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Events, deaths, births, of APR 21
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• Tiananmen protests begin... • Khmer Rouge takes over... • Mark Twain dies... • Battle of San Jacinto... • Condamnés à mort par la Révolution... • Red Army approaches Berlin... • Red Baron shot down... • Charlotte Brontë is born... • California executions resume... • Keynes dies... • Racine dies... • Lincoln's body goes home... • Stalin's daughter in US... • Borland~WordPerfect software suite... • No more Quicken for Mac... • Dr. Seuss Living Books... • Red Scare minion back from rampage.... • First projected movie in US.... • Rome founded... • Naturalist Muir is born... • Thieu flees from Saigon... • North Vietnamese troops detected in South Vietnam...
^  On a 21 April:

^ 2004 Peacemonger is released, but restricted and endangered, by Israel.
Vanunu being released     Israel releases Mordechai Vanunu, from prison, where he was mistreated for 18 years for telling the truth about Israel's atomic weapons. Vanunu, who was an Orthodox Jew, became an Anglican in the 1980s. He was a reactor technician at the Dimona nuclear plant. The Israeli authorities impose drastic restrictions on Vanunu's liberty of speech and of movement, though he says that he has no more secrets that he has not revealed; but they announce that he will not be provided with any protection from the haters who threaten to murder him.
     Vanunu was born in Morocco on 13 October 1954 to an Orthodox Jewish family, which immigrated to Israel in 1963. After 3 years of military service (1971-1974) he worked as a low-level technician at Israel's Dimona Nuclear Reactor Center from November 1976 until his position was terminated as redundant in October 1985 and learned about Israel's secret production of plutonium for nuclear weapons. He then traveled and, in 1986, was baptized an Anglican in Sydney, Australia, where a reporter from The Sunday Times went to interview him and then invited him to London for more interviews and checking on his story by nuclear experts, in September 1986. Vanunu also provided 60 photos on Israel's nuclear program. On 28 September 1986 The Sunday Mirror published Vanunu's story, as a hoax. Israeli agents lured Vanunu to Rome, where they secretly kidnapped him on 30 September 1986.
      On 05 October 1986, the The Sunday Times published Vanunu's story under the headline: “Revealed: The Secrets of Israel's Nuclear Arsenal.”, revealing that Israel had more than 200 bombs with boosted devices, neutron bombs, F-16 deliverable warheads, and Jericho warheads. It also described the underground plutonium separation facility where Israel was producing 40 kilograms annually, several times more than previously thought. Experts estimate that the Israelis were able to build bombs with as little as 4 kilograms of plutonium.
      Vanunu was taken back to Israel, where he was secretly tried starting on 30 August 1987. On 24 March 1988 he was convicted of aggravated treason, espionage, and revealing state secrets. On 27 March 1988 he was sentenced to eighteen years in prison. Until 12 March 1998 he was kept in solitary confinement, where he was put again from May to September 2000 (for having sat in the sun, unnoticed, for one hour).

Jospin and Chirac
Le Pen, coming out of polling station2002 Presidential elections in France, first round. The big winner is “None of the above” as 28.08% of the 40'802'591 registered voters abstain, a record. Of the 16 actual candidates, President Jacques Chirac, 69, who is seeking his third reelection, comes out ahead with 19.83% of the 28'348'499 valid votes. The big surprise is that Lionel Jospin, 64, the Socialist prime minister is not second, but third, with 16.14% of the vote. In second place is right-wing extremist Jean-Marie Le Pen, 73 [photo >], of the Front National (16.91% of the vote)[his solution to all of France's problems: expel all 3 million immigrants]. Chirac and Le Pen will compete in the runoff election on 05 May 2002, when right-wing moderate Chirac, with the support of the Socialists, even of the Communists, and of most other parties (who may dislike Chirac, but abhor Le Pen), will win. [< photo: 02 Apr 2002: Jospin, left of course, and Chirac arrive at the Gabriel Peri stadium of Nanterre for the memorial service for the council members killed on 27 March 2002]
     The candidates had until midnight on 02 Apr 2002 to submit a list of 500 endorsements from elected officials that make them eligible to be included on the first-round ballot. Chirac is a 30-year veteran of French politics who has based his career less on ideas than on his simple familiarity to voters. He was mayor of Paris for 18 years, twice prime minister, and has been president since 1995. Jospin focused his campaign on the period of relative economic prosperity that has coincided with his tenure, since 1997. He ran a sober campaign even by French standards, hoping evidently to persuade the French to look beyond his opponent's semblance of statesmanship and realize that Jospin's government has left them better off today than they were five years ago. Stunned by his unexpected defeat, Jospin announces the next day that he is retiring from politics.
      The 13 defeated minor candidates, with their percentage of the vote, are:
— François Bayrou, of the UDF, 6.84%. He now supports his fellow rightist Chirac.
— Arlette Laguiller, 62, a retired bank employee running for the fifth time, whose simple straightforwardness gives her an appeal beyond that of her trotskyist splinter group, Lutte Ouvrière, which regularly denounces banks and capitalism and believes in class struggle 5.73% . Being virulently opposed to Chirac, she refuses to support him, while asking supporters to mount street protests against Le Pen.
— Jean-Pierre Chevènement 5.33%
— Noël Mamère, of the Green party, 5.24% [a mamma's boy who pretended to be le Père Noël?]. He and his party ask supporters to vote for Chirac in the runoff.
— Olivier Besancenot, of the trotskyist Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire, 4.26% [not from Besançon?]. He immediately asks his supporters to vote for Chirac in the runoff.
— Jean Saint-Josse, 58, whose party supports hunters' rights and won almost 7% of the vote in 1999 elections to the European Parliament. 4.25% [il savait à quel saint se vouer, mais qui a jamais entendu parler de ce saint-là?]
— Alain Madelin, of the rightist DL, 3.89% [au moins il rime]. He throws his support to Chirac.
— Robert Hue, Communist, 3.38% [a-t-il été tellement hué que ce résultat est meilleur que ce qu'il espérait?]
— Bruno Mégret 2.35% [un maigre résultat]. A right-wing extremist, he is one of the rare politicians who favor Le Pen.
— Christiane Taubira, 50, a member of Parliament from French Guyana who represents a leftist splinter group, the Parti Radical de Gauche; she is the first Black candidate for president of France. 2.32%. Her party throws its runoff support to Chirac.
— Corinne Lepage 1.88%
— Christine Boutin 1.19% [a-t-on remarqué que ses cheveux avaient les bouts teints?]
— Daniel Gluckstein, of the trotskyist Parti des Travailleurs, 0.47%
     The platforms of Chirac and Jospin were similar: safer streets, lower taxes and a less rigid economy. The crime issue did favor Le Pen {who made it his main issue, his solution being to expel all immigrants) and, to a lesser degree, Chirac, who accused Jospin of failing to keep it under control.
2002 Hungary's parliamentary election runoff vote assures the Socialists of 178 seats and their liberal Free Democrat allies of 20 seats in the 386-seat Parliament, thus defeating conservative Prime Minister Viktor Orban's Fidesz/Democratic Forum which gets 188 seats. Socialist Peter Medgyessy will thus become Prime Minister.
2002 Parliamentary elections in the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, which has the lowest per capita income of any German state and the highest jobless rate, 20%, twice the national average. The Christian Democrats regain control of the state with more than 37% of the vote versus 22% in the last ballot four years ago. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats get 20% (36% in 1998). The pro-business Free Democrats re-enter the state legislature with 13% (4% last time). Their gain positions them to ally with the Christian Democrats in the 22 September 2002 national parliamentary elections. The ex-Communists remain at about 20%.
2001 Opponents of globalization continue demonstrating in Quebec City against the Summit of the Americas held by 34 leaders surrounded by a 3700 m security fence and a massive deployment of police with shields, gas masks, tear gas, rubber bullets, and water cannons.
2000 The lower house of the Russian parliament overwhelmingly approves the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, which would oblige Russia to end all nuclear test explosions.
^ 1998 Intuit discontinues Quicken for Macintosh.
      Citing the dwindling sales of Macintosh computers, Intuit announced it would no longer make Quicken, its popular financial software, for the Mac. Macintosh users represented about 10% of Quicken's customers in 1998, down from 15% a few years before. While Apple had recently returned to profitability after a long run of losses, the Mac continued to lose market share, dipping as low as 3% until the introduction of the popular iMac in May 1998 once again boosted Mac sales. Steve Jobs, Apple's cofounder and acting CEO, helped persuade Intuit to change its stance. In May, Intuit reversed its decision and agreed to continue making Quicken for Macintosh.
1998 Astronomers announce in Washington that they had discovered possible signs of a new family of planets orbiting a star 220 light-years away.
1996 Netscape says that it will create an online address book listing e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and addresses for most people around the country. The company partnered with some thirty-five companies to create the service.
^ 1994 Living Books wins Dr. Seuss rights.
Living Books, a joint venture of Random House and Broderbund Software, announces that it has purchased multimedia rights to all forty-eight Dr. Seuss books, including The Cat in the Hat. Earlier in the month, Living Books had acquired multimedia rights to popular children's books about the fictional Berenstein Bear family. The company planned to produce interactive computer programs based on the books. .
1994  Javier Echevarría Rodríguez, sustituye al fallecido Álvaro del Portillo y Díez de Sollano como nuevo prelado del Opus Dei.
^ 1993 Borland and WordPerfect software merged into suite.
      Borland International, makers of PC spreadsheets and databases, and WordPerfect, a leading word processing maker, announced they would jointly create a suite of office applications to compete with Microsoft Office. Both companies had struggled in recent years due to increased competition from Microsoft. The partnership did not save the two companies, however. In March 1994, Novell purchased both WordPerfect and Borland's spreadsheet business, in an unsuccessful attempt to combat Microsoft's growing dominance in the consumer software field. In January 1996, Corel bought WordPerfect from Novell, and in 1998, Borland changed its name to Inprise, reflecting a new focus on server software and services for enterprise-scale businesses.
1991 US Marines in northern Iraq began building the first safe-haven settlement for Kurdish refugees.
1990  El Papa Juan Pablo II inicia su primera visita a Europa del Este, salvo las ya realizadas a Polonia.
1990 Tras 25 días amotinados de la prisión británica de Strangeway, Manchester, los últimos rebeldes deponen su actitud.
^ 1989 Chinese students begin protests at Tiananmen Square.
      Six days after the death of Hu Yaobang, the deposed reform-minded leader of the Chinese Communist Party, some 100'000 students gathered at Beijing's Tiananmen Square to commemorate Hu and voice their discontent with China's authoritative Communist government. The next day, an official memorial service for Hu Yaobang was held in Tiananmen's Great Hall of the People, and student representatives carried a petition to the steps of the Great Hall and demanded to meet with Premier Li Peng.
      The Chinese government refused such a meeting, leading to a general boycott of Chinese universities across the country and widespread calls for democratic reforms. Ignoring government warnings of violent suppression of any mass demonstration, students from more than forty universities began a march to Tiananmen on 27 April. The students were joined by workers, intellectuals, and civil servants, and by mid April over a million people filled the square, the site of Communist leader's Mao Zedong's proclamation of the People's Republic of China in 1949.
      On 20 April, the government formally declared martial law in Beijing, and troops and tanks were called in to disperse the dissidents. However, large numbers of students and citizens blocked the army's advance, and by 23 April, government forces had pulled back to the outskirts of Beijing.
      On 03 June, with negotiations to end the protests stalled and calls for democratic reforms escalating, the troops received orders from the Chinese government to reclaim Tiananmen at all cost. By the end of the next day, Chinese troops had forcibly cleared Tiananmen Square and Beijing's streets, killing hundreds of demonstrators and arresting thousands of protestors and other suspected dissidents.
      In the weeks after the government crackdown, an unknown number of dissidents were executed and hard-liners in the government took firm control of the country. The international community was outraged at the incident, and economic sanctions imposed by the United States and other countries sent China's economy into decline. However, by late 1990, international trade had resumed, thanks in part to China's release of several hundred imprisoned dissidents.
1987  La Asamblea Nacional francesa aprueba el Tratado franco-británico para la construcción del túnel bajo el Canal de La Mancha.
1982 El PSOE (Partido Socialista Obrero Español) y la UCD (Unión de Centro Democrático) alcanzan un acuerdo sobre el estatuto de autonomía de Valencia, que contempla la denominación “Comunidad Valenciana”, la bandera cuatribarrada y el valenciano, como idioma oficial.
^ 1975 Khmer Rouge government takes over Kampuchea.
     The Khmer Rouge, organized by Pol Pot in the Cambodian jungle, advocated a radical Communist revolution that would wipe out Western influences in Cambodia and set up a solely agrarian society. In 1970, aided by North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, Khmer Rouge guerrillas began a large-scale insurgency against Cambodian government forces, soon gaining control of nearly a third of the country. By 1973, secret US bombings of Cambodian territory controlled by the Vietnamese Communists forced the Vietnamese out of the country, creating a power vacuum that was soon filled by Pol Pot's rapidly growing Khmer Rouge movement.
      In April 1975, the Khmer Rouge captured Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital, overthrew the pro-US regime, and established a new government, the Kampuchean People's Republic. As the new ruler of Cambodia, Pol Pot quickly set about transforming the country into his vision of an agrarian utopia. The cities were evacuated, factories and schools were closed, and currency and private property was abolished. Anyone thought to be an intellectual, such as someone who spoke a foreign language, was immediately killed. Skilled workers were also killed, in addition to anyone caught in possession of eyeglasses, a wristwatch, or any other modern technology. In forced marches punctuated with atrocities from the Khmer Rouge, the millions who failed to escape Cambodia were herded onto rural collective farms. Between 1975 and 1978, an estimated two million Cambodians died by execution, forced labor, and famine.
      In 1978, Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia, capturing Phnom Penh in early 1979. A moderate Communist government was established, and Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge retreated back into the jungle. In 1985, Pol Pot officially retired, but remained the effective head of the Khmer Rouge. In 1997, he was put on trial by his own Khmer Rouge after an internal power struggle ousted him from his leadership position. Sentenced to life imprisonment by a "people's tribunal," which critics derided as a show trial, Pol Pot later declared in an interview, “My conscience is clear”. Much of the international community hoped that his captors would extradite him to stand trial for his crimes against humanity, but he died of apparently natural causes while under house arrest on 15 April 1998.
^ 1975 Thieu flees Saigon as defeat looms.
     Last South Vietnam president Nguyen Van Thieu resigns after 10 years in office and flees from Saigon. Xuan Loc, the last South Vietnamese outpost blocking a direct North Vietnamese assault on Saigon, falls to the communists. The North Vietnamese had launched a major offensive in March to capture the provincial capital of Ban Me Thuot in the Central Highlands. The South Vietnamese defenders fought very poorly and were quickly overwhelmed by the North Vietnamese attackers. Despite previous promises to provide support to the South Vietnamese if the communists violated the provisions of the cease-fire, the United States did nothing. In an attempt to reposition his forces for a better defense, South Vietnamese President Nguyen Van Thieu ordered his forces in the Highlands to withdraw to more defensible positions to the south. What started out as a reasonably orderly withdrawal soon degenerated into a panic that spread throughout the South Vietnamese armed forces. They abandoned Pleiku and Kontum in the Highlands with very little fighting and the North Vietnamese pressed the attack from the west and north. In quick succession, Quang Tri, Hue, and Da Nang in the north fell to the communist onslaught. The North Vietnamese continued to attack south along the coast, defeating the South Vietnamese forces at each encounter.
      As the North Vietnamese forces closed on the approaches to Saigon, the politburo in Hanoi issued an order to Gen. Van Tien Dung to launch the "Ho Chi Minh Campaign," the final assault on Saigon itself. Dung began to move his forces into position for the final battle. The South Vietnamese 18th Division made a valiant final stand at Xuan Loc, 60 km northeast of Saigon, and the South Vietnamese soldiers destroyed three of Dung's divisions. However, the South Vietnamese succumbed to the superior North Vietnamese numbers.
      With the fall of Xuan Loc, President Nguyen Van Thieu resigned and transferred authority to Vice-President Tran Van Huong. Thieu then fled Saigon, flying to Taiwan on 25 April and eventually on to Great Britain, where stayed. By 27 April, the North Vietnamese had completely encircled Saigon and began to maneuver for their final assault. By the morning of 30 April, the war was over. When the North Vietnamese tanks broke through the gates of the Presidential Palace in Saigon, the South Vietnamese surrendered and the Vietnam War came to an end.
1974  Tras las elecciones presidenciales colombianas, Alfonso López Michelsen es elegido presidente del país.
1967 Military coup in Greece: Army colonels install Constantine Kollias as premier. —  Un golpe de Estado en Grecia acaba con el régimen monárquico en el país. 
1967 El Gobierno español implanta el estado de excepción en Vizcaya durante tres meses.
^ 1967 Stalin's daughter arrives in New York.
      Svetlana Alliluyeva, the daughter of late Soviet leader Joseph Stalin and his second wife, Nadezhda Alliluyeva, arrived in New York City and was formally granted political asylum.
      A few months earlier, during a visit to India, she walked into the US embassy in New Delhi and announced to Ambassador Chester Bowels her desire to defect to the West. About fourteen years earlier, in March of 1953, Joseph Stalin died, ending nearly three decades of tyrannical rule that brought drastic changes to the Soviet Union while directly resulting in the deaths of millions of its citizens.
      Just three years later, Nikita Khrushchev, the new Soviet leader, denounced Stalin and his policies at the Twentieth Party Congress, and by 1966, the man who had led the USS.R. through the crucible of World War II had faded firmly from Soviet favor.
      Since her father's death, Svetlana Alliluyeva had worked in the Soviet Union as a teacher and translator, but in 1966 defected to the West, leaving behind a grown son and daughter from two previous marriages. In April 1967, she settled in the US, where she later became a US citizen and married an American architect.
^ 1965 Intelligence reveals North Vietnamese units in South Vietnam.
      The Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Intelligence Agency report a "most ominous" development: a regiment of the People's Army of Vietnam--the regular army of North Vietnam--division is now operating with the Viet Cong in South Vietnam. Prior to this, it was believed that South Vietnam was dealing with an internal insurgency by the Viet Cong; the report detailed that, in fact, the Viet Cong forces were being joined in the war against the Saigon government by North Vietnamese army units. In short, the report revealed that South Vietnam was now involved in a much larger war than originally believed. The situation far outstripped the combat capability of the South Vietnamese forces. In order to stabilize the situation, President Lyndon B. Johnson would have to commit US ground combat units, leading to a much greater American involvement in the war. Indeed, eventually over 500,000 US troops were stationed in South Vietnam.
1961 French army revolts in Algeria.
1960 Newly built Brasilia becomes the capital of Brazil, replacing Río de Janeiro.
1959 Alf Dean using hooks a 1208 kg, 5.13 m white shark, the largest fish ever caught with rod and reel.
1958  Se inaugura en Madrid el Museo de Arte Contemporáneo.
1958 Pablo Picasso presenta la obra que decorará el vestíbulo principal del nuevo edificio de la UNESCO; una pieza inspirada en mitos clásicos que evoca la victoria de las fuerzas de la luz y la paz.
1954 USAF flies French battalion to Vietnam.
1954 Gregori Malenkov becomes premier of USSR.
1954  Estados Unidos e Iraq firman un pacto de asistencia mutua.
^ 1953 Red scare minions back from rampage in Europe.
      Roy Cohn and David Schine, two of Senator Joseph McCarthy's chief aides, return to the United States after a controversial investigation of United States Information Service (USIS) posts in Europe. Upon their recommendation, thousands of books were removed from USIS libraries in several Western European countries. Cohn and Schine had risen to fame on the coattails of Senator McCarthy as he conducted his well-publicized hunt for subversives and communists in the United States. Cohn became chief counsel to the McCarthy Senate subcommittee devoted to investigating communism in the US government, and Schine, one of Cohn's close friends, became a "special consultant." In the spring of 1953, Cohn and Schine departed for a seven-nation tour of Western Europe. Their primary task was to investigate the workings of the USIS posts, foreign offices of the United States Information Agency that had recently been established to serve as propaganda centers. The posts hosted speakers, showed movies, and set up libraries containing what were considered to be representative pieces of American literature. Cohn and Schine were appalled by the authors they found on the USIS bookshelves. The two men reported that over 30'000 books in the libraries were by "pro-communist" writers and demanded their removal. The authors they targeted included crime novelist Dashiell Hammett, African-American intellectual W.E.B. Du Bois, Herman Melville, John Steinbeck, and Henry Thoreau. The State Department, which oversaw the operations of USIS, immediately ordered thousands of books removed from the libraries. The irony of the situation did not escape commentators of the time. With the Nazi book burnings of World War II still fresh in the collective memory, many felt it was questionable that America had joined the ranks of nations that censored literature. In the fight against communism, even Moby Dick was dispensable.
1952 BOAC begins first passenger service with jets (London-Rome route)
^ 1945 Red Army overruns German High Command as it approaches Berlin.
      Soviet forces fighting south of Berlin, at Zossen, assault the headquarters of the German High Command.
      The only remaining opposing "force" to the Russian invasion of Berlin are the "battle groups" of Hitler Youth, teenagers with anti-tank guns, strategically placed in parks and suburban streets. In a battle at Eggersdorf, 70 of these Hitler teens strive to fight off a Russian assault with a mere three anti-tank guns. They are bulldozed by Russian tanks and infantry.
      Also on this day in 1945, British Guardsman Edward Charlton wins the last Victoria Cross of the war for saving the lives of several men trapped in their tank during a battle in the German village of Wistedt. He is so badly wounded during his act of heroism that he dies shortly after being taken prisoner. A total of 182 Victoria Crosses--Britain's highest honor for valor--were awarded in World War II.
1943  Mamoru Shigemitsu se convierte en nuevo ministro de Asuntos Exteriores de Japón.
1936  Se desatan importantes incendios en los barrios judíos de Jaffa y de Tel Aviv, en Palestina. Los musulmanes exigen que se detenga por completo la inmigración judía y que se prohíba la compra de tierras.
1931  El Gobierno de la Segunda República española reconoce el Consejo provisional de la Generalitat catalana, presidida por Francesc Macià i Llusa.
1927  Benito Mussolini promulga en Italia la Carta de Trabajo, que convierte el país en un Estado corporativo.
1927 La bolsa de Japón experimenta un espectacular hundimiento.
1925 Chuvash Autonomous Region in RSFSR becomes Chuvash ASSR
1914 US marines occupy Vera Cruz, Mexico, stay 6 months.
1913  El paquebote alemán Imperator de 52'000 toneladas encalla en el río Elba durante su travesía inaugural.
1909  El Vaticano promulga la encíclica Communium Rerum, en honor de an Anselmo, símbolo de la lucha contra el modernismo.
1908 Frederick A. Cook claims to reach North Pole (He didn't)
1902  En Provenza se localizan los restos arqueológicos de un mosaico de 4,5 m2 que representa el rapto de Europa.
1901  En Madrid se celebra una concentración en la que gritan proclamas contra el clero, la monarquía y la propiedad privada, mientras en Barcelona los manifestantes protestan contra los atropellos de la Guardia Civil.
1901 La exposición en el Grand Palais de París de la monumental escultura de Victor Marie Hugo (“nu car on ne revêt pas un Dieu d'une redingote”), de Auguste Rodin, genera sonadas controversias.
1898 Spanish-American War begins. —   El presidente de EEUU, William McKinley, declara la guerra a España.
^ 1895 First projected movie in the US
      Woodville Latham and his sons, Otway and Gray, demonstrate the first projected movie in the United States. The demonstration, on Franklin Street in New York City, used a projector that rolled perforated film in front of a lantern. Although movies had been shown in the United States for several years using Edison's Kinetoscope, the films could only be viewed one at a time in a peep-show box, not projected to a large audience. Projected movies were first shown to paying audiences starting the following year, usually as part of a vaudeville show. The first theater devoted solely to projected movies, The Electric Theater in Los Angeles, didn't open until 1902.
1878 Leo XIII publishes the encyclical, Inscrutabili Dei consilio. It outlined a program of reconciling the Catholic Church with modern civilization, many of its details reversing policies of his predecessor, Pius IX.
^ 1865 Lincoln's body goes home.
     Lincoln's body goes by train to Springfield, Illinois, his home before becoming president. Tens of thousands of Americans line the train's route and pay their respects to their fallen leader during the train's solemn progression through the North. Lincoln is buried on 04 April 1865, at Oak Ridge Cemetery, near Springfield.
     On 15 April at 07:22, Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth president of the United States, had died from a bullet wound inflicted the night before by John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer.
      The president's death came only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox, effectively ending the American Civil War. In early April, with Confederate armies near collapse across the South, Booth, an actor who remained in the North during the war despite his Confederate sympathies, hatched a desperate plan to save the Confederacy.
      Learning that Lincoln was to attend Laura Keene's acclaimed performance in Our American Cousin at Washington's Ford's Theater on 14 April, Booth and a group of conspirators plotted the assassination of Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson, and Secretary of State William H. Seward. By murdering the president and two of his possible successors, they hoped to throw the Union government into a paralyzing disarray. Only Booth, assigned to murder Lincoln, would be successful.
      Just after 22:00, Booth entered Lincoln's private box unnoticed, and shot the president with a single bullet in the back of his head. Slashing an army officer who rushed at him, Booth jumped to the stage and shouted "Sic semper tyrannis! (Thus always to tyrants)--the South is avenged!" Although Booth had broken his left leg jumping from Lincoln's box, he succeeded in escaping from Washington.
      The president, mortally wounded, was carried to a cheap lodging house opposite Ford's Theater. An hour after dawn the next morning, Abraham Lincoln died, becoming the first president to be assassinated. His body was taken to the White House where it lay until 18 April, at which point it was carried to the Capitol rotunda to lay in state on a catafalque.
      Booth, pursued by the army and secret service forces, was finally cornered in a barn near Bowling Green, Virginia, and died from a possibly self-inflicted bullet wound as the barn was burned to the ground. Of the nine other persons eventually charged with the conspiracy, four were hanged and four were jailed.
1863 Declaration of Bah 'u'll h; Bah '¡ Feast of Ridv n (Jalál 13, 20)
1863 Generals Jones and Imboden begin Confederate raid on the B&O Railroad in Virginia (now West Virginia)
1863 Siege of Suffolk, Virginia by Confederates continues
1862 Siege of Yorktown, Virginia continues.
1861 Slave ship Nightingale captured by USS Saratoga.
1837  Mosén Benet Tristany i Freixes, al frente de una partida realista, toma la ciudad de Solsona y la convierte en capital del carlismo en Cataluña.
^ 1836 The Battle of San Jacinto.
      During the Texan War for Independence, the Texas militia under Sam Houston launched a surprise attack against the forces of Mexican General Santa Anna along the San Jacinto River. The Mexicans were thoroughly routed, and hundreds were taken prisoner, including General Santa Anna himself.
      After gaining independence from Spain in the 1820s, Mexico welcomed foreign settlers to sparsely populated Texas, and a large group of Americans led by Stephen F. Austin settled along the Brazos River. The Americans soon outnumbered the resident Mexicans, and by the 1830s attempts by the Mexican government to regulate these semi-autonomous American communities led to rebellion. In March of 1836, in the midst of armed conflict with the Mexican government, Texas declared its independence from Mexico. The Texas volunteers initially suffered defeat against the forces of Santa Anna--the Alamo fell and Sam Houston's troops were forced into an eastward retreat.
      However, in late April, Houston's troops surprised a Mexican force at San Jacinto and Santa Anna was captured, bringing an end to Mexico's effort to subdue Texas. In exchange of his freedom, Santa Anna recognized Texas's independence, although the treaty was later abrogated and tensions built up along the Texas-Mexico border.
      The citizens of the so-called "Lone Star Republic" elected Sam Houston as president, but also endorsed the entrance of Texas into the Union. However, the likelihood of Texas joining the Union as a slave state delayed any formal action by the US Congress for over a decade. Finally, in 1844, Secretary of State John C. Calhoun orchestrated a compromise in which Texas would join the United States as a slave territory. Four months after the approval of formal annexation of Texas by the US Congress, Texas's congress accepted US statehood. On 29 December 1845, Texas entered the United States as a slave state, broadening the irrepressible differences in the US over the issue of slavery and igniting the Mexican-American War.
1834  Se promulga un real decreto por el que se crean los partidos judiciales en todas las provincias españolas.
1808 El rey de España  Fernando VII llega a Bayona para entrevistarse con el emperador Napoléon.
1789 John Adams is sworn in as the first vice president of the United States. (9 days before Washington)
1653  Oliver Cromwell disuelve por la fuerza de las armas el Parlamento Rabadilla.
1649 The Toleration Act was passed by the Maryland Assembly. It protected Roman Catholics within the American colony against Protestant harassment, which had been rising as Oliver Cromwell's power in England increased. It provided for freedom of worship for all Christians.
1486 El rey Fernando el Católico (II, Rey de Aragón y V de Castilla) dicta la sentencia arbitral de Guadalupe.
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< 20 Apr 22 Apr >
^  Deaths which occurred on a 21 April:

2006 Joshua Jack, 16, shot in the head at 20:15 (01:15 UT on 22 Apr) at the intersection of Loyola Avenue and Philip Street in the New Orleans working class neighborhood Central City. — (060619)

2005 Seventeen miners, by a methane gas explosion in a coal mine in village Gokler, Kuthaya province, Turkey..

2005 All 11 aboard an Mi-8 helicopter: the crew of 3: Lubomir Kostov, Georgi Naieeno; Stoyan Anchev; 6 passengers from the US: Robert Jason Gore, 23, of Nevada, Iowa; Luke Adam Petrik, 24, of Conneaut, Ohio; Jason Obert, 29, of Fountain, Colorado; Steve McGovern, 24, of Lexington, Kentucky; Eric Smith, 31, of Waukesha, Wisconsin; and David Patterson, of Havelock, North Carolina; and 2 passengers from Fiji. The helicopter is shot down 20 km north of Baghdad by a missile of the “Islamic Army in Iraq”, which forces Kostov, the lone survivor, to hobble away with a broken leg, and shoot him 15 times in the back. The civilian helicopter and its crew were Bulgarian, contracted by the company Blackwater USA, by which the passengers were employed as civilian security guards. Blackwater is under contract to the US occupation forces in Iraq, as the US Republican regime pretends to downsize the military by replacing soldiers whenever possible by highly paid civilians, called by the newspeak term for “mercenaries”: “contractors” (many of whom have been in the military “special forces”), at great cost to the taxpayers, and, to complete the vicious circle, creating a disincentive for special forces soldiers to re-enlist.

2005 Some 20 persons when the Ahmedabad-bound Sabarmati Express collides at 03:12 (20 Apr 21:42 UT) with a stationary container freight train at Samlaya station, Gujarat, India. The dead include the engineer and his assistant. Some 80 persons are injured.

2004 Police Col. Abdel Rahman Salah, another police officer, a Syrian girl, 11, and another civilian, at about 14:00, by a suicide car bomb some 15 meters from the 7-story General Security building (police headquarters) in the Al Murabba district of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. 148 persons are wounded.

2004: 20 Iraqi insurgents in Fallujah, Iraq, 10 of them were among 13 who attacked US Marines and were shot from Cobra helicopter gunships, and the other 10 were among some 35 others who then joined the battle and were killed by two 500-pound bombs dropped by warplanes,

2004:: 50 persons by four suicide car bombs almost simultaneously at about 07:15 (03:15 UT) at three police stations and a police academy in Basra, Iraq. The dead include 9 policemen and 20 children in a van of kindergartners and a van of middle school girls passing by the Saudia police station. More than 100 persons are injured.

2004 Palestinian fighters Muhammad al-Ajouri, 18, and Muhammad Rantisi, 24, both from Beit Lahia; Suhil al-Haresh, 20, from Jabalya refugee camp; and Muhammad Hamato, 17, from Shata refugee camp; and three Palestinian civilians, including a boy, 15, as Israeli troops, supported by tanks and helicopters, attack Beit Lahiya, Gaza Strip, starting before dawn. No Israeli is hurt.
[below: today in Beit Lahiya an Israeli tank aims at Palestinian children]
2003 Robert H. Blackburn, Black US printmaker, born on 10 December 1920. — MORE ON BLACKBURN AT ART “4” APRIL with his portrait and links to images.

2002 At least 14 persons by a bomb, at 15:05, in a pedicab parked in a line about 10 m in front of the Gensan Fitmart department store in General Santos, Philippines. 34 minutes later another bomb explodes the Radio Mindanao Network office and shortly afterwards a third one at a bus terminal in this largely Christian city of 800'000 in the predominantly Muslim south of the Philippines. The three explosions injure at least 46 persons. An anonymous call to police had said that 18 bombs had been planted the city (the police finds a couple, undetonated). The Abu Sayyaf Muslim rebels are suspected. Or it could be retaliation by the Southeast Asian Jemaah Islamiyah terrorists for the 18 Apri[ 2002 sentencing in General Santos an Indonesian leader of theirs, Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, to 12 years in prison for explosives possession. He told police he had planned a series of bombings that killed 22 persons in Manila on 30 December 2000, and in January 2002 he led police to a buried cache of more than a ton of TNT, detonating cords and M-16 rifles in General Santos.

1997 Galdino Jesus dos Santos, Pataxó Hã-Hã-Hãe Amerindian, at 02:00, from burns on 95% of his body from alcohol poured on him sleeping on a bus station bench in Brasilia at 05:00 the previous day, and set afire by four young men of the upper middle-class: Max Rogério Alves, 19, Antônio Novély Cardoso de Vilanova, 19, Tomás Oliveira de Almeida, 18, and Eron Chaves Oliveira, 19. [see Justiça para Galindo]
1997 Andrés Rodríguez Pedotti, político y presidente paraguayo.
1994  Raúl Soldi, Argentinian painter born on 27 March 1905. — links to images.
^ 1992 Robert Alton Harris, executed in California's gas chamber
     He has been 13 years on death row. This is California's first execution since former Chief Justice Rose Bird and two other state supreme court justices, Joseph Grodin and Cruz Reynoso, had been rejected by California voters. From 1979 to 1986, the Bird court had reversed 64 out of the 68 death penalty cases on appeal. Supporters of capital punishment initiated a campaign against Bird, Grodin, and Reynoso, successfully ousting them from the court in 1986. Republican Governor George Deukmejian then appointed three
justices in favor of the death penalty to take their places.
      On 05 July 1978, Harris abducted John Mayeski and Michael Baker, both 16, from a fast-food restaurant in Mira Mesa, California. When one of the boys pleaded for his life, Harris said, "Stop crying and die like a man." He shot both Mayeski and Baker and then ate their hamburgers. In an amazing coincidence, the father of one of the boys pulled Harris over for a traffic violation later that same day.
      Attorneys for Harris sought to avoid the death penalty by arguing that the killer suffered organic brain damage as a result of fetal alcohol syndrome. The case became a focal point for death penalty abolitionists, who held rallies across the state. Amnesty International even tried to lobby on Harris' behalf, but their efforts proved unsuccessful and Harris is executed on 21 April 1992. Since then, California has had a steady stream of executions but remains far behind Texas and Florida in the number of inmates put to death.
1990  Romain de Tirtoff "Erté", Russian French Art Déco painter and stage and fashion designer born on 23 November 1892. — a bit more with links to images.
1987  Más de 150 personas al explotar un coche-bomba en la capital de Sri Lanka. El atentado se atribuye a presuntos separatistas tamiles.
1986  Unas 300 personas en naufragio de un transbordador con 1000 pasajeros, en Bangladesh.
1982  Matanza de campesinos por miembros de ejército salvadoreño protagonizan una matanza de campesinos.
1971  François Duvalier, Papá Doc, presidente de Haití.
1971 Alberto Magnelli, Italian artist born on 01 July 1888. — more with links to images.
1968 Francis Xavier Kane, born on 18 September 1949. He became a US Marine in 1967 after graduating from Father Judge High School in Philadelphia. He was a rifleman Pfc. in Company M of the Battalion Landing Team 3, 1st Marines, 9th Marine Amphibious Brigade. He died on a search-and-destroy mission west of Ca Lu, Quang Tri Province, Vietnam. In high school, Kane had been good friends with William J. Schussler, who also died in Vietnam. — (060622)
1965  Pedro Albiza Campos, líder nacionalista puertorriqueño.
1954 Emil Leon Post, Jewish US mathematician, born Polish on 11 Feb 1897..
^ 1946 John Maynard Keynes, economist, mathematician.
     John Maynard Keynes's theories on the fiscal benefits of full employment formed a key part of the groundwork for President Franklin Roosevelt's response to the American Depression of the early 1930s. Born in Cambridge, England in 1883, Keynes worked as a civil servant in India during the early 1900s before returning to England around the time of World War I to work as an agent in the government's treasury department. Keynes began writing about economics following the close of the war, publishing materials that criticized the decision to burden Germany with heavy reparations; Keynes also began his investigation into the value of what was then the prevailing devotion to laissez-faire economic policies. By the early '30s, Keynes had become quite critical of the notion that "natural" fiscal forces, rather than government intervention, could ably guide a nation's economy. Keynes articulated these beliefs in The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money (1935-1936), that informed the New Deal, Roosevelt's package of policies designed to end the Depression by sending America back to work. Before his death, Keynes partook in the landmark 1944 Bretton Woods Conference, which, perhaps more at the urging of the US government than Keynes, helped reshape the global economic order.
1944::  641 muertos por un bombardeo aliado sobre París.
1935  Unas 2500 víctimas de un terremoto que devasta la isla de Formosa.
1927 Unos 500 bandidos atacan un tren cuando acababa de salir de la estación mexicana de Guadalajara, con un trágico balance de 176 viajeros muertos o heridos.
1922 Alfred Bray Kempe, English barrister and hobbyist mathematician born on 06 July 1849. Kempe published in 1879 a flawed “proof” of the four color theorem (at least four colors are required to color a plane map so that no two adjacent regions are of the same color). In 1890 Heawood [08 Sep 1861 – 24 Jan 1955] showed the mistake. However that “proof” is the basis for the valid proof completed in 1976 by Appel and Haken thanks to 1200 hours of computer time. The Four Color Theorem was the first major theorem to be proved using a computer.
1919  Se contabilizan hasta 500'000 víctimas de la gripe en el Congo belga.
^ 1918 Manfred von Richtofen, “Red Baron”, killed in action.
      In the skies over Vaux-sur-Somme, France, Manfred von Richthofen, the notorious German flying ace known as “The Red Baron,” is killed in action.
      Richthofen was born in Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), the son of a Prussian nobleman officer, on 02 May 1892. In 1912, he became a lieutenant int the Prussian 1st Uhlan Cavalry Regiment, in which he fought the Russians at the outbreak of World War I, and later participated in the invasion of Belgium and France. But trench warfare made the cavalry irrelevant. In 1915 von Richtofen entered the Imperial Air Service and in September 1916, he began terrorizing the skies over the Western Front in a Albatross biplane, downing fifteen enemy planes by the end of the year, including one piloted by British flying ace Major Lanoe Hawker.
      In 1917, Richthofen surpassed all flying ace records on both sides of the Western Front, and first began using a Fokker triplane, painted — like the others in the “Flying Circus“ he commanded — entirely red in tribute to his old cavalry regiment. Although only used during the last eight months of his career, it is this aircraft that Richthofen was most commonly associated with, and led to an enduring English nickname for the German pilot — the Red Baron. On 21 April 1918, with eighty victories under his belt, Richthofen penetrated deep into Allied territory in pursuit of a British aircraft. Flying too near the ground, the Red Baron was shot through the chest by an Australian gunner (according to one account), and his plane crashed into a field alongside the road from Corbie to Bray. British troops recovered his body, and he was buried with full military honors. He was twenty-five years old. In a time of wooden and fabric aircraft, when twenty air victories insured a pilot legendary status, Manfred von Richthofen had eighty victories, and is regarded to this day as the ace of aces.
    Von Richtofen's eventual successor as commander of the Jagdgeschwader 1 was Hermann Göring [12 Jan 1893 – 15 Oct 1946] (who is listed immediately after “gorilla” in the encyclopedia, and was immediately after Hitler in the Nazi hierarchy)
^ 1910 Samuel Langhorne Clemens “Mark Twain”.
     He was a US humorist, writer, and lecturer. Born on 30 November 1835, he who won a worldwide audience for his stories of youthful adventures, especially The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876), Life on the Mississippi (1883), and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884).
TWAIN ONLINE:
  • The Pirates of Penzance
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
  • The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1st ed.)
  • Huckleberry Finn
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  • Tom Sawyer
  • Tom Sawyer, Detective
  • Tom Sawyer Abroad
  • The Prince and the Pauper
  • The Prince and the Pauper
  • The Prince and the Pauper
  • Extracts From Adam's Diary
  • Extracts From Adam's Diary
  • Extracts From Adam's Diary
  • What is Man? and Other Essays
  • What is Man? and Other Essays
  • What Is Man?
  • Songs of a Savoyard
  • A Dog's Tale
  • Eve's Diary
  • A Horse's Tale
  • A Horse's Tale
  • A Horse's Tale
  • The Innocents Abroad
  • A Tramp Abroad
  • The Bridge-Builders
  • Life on the Mississippi
  • Life on the Mississippi
  • Life on the Mississippi
  • Life on the Mississippi
  • The Mysterious Stranger
  • The Mysterious Stranger
  • Roughing It
  • Roughing It
  • A Tramp Abroad
  • 1601
  • Concerning the Jews
  • Concerning the Jews
  • Christian Science
  • A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
  • A Connecticut Yankee
  • The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County, and Other Sketches
  • Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc
  • Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc volume 1 / volume 2
  • A Double-Barrelled Detective Story
  • The $30,000 Bequest, and Other Stories
  • The $30,000 Bequest, and Other Stories
  • The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
  • The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg
  • The Man that Corrupted Hadleyburg
  • Extract From Captain Stormfield's Visit to Heaven
  • Captain Stormfield
  • Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World
  • Is Shakespeare Dead? From My Autobiography
  • Is Shakespeare Dead? From My Autobiography
  • Chapters From My Autobiography
  • King Leopold's Soliloquy: A Defense of His Congo Rule
  • Mark Twain's Speeches
  • translator of Hoffmann's Struwwelpeter (in German, English, and French)
  • Engaged
  • 1825 Johann Friedrich Pfaff, German mathematician born on 22 December 1765. On 11 May 1815, he presented a transformation of a first-order partial differential equation into a differential system. This theory of equations in total differentials constituted the starting point of a basic theory of integration of partial differential equations which, through the work of Jacobi, Lie, and others, has developed into a modern Cartan calculus of extreme differential forms.
    1794 (2 floréal an II) BURGERE P. Michel Marie, homme de loi, domicilié à Cahors, canton du Lot, condamné à mort comme contre-révolutionnaire, par le tribunal criminel du département de la Haute Garonne.
    ^ 1793 Condamnés à mort par la Révolution:
    BELLIN Jacques, domicilié à la Narce, canton de Tarnargues, département de l'Ardèche, comme contre-révolutionnaire, par le tribunal criminel du département de l'Ardèche.
    MENAGE Jacques, visiteur des rôles, domicilié à Gourdon département du Lot, condamné à mort comme chef d'émeute, par le tribunal criminel dudit département.
    Domiciliés dans le département de la Vendée, comme brigands de la Vendée, par la commission militaire séante aux Sables:
    GAUTEREAU Jean, laboureur, domicilié à Landevieille.
    GRONDIN Jean, (dit Poulin), farinier, domicilié à Bertignolle.
    SIMONNEAU Jean Baptiste, marchand, domicilié à Charllans.

    1740 Antonio Balestra, Italian painter born on 12 July 1666. — MORE ON BALESTRA AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    1718 Philippe de La Hire, French artist, mathematician, and astronomer, born on 18 March 1640.
    ^ 1699 Jean Baptiste Racine.     (RACINE ONLINE:)
    French dramatic poet and historiographer baptized as an infant on 22 December 1639. He is renowned for his mastery of French classical tragedy. His reputation rests on the plays he wrote between 1664 and 1677, notably Andromaque (1667), Britannicus (1669), Bérénice (1670), Bajazet (1672), and Phèdre (1677).

         Racine's first play, Amasie, was never produced and has not survived. His career as a dramatist began with the production by Molière's troupe of his play La Thébaïde ou les frères ennemis at the Palais-Royal Theatre on 20 June 1664. Molière's troupe also produced Racine's next play, Alexandre le Grand, which premiered at the Palais Royal on 4 December 1665. Thereafter all of Racine's secular tragedies would be presented by the actors of the Hôtel de Bourgogne, more skilled in tragedy.
         Racine followed up his first masterpiece, Andromaque (1667), with the comedy Les Plaideurs (1668) before returning to tragedy with two plays set in imperial Rome, Britannicus (1669) and Bérénice (1670). He situated Bajazet (1672) in nearly contemporary Turkish history and depicted a famous enemy of Rome in Mithridate (1673) before returning to Greek mythology in Iphigénie en Aulide (1674) and the play that was his crowning achievement, Phèdre (1677). [Phèdre in English translation]
         Racine was the first French author to live principally on the income provided by his writings.
         After Phèdre, Racine left the theater to become a historiographer of Louis XIV, publishing in 1682 Eloge historique du Roi sur ses conquêtes. He also wrote Cantiques spirituels (1694).
         By request from Louis XIV's consort Madame de Maintenon, Racine wrote two religious plays for the convent girls at Saint-Cyr: Esther (1689) and Athalie (1691). Probably his last work was Abrégé de l'histoire de Port-Royal. Racine died on 21 April 1699 from cancer of the liver.
         La Thébaïde, presents two legitimate pretenders who are also identical twins. The play centres on the twin sons of Oedipus who slay one another in mortal combat, one defending, the other attacking, their native city of Thebes.
         In Andromaque (1667) Racine replaced heroism with realism in a tragedy about the folly and blindness of unrequited love among a chain of four characters. The play is set in Epirus after the Trojan War. Pyrrhus vainly loves his captive, the Trojan widow Andromache, and is in turn loved by the Greek princess Hermione, who in her turn is loved by Orestes. Power, intimidation, and emotional blackmail become the recourses by which these characters try to transmit the depths of their feelings to their beloved. But this form of communication is ultimately frustrated because the characters' deep-seated insecurity renders them self-absorbed and immune to empathy. Murder, suicide, and madness have destroyed all of them except Andromache by the play's end.
         The three-act comedy Les Plaideurs of 1668 offered Racine the challenge of a new genre and the opportunity to demonstrate his skill in Molière's privileged domain, as well as the occasion to display his expertise in Greek, of which he had better command than almost any nonprofessional classicist in France. The result, a brilliant satire of the French legal system, was an adaptation of Aristophanes' The Wasps that found much more favor at court than on the Parisian stage.
         With Britannicus (1669) Racine posed a direct challenge to Corneille's specialty: tragedy with a Roman setting. Racine portrays the events leading up to the moment when the teenage emperor Nero cunningly and ruthlessly frees himself from the tutelage of his domineering mother, Agrippina, and has Britannicus, a legitimate pretender to the throne, poisoned in the course of a fatal banquet of fraternal reconciliation.
         Bérénice (1670) marks the decisive point in Racine's theatrical career, for with this play he found a felicitous combination of elements that he would use, without radical alteration, for the rest of his secular tragedies: a love interest, a relatively uncomplicated plot, striking rhetorical passages, and a highly poetic use of time. Bérénice is built around the unusual premise of three characters who are ultimately forced to live apart because of their virtuous sense of duty. In the play, Titus, who is to become the new Roman emperor, and his friend Antiochus are both in love with Berenice, the queen of Palestine.
         Racine followed the simplicity of Bérénice and its three main characters with a violent, relatively crowded production, Bajazet (1672). The play's themes of unrequited love and the struggle for power under the unrelenting pressure of time are recognizably Racinian, but its locale, the court of the Ottoman sultan in Constantinople, is the only contemporary setting used by Racine in any of his plays, and was sufficiently far removed in distance and in mores from 17th-century France to create an alluring exoticism for contemporary audiences. In the play, the main characters--the young prince Bajazet, his beloved Atalide, and the jealous sultana Roxane--are the mortal victims of the despotic cruelty of the absent sultan Amurat, whose reign is maintained by violence and secrecy.
         In 1673 Racine presented Mithridate, which featured a return to tragedy with a Roman background. Mithradates VI, the king of Pontus, is the aging, jealous rival of his sons for the Greek princess Monime. The rivalry between the two brothers themselves for the love of their father's fiancée is another manifestation of the primordial tragic situation for Racine, that of warring brothers. Against the backdrop of this conflict, the play presents the demise of King Mithradates, who becomes conscious of his own eclipse as a heroic figure feared by Rome.
          Despite a competing play mounted by his enemies on the same general subject, Racine's Iphigénie en Aulide (1674) was a resounding success that confirmed him as the unrivaled master of French theatre. It is an adaptation of a play by Euripides about the prospective sacrifice of Iphigenia by her father Agamemnon, but contains a happy ending in which Iphigénie is spared. Racine's deft insertion in Iphigénie en Aulide of the future as an intrusive force determining the present creates a rehearsal of the Trojan War that culminates in a profound moral illumination revolving around the title character. The play's dénouement, typical of Racine's practice, projects the imagination of the spectator beyond the present action to the future consequences of the acts portrayed on stage.
          Phèdre (1677) is Racine's supreme accomplishment because of the rigor and simplicity of its organization, the emotional power of its language, and the profusion of its images and meanings. Racine presents Phèdre as consumed by an incestuous passion for her stepson, Hippolytus. Receiving false information that her husband, King Theseus, is dead, Phèdre declares her love to Hippolytus, who is horrified. Theseus returns and is falsely informed that Hippolytus has been the aggressor toward Phèdre. Theseus invokes the aid of the god Neptune to destroy his son, after which Phèdre kills herself out of guilt and sorrow. A structural pattern of cycles and circles in Phèdre reflects a conception of human existence as essentially changeless, recurrent, and therefore asphyxiatingly tragic. Phèdre's own desire to flee the snares of passion repeatedly prompts her to contemplate a voluntary exile. References to ancient Greek mythological figures and to a wide range of geographical places lend a vast, cosmic dimension to the moral itinerary of Phèdre as she suffers bitterly from her incestuous propensities and a sense of her own degradation. Phèdre constitutes a daring representation of the contagion of sin and its catastrophic results.
          Esther (1689) is a biblical tragedy complete with musical choral interludes composed by Jean-Baptiste Moreau, who would serve in this same role for Racine's last play, Athalie. The play shows how Esther, the wife of the Persian king Ahasuerus (Xerxes I), saves the Jews from a massacre plotted by the king's chief minister, Haman. With its three acts, its chorus, and its transcendent message that God and truth can be made manifest on stage, Esther breaks sharply with Racine's previous practice in tragedy. It is not one of his major works, despite the beauty of its choruses.
         In Athalie (1691) Racine reverted to his customary approach. Within the one day that is always the temporal duration of his plays, a situation of human origin must be resolved by divine intervention so that the child Joas, the rightful king of Judah, will be saved from his murderous grandmother Athalie. Athalie is a typical Racinian drama except for the fact that fate is replaced in this instance by divine providence. The title character, Athalie, though evil, still remains admirable in her titanic struggle against this superior adversary. Of all the characters never seen on stage but who enrich Racine's texts, from Hector and Astyanax in Andromaque through Venus, Minos, Neptune, and Ariane in Phèdre, the God of the Old Testament in Athalie exerts the greatest impact on the course of dramatic events.
          Racine's art has influenced French and foreign authors alike, among them Émile Zola, Marcel Proust, François Mauriac, Henrik Ibsen, Henry James, and Samuel Beckett.
    1668 Johann Boeckhorst, Flemish painter born in 1605. — MORE ON BOECKHORST AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    1667 Cornelis de Wael, Flemish artist born on 07 September 1592. — more with links to images.
    1608 (11 April Julian) Blessed George Gervase OSB, 37, dies a martyr at Tyburn, England. He was born at Bosham in Sussex. His father belonged to a noted family in that county, and his mother was of the ancient stock of the Shelleys. He was left an orphan when he was twelve years old, and not long after was kidnapped by a pirate (probably a lieutenant of Drake, who was then buccaneering on the Spanish Main), and was taken to the West Indies with two of his brothers; and, considering his surroundings, the lawlessness, plunder, and bloodshed of a pirate’s life, it is not surprising to learn that he quite lost his religion. At length he found means of returning to England, and went over to Flanders, where his eldest brother Henry was staying, both for conscience’ sake and to enjoy the free practice of his religion. By his example George was reconciled to the Catholic faith, entered Douay, was ordained a Catholic priest in 1603, and went to the English Mission in 1604. After two years he was apprehended and banished. His brother had provided a comfortable home for him at Lille, but George's zeal for souls drew him again to England, where he was shortly apprehended, and, refusing to take the oath of allegiance, was condemned. : At his trial he said: “What I have said, my blood is ready to answer.” At the gallows, to the Protestant minister’s final urgings he replied: “Tut, tut, look to thyself, poor man.” He was beatified in 1929. —(080403)
    1588 Francesco Traballesi (or Trabaldese), Italian artist born in 1544.
    1574 Cosmos de Medici, 64, art patron (Accademia del Disegno)
    1526  Gil González Dávila, colonizador español.
    < 20 Apr 22 Apr >
    ^  Births which occurred on a 21 April

    2000 Chong Lih Ying and her identical twin who dies at birth because of her malformed brain, in Kuala Lumpur. On June 12, Chong would become the world's first baby, and the 7th person, to receive an arm and hand transplant, from her twin.
    1962 (Good Friday) Gianna Emanuela Molla, daughter of Saint Gianna Beretta Molla [04 Oct 1922 – 28 Apr 1962]. —(081027)
    1960 Brasilia inaugurated, new capital of Brazil, replacing Rio de Janeiro.
    1955 Inherit the Wind, play by Jerome Lawrence-Robert Lee play "Inherit the Wind," loosely based on the Scopes trial of 1925, opens at the National Theatre in New York.
    1951 Michael Hartley Freedman, US mathematician.
    1940 "Take It of Leave It," quiz show that asked "the $64 question," premieres on CBS Radio.
    1932 Elaine May, comedian and writer.
    1926 Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor II, queen of England (1952- )
    1913 Choh Hao Li bio-chemist professor (isolated growth hormones)
    1911  José Antonio Rial, escritor español.
    1907  Enrique Líster, militar y político español.
    1905 Edmund G "Pat" Brown (Gov-D-Calif)
    1904 Jean Hélion, French painter and writer who died on 27 October 1987. — more with links to images.
    1903 Isaac Jacob Schoenberg, Romanian-born Jewish US mathematician who died on 21 February 1990..
    1892 Dod Shaw Procter (or Proctor), British artist who died in 1972. — MORE ON PROCTER AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    1891 Oskar Mulley, Austrian artist who died in 1949.
    1875 Teiji Takagi, Japanese mathematician who died on 29 February 1960. He worked on class field theory, building on the work of Heinrich Weber [05 May 1842 – 17 May 1913].
    1868 Alfred Henry Maurer, US painter who died in 1932. — MORE ON MAURER AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    1864 Max Weber German sociologist (Ancient Judaism) and economist, who died on 14 June 1920.
    1860 Fritz von Wille, German artist who died on 16 February 1941. — MORE ON VON WILLE AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    1849 Oskar Hertwig Germany, embryologist, discovered fertilization.
    1843 John Emms, British artist who died on 01 November 1912.
    ^ Muir1838 John Muir, US naturalist, originator of the Yosemite National Park, geologist, explorer, discoverer of the Muir Glacier in Alaska, philosopher, artist, author.
          John Muir, a dedicated advocate for the protection of the US's wild lands, is born in Dunbar, Scotland. When he was still a boy, Muir's parents immigrated to the United States. He grew up on a farm in central Wisconsin in the 1850s, a time when the region was still a relatively wild western frontier. When he was 23, Muir left the family farm and traveled around the Midwest working in a variety of industrial jobs. A talented mechanic and inventor, he seemed to be headed for a successful career in the rapidly expanding industrial economy-but an accident changed Muir's direction in life. While working in an Indianapolis factory for wagon parts, Muir's hand slipped, and a file he was using cut the cornea of his left eye. Not long after, his right eye also temporarily failed in a sympathetic reaction. Muir's experience of being blind for several weeks led him to rethink his life plans. When he recovered his sight, he abandoned his career as a skilled mechanic and opted instead to embark on a 1600-km walking tour of the US West.
    [< at the bottom of this cover were these words of Muir: “Brought into right relationship with the wilderness, man would see that he is not a separate entity endowed with a divine right to subdue his fellow creatures and destroy the common heritage, but rather an integral part of a harmonious whole.”]
          During his western ramblings, the beautiful Sierra Nevada range in California especially moved Muir. Drawing on the ideas of US transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, Muir argued that wild nature offered a “window opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator.” John Muir's struggle against the devestation of the subalpine meadows surrounding Yosemite Valley resulted in the creation of Yosemite National Park on 01 October 1890. Muir developed a near-religious veneration for the Sierra Nevada territory and a passionate desire to preserve the wild state of the area. In 1892, he and several other early preservationists formed the Sierra Club. Muir served as the club president for 22 years, tirelessly advocating the importance of preserving wilderness as a place where thousands of “tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people” could find spiritual and physical rejuvenation.
          It is hard to overestimate Muir's influence in fostering modern concepts of wilderness appreciation and protection. However, in practical terms, Muir and the Sierra Club lost several of their battles to protect the wilderness. From 1908 to 1913, Muir fought fervently against the proposed construction of the Hetch Hetchy dam in Yosemite National Park, which was being built to provide a reservoir of water for the city of San Francisco. Muir railed against his opponents, calling them “temple destroyers” and “devotees of raging commercialism,” but to no avail — the dam was built and water covers the Hetch Hetchy Valley today. Deeply discouraged, Muir died on 24 December 1914, a year after the Hetch Hetchy defeat. The conservationist ideas he proposed in books like Our National Parks, The Yosemite, and some 150 articles, on the physiography of the Pacific Coast and Alaska, natural history, and such, have become an accepted part of mainstream US thought.

    Muir— MUIR ONLINE: The Cruise of the Corwin (illustrated) Letters to a FriendThe Mountains of California (1894, illustrated)The Mountains of CaliforniaMy First Summer in the Sierra (1911)My First Summer in the Sierra (illustrated)Our National Parks (1901)Our National ParksSteep TrailsSteep Trails Stickeen, the Story of a Dog (1909)The Story of My Boyhood and Youth (1913, illustrated)The Story of My Boyhood and Youth Studies in the Sierra (illustrated) A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf (illustrated) Travels in Alaska (illustrated) The Yosemite (1912, illustrated)

    — Yosemite in art:

    The first two by Thomas Hill::  Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite (1884, 183x241cm) — Grand Canyon of the Sierras, Yosemite (1871)
    //— the following by Albert Bierstadt::  Bridal Veil Falls, Yosemite (1873) — The Domes of the Yosemite (1870) — Looking Down the Yosemite Valley, California (1865) — Looking Up the Yosemite Valley (1867, 91x149cm) — The Merced River in Yosemite (1868) — Mirror Lake, Yosemite Valley (1864, 55x76cm) — Sunrise, Yosemite ValleySunset in the Yosemite Valley (1868) — Valley of the Yosemite (1864) — Yosemite Falls (1870) — Yosemite Valley (1866)
    1837 Fredrik Bajer Denmark, politician/feminist/pacifist (Nobel 1908)
    1828  Adolphe Hippolyte Taine, escritor y filósofo francés.
    1828 The first US English dictionary is published by Noah Webster.
    1818 Josh Billings, US humorist and writer; popular after the Civil War. He died on 14 October 1885.
    1818  Anselmo Suárez y Romero, escritor cubano.
    ^ 1816 Charlotte Brontë, novelist.
          Charlotte Brontë would be the only one of three novelist Brontë sisters to live past age 31. Charlotte was one of six siblings who grew up in a gloomy parsonage in the remote English village of Hawthorne, surrounded by the marshy moors of Yorkshire. Her mother died when she was five, and Charlotte, her two older sisters, and her younger sister Emily, were sent to Clergy Daughter's School at Cowan Bridge in Lancashire. The cheap school featured unpalatable food, cold halls, and harsh discipline. Charlotte's two older sisters died of illness while at school, and the grim institution found its way into her masterpiece Jane Eyre (1847). After their sisters' deaths, Charlotte and Emily were brought home, where they and their remaining siblings, Anne and Branwell, amused themselves by making up elaborate stories about fantastical worlds. When the girls grew older, they all took governess positions in private homes, and from 1835 to 1838 Charlotte taught in a girls' school. Meanwhile, she and Emily formed a plan to open their own school, and in 1842 the sisters went to Brussels to study languages and school administration. In Brussels, Charlotte fell in love with the married headmaster, an experience she used as the basis for her last novel, Villette (1853). Returning to the parsonage at Hawthorne, the sisters attempted to set up their own school but could not attract pupils. Meanwhile, their adored brother Branwell had become a heavy drinker and opium user. When Emily got him a job teaching with her at a wealthy manor, he lost both their positions after a tryst with the mother of the house. In 1846, Charlotte accidentally found some poems written by Emily-it turned out all three sisters had secretly been writing verse. They published their own book, Poems by Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, adopting a pseudonym because they believed women writers were judged too softly. Only two copies sold, but publishers became interested in the sisters' work. Charlotte's Jane Eyre was published in 1847 under the name Currer Bell. Emily's Wuthering Heights and Anne's Agnes Grey were published later that year. Sadly, all three of Charlotte's siblings died within the next two years. Left alone, Charlotte cared for her ill father and married curate Arthur Bell Nicholls in 1854. Charlotte died during pregnancy shortly after the marriage.
          Charlotte was one of six siblings born to an Anglican clergyman. When she was five, the family moved to the remote village of Hawthorne on the moors of Yorkshire. The gloomy parsonage produced some of the best-known novels in English literature. Brontë's mother died in 1821, and Charlotte and her older sisters were sent to the Cown Bridge School, a cheap boarding school for daughters of the clergy. However, her two sisters fell ill and died, and Charlotte was brought home, where she and her remaining siblings, Branwell, Emily, and Anne (born on 17 January 1820), invented and wrote about elaborate fantasy worlds to amuse themselves.
          Shortly after declining the proposal of Reverend Nussey, Charlotte went to Brussels with her sister Emily to study languages and school administration. Returning to the parsonage at Hawthorne, the sisters attempted to set up their own school, but no pupils registered. Meanwhile, their adored brother Branwell was becoming a heavy drinker and opium user. When Emily got him a job teaching with her at a wealthy manor, he lost both their positions after a tryst with the mother of the house. He eventually died after accidentally setting his bed on fire.
          In 1846, Charlotte ran across some poems that Emily had written, which led to the revelation that all three sisters were closet poets. The sisters published their own book, Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell. Only two copies sold, but publishers became interested in the sisters' work. Charlotte, under the nom de plum Currer Bell, published Jane Eyre in 1847. Emily's Wuthering Heights and Anne's Agnes Grey were published later that year. Sadly, all three of Charlotte's siblings died within the next two years. Left alone, Charlotte cared for her ill father and married his curate, Arthur Bell Nicholls, just a year after she published Villette, a novel inspired by a failed romance she had in Brussels years before. On 31 March 1855 Charlotte died during a pregnancy shortly after the marriage.

    BRONTE ONLINE:   Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell,     Poems by Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell   (by all three)
    Emily online: (five different sites):
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Wuthering Heights
  • Wuthering Heights (zipped PDF)
  • Charlotte Brontë online:: (different sites)
  • Jane Eyre   Jane Eyre   Jane Eyre
  • Jane Eyre (zipped PDF)
  • The Professor     The Professor
  • The Professor (zipped PDF)
  • Shirley     Shirley
  • Villette
  • Anne Brontë online: (different sites)
  • Agnes Grey
  • Agnes Grey
  • Selected Works and Commentary.
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
  • 1806 Petrus van Schendel, Dutch Belgian painter who died on 28 December 1870. — MORE ON VAN SCHENDEL AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    1801 Robert M.T. Hunter, pro-slavery politician, speaker of the US House of Representatives (1839-41), US Senator (1847-1861), then Confederate secretary of state and Confederate Senator.
    1790  Manuel Blanco Encalada, marino y militar chileno, que fue presidente de la República.
    1787  Vicente Azuero Plata, abogado, político y periodista colombiano.
    1782 Friedrich Froebel Germany, founded kindergaten. He died on 21 June 1852. — pedagogo alemán, fundador de los jardines de niños. (Kindergarten).
    1774 Jean-Baptiste Biot, French physicist and mathematician who died on 03 February 1862.
    1740 Nicolaes Muys, Dutch artist who died on 28 February 1808.
    1696 Francesco de Mura, Italian painter who died on 19 August 1782. He studied under Francesco Solimena. — MORE ON DE MURA AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    1682 Jaspar Broers, Flemish artist who died on 19 January 1716.
    1652 Michel Rolle, French mathematician who died on 08 November 1719. He worked on Diophantine analysis, algebra (using methods of Bachet involving use of the Euclidean algorithm) and geometry. He published Traité d'algèbre on the theory of equations. Rolle is best remembered for Rolle's Theorem which he published in 1691, using a method of Hudde in the proof: If f(a) = f(b) = 0 then f '(x) = 0 for some x with a < x < b.
    1610  Un niño le nace a la esposa del poeta Martin Opitz por una operación de cesárea practicada por Jeremias Trautmann y Christopher Seesth en presencia de casi todos los miembros de la Facultad de Medicina de Wittenberg (Alemania). La madre fallece días más tarde y el hijo sobrevive.
    1555 (infant baptism) Lodovico Carracci, Italian painter and printmaker who died on 13 December 1619. — MORE ON CARRACCI AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    1496 Bernal Díaz del Castillo, conquistador español y cronista de Indias.
    ^ --753 BC Rome is founded.
         According to tradition, on 21 April 753 BC, Romulus and his twin brother, Remus, found Rome on the site where they were suckled by a she-wolf as orphaned infants. Actually, the Romulus and Remus myth originated sometime in the fourth century BC, and the exact date of Rome's founding was set by the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro in the first century BC According to the legend, Romulus and Remus were the sons of Rhea Silvia, the daughter of King Numitor of Alba Longa. Alba Longa was a mythical city located in the Alban Hills southeast of what would become Rome. Before the birth of the twins, Numitor was deposed by his younger brother Amulius, who forced Rhea to become a vestal virgin so that she would not give birth to rival claimants to his title. However, Rhea was impregnated by the war god Mars and gave birth to Romulus and Remus. Amulius ordered the infants drowned in the Tiber, but they survived and washed ashore at the foot of the Palatine hill, where they were suckled by a she-wolf until they were found by the shepherd Faustulus. Reared by Faustulus and his wife, the twins later became leaders of a band of young shepherd warriors. After learning their true identity, they attacked Alba Longa, killed the wicked Amulius, and restored their grandfather to the throne. The twins then decided to found a town on the site where they had been saved as infants. They soon became involved in a petty quarrel, however, and Remus was slain by his brother. Romulus then became ruler of the settlement, which was named "Rome" after him.
          To populate his town, Romulus offered asylum to fugitives and exiles. Rome lacked women, however, so Romulus invited the neighboring Sabines to a festival and abducted their women. A war then ensued, but the Sabine women intervened to prevent the Sabine men from seizing Rome. A peace treaty was drawn up, and the communities merged under the joint rule of Romulus and the Sabine king, Titus Tatius. Tatius' early death, perhaps perpetrated by Romulus, left the Roman as the sole king again. After a long and successful rule, Romulus died under obscure circumstances. Many Romans believed he was changed into a god and worshipped him as the deity Quirinus. After Romulus, there were six more kings of Rome, the last three believed to be Etruscans. About 509 BC, the Roman republic was established.
          Another Roman foundation legend, which has its origins in ancient Greece, tells of how the mythical Trojan Aeneas founded Lavinium and started a dynasty that would lead to the birth of Romulus and Remus several centuries later. In the Iliad, an epic Greek poem probably composed by Homer in the eighth century BC, Aeneas was the only major Trojan hero to survive the Greek destruction of Troy. A passage told of how and he and his descendants would rule the Trojans, but since there was no record of any such dynasty in Troy, Greek scholars proposed that Aeneas and his followers relocated. In the fifth century BC, a few Greek historians speculated that Aeneas settled at Rome, which was then still a small city-state. In the fourth century BC, Rome began to expand within the Italian peninsula, and Romans, coming into greater contact with the Greeks, embraced the suggestion that Aeneas had a role in the foundation of their great city. In the first century BC, the Roman poet Virgil developed the Aeneas myth in his epic poem the Aeneid, which told of Aeneas' journey to Rome. Augustus, the first Roman emperor and emperor during Virgil's time, and Julius Caesar, his great-uncle and predecessor as Roman ruler, were said to be descended from Aeneas.
     
    Holidays Israel: Deliverance from Egypt / Indonesia : Kartini Day / Brazil: Día de Tiradentes / Brasilia Day (1789, 1960) / Belize: Queen's Birthday / Taiwan: Death of Chiang Kai-shek / Texas: San Jacinto Day (1836)

    Religious Observances Denmark : Common Prayer / RC, Luth, Ang : St Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury, confessor/doctor / Santos Anselmo, Anastasio, Silvio, Vidal, Félix, Ananías y Conrado.
    Easter Sunday in 1878, 1889, 1935, 1946, 1957, 2019, 2030, 2041, 2052, 2109.
    Holy Thursday in 2011, 2095 (latest possible date).
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    Thought for the day:
    “The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our change.”
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