Monday, April 2, 2012

April 2 in History

* 1513 – Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León first sights land in what is now Florida.
* 1755 – Commodore William James captures the pirate fortress of Suvarnadurg on west coast of India.
* 1792 – The Coinage Act is passed establishing the United States Mint.
* 1800 – Ludwig van Beethoven leads the premiere of his First Symphony in Vienna.
* 1801 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Copenhagen – The British destroy the Danish fleet.
* 1851 – Rama IV is crowned King of Thailand.
* 1863 – Richmond Bread Riot: Food shortages incite hundreds of angry women to riot in Richmond, Virginia and demand that the Confederate government release emergency supplies.
* 1865 – American Civil War: The Siege of Petersburg is broken – Union troops capture the trenches around Petersburg, Virginia, forcing Confederate General Robert E. Lee to retreat.
* 1865 – American Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet flee the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
* 1885 – Cree warriors attacked the village of Frog Lake, North-West Territories, Canada, killing 9.
* 1900 – The Congress passes the Foraker Act, giving Puerto Rico limited self-rule.
* 1902 – Dmitry Sipyagin, Minister of Interior of the Russian Empire, is assassinated in the Marie Palace, St Petersburg.
* 1902 – "Electric Theatre", the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opens in Los Angeles, California.
* 1911 – The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducts the country's first national census.
* 1912 – The ill fated RMS Titanic begins sea trials.
* 1917 – World War I: President Woodrow Wilson asks the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.
* 1930 – After the mysterious death of Empress Zewditu, Haile Selassie is proclaimed emperor of Ethiopia.
* 1945 – Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Brazil are established.
* 1956 – As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiere on CBS-TV. The two soaps become the first daytime dramas to debut in the 30-minute format.
* 1962 – The first official Panda crossing is opened outside Waterloo station, London.
* 1972 – Actor Charlie Chaplin returns to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s.
* 1973 – Launch of the LexisNexis computerized legal research service.
* 1973 – The Liberal Movement breaks away from the Liberal and Country League in South Australia.
* 1975 – Vietnam War: Thousands of civilian refugees flee from the Quang Ngai Province in front of advancing North Vietnamese troops.
* 1975 – Construction of the CN Tower is completed in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It reaches 553.33 metres (1,815.4 ft) in height, becoming the world's tallest free-standing structure.
* 1980 – President Jimmy Carter signs the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act in an effort to help the U.S. economy rebound.
* 1982 – Falklands War: Argentina invades the Falkland Islands.
* 1984 – Squadron Leader Rakesh Sharma is launched aboard Soyuz T-11, and becomes the first Indian in space.
* 1989 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in Havana, Cuba to meet with Fidel Castro in an attempt to mend strained relations.
* 1991 – Rita Johnston becomes the first female Premier of a Canadian province when she succeeds William Vander Zalm (who had resigned) as Premier of British Columbia.
* 1992 – In New York, Mafia boss John Gotti is convicted of murder and racketeering and is later sentenced to life in prison.
* 2002 – Israeli forces surround the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem into which armed Palestinians had retreated. A siege ensues.
* 2004 – Islamist terrorists involved in the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks attempt to bomb the Spanish high-speed train AVE near Madrid. Their attack is thwarted.
* 2006 – Over 60 tornadoes break out in the United States; hardest hit is in Tennessee with 29 people killed.
* 2011 – India beat Sri Lanka in the finals of the Cricket World Cup to win the tournament title.

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