Wednesday, 4 April 2018

April 4, 2018

1,830 years ago

Born on this date
. Roman Emperor, 198-217. Caracalla, born Marcus Aurelius Severus Antoninus Augustus, was a member of the Severan Dynasty, and reigned jointly with his father Septimius Severus until his father's death in 211. Caracalla then reigned jointly with his brother Geta, but had Geta murdered later in 211. Under Caracalla's reign the Constitutio Antoniniana was proclaimed, granting Roman citizenship to nearly all freemen throughout the Roman Empire. Caracalla was and is regarded as one of the most tyrannical of Roman Emperors. On April 8, 217, four days after his 29th birthday, Caracalla was travelling in southern Turkey when he stopped to urinate at a roadside and was stabbed to death by Justin Martialis, a soldier who was angry at being refused an appointment as a centurion. Justin Martialis was immediately killed; three days later, Macrinus, with the support of the Roman army, declared himself Emperor.

430 years ago

Died on this date
Frederick II, 53
. King of Denmark and Norway, 1559-1588. Frederick succeeded his father Christian III on the throne. He unsuccessfully attempted to conquer Sweden in the Scandinavian Seven Years' War (1563-1570), which almost resulted in the loss of Norway. It was commonly believed that King Frederick drank himself to death. He was succeeded on the throne by his eldest son Christian IV.

425 years ago

Born on this date
Edward Nicholas
. English politician. Sir Edward held various offices in a career lasting almost 50 years, including Secretary of State under King Charles I from 1641-1646. Sir Edward supported the Royalist cause during the English Civil War and went into exile with the court, returning as Secretary of State for the Southern Department from 1660-1662 after the restoration of King Charles II. Sir Edward died in 1669 at the age of 75 or 76.

250 years ago

Popular culture
In London, Philip Astley staged the first modern circus.

200 years ago

Born on this date
Thomas Mayne Reid
. U.K.-born author. Mr. Reid, a native of Ireland who spent much of his life in the United States, wrote numerous adventure novels set in exotic locales. He died on October 22, 1883 at the age of 65.

Congress adopted a U.S. flag with 13 stripes and 20 stars--one star for each state, with a new star to be added for every new state.

175 years ago

Born on this date
William Henry Jackson
. U.S. artist and photographer. Mr. Jackson served in the Union Army during the American Civil War and then explored the western states, becoming famous for his paintings and photographs of the American West. He died on June 30, 1942 at the age of 99.

130 years ago

Died on this date
Emma Elizabeth Smith, 45 (?)
. U.K. murder victim. Ms. Smith, a prostitute, was assaulted and robbed by two or three men in the impoverished Whitechapel district in the East End of London early on the morning of April 3. She was able to walk home, but then was taken to London Hospital, where it was discovered that a blunt object had been inserted into her vagina, rupturing her peritoneum. She died of peritonitis on April 4. Miss Smith's murder was the first of 11 murders of women in Whitechapel from 1888-1891 that were gathered into a single police file. Five murders later in the year were attributed to "Jack the Ripper."

125 years ago

Politics and government
The Ontario Provincial Parliament building was opened by Ontario Lieutenant-Governor George Airey Kirkpatrick in Queen's Park, Toronto. Appropriately, it was built on the site of a lunatic asylum.

100 years ago

Born on this date
Gerry Johnson
. U.S. actress. Miss Johnson, born Geraldine Schreiber, was best known for providing the voice of Betty Rubble in the last two seasons of the animated television comedy series The Flintstones (1964-1966). She died on January 24, 1990 at the age of 71.

George Jellicoe, 2nd Earl Jellicoe. U.K. politician. Lord Jellicoe, a Conservative, was a member of the House of Lords from 1939 until his death. His various offices over the years included First Lord of the Admiralty (1963-1964) and Lord Privy Seal and Leader of the House of Lords (1970-1973). He resigned from the latter post after admitting to having casual affairs with call girls. Lord Jellicoe died on February 22, 2007 at the age of 88.

The Canadian cabinet passed a wartime order-in-council stipulating that every male between 16 and 60 be regularly employed.

90 years ago


The island of Las Palmas (Miangas), lying between the Dutch East Indies and the Philippines, belonged to Holland, according to a decision handed down by Professor Max Huber, a Swiss statesman who had been arbitrating a dispute between the United States and the Netherlands respecting the island’s sovereignty.

Canadian inventor Reginald Fessenden was awarded $2.5 million by the Radio Trust in Boston after a lawsuit.

80 years ago

Henry Picard won the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club in Augusta, Georgia with a 3-under-par score of 285, 2 strokes ahead of Harry Cooper and Ralph Guldahl. First prize money was $1,500.

75 years ago

U.K. Royal Air Force planes dropped an estimated 900 tons of bombs on the Krupp Works in Essen, with the reported loss of 21 heavy bombers. Allied forces captured Cap Serrat on the Mediterranean Sea, 25 miles west of Bizerte.

Alberta Premier William Aberhart delivered his last lecture at Prophetic Bible Institute in Calgary.

A New York Times survey given to 7,000 U.S. college freshmen indicated that a large majority had little knowledge of elementary American history.

Stanley Cup
Boston 3 @ Detroit 4 (Detroit led best-of-seven series 2-0)

Syd Howe's goal with 6:44 remaining in regulation time proved to be the winner as the Red Wings edged the Bruins at Olympia Stadium. Art Jackson scored 2 goals for the Bruins, including one with 3:22 remaining in the 3rd period to close the scoring.

70 years ago

On the radio
The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, starring John Stanley and Alfred Shirley, on MBS
Tonight's episode: Lady Waverley's Imitation Pearls

Politics and government
The first round of voting in Algeria's first legislative elections as a French colony resulted in a victory for pro-French and Gaullist candidates.

New York Governor Thomas Dewey signed a bill establishing a state university system.

Figure skating
Dick Button and Gretchen Merrill retained their respective U.S. men's and women's titles at the national championships in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Stanley Cup
Detroit 4 @ New York 2 (Detroit won best-of-seven series 4-2)

Red Kelly, Gordie Howe, and Pat Lundy scored in the 1st period to give the Red Wings a 3-0 lead as they held on to eliminate the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. Jim McFadden scored midway through the 3rd period to make the score 4-0, but Don Raleigh scored 2 goals for the Rangers, with the final goal coming with 52 seconds remaining.

60 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in the U.K. (New Musical Express): Magic Moments--Perry Como (6th week at #1)

On television tonight
Harbor Command, starring Wendell Corey
Tonight's episode: Date with Eternity

Died on this date
Johnny Stompanato, 32
. U.S. gangster. Mr. Stompanato, a former U.S. Marine and former bodyguard of gangster Mickey Cohen, had been dating actress Lana Turner for about a year when he was fatally stabbed at her home in Los Angeles, officially by her 14-year-old daughter Cheryl Crane, who claimed she was defending her mother from a vicious beating by Mr. Stompanato. A coroner's inquest returned a verdict of justifiable homicide.

Tunisian President Habib Bourguiba rejected French plans for international control of the Algerian-Tunisian border on grounds that it would imply Tunisian recognition of French sovereignty in Algeria.

Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru rejected United Nations proposals for an Indian-Pakistani conference on Kashmir as "totally and absolutely unacceptable" because they implied Indian recognition of Pakistan's alleged aggression in Kashmir.

U.S.S.R. Premier Nikita Khrushchev formally appealed to U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower and U.K. Prime Miniser Harold Macmillan to join the Soviet Union in halting atmospheric nuclear tests.

Politics and government
The Dutch Communist Party ousted four members of Parliament from the party and suspended another from party leadership after party Secretary General Paul de Groot accused them of "rightist activities."

The U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Legislative Oversight issued a preliminary report indicating that "highly improper activities" had become common practice in the Federal Communications Commission.

Popular culture
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament peace symbol was displayed in public for the first time in London.

U.S. President Eisenhower declared California a major disaster area eligible for federal funds after five days of heavy rain and melting mountain snow caused 12 deaths and an estimated $15 million damage to San Joaquin Valley farmlands.

50 years ago

At the movies
The Party, written and directed by Blake Edwards and starring Peter Sellers, opened in theatres.

Died on this date
Martin Luther King, Jr., 39
. U.S. clergyman and civil rights activist. "Dr." King (he plagiarized to get his doctorate), born Michael King, was gunned down (see also here) as he stood on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee; he was in the city to encourage striking sanitation workers. James Earl Ray was convicted of the murder, but promptly changed his mind three days after pleading guilty, and spent his remaining 30 years claiming that he was a fall guy for a larger conspiracy. The King family supported Mr. Ray's bid for a new trial. The Federal Bureau of Investigation had quite a dossier on Rev. King, but in 1977 the files were ordered sealed for 50 years, which I find very suspicious; we have to wait only another 9 years until the files are released. In the meantime, the reader might want to do a Google search on "Martin Luther King" and "prostitutes," and see how many entries come up.

The United States launched Apollo 6, the second unmanned test of the Saturn V rocket. In contrast to the flawless Apollo 4 mission of five months earlier, Apollo 6 experienced a few problems. While the S-I first stage was still thrusting, the vehicle began showing pogo (a strong vibration) that hadn’t been anticipated. Because of the pogo, part of the adapter between the S-IVB third stage and the Apollo command service module (CSM) came apart. The first stage shut down as planned, and the S-II second stage fired up, but four minutes into a planned six-minute burn, two of the five engines on that stage shut down, resulting in the vehicle flying lower and slower than it should have. The burn then went too long, resulting in the vehicle being at too high an altitude, and pointing toward the earth. It then pitched itself too far upward, went into orbit thrusting backward, and ended up in an elliptical, instead of circular, orbit. The S-IVB third stage didn’t restart as scheduled after two orbits, and the CSM was separated from that stage and the engine on the service module lit up for a 7-minute, 22-second burn, sending the CSM into an elliptical orbit, simulating a high-speed re-entry from a moon mission. The command module ended up safely in the Pacific Ocean. Had it been a manned mission, the escape tower would have been commanded to fire after the S-II engine failures, and the spacecraft would have pulled away from the Saturn for a parachute landing in the Pacific Ocean. The problems of Apollo 6 initially made it appear that another unmanned Saturn V test would be needed before manned flights could be made, but space program experts determined that the pogo problem could be solved. The S-II engine failure was eventually traced to a wiring problem, and the S-IVB failure to a rupture in the propellant feed line. It was possible to fix all of these problems without requiring a third unmanned Saturn V mission.

The United Nations Security Council urged the stationing of UN observers on the Israeli-Jordanian cease-fire line to prevent further violence. Jordan opposed the UN patrols on its territory because of fears that this could permanently solidify Israel’s hold on Jordan’s west bank.

Stanley Cup
Boston 1 @ Montreal 2 (Montreal led best-of-seven series 1-0)
Chicago 1 @ New York 3 (New York led best-of-seven series 1-0)
St. Louis 1 @ Philadelphia 0 (St. Louis led best-of-seven series 1-0)
Minnesota 1 @ Los Angeles 2 (Los Angeles led best-of-seven series 1-0)

Adams Cup
Fort Worth 0 @ Dallas 3 (Best-of-five series tied 2-2)

A.E.K. Athens B.C. became the first Greek team to win the European Cup.

Eastern Division Finals
Minnesota 117 @ Pittsburgh 125 (Pittsburgh led best-of-seven series 1-0)

40 years ago

Fort Worth 3 @ Dallas 2
Salt Lake City 3 @ Kansas City 2

30 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in Australia (Australian Music Report): I Should Be So Lucky--Kylie Minogue (4th week at #1)

Died on this date
Charlie Snell, 94
. U.S. baseball player. Mr. Snell, born Charles Schnell, was a catcher who played in 8 games with the St. Louis Browns in 1912, batting .211 with no home runs or runs batted in. He played in the minor leagues from at least 1913-1915.

Jack Aragón, 72. Cuban-born U.S. baseball player. Mr. Aragón moved to New York at a young age, and was a catcher who played in 801 games in the minor leagues from 1937-1941 and 1944-1951. He appeared as a pinch runner with the New York Giants on August 13, 1941 in his only major league game. Mr. Aragón managed in the minors from 1948-1952, compiling a record of 201-225-5.

The Arizona Senate convicted Governor Evan Mecham by a vote of 21-9 of obstructing justice, and removed him from office. It had been charged that Mr. Mecham, a fine upstanding Mormon and Republican, had sought to interfere in the investigation of a death threat by an aide to a grand jury witness. The Senate also voted 26-4 to convict Mr. Mecham of an illegal loan of $80,000 in state money to his automobile dealership.

Politics and government
Michael Dukakis won a narrow victory over Jesse Jackson in the Colorado caucus as the contest for the 1988 Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States continued.

Men's championship
Kansas 83 Oklahoma 79

Danny Manning grabbed 18 rebounds and scored 31 points, including the last 4 points of the game from the free-throw line in the final seconds, as the Jayhawks, under Coach Larry Brown, upset the Sooners. It was the second title for the Jayhawks; the first came under coach Phog Allen in 1952.

Toronto Blue Jays' designated hitter George Bell became the first major league player to hit 3 home runs on opening day as the Blue Jays beat the Kansas City Royals 5-3 before 40,648 fans at Royals Stadium. All of Mr. Bell's home runs were hit off Kansas City starting pitcher Bret Saberhagen.

Darryl Strawberry and Kevin McReynolds each hit 2 home runs and their teammates added 2 more homers as the New York Mets opened the season with a 10-6 win over the Montreal Expos before 55,413 fans at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. Mr. Strawberry's second home run travelled 535 feet and was believed to be the longest ever hit at Olympic Stadium. The Mets' total of 6 homers was a single team record for opening day.

25 years ago

Hit parade
#1 single in New Zealand: In the Still of the Nite (I'll Remember)--Boyz II Men (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Austria (Ö3): All that She Wants--Ace of Base (2nd week at #1)

#1 single in Switzerland: No Limit--2 Unlimited (3rd week at #1)

#1 single in Ireland (IRMA): Oh Carolina--Shaggy

Died on this date
Alfred Mosher Butts, 93. U.S. architect and game creator. Mr. Butts was unemployed in the early 1930s when he invented the board game Scrabble, which combined crossword puzzles and anagrams. He eventually sold he rights to the game to James Brunot. Mr. Butts also created Alfreds Other Game, a word game which first appeared in 1985.

U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin concluded two days of talks in Vancouver, British Columbia. Mr. Clinton pledged $1.6 billion in aid to support Mr. Yeltsin's economic reforms. The package included credits for increased food and medical assistance, with funds for industries and technical advisers.

World men's championship
Canada 8 Scotland 4

The Canadian rink was skipped by Russ Howard, whose rink had previously won the world championship in 1987.

Philadelphia 4 Toronto 0

20 years ago

San Jose 5 @ Toronto 3

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