 – Gerry Fitt, Northern Irish soldier and politician; British life peer (d. 2005).
  • 1937 – Simon Brown, Baron Brown of Eaton-under-Heywood, English lieutenant, lawyer, and judge.
  • 1940 – Hans-Joachim Reske, German sprinter.
  • 1954 – Iain Duncan Smith, British soldier and politician, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.
  • 1959 – Bernard Jenkin, English businessman and politician, Shadow Secretary of State for Defence.
  • 1964 – Juliet Cuthbert, Jamaican sprinter.
  • 1969 – Linda Kisabaka, German runner.
  • 1984 – Habiba Ghribi, Tunisian runner.

People (Deaths)

  • 436 – Tan Daoji, Chinese general and politician.
  • 1747 – Simon Fraser, 11th Lord Lovat, Scottish soldier and politician (b. 1667).
  • 1944 – Yevgeniya Rudneva, Ukrainian lieutenant and pilot (b. 1920).
  • 1945 – Wilhelm Canaris, German admiral (b. 1887).
  • 1945 – Hans Oster, German general (b. 1887).
  • 1991 – Forrest Towns, American hurdler and coach (b. 1914).
  • 1999 – Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara, Nigerien general and politician, President of Niger (b. 1949).
  • 2002 – Leopold Vietoris, Austrian soldier, mathematician, and academic (b. 1891).

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