<< Apr 16|      HISTORY “4” “2”DAY      |Apr 18 >>
Events, deaths, births, of 17 APR
v.8.30
[For Apr 17 Julian go to Gregorian date: 1583~1699: Apr 271700s: Apr 281800s: Apr 291900~2099: Apr 30]
ALTERNATE SITES      ANY DAY  OF THE YEAR IN HISTORY     ART “4” APR 17     wikipedia
• Benjamin Franklin dies... • Khmer Rouge victorious... • Hudson's last voyage... • Général Giraud escapes... • Guillotinés par la Révolution... • Protests against Vietnam War... • Bay of Pigs invasion... • Soviet invaders force Czech reformist leader to resign... • Yugoslavia surrenders... • Crippled spacecraft returns safely... • US~USSR race to get Nazi assets... • Ford Mustang car… • Connally acquitted of taking bribes... • Car self starter is patented... • An authentic [NOT!] life of Billy the Kid... • Out of Africa's author is born... • Encryption export restrictions challenged... • MGM is formed... • Ford Mustang car...
^  On a 17 April:
2002 It is announced that archeologists, in National Geographic sponsored excavations started in 1999, have discovered 2200 Inca mummies and more than 50'000 artifacts dating from 1480-1535 in the “Tupac Amaru” shantytown (Puruchuco-Huaquerones) near Lima, Peru.
^ 2001 Vietnam's top leader is replaced.
      The Communist Party's Central Committee removes Vietnam's top leader, Le Kha Phieu, amid dissatisfaction with his policies and names in his place a party stalwart seen as more reform-minded, Nong Duc Manh, 60, of the ethnic Tay minority, the first ethnic minority member to hold the top Communist Party position. The 150 members of the new Central Committee, who were elected the previous day, also select 15 members of the party's policy-guiding Politburo, including four new members, the officials said.
      The changes would be rubber-stamped by a four-day national party congress beginning on 19 Apris. The congress, which meets every five years, would approve a political report outlining social and economic policy over the next five years, which says that the government will "create a conducive policy and legal environment for the private capitalist economy to develop" and privatize some enterprises, while. retaining state ownership in key areas of the economy.
      Manh, head of the lawmaking National Assembly, is a forestry engineer who has long been rumored to be an illegitimate son of the late revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh. He is seen as a relatively weak leader who operates on the basis of consensus decision-making. His installation indicates support for economic reforms in a country that in recent years has been mired in corruption and bureaucracy.
      The selection prompts Prime Minister Phan Van Khai, a reformist, to stay in his post. He had threatened to resign out of frustration over the slow pace of reform. The selection of an ethnic minority member is also intended to assuage ethnic tensions that erupted in February 2001, when thousands of hilltribe members protested in Vietnam's Central Highlands.
      In 1986, Vietnam launched a set of reforms called Doi Moi designed to pull the country away from famine by allowing a market economy and increased private enterprise. In a recent poverty-reduction plan prepared with the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, the government has pledged to liberalize foreign exchange and trade regulations and reform state-owned enterprises and state banks. Phieu had been fighting for months against pressure for his ouster. Conservatives in the Politburo had backed him, in part because of fears over the ethnic unrest.
2001  El primer ministro israelí, Ariel Sharon, ordena al Ejército que abandone las posiciones que había ocupado en la franja de Gaza.
1998  18 astronautas, junto a unos 2000 animales e insectos, parten en la nave espacial Columbia para realizar pruebas de ingravidez, en una misión sin precedentes.
1997  Tras dos meses de marcha, miles de campesinos brasileños llegan a Brasilia para pedir el reparto de tierras no productivas.
1997 @Home, a cable modem company, says that it has raised $48 million through a private placement of stock. The company hopes to use the bandwidth of cable television to permit faster Internet connections. @Home would place a successful IPO in the summer of 1997.
^ 1996 US encryption software export law challenges
     A federal judge rules that a software company had the right to challenge laws restricting export of encryption-security technology. Fearful that powerful encryption software could be a dangerous asset to terrorists, the government prohibited the export of all but the least powerful encryption codes. In 1995, a graduate student at the University of California at Berkeley sued the government for prohibiting him from posting his encryption code on the Internet for discussion. The government requested that the lawsuit be dismissed. However, the judge ruled that computer code qualifies as "speech" protected by the First Amendment and that the lawsuit was valid. The computer industry, lobbying for encryption export rights-which could generate some $60 billion and 200,000 jobs-applauded the ruling. However, a conflicting decision in a similar but unrelated 1998 encryption lawsuit put the issue in question again, and the government and software industry continued to wrestle with the issue.
1991 Dow Jones Industrial Average closes for first time over 3000
1986 IBM announces that it will manufacture the first computers using the megabit memory chip.
1983 In Warsaw, police rout 1000 Solidarity supporters
^ 1975 Cambodia falls to the Khmer Rouge.
      The Khmer Rouge troops capture Phnom Penh and government forces surrender. The war between government troops and the communist insurgents had been raging since March 1970, when Lt. Gen. Lon Nol had ousted Prince Norodom Sihanouk in a bloodless coup and proclaimed the establishment of the Khmer Republic. Between 1970 and 1975, Lon Nol and his army, the Forces Armees Nationale Khmer (FANK), with US support and military aid, battled the communist Khmer Rouge for control of Cambodia. During the five years of bitter fighting, approximately 10 percent of Cambodia's 7 million people died. When the US forces departed South Vietnam in 1973, both the Cambodians and South Vietnamese found themselves fighting the communists alone. Without US support, Lon Nol's forces fought on, but eventually succumbed to the Khmer Rouge. With the surrender, the victorious Khmer Rouge evacuated Phnom Penh and set about reordering Cambodian society. This resulted in a killing spree and the notorious "killing fields." Eventually, hundreds of thousands of Cambodians were murdered or died from exhaustion, hunger, and disease. (It was celebrated as Kampuchea National Day)
^ 1975 Turncoat politician acquitted of taking bribes.
      John Connally was deeply involved in some of the key events during the past half-century of US history. Not only did he help boost Dwight Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson into the Oval Office, but Connally also served in Kennedy's cabinet and was governor of Texas during the late 1960s. And, in a tragic, though indelible moment, Connally was severely wounded while riding in Kennedy's limousine when the president was assassinated in 1963. However, between 1974 and 1975, Connally suffered through one of the less distinguished patches of his life. Indeed, Connally, who had since switched party allegiances and was working as the treasury secretary in Richard Nixon's Republican White House, was accused of accepting a hefty $10,000 bribe from the American Milk Producers Company; in return, Connally was to push Nixon to hike "price supports" for milk. But, on this day in 1975, Connally was acquitted of the bribery charges and was freed to go on to a life that included a failed bid for the presidency, as well as a rocky, and ultimately ruinous, run in Texas's tumultuous oil and real estate businesses.
1972 First anti Vietnam War protest of the year.
      The first major antiwar protest of 1972 is held. The demonstration, held at the University of Maryland, was organized to protest the Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC). Hundreds of students were arrested and 800 National Guardsmen were ordered onto the campus. Significant protests continued across the country in reaction to the increased bombing of North Vietnam, which had been initiated in response to the new communist offensive in South Vietnam.
1972  Comienza la explotación de fosfatos en el Sáhara Occidental (español).
1971  Se firma en Damasco la Constitución de la Federación de Repúblicas Árabes, formada por Egipto, Siria y Libia.
^ 1970 Apollo 13 safely returns to Earth
     With the world anxiously watching, Apollo 13, a US lunar spacecraft that suffered a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon, safely returned to earth.
      Six days earlier, the third manned lunar landing mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise.
      Two days later, on 13 April, disaster struck three hundred thousand kilometers from earth, when liquid oxygen tank No. 2 exploded, disabling the normal supply of oxygen, electricity, light, and water. A moment later Swigert reported to Mission Control: "Houston, we've had a problem," and the lunar landing was aborted. The crippled spacecraft continued to the moon, circled it, and began a long, cold journey back to earth.
      The astronauts and Mission Control were faced with enormous logistical problems in stabilizing the spacecraft and its oxygen supply and providing enough energy to the damaged fuel cells to allow successfully reentry into the earth's atmosphere. On 17 April, with the world anxiously watching, tragedy turns to triumph as the Apollo 13 astronauts splash down safely in the Pacific Ocean.
^ 1969 Architect of Prague Spring forced to resign.
      Alexander Dubcek, the Communist leader who launched a broad program of liberal reforms in Czechoslovakia, was forced to resign as first secretary by the Soviet forces occupying his country.
      The staunchly pro-Soviet Gustav Husak was subsequently appointed Czechoslovak leader, and he re-established an authoritarian Communist dictatorship in the Soviet satellite state. The trend toward liberalization in Czechoslovakia began in 1963 and in 1968 reached its apex after Dubcek replaced Antonin Novotny as first secretary of the party. He introduced a series of far-reaching political and economic reforms, including increased freedom of speech and an end to state censorship.
      The Soviet Union responded to the so-called "Prague Spring" with a Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia. Scattered student resistance was no match for the Soviet tanks, and Dubcek's reforms were repealed. On 17 April 1968, he was replaced by Gustav Husak, who re-established the type of totalitarian Communist regime favorable to the Soviets.
      In 1970, Dubcek lost his Party membership and was pushed entirely out of Czechoslovakian politics. However, with the liberalization of Soviet society in the late 1980s, Prague again became the scene of demonstrations against the government and for democratic reforms.
      In December of 1989, a coalition of dissident groups, known as the Civic Forum, forced the Communist government to allow a multi-party parliament. Husak resigned, Dubcek was named chairman, and the parliament subsequently elected the playwright Vaclav Havel, chief spokesman of the Civic Forum, as the president of a newly democratic Czechoslovakia. In 1990, free elections won the Civic Forum a parliamentary majority, and in 1992 the government agreed to the peaceful break-up of Czechoslovakia into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
1969 Sirhan Sirhan is convicted of assassinating Senanor Robert F. Kennedy.
1967  El presidente chino Liu Shaoqi es acusado de haber organizado en febrero de ese año un golpe de Estado contra Mao Zedong.
1964  Se inaugura la mayor central de bombeo de carburante del mundo en Vianden (Luxemburgo).
1963  Una nueva República Árabe Unida, integrada por Egipto, Siria e Iraq, es proclamada en El Cairo.
^ 1961 The Bay of Pigs invasion begins.
     An army of some fourteen hundred Cuban exiles lands at the Bay of Cochinos in Cuba, with the aim of toppling Fidel Castro's Communist regime. The expeditionary force--recruited, trained, and funded by the CIA--invaded their homeland from Nicaragua and Guatemala.
      US President John F. Kennedy, deeply disturbed by Castro's two-year-old Communist government, approved the invasion, but at the last minute refused to order air support. Hours later, at an emergency meeting of the United Nations General Assembly, Cuban Ambassador Carlos Lechuga delivered a stinging denunciation of the US government, whose ambassador initially denied involvement in the invasion.
      Within three days, the invasion force, abandoned by Kennedy and the US military, was forced to surrender to the Cuban Communists. The disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion was a great humiliation for the Kennedy administration and significantly increased Cold War tension between the US, Cuba, and the Soviet Union. Fidel Castro did not return the surviving Cuban exiles until millions of dollars in humanitarian aid was sent by the United States to his country.
     The Bay of Pigs invasion begins when a CIA-financed and -trained group of Cuban refugees lands in Cuba and attempts to topple the communist government of Fidel Castro. The attack was an utter failure. Fidel Castro had been a concern to US policymakers since he seized power in Cuba with a revolution in January 1959. Castro's attacks on US companies and interests in Cuba, his inflammatory anti-US rhetoric, and Cuba's movement toward a closer relationship with the Soviet Union led US officials to conclude that the Cuban leader was a threat to US interests in the Western Hemisphere. In March 1960, President Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered the CIA to train and arm a force of Cuban exiles for an armed attack on Cuba. John F. Kennedy inherited this program when he became president in 1961. Though many of his military advisors indicated that an amphibious assault on Cuba by a group of lightly armed exiles had little chance for success, Kennedy gave the go-ahead for the attack.
      On 17 April 1961, about 1200 exiles, armed with US weapons and using US landing craft, wade ashore at the Bahía de Cochinos in Cuba. The hope was that the exile force would serve as a rallying point for the Cuban citizenry, who would rise up and overthrow Castro's government. The plan immediately fell apart--the landing force met with unexpectedly rapid counterattacks from Castro's military, the tiny Cuban air force sank most of the exiles' supply ships, the United States refrained from providing necessary air support, and the expected uprising never happened. Over 100 of the attackers were killed, and more than 1100 were captured.
      The failure at the Bay of Pigs cost the United States dearly. Castro used the attack by the "Yankee imperialists" to solidify his power in Cuba and he requested additional Soviet military aid. Eventually that aid included missiles, and the construction of missile bases in Cuba sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962, when the United States and the Soviet Union nearly came to blows over the issue. Further, throughout much of Latin America, the United States was pilloried for its use of armed force in trying to unseat Castro, a man who was considered a hero to many for his stance against US interference and imperialism. Kennedy tried to redeem himself by publicly accepting blame for the attack and its subsequent failure, but the botched mission left the young president looking vulnerable and indecisive.
1960 American Samoa sets up a constitutional government
1956 USSR's Cominform (Parliament) dissolves.
1956  Estados Unidos presenta el avión Lockheed F-104 Starfighter, capaz de volar a doble velocidad que el sonido y transportar armas atómicas.
1954  Los partidarios del antiguo sultán Muhammad V ibn Yusuf son objeto de una dura represión en Casablanca.
1953  667 almacenistas de víveres son encarcelados en Buenos Aires por violar los precios tope oficiales.
1952  Colombia firma un pacto de asistencia militar con Estados Unidos.
1946 Last French troops leave Syria (National Day)
1945 US gets some Nazi uranium and scientists ahead of USSR.
      US Lieutenant Colonel Boris T. Pash commandeers over half a ton of uranium at Strassfut, Germany, in an effort to prevent the Russians from developing an A-bomb. Pash was head of the Alsos Group, organized to search for German scientists in the postwar environment in order to prevent the Russians, previously Allies but now a potential threat, from capturing any scientists and putting them to work at their own atomic research plants. Uranium piles were also rich "catches," as they were necessary to the development of atomic weapons.
1945 Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi solicita una paz exenta de castigos para Alemania y Japón.
^ 1942 Général Giraud escapes from Germany.
      French General Henri Giraud, who was captured in 1940, escapes from a castle prison at Konigstein by lowering himself down the castle wall and jumping on board a moving train, which takes him to the French border. Hitler, outraged, ordered Giraud's assassination upon being caught, but the French general was able to make it to North Africa via a British submarine. He joined the French Free Forces under General Charles de Gaulle and eventually helped to rebuild the French army.
1941 Tropas británicas entran en Irak.
^ 1941 Yugoslavia surrenders to Axis.
     During World War II, representatives of Yugoslavia's various regions signed an armistice with Nazi Germany at Belgrade, ending eleven days of futile resistance against the invading German Wehrmacht. More than three hundred thousand Yugoslav officers and soldiers were taken prisoner. A total of only two hundred Germans died in the conquest of Yugoslavia.
      On 27 March 1941, two days after the Yugoslav government signed a controversial pact with the Axis powers, Yugoslav air officers, aided by the British secret services, toppled the regime of Diagisa Cvetkovich. In response, Nazi leader Adolf Hitler launched a massive invasion of the country that began on 06 April with the bombing of Belgrade. The Yugoslav defenders, made up of various politically unstable nationalities, were routed by the hordes of German, Italian, Hungarian, and Bulgarian troops invading their country.
      On 17 April, Yugoslavia surrenderes and is divided, with the exception of the puppet state of Croatia, between the four invading Axis powers. The occupying troops aggravated the traditional religious and national differences in the region, and the Serbs were especially brutalized. However, by the end of the year, two separate effective resistance movements had sprung up, one led by Colonel Dragolyub Mihailovich that was loyal to the Yugoslav government-in-exile, and another led by Josip Broz that was made up of members of the illegal Communist Party.
     The Yugoslav army, encircled in Bosnia, surrenders to Germany and signs a formal capitulation in Belgrade. By the time the Yugoslav government surrendered, 6000 Yugoslav officers and 335'000 men had been taken prisoner, overwhelmed by the sheer force of Axis numbers.
1936  La Ley de Reforma Agraria española es derogada y se declara la ilegalidad de todas las organizaciones fascistas. Las Cortes destituyen y deportan a Niceto Alcalá Zamora y Torres, y la Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) declara la huelga general en Madrid.
1935  La Sociedad de Naciones condena unánimemente el rearme alemán.
1934  León Trostki es expulsado de Francia.
1930 Abkhazian ASSR established in Georgian SSR.
1928  Japón decide el envío de buques de guerra y tropas a Shantung.
1923 Se abre el XII congreso del Partido Comunista de la Unión Soviética, en él que Stalin y la dirección del partido son criticados.
1919  La Asamblea Nacional francesa aprueba la jornada laboral de ocho horas.
1916  Tropas inglesas y portuguesas avanzan hacia las posiciones alemanas en África oriental.
1912  Se produce una rebelión en el ejército regular del sultán de Marruecos en Fez; las tropas francesas restablecen el orden.
1912 Tiene lugar un eclipse total de sol en Europa.
1900:: 7 high chiefs of American Samoa sign Instrument of Cession
1895 Treaty of Shimonoseki signed, ends first Sino-Japanese War (1894-95)
^ 1882 Life of Billy the Kid arrives at Library of Congress.
      Several copies of Sheriff Pat Garrett's wildly inauthentic biography, An Authentic Life of Billy the Kid, arrive at the Library of Congress, beginning the widespread dissemination of this highly fictionalized story of the western outlaw. US readers were no less hungry for violent stories of ruthless desperados in 1882 than they are today, and Garrett and his publishers shamelessly catered to these appetites. Garrett claimed to be writing the book to put an end to the exaggerated newspaper accounts of the day. Subsequent historians, however, have suggested that Garrett wrote the book to improve his own image and chances for a successful political career. His story portrays Billy the Kid as a ruthless killer who was only stopped by Garrett's own selfless and brave actions.
      For more than a century, Garrett's "eyewitness" account remained the principle historical source on Billy the Kid and his involvement in the famous Lincoln County War. The book influenced countless subsequent accounts in print and on film, giving rise to one of the most powerful myths of the US West. The first full, realistic biography of William Bonney (the Kid's principle alias) was not published until 1989. Since then, Garrett's version of history has been steadily challenged and undermined.
      Far from being a simple cold-blooded killer who took 21 lives (the actual number was probably closer to 10), Billy the Kid was a literate and ambitious young man who tried valiantly to find a niche in law-abiding society. The death of his mother in 1874 left young Billy with few resources. Fleeing imprisonment for a petty theft he may not have committed, Billy became a fugitive. He eventually found a home as a cowboy on a ranch in Lincoln County, New Mexico. There, a fierce loyalty to his employer and a violent temper brought Billy into a struggle between competing economic forces that became known as the Lincoln County War.
      As a participant in the Lincoln County War, Billy killed several men in alliance with a local constable, which gave his actions some semblance of legality. Fighters on both sides of the bloody skirmish attempted to claim the legal high ground for their murders, though neither was fully justified. Nonetheless, Billy was the only killer to be charged with murder and pursued by the law.
      As the new sheriff of Lincoln County, if fell to Garrett to arrest Billy the Kid. After capturing Billy only to have him again escape, Garrett eventually tracked his quarry down and shot him dead on the night of 13 July 1881, at Fort Sumner. In justifying his actions, Garrett's 1882 book ignored the complicated circumstances behind many of Billy's killings, suggesting that all of Billy's murders had been inexcusable. Likewise, Garrett's account exaggerated his own role in bringing Billy to justice, failing to acknowledge the considerable assistance he received from private detectives and Billy's powerful enemies.
      Today, historians realize that An Authentic Life of Billy the Kid is a highly biased and inaccurate portrait of a poorly understood young man living in a complex time. Nonetheless, Garrett's mythical version of Billy the Kid continues to live on in the popular imagination and in countless western books and movies.
     Billy the Kid's Great Escape  
1865 Mary Surratt is arrested as a conspirator in Lincoln's assassination
1864 Confederate attack on Plymouth, North Carolina begins
1863 Union Colonel Grierson's Raid from La Grange, Tennessee, to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, begins
1863 John S. Marmaduke's Confederates leave Arkansas on raid into Missouri
1863 Siege of Suffolk, Virginia by Confederates continues .
1862 Siege of Yorktown, Virginia continues
1861 Virginia become 8th state to secede from the US.
1833 English historian and statesman Thomas B. Macaulay declared: 'The whole history of Christianity proves that she has little indeed to fear from persecution as a foe, but much to fear from persecution as an ally.'
1824 Russia abandons all North American claims south of 54º 40' N
1814  Francisco Javier Elío y Olondriz, capitán general de Valencia, elabora el primer pronunciamiento del Ejército español en favor de un determinado sistema político, en apoyo de Fernando VII.
1812  Las Cortes de Cádiz crean el Tribunal Supremo de Justicia.
1809  Un decreto de la Junta Central Suprema y Gubernativa del Reino en Sevilla autoriza el armamento del pueblo.
1808 Bayonne Decree by Napoléon I of France orders seizure of US ships
1793 Battle of Warsaw
1792 Loi de la Révolution française prévoyant la peine de mort pour les révoltés.
1752  El rey Fernando VI funda en Madrid la Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando.
1708  El cirujano parisino Jean-Louis Petit consigue la primera extracción con éxito de cataratas.
^ 1610 Hudson sets out on last voyage
      In 1609, after repeatedly failing in his efforts to find a northeast ocean passage to Asia, Hudson sailed to the Americas to find a northwest passage. Exploring the North American coast, he entered the present-day Chesapeake, Delaware, and New York bays, and then became the first European to ascend what is now called the Hudson River. His voyage, which was financed by the Dutch, was the basis of Holland’s later claims to the region.
      His fourth expedition, financed by adventurers from his own country, set out from London, England, on 17 April, 1610. Sailing back across the Atlantic, Hudson resumed his efforts to find the northwest passage. Between Greenland and Labrador he entered present-day Hudson Strait and by it reached Hudson Bay. After three months of exploration, the Discovery was caught too far from open sea when winter set in, and in November Hudson’s men were forced to haul it ashore and set up a winter camp. Lacking food or supplies, the expedition greatly suffered in the extreme cold. Many of the crew held Hudson responsible for their misfortune, and on 23 June, 1611, with the coming of summer, they mutinied against him and set him, his teenage son, and seven supporters adrift in a small, open boat. They were never seen again.
      The Discovery later returned to England, and its crew was arrested and convicted for the mutiny. Although Henry Hudson was never seen again, his discoveries gave England its claim to the rich Hudson Bay region.
1535  Carlos I nombra como primer virrey de Nueva España a su gentilhombre de cámara, Antonio de Mendoza y Pacheco.
1524 NY Harbor discovered by Giovanni Verrazano.
1521 Martin Luther is excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.—  Lutero comparece ante la Dieta de Worms, donde no se retracta de sus escritos.
1492 Christopher Columbus signs contract with Spain to find western route to the Indies. —  Los Reyes Católicos firman las Capitulaciones de Santa Fe, que regulan los derechos y obligaciones entre la Corona y Cristóbal Colón.
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< 16 Apr 18 Apr >
^  Deaths which occurred on a 17 April:

2007 Two miners, after the 10:03 (14:03 UT) collapse of a wall of the Tri-Star Job No. 3 open pit coal mine near Barton, Maryland buries them under 25 meters of rock and dirt. The mine employed 51 people at the end of 2006 and produced nearly 653'000 tons of coal in 2006. —(070419)
2006 Ten persons including a suicide bomber at a crowded fast-food restaurant in Tel Aviv, Israel, in the afternoon. — (25 Apr 2006)
2005 James Allen, detective, shot in the early hours by Esteban Carpio with Allen's gun which he grabbed while being interrogated by him, at police headquarters in Providence RI, about the stabbing of an 84-year-old woman who survived the attack.
2004 James Gardner, 75, two other adults, and one child, in 05:15 fire in a 3~story apartment building in the East Flatbush neighborhood of New York City.
2004 Dr. Abd al-Aziz al-Rantissi, 2 of his bodyguards, and another Palestinian, at 20:45, by two missiles fired from Israeli helicopters at Rantissi's car in Gaza City. Rantissi [23 Oct 1947–] was the leader of Hamas since its founder Shaikh Ahmad Yasin was similarly killed by Israeli missiles on 22 March 2004. One of the dead was a brother of Wael Nassar, who would be assassinated by Israel on 30 May 2004.
2004 Palestinian suicide bomber Fadi al-Amoudi, 22, at 16:00 in Israel near the Erez crossing point to the Gaza Strip, and an Israeli border policeman, who was one of four wounded and dies soon afterwards.
Getty 10 Mar 19982003 Adham al-Katri, 32, Palestinian policeman, from wounds he suffered during an Israeli army raid into Gaza city in February. The Reuters body count of the al-Aqsa intifada is now “at least 1997 Palestinians and 732 Israelis”.
2003 Mahmoud al-Louh, 21, Palestinian, of wounds sustained in an Israeli air raid on Gaza City.
2003 Yusuf Yahya, 21, Palestinian, shot on a street in Tulkarm, West Bank, by an Israeli army patrol enforcing a curfew. The Israelis claim that he was throwing Molotov cocktails at them.

2003 J[ohn] Paul Getty [Jr.] [10 Mar 1998 photo >], US (British since 1997) dibillionaire born on 07 September 1932, the third of five sons of J[ean] Paul “Oklahoma Crude” Getty [15 Dec 1892 – 06 Jun 1976] who founded Getty Oil and built a $6 billion fortune, making him the richest man in the world at his death. After attending the University of San Francisco and doing a brief stint in the army, Getty Jr. took charge of Getty Oil enterprises in Rome. But he resigned within six years, telling his father, "It doesn't take anything to be a businessman." He then embarked on a freewheeling lifestyle of drugs and parties. In 1967, he divorced his wife of 11 years, Gail, with whom he had four children. But the hippie life ended in 1971 when Getty's second wife, Bali-born model Talitha Pol, died of an accidental drug overdose in Rome. He moved to the UK in 1972 and, for years, lived alone in a heavily secured mansion on the bank of the River Thames in London's upscale Chelsea neighborhood, taking solace in heroin and rum. He gave no interviews, issuing only the occasional statement through his lawyers. The bulk of Getty's fortune came from a family trust after the sale of Getty Oil to Texaco in 1984. His father, from whom he was estranged, left him only a nominal sum in his will. The younger Getty's fortune had been put as high as $2 billion, but he said much of it was in family trusts he did not control. In 1971, Getty's teenage son from his first marriage, John Paul III, was abducted in Italy and held for five months. It was only after the kidnappers cut off part of his ear and sent it to the family that the boy's grandfather agreed to help pay a reported ransom of $3.4 million. A year later, the youngster had a drug-induced stroke that left him a paraplegic and practically blind. In 1994, Catholic Getty married Victoria Holdsworth, his longtime British girlfriend, who is credited with his rehabilitation and gradual emergence into public life as a philanthropist and art lover.

Latsis2003 Giannis Spyridon “John” Latsis [1998 photo >], Greek pentabillionaire who kept a low profile (101st richest in world in 2003 according to Forbes). Born on 14 September 1910, Latsis started working as a laborer, and then as a deck hand in the merchant marine. He eventually become a captain and later a shipowner. Then he expanded into construction, undertaking major projects in Arab countries. In 1969, Latsis established Petrola, the first export-oriented oil refinery in Greece. He also built and operated a major refinery in Saudi Arabia. In 1979 he went into finance, buying the Deposit Bank from the Onassis family in Geneva, then acquired more European banks, including London's Private Bank and Trust Company and Greece's second biggest private bank, EFG Eurobank Ergasias. He founded the philanthropic Latsis Foundation, and made large donations to earthquake victims in Greece, Egypt and Armenia. He also gave money to the Greek government for the purchase of fire planes.

2003 Dr. Robert Atkins, who was in a coma after falling on an icy sidewalk and hitting his head on 08 April 2003. Born on 17 October 1930, he started an independent medical practice in 1959. He was overweight (88 kg) and applied to himself an adaptation of a no-carbohydrate diet tested on a small scale by Dr. Alfred W. Pennington during WW II. He lost 9 kg and this led him to promoting the quack high-protein, high-fat, low-carbohydrate Atkins Diet. He sold millions of his (co-authored) books starting with Dr. Atkins' Diet Revolution (1972) and including Dr. Atkins' New Diet Revolution (1992), Dr. Atkins' Quick and Easy New Diet Cookbook (1997), and Atkins for Life (2003). He turned the fad into a profitable business. He had less success with other quack promotions, such as ozone (against cancer), herbal medicines, acupuncture.

2002 Sergeant Marc Léger, 29, of Lancaster, Ont.; Private Richard Green, 21, of Mill Cove, N.S.; Corporal Ainsworth Dyer, 25, of Montreal; and Private Nathan Smith, 27, of Tatamagouche, N.S., of Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry, during a night exercise near Tarnak Farms, close to Kandahar, Afghanistan, by a 500-pound laser-guided bomb dropped by Major Harry Schmidt of the Illinois Air National Guard from his F-16, claiming self-defense and being attacked. Eight other Canadian soldiers are wounded, including Sergeant Lorne Ford, from Edmonton, who ends up losing an eye and a leg. A US AWACS (airborne warning and control system) radar aircraft directing the flight had ordered a delay in any attack while checks were being made. Schmidt and fellow F-16 pilot and 2-plane flight leader Major William Umbach (also of the Illinois Air National Guard) would be charged by military justice in September 2002. The military's unwritten license to kill first and ask questions later (if at all) may apply to peaceful Afghan civilians, but not to allied troops. And “smart” bombs are not smart enough to outwit stupid and paranoid users.
2001 Pheng Heng, 37, as, early in the morning, two grenades tied together are tossed into the middle of a low-stakes gambling game in which she was participating, in a wooden and bamboo shack in the rural district of Kampong Trach, province of Kampot (SW of Phnom Penh), Cambodia. Six others are wounded.
1997 Allan Francovich, investigador, escritor y director de cine estadounidense. 
1997 Herzog Haim, político israelí de origen irlandés.
1993 Turgut Ozal, político y presidente de Turquía.
1992  Remigio Mendiburu, escultor español.
1990 Rev Ralph Abernathy, 64, US civil rights activist.
1987 Primo Levi, suicide, Turin Italian Jewish writer born on 31 July 1919, former inmate of the Auschwitz slave labor camp, author of poetry, novels, short stories, and best known for his autobiographical reflections on Auschwitz: Se questo è un uomo (1947), La tregua (1963), I sommersi e i salvati (1986), Il sistema periodico (1975).
1987  Un muerto y tres heridos, en un frustrado intento de golpe de Estado contra el Gobierno de Corazón “Cory” Aquino, en Filipinas.
1986 Neal S. Rosenblum, 25, Orthodox Jew from Toronto, shot on a street in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, where he was visiting his in-laws, by unacquainted anti-Jewish Steven M. Tielsch who happered to pass by. After three mistrials, Tielsch would at last be convicted of third-degree murder on 13 September 2002, and sentenced on 13 November 2002 to 10 to 20 years in prison, but he would appeal.
1986  Marcel Dassault, ingeniero aeronáutico francés.
1986  Tres rehenes británicos, secuestrados en Líbano, son asesinados como represalia por la utilización de bases aéreas británicas por las fuerzas de Estados Unidos que bombardearon Libia.
1984  Mark Clark, general estadounidense de la Segunda Guerra Mundial.
1984 Yvonne Fletcher [1959–], police woman, shot in St. James's Square, London. England, from inside the Libyan embassy, while she was controling a demonstration by Libyan dissidents protesting the execution of two students in Tripoli.
1981 All 13 aboard Hadley Page 137 Jetstream I N11360 and 2 aboard Cessna 206 N4862F which at 16:01 collide 4 km east-southeast of Loveland, Colorado at 4000 m altitude. The Jetstream was Air US commuter Flight 716 out of Denver's Stapleton airport bound for Gillette, Wyoming, 500 km away. The crash resulted from the failure of the Cessna's pilot to establish communications with the Denver Center and his climbing into controlled airspace above 3810 m without an authorized transponder. A contributing factor was the fact that existing regulations did not prohibit parachute jumping in or immediately adjacent to federal airways, which was the intention of the Cessna's passenger. [the names of the victims are sought by one of this site's readers: please e-mail them to me if you can, together with any further information about this crash]
1981  Un turista en el aeropuerto de Ajaccio (Córcega), en un atentado frustrado contra Valéry Giscard d'Estaing.
1978:: 43 persons as southbound Venice-Rome luxury express train collides head-on with a northbound Lecce-Milan local train during a blinding rainstorm that triggered a mudslide across the tracks which steered the local into the path of the express. —  50 muertos por la colisión de dos trenes entre Bolonia y Florencia provocada por un deslizamiento de tierras.
1977 Richard Dagobert Brauer, Jewish German US mathematician born on 10 February 1901. Brother of mathematician Alfred Theodore Brauer [09 Apr 1894 – 1985]. Richard Brauer became interested in work on group characters. He formulated a method to classify all finite simple groups, then spent the rest of his life working on this problem.
1970 Domenico Gnoli, Italian painter born on 02 May 1933. — more with links to images.
1895 Jorge Isaacs, Colombian poet and novelist born on 01 April 1837.
1847 François Joseph Servois, French artillery officer and mathematician born on 19 July 1768. He worked in projective geometry, functional equations and complex numbers. He introduced the word pole in projective geometry. He also came close to discovering the quaternions before Hamilton [04 Aug 1805 – 02 Sep 1865]. Servois was the author of Traité des propriétés projectives. The quaternions are a set of symbols of the form a + bi + cj + dk where a, b, c, d are Real numbers. They multiply using the rules i^2 = j^2 = k^2 = -1 and ij = k. They form a non-commutative division algebra. They are an extension of the imaginary numbers, which are their special case when j = k = 0.
1824 William Ashford, Britist artist born in 1746. — more with link to an image.
^ 1794 (28 germinal an II) Condamnés à mort par la Révolution:
Par le tribunal révolutionnaire de Paris:
BAUDOT Joseph, âgé de 44 ans, natif de Besançon ex bénédictin, principal du collège de Toul, et desservant de Tremblecourt, canton de Toul, département de la Meurthe, comme convaincu d'avoir excité la guerre civile par le fanatisme et la superstition.
CHALLOT Jean Pierre, âgé de 28 ans, né à Château-Roné, déserteur de la cure de Marsal, département de la Meurthe, comme contre-révolutionnaire.
DECOUS Jean, âgé de 70 ans, natif de Treignac, département de la Corrèze, ex curé de Neuvy, domicilié à Limoges, département de la Haute Vienne, comme contre-révolutionnaire.
     ... domiciliés à Paris, département de la Seine:
ACCOL Charles dit Thibault, âgé de 28 ans, natif de Fontenay, département. de l'Yonne, marchand de vin.
HENRY Pierre Louis, âgé de 33 ans, marchand de toiles, né à Méry, département de la Marne, comme marchand d’argent.
MERMIN Hyacinthe, frotteur, âgé de 30 ans, natif de Savanchais, département du Mont-Blanc, comme marchand d'argent.
PAUTON Jean Louis, garçon pâtissier traiteur, âgé de 31 ans, natif de Bure, département de la Seine et Oise, comme convaincu d’avoir acheté de l’argent dans l’intention de faire passer aux ennemis de la république.
SIMILLE Hyacinte, frotteur, âgé de 29 ans, né aux Avanchaix, département du Mont-Blanc, comme convaincu d'avoir fait des achats en numéraire, dans l'intention de faire passer aux ennemis de la république.
HUET Jean, perruquier et membre du comité révolutionnaire de la section des Tuileries, âgé de 32 ans, né à Orléans, département du Loiret, comme prévaricateur dans ses fonctions, en favorisant à prix d'argent, l'élargissement d'un détenu prévenu de conspiration.
LAPEYRE Pierre, âgé de 30 ans, natif de Lachand, département de la Dordogne, chirurgien et membre du comité révolutionnaire de la section des Tuileries, comme prévaricateur.
LAVILLE Pierre, cordonnier et membre du comité révolutionnaire de la section des Tuileries, âgé de 31 ans, natif de Montpont, département de la Dordogne, comme prévaricateur.
Par le tribunal criminel du département des Bouches du Rhône:
MARTEL Joseph, capitaine des chasseurs révolutionnaires-fédéralistes, domicilié à Cotignac département du Var, condamné à mort comme fédéraliste, le 28 germinal an 2, par le tribunal criminel des Bouches du Rhône.
     ... domiciliés à Marseille, département des Bouches du Rhône, comme contre-révolutionnaires:
BOISSIERE Jean Louis, négociant — COUSINERY Joseph Marie, courtier propriétaire — JAUDON Joseph, commis chauffretier.
Comme brigands de la Vendée:
MARTIN Pierre, domicilié à St Aignan département de la Loire Inférieure, par la commission militaire à Nantes.
     ... domiciliés dans la Mayenne, par la commission militaire séante à Laval:
COLOMIER Jacques, marchand de fil, domicilié à la Chapelle-Craonnoise.
CRIBIER Jacques, laboureur, domicilié à Nuillé-sur-Ouette.
HUREAU François, tailleur, domicilié à Huillé.
Ailleurs:
POSUEL Jean, ex noble, natif de Lyon, département du Rhône, comme contre-révolutionnaire, par la commission révolutionnaire de Lyon.
BOUSSEMART Henri Vaast Joseph, âgé de 53 ans, né à Lille, receveur, époux de Lefebvre Marie Angélique, guillotiné à Arras
MICHAUX Charles François Marie, âgé de 42 ans, né à Calais, ci-devant curé, ex député constituant, à Arras
PLAIMPEL J. M. Thomas, domicilié à Rouen département de la Seine Inférieuret, comme émigré, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
SAINT-GEORGES Th. Marie, homme de loi, âgé de 40 ans natif d’Auxerre, département de lYonne, domicilié à Bordeaux, département de la Gironde, comme contre-révolutionnaire, par la commission militaire de Bordeaux.

1793 Condamnés à mort par la Révolution:
Comme brigands de la Vendée, domiciliés dans le département de la Vendée, par la commission militaire séante aux Sables:
BARRAUD Abraham, voiturier, domicilié à Ilse-Boin, canton de Challans.
BENETEAU Jacques (dit le Prince), laboureur, domicilié à St Hilaire-de-Rié, canton de Challans.
Domiciliés à Paris, comme fabricants de faux assignats:
GUYOT François, brocanteur, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
HOUZEL Daniel, commis, par le tribunal criminel de Paris.
1792 [1793???] MURY Jean, horloger, domicilié à Paris département de la Seine, condamné à mort, comme fabricant de faux assignats, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
Benjamin Franklin, promoteur de l'indépendance des Etats-Unis, inventeur du paratonnerre, et grand ami de la France..
^ 1790 Benjamin Franklin, 84, in Philadelphia.
     He was a British colonial and then US statesman, printer, scientist, and writer.
      Franklin was born in Boston on 17 January 1706. He became at 12 years old an apprentice to his half brother James, a printer and publisher. He learned the printing trade and in 1723 went to Philadelphia to work after a dispute with his brother. After a sojourn in London, he started a printing and publishing press with a friend in 1728. In 1729, the company won a contract to print Pennsylvania's paper currency and also began publishing The Pennsylvania Gazette, which was regarded as one of the better colonial newspapers.
     He began publishing Poor Richard's Almanack on 19 December 1732, and continued writing and publishing it until 1757. The instructive and humorous Almanack was an instant success, and a new issue follows each year for the next twenty-five years, selling an average of 10'000 copies yearly. It becomes one of the most popular writings from the colonial period, and greatly influences US popular culture with such aphorisms as "God helps those who help themselves" and "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man, healthy, wealthy, and wise."
      As his own wealth and prestige grew, Franklin took on greater civic responsibilities in Philadelphia and helped establish the city's first circulating library, police force, volunteer fire company, and an academy that became the University of Pennsylvania. From 1737 to 1753, he was postmaster of Philadelphia and during this time also served as a clerk of the Pennsylvania legislature. In 1753, he became deputy postmaster general, in charge of mail in all the northern colonies.
      Deeply interested in science and technology, he invented the Franklin stove, which is still manufactured today, and bifocal eyeglasses, among other practical inventions. In 1748, he turned his printing business over to his partner so he would have more time for his experiments. The phenomenon of electricity fascinated him, and in a dramatic experiment he flew a kite in a thunderstorm to prove that lightning is an electrical discharge. He later invented the lightning rod. Many terms used in discussing electricity, including positive, negative, battery, and conductor, were coined by Franklin in his scientific papers. He was the first US scientist to be highly regarded in European scientific circles.
      Franklin was active in colonial affairs and in 1754 proposed the union of the colonies, which was rejected by Britain. In 1757, he went to London to argue for the right to tax the massive estates of the Penn family in Pennsylvania, and in 1764 went again to ask for a new charter for Pennsylvania. He was in England when Parliament passed the Stamp Act, a taxation measure to raise revenues for a standing British army in America. His initial failure to actively oppose the controversial act drew wide criticism in the colonies, but he soon redeemed himself by stoutly defending American rights before the House of Commons. With tensions between the American colonies and Britain rising, he stayed on in London and served as agent for several colonies.
      In 1775, he returned to America as the US War of Independence approached and was a delegate at the Continental Congress. In 1776, he helped draft the Declaration of Independence and in July signed the final document. Ironically, Franklin's illegitimate son, William Franklin, whom Franklin and his wife had raised, had at the same time emerged as a leader of the Loyalists. In 1776, Congress sent Benjamin Franklin, one of the embattled United States' most prominent statesmen, to France as a diplomat. Warmly embraced, he succeeded in 1778 in securing two treaties that provided the Americans with significant military and economic aid. In 1781, with French help, the British were defeated. With John Jay and John Adams, Franklin then negotiated the Treaty of Paris with Britain, which was signed in 1783.
      In 1785, Franklin returned to the United States. In his last great public service, he was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 and worked hard for the document's ratification. After his death, Philadelphia gave him the largest funeral the city had ever seen.
FRANKLIN ONLINE: Poor Richard's Almanack selectionsThe Autobiography and Other WritingsThe Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin -- Experiments and Observations on Electricity, Made at Philadelphia in America
1761 Thomas Bayes, English mathematician born in 1702. He set out his theory of probability in 1764. His conclusions were accepted by Laplace [23 Mar 1749 – 05 Mar 1827] in 1781, rediscovered by Condorcet [17 Sep 1743 – 29 Mar 1794], and remained unchallenged until Boole [02 Nov 1815 – 08 Dec 1864] questioned them in An investigation into the Laws of Thought, on Which are founded the Mathematical Theories of Logic and Probabilities (1854). Since then Bayes' techniques have been subject to controversy.
1711 Joseph I, born on 26 July 1678, king of Hungary since 1687, Holy Roman Emperor since May 1705. He unsuccessfully fought since 1701 the War of Spanish Succession to keep the Spanish crown to the Habsburgs in the person of his younger brother archduke Charles [01 October 1685 – 20 October 1740] who succeeds him (as Charles VI) and keeps on fighting the war, with no success, until 1714.
1695  Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, monja y poetisa mexicana.
1679 Jan van Kessel I, Dutch painter specialized in Still Life born on 05 April 1626. MORE ON VAN KESSEL AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
1672 François Garnier, French painter born in 1600. — a bit more with links to images
0858  Pope Benedict III
0485 Proclus Diadochus, Greek Neoplatonist philosopher, poet, mathematician, born on 08 February 411. Author of a Commentary on Euclid — Liber de causis — Institutio theologica (metaphysics) — Elements of Physics — In Platonis theologiam — and many other works.
 
< 16 Apr 18 Apr >
^  Births which occurred on a 17 April:

2007 Saúl Noé Martínez Ortega, 36, dies of a blow on the head while being beaten by those who abducted him at 00:05 on 16 April 2007 in Agua Prieta, Sonora state, Mexico, while he was driving doing his job as an investigative crime reporter for the 3-times-a-week newspaper Interdiario (formerly El Centenario y Escorpión), owned by his family. He was investigating the disappearance of a friend who works as an informer for the municipal police. —(070425)
^ 1964 Ford Mustang car is introduced.
      Ford introduced the Mustang on this the first day of the 1964 New York World's Fair in Flushing, Queens. The Mustang had been the brainchild of Lee Iacocca and his production team. The car was essentially a Ford Falcon with a new frame and body. The Mustang was so successfully marketed, thanks in part to its introduction at the World's Fair, that it became one of Ford's best-selling models of all time. Ford profits soared after the release of the Mustang. Another of Iacocca's Mustang-related innovations was a new strategy of marketing upgrade packages for the car. On this day in 1965, a year into the Mustang's lifetime, Ford introduced the GT Equipment Group as an option on the Mustang, creating the first Mustang GT. Iacocca commented on the success of the package, "People want economy so badly they don't care how much they pay for it." The base price for the Mustang was a modest $2368, but buyers purchased an average of $1000 worth of options.
1946 Georg Kohler, biólogo alemán, premio Nobel de Medicina en 1984.
1941 US Office of Price Administration
is established (handles rationing).
1930 Manuel Vázquez Gallego, pintor y cineasta español.
1927 Ser y tiempo de Martín Heidegger se publica.
^ 1924 MGM formed.
      Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures, and the Louis B. Mayer Company merge to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, or MGM. The group was owned by Loew's Inc., a chain of theaters run by Marcus Loew. At first, the company was called Metro Goldwyn, but Mayer--who was appointed vice president--insisted on adding his name. Samuel Goldwyn had left Goldwyn Pictures after losing control of the company, but the new studio retained the Goldwyn name.
      By the early 1930s, MGM was the most prestigious, glamorous, and financially successful studio in Hollywood, maintaining a stable of stars that included Greta Garbo, Clark Gable, James Stewart, and Elizabeth Taylor. From the 1920s to the 1950s, studios like MGM dominated every aspect of the film industry. Studios produced their own films, used their own writers and actors on contract, then distributed those films to theater chains owned by or affiliated with the studio. Under the studio system, each of the major studios developed its own filmmaking style. In the late 1920s and '30s, MGM production head Irving Thalberg lent his high production standards to MGM, creating literary films like Ben Hur (1925), Romeo and Juliet (1936), and The Good Earth (1937).
      After Thalberg's death, MGM was associated with entertainment blockbusters like The Wizard of Oz (1939) but also with popular, low-budget serial films like MGM's 10 Tarzan films, from 1932 to 1942, and the 15 Dr. Kildare films, made between 1938 and 1947. In the '40s and '50s, the studio was associated with such musicals as On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951), and Singin' in the Rain (1952). MGM did not fare as well in the last few decades. In 1952, a Supreme Court ruling forced the Loew's theater chain to sell off ownership stake in MGM. The power of the studio system was beginning to fade by this point, and in 1973, the company stopped distributing its films and was purchased by a series of owners.
1916 Sirimavo Ratwatte Dias Bandaranaike. In 1940 she would marry Solomon West Ridgway Dias Bandaranaike [08 January 1899 – 26 September 1959] who would be Ceylon's prime minister from 12 April 1956 until his assassination. After the July 1960 election victory of his Sri Lanka Freedom Party, his widow would become the world's first woman Prime Minister.
^ 1911 Application for a car self-starter patent.
      Charles F. Kettering [29 Aug 1876 – 25 Nov 1958] applies for a US patent for an “Engine Starting, Lighting, and Ignition System”, for which he would receive US Patent # 1,171,055 on 08 February 1916, having already, on 17 August 1915, received US Patent # 1,150,523 for an “Engine Starting Device” for which he had applied on 15 June 1911.
     Kettering had designed the self-starting mechanism for the Cadillac Car Company. The vision for the self-starter is said to have been the result of the peculiar death of Byron Carter, a close friend of Cadillac founder Henry Leland [16 Feb 1843 – 26 Mar 1932]. In 1910, Carter, the manufacturer of the Cartercar, suffered a broken jaw and arm when he stopped to help a woman with the crank-starter on her car. The crank, linked directly to the car's drive shaft, was capable of bucking out of the hands of its "cranker," and Carter suffered for it. His injuries grew complicated and, combined with a case of pneumonia, killed him.
      Distraught by the event, Leland determined to solve the problem of the crank-starter. He hired Kettering, then famous for creating an electric engine small enough for the electric cash register. Kettering believed he could create an engine capable of starting the motor of a car that was light enough and small enough not to hinder the car's ability to run. The engineering problem took him no time at all. He offered Leland a prototype in December of 1910. Kettering's system relied on a storage battery that supplied a 24-volt charge to the starter to ignite the engine. The battery then switched to 6 volts to feed back into the battery and recharge it. His first operating model was delivered to Cadillac on 17 February 1911. Leland ordered twelve thousand units to be installed in the 1912 Cadillac. The self-starter gave women access to cars for the first time. Without the arduous task of cranking the engine to deter them, women could drive cars on their own. Since there were almost as many rich women as rich men, the self-starter drastically broadened the market for the automobile.
     Kettering, who, in association with Edward A. Deeds, had organized the Dayton Engineering Laboratories Company (Delco) in 1909, would go on to become head of General Motors research laboratories and Vice President of the Corporation. He would eventually receive over 160 US patents, including on 15 July 1924 US Patent # 1,501,491 for a “spark plug”, and, on 30 April 1929, US Patent # 1,710,991 for an “Automatically Controlled Transmission for Motor Vehicles”.
    But his earliest patent was not related to cars. On 11 June 1906 he applied for a patent for a “Driving Mechanism for Cash Registers” for which he received US Patent # 924,616 on 08 June 1909.
1897 Thornton Niven Wilder (novelist: The Bridge of San Luis Rey [1928]; and playwright: Our Town [1938], The Skin of Our Teeth [1943]). Arguably one of the greatest playwrights of the twentieth century, Wilder is the only writer to win Pulitzer Prizes for both literature and drama. He died on 07 December 1975.
1894 (05 April Julian) Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, Soviet leader (Sep 1953 – 14 Oct 1964) who died on 11 September 1971. Destalinizer, promoter of international peaceful coexistence, eyeball-to-eyeball blinker (25 Oct 1962), shoe banger (12 Oct 1960).
^ 1885 Karen Dinesen, Baroness Blixen-Finecke, “Isak Dinesen”, in Rungsted, Denmark.
      Dinesen's memoir, Out of Africa, helped demystify the Dark Continent for millions of readers. Dinesen was born to an upper-class Danish family. Her father committed suicide when Dinesen was 10, ending the happiest period of her childhood. She began writing plays and stories and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, where she developed an interest in art.
      When her family sent her to Oxford to study English, she rebelled and went to Paris and Rome to study painting. In 1914, she married her cousin Baron Bror Blixen-Finecke, and the couple moved to what was then British East Africa (now Kenya), where they owned and operated a coffee plantation. While the unhappy marriage dissolved in 1921, Dinesen fell passionately in love with Africa and remained to manage the plantation for a decade. In Africa, she was a lively and extravagant hostess, fond of throwing lush dinner parties for her friends-parties which laid the basis for her 1949 story, Babette's Feast, which was filmed in 1987.
      Drought and a crash in coffee prices forced Dinesen, penniless, back to Denmark in 1931. She began publishing short story collections with Seven Gothic Tales (1934), followed by Out of Africa in 1937, which brought her recognition and respect. She published several other story collections before her 07 September 1962 death.
1883  Elías Salaverría, pintor español.
1866  Aniceto Marinas García, escultor español.
1863 August Edward Hough Love, English mathematician and physicist who died on 05 June 1940. Author of A Treatise on the Mathematical Theory of Elasticity (1893) and of Some Problems in Geodynamics
1862 Arnaldo Ferraguti, Italian artist who died in 1925. — links to images
1853 Arthur Moritz Schönflies, German mathematician who died on 27 May 1928. He worked first on geometry and kinematics but became best known for his work on set theory and crystallography. He classified the 230 space groups in 1891.
1852 Laura Theresa Epps Alma~Tadema, British painter and illustrator who died on 15 August 1909. MORE ON ALMA~TADEMA AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
1837 John Pierpont Morgan, US financier and industrial organizer, who died on 31 March 1913. He was one of the world's foremost financial figures during the two pre-World War I decades. He reorganized several major railroads and consolidated the United States Steel, International Harvester, and General Electric corporations.
1833 George Vicat Cole, English painter who died on 06 April 1893. MORE ON COLE AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
1806 William Gilmore Simms, US journalist and novelist who died on 11 June 1870. — SIMMS ONLINE: Beauchampe: or, The Kentucky Tragedy: volume 1 _ volume 2 (1842) The Life of Francis Marion Martin Faber: The Story of a CriminalRichard Hurdis: A Tale of Alabama: volume 1 _ volume 2 (1848) The Wigwam and the Cabin: volume 1 _ volume 2 (1845) The Yemassee: A Romance of Carolina
1798 Étienne Bobillier, French mathematician who died on 22 March 1840. He is best known for his work on polars of curves and of algebraic surfaces. He showed that the tangents drawn from a point to a plane curve of order m have their points of contact on a curve of order m - 1 which he called the polar of the point.
1741 Samuel Chase, US jurist and signer of the US Declaration of Independence. He died on 19 June 1811.
1729 Johannes Janson, Dutch artist who died on 01 April 1784. — more with links to two images
1676 Frederick I, king of Sweden (1720-51)
1601 Frans Ykens, Flemish painter specialized in Still Life, who died on a 27 February before 1693. — more with links to images
1539 Tobias Stimmer, Swiss draftsman, painter, and wood-engraver, who died on 14 (04?) January 1584. — more with links to images.
 
Holidays: American Samoa : Flag Day (1900) / Japan : Children's Protection Day / NYC : Verrazano Day (1524) / Syria : Evacuation Day/Independence Day (1946) / Burma : New Year's / Democratic Kampuchea : Day of the Great Victory

Religious Observances RC : St Anicetus, pope [150-66], martyr / Santos Aniceto, Elías, Isidoro, Hermógenes, Roberto y Esteban.
Easter Sunday in 1881, 1892, 1927, 1938, 1949, 1960, 2022, 2033, 2044, 2101, 2112.
Good Friday in 1908, 1981, 1987, 1992, 2071, 2076, 2082.
Holy Thursday in 1919, 1924, 1930, 2003, 2014, 2025, 2087, 2098.
Palm Sunday in 2011, 2095 (latest possible date).
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Thoughts for the day :“Thrift is a wonderful virtue... in an ancestor.”
“Be civil to all; sociable to many; familiar with few; friend to one; enemy to none.”
From Poor Richard's Almanack by Benjamin Franklin [1706-1790].

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