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Events, deaths, births, of APR 29
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[For Apr 29 Julian go to Gregorian date: 1583~1699: May 091700s: May 101800s: May 111900~2099: May 12]
• Brutal cops acquitted... • Henry James's Transatlantic sketches... • Cambodia invasion... • Condamnés à mort par la Révolution... • Jeanne d'Arc relieves Orléans... • 60% of French debt forgiven... • Dachau liberated... • Netscape Navigator 3.0... • Ticketmaster sues Microsoft... • Phone number for life... . • Japanese premier's war crimes indictement... • Hitler marries before suicide... • First Afro~American college... • 4 Secretaries of State deny Lattimore's influence... • Hearst is born... • Arbuthnot is born... • What is a “Pierian spring”... • Radio pioneer Eccles dies... • Final US evacuation of Saigon begins... • The hookless fastener...
^  On a 29 April:

^ 2001 Legislative elections in Senegal.
     President Abdoulaye Wade's political coalition wins a landslide victory in parliamentary elections. This ends the Socialist Party's control of parliament, which it has dominated since Senegal won independence from France in 1960. Wade's coalition, called Sopi or "change," an alliance of 40 parties dominated by Wade's Senegal Democratic Party, wins 90 of the National Assembly's 120 seats, the Socialist Party 10.
      Wade defeated former President Abdou Diouf in the March 2000 presidential election. The Socialist Party ruling party continued to control parliament, however, holding 97 of the assembly's 140 seats. But the Socialists have been weakened by defections since. Wade dissolved the legislature earlier in 2001 to make way for a reduced 120-seat assembly, created under a new constitution adopted by referendum in January 2001.
      Former Prime Minister Moustapha Niasse's Alliance of Progressive Forces comes second with 11 seats, while five smaller parties account for the remaining seats.
      Niasse broke from the Socialist Party and gave Wade crucial support in the presidential runoff against Diouf in 2000. Niasse served as Wade's prime minister until he was dismissed in March 2001.
      Senegal, with a population of 10 million, has gained a reputation for stability on a continent mired by coups and civil wars. But bitter poverty remains. Nearly two-thirds of the country's population is illiterate, hospitals and roads are badly neglected, and unemployment is on the rise.

2000 Tens of thousands of angry Cuban-Americans march peacefully through Miami's Little Havana, protesting the raid in which armed federal agents yanked 6-year-old Elian González from the home of relatives.
1999  El enviado especial de Rusia para los Balcanes Viktor Chernomirdin viaja a Belgrado con una nueva propuesta de paz negociada con los principales países de la OTAN.
1997  Entra en vigor el Convenio Internacional sobre Prohibición de Armas Químicas tras ser ratificado por 88 de los 165 estados que lo firmaron en París en 1993.
1997 Ticketmaster sues Microsoft       ^top^
for offering a link from Microsoft Sidewalk to Ticketmaster's Web site, calling Microsoft's link "electronic piracy" and saying Microsoft should have negotiated for the link. Ticketmaster claimed that the unauthorized link would dilute the value of Ticketmaster's partnerships with companies like MasterCard. The company also argued that the link had monetary value, because it enhanced Microsoft's ability to attract advertising revenues. Ticketmaster threatened to block Microsoft's links electronically if the company did not voluntarily remove them.
^ 1996 Netscape announces Navigator 3.0,
just three months after unveiling the last major release of the product. The new version, designed to stay ahead of rapidly moving Microsoft, included a "whiteboard" functionality letting people collaborate over the Internet, better audio and graphics, an easier use of Java applets, and better online purchasing software.
1992 Voting ends on choice of Elvis Presley stamps of the US Postal Service (between older-and-fat, and younger-and-trim).
^ 1992 AT&T announces phone number for life
      ATandT said it would begin selling a phone service assigning subscribers a permanent ten-digit phone number for life. The number, preceded with the area code 700, would cost about $7 a month. Callers using the 700 number would be automatically forwarded to the consumer's local phone number. The company noted its average consumer moved eleven times in a lifetime.
1992 A California jury acquits Los Angeles policemen Laurence Powell, Timothy Wind, Theodore Briseno and sergeant Stacey Koon of assault. On 03 March 1991 they had hit Black robbery parolee Glen King [02 Apr 1965~] (mistakenly called Rodney King in news reports, then and thereafter) approximately 56 times when he refused to exit his car after speeding. This had been caught on videotape and was repeatedly shown on TV. After the verdict of the officers' acquittal, race riots erupted in downtown Los Angeles. The Black community's interaction with police had long been a sore point, but the rage was turned against businesses and hapless civilians caught in the rampage. The riots resulted in 52 deaths and $775 million in property damage. On 04 August 1993, Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell would be sentenced in federal court to 30 months in prison for violating King's civil rights. Since 1991 King has been arrested several times for drug infractions, violence, and motoring offenses, but he has not again been videotaped being beaten.
1991 US troops continue airlifting Iraqi refugees from a camp in southern Iraq to Saudi Arabia.
1991  La Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) aprueba la autodeterminación del Sáhara Occidental.
1991 Un tornado y una marea devastan el litoral de Bangladesh.
1987  Se recogen firmas en Uruguay para someter a referéndum la ley de punto final para los militares.
1984  Jordi Pujol i Soley, candidato de la coalición Convergencia i Unió, logra el triunfo por mayoría absoluta en las elecciones autonómicas de Cataluña.
1983 Harold Washington is sworn in as Chicago's first Black mayor.
1983  La Junta Militar argentina da por muertos a todos los desaparecidos en la "guerra sucia".
1981  Siria instala misiles antiaéreos en el norte del Líbano.
1979  Las elecciones presidenciales en Ecuador dan el triunfo a Jaime Roldós Aguilera, candidato populista.
^ 1975 US final evacuation of Saigon begins.
      Operation Frequent Wind, the largest helicopter evacuation on record, begins removing the last Americans from Saigon. The North Vietnamese had launched their final offensive in March 1975 and the South Vietnamese forces had fallen back before their rapid advance, losing Quang Tri, Hue, Da Nang, Qui Nhon, Tuy Hoa, Nha Trang, and Xuan Loc in quick succession.
      With the North Vietnamese attacking the outskirts of Saigon, US Ambassador Graham Martin ordered the start of Frequent Wind. In 19 hours, 81 helicopters carried more than 1000 US nationals and almost 6000 Vietnamese to aircraft carriers offshore. Cpl. Charles McMahon, Jr. and Lance Cpl. Darwin Judge, USMC, were the last US military persons killed in action in Vietnam, when shrapnel from a North Vietnamese rocket struck them as they were guarding Tan Son Nhut Airbase during the evacuation.
      At 07:53 on 30 April, the last helicopter lifted off the rook of the embassy and headed out to sea. Later that morning, North Vietnamese tanks crashed through the gates of the Presidential Palace. North Vietnamese Colonol Bui Tin accepted the surrender from General Duong Van Minh, who had taken over from Tran Van Huong (who only spent one day in power after President Nguyen Van Thieu fled). The Vietnam War was over.
1974 US President Nixon announces that he is releasing edited transcripts of some secretly made White House tape recordings related to the Watergate break-in scandal.
1972  Miguel Ángel Asturias anuncia su disposición a presentar candidatura a la presidencia de Guatemala.
1971 US casualty figures in Vietnam for the week of 18 April to 24 April are released: 45 killed. This brings the total to 45'019 since 1961. Thus the Vietnam War becomes the 4th for US losses, after the Civil War, World War I, and World War II.
^ 1970 US and South Vietnamese forces invade Cambodia
      Supported by US warplanes, artillery, and thousands of US military personnel, South Vietnamese government troops launched an invasion of Cambodia, intending to wipe out North Vietnamese and Vietcong positions there and bolster the pro-US regime of General Lon Nol.
      In March of 1969, during the Vietnam War, US President Richard M. Nixon authorized secret bombing attacks against Vietnamese Communist bases across the border in Cambodia. One year later, Cambodian General Lon Nol ousted Prince Norodom Sihanouk, the ruler of Cambodia since 1953, and established a pro-US military regime. Norodom went into exile, and in April, he received the support of Chinese and North Vietnamese authorities in his call to arms against Lon Nol’s rule.
      On 29 April, the US and South Vietnam responded by invading Cambodia. The next day, President Nixon announced the "incursion" in a televised address, and also that he had authorized an additional 8000 US combat soldiers to enter Cambodia and wipe out its Communist "control center."
      The announcement led to widespread antiwar protests across the United States, and on 04 May, at Ohio’s Kent State University, four students were killed, eight injured, and one permanently paralyzed when National Guard troops opened fire on a group of antiwar demonstrators.
      In August 1973, according to the terms of the Vietnam peace agreement signed in Paris earlier in the year, the US officially ended its bombing and any other direct military involvement in Cambodia. The US and South Vietnam involvement in Cambodia contributed to the outbreak of a larger civil war in the country, culminating in 1975 with the victory of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge. Known as "Year Zero," 1975 was the beginning of three years of terror and genocide in Cambodia, resulting in the murder of over two million people on the country’s killing fields.
     1970 US-South Vietnamese forces launch Cambodian "incursion" US and South Vietnamese forces launch a limited "incursion" into Cambodia. The campaign included 13 major ground operations to clear North Vietnamese sanctuaries 20 miles inside the Cambodian border. Some 50'000 South Vietnamese and 30'000 US soldiers were involved, making it the largest operation of the war since Operation Junction City in 1967. The operation began with South Vietnamese forces attacking into the "Parrot's Beak" area of Cambodia that projects into South Vietnam above the Mekong Delta. During the first two days, an 8000-man South Vietnamese task force, including two infantry divisions, four ranger battalions, and four armored cavalry squadrons, killed 84 communist soldiers while suffering 16 dead and 157 wounded. The second stage of the campaign began on 02 May with a series of joint US-South Vietnamese operations. These operations were aimed at clearing Communist sanctuaries located in the densely vegetated "Fishhook" area of Cambodia (across the border from South Vietnam, immediately north of Tay Ninh Province and west of Binh Long Province, 110 km from Saigon). The US 1st Cavalry Division and 11th Armored Cavalry Regiment, along with the South Vietnamese 3rd Airborne Brigade, killed 3190 Communists in the action and captured massive amounts of war booty, including 2000 individual and crew-served weapons, 300 trucks, and 40 tons of foodstuffs.
      By the time all US ground forces had left Cambodia on 30 June, the Allied forces had discovered and captured or destroyed 10 times more enemy supplies and equipment than they had captured inside South Vietnam during the entire previous year. Many intelligence analysts at the time believed that the Cambodian incursion dealt a stunning blow to the communists, driving main force units away from the border and damaging their morale, and in the process buying as much as a year for South Vietnam's survival. However, the incursion gave the antiwar movement in the United States a new rallying point. News of the incursion set off a wave of antiwar demonstrations, including one at Kent State University that resulted in the killing of four students by Army National Guard troops and another at Jackson State in Mississippi that resulted in the shooting of two students when police opened fire on a women's dormitory. The incursion also angered many in Congress, who felt that Nixon was illegally widening the scope of the war; this resulted in a series of congressional resolutions and legislative initiatives that would severely limit the executive power of the president.
1968  Cinco hombres casados son ordenados diáconos en Alemania.
1965  Malta se convierte en el miembro número 18 del Consejo de Europa.
1965 Pope Paul VI promulgates his Encyclical Mense Maio [English text]
1955  El democristiano Giovanni Gronchi sucede en la presidencia de la República italiana a Luigi Einaudi, con el apoyo de socialistas y comunistas. 
1955 Se celebra el Día del Animal en Argentina y los inspectores de la Asociación Popular Protectora de Animales vigilan que no se infrinja la disposición nacional que impone la jornada de descanso a todos los animales.
1954  Estados Unidos se niega a prestar ayuda militar a Francia en Indochina.
1952  Un aparato de Air France es atacado por un caza soviético.
^ 1950 Four Secretaries of State deny Lattimore's influence.
      In response to Senator Joseph McCarthy's charge that former State Department consultant and university professor Owen Lattimore was a top Soviet spy in the United States, Secretary of State Dean Acheson and three former secretaries of state deny that Lattimore had any influence on US foreign policy. The Lattimore case was one of the most famous episodes of the "red scare" in the United States.
      In February 1950, Senator McCarthy gave a speech in which he charged that there were over 200 "known communists" in the Department of State. McCarthy was asked to appear before a subcommittee of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to provide details about his accusation. During the course of the hearing, the senator charged that Owen Lattimore was a top spy for the Soviet Union and had been "the principal architect of our Far Eastern policy." The implication of McCarthy's testimony was clear: Lattimore, acting as a virtual Soviet agent, had helped design a policy that resulted in the loss of China to the communists in 1949.
      In fact, Lattimore, a well-known specialist in the field of Chinese history, had merely served as a consultant to the Department of State during and after World War II. Like many others, he had come to the conclusion that the Nationalist Chinese government of Chiang Kai-Shek was hopelessly inefficient and corrupt, and that continued US support of such a government was useless.
      In the harsh Cold War atmosphere of America, though, the "loss" of China to the Communists encouraged suspicion that spies and sympathizers were to blame. In response to McCarthy's charge, the chair of the subcommittee, Senator Millard Tydings, wrote to Secretary of State Dean Acheson and three former secretaries of state, Cordell Hull, James Byrnes, and George C. Marshall, asking whether the accusations were true. The men answered that Lattimore had absolutely no impact on US foreign policy toward Asia. Indeed, each of them went to great lengths to make clear that they had never even met Lattimore. Byrnes and Marshall went further, declaring McCarthy's charges were particularly harmful to America's foreign relations.
      Lattimore was cleared by a congressional investigation in 1950, but in 1951-1952 the attacks against the professor were renewed and he was charged with perjury in connection with his 1950 testimony. These charges were eventually dismissed, but not before Lattimore's academic career in the US had been destroyed.
1946 International Military Tribunal indicts Japanese wartime premier.    ^top^
      Together with 27 other former Japanese leaders, Tojo Hideki is indicted as a as war criminal by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East. In September 1945, he had tried to commit suicide by shooting himself but was saved by a US physician who gave him a transfusion of US blood. He was eventually hanged by the US in 1948.
^ 1945 Adolf and Eva marry.
      Adolf Hitler marries longtime mistress Eva Braun in his Berlin bunker. Eva Braun met Hitler while employed as an assistant to Hitler's official photographer. Of a middle-class Catholic background, Braun spent her time with Hitler out of public view, entertaining herself by skiing and swimming. She had no discernible influence on Hitler's political career but provided a certain domesticity to the life of the dictator. Loyal to the end, she refused to leave the Berlin bunker buried beneath the chancellery as the Russians closed in. The couple was married only hours before they both committed suicide the next day.
     Hitler designates Admiral Karl Doenitz as his successor.
1945 Premier tour des élections municipales en France, les premières depuis 1939.
^ 1945 US soldiers liberate Dachau.
      Five hundred German garrison soldiers guarding the concentration camp are killed within an hour, some by inmates, but most by the US liberators, who are horrified by what they see, including huge piles of emaciated dead bodies found in railway cars and near the crematorium. There were 33'000 survivors of the camp, 2539 of them Jewish.
      Dachau, about 20 km north of Munich, was the first concentration camp established by the Nazi regime, only five weeks after Hitler came to power. At least 160'000 prisoners passed through the main camp and another 90'000 through its 150 branches scattered throughout southern Germany and Austria. Medical experiments, ranging from studying the effects of freezing on warm-blooded creatures to treating intentionally inflicted malaria, were carried out on prisoners. At least 32'000 prisoners died of malnutrition and mistreatment at the camp itself; innumerable more were transported to the Auschwitz gas chambers. A memorial was established at the campsite on 11 September 1956.
     The US Seventh Army's 45th Infantry Division liberates Dachau, the first concentration camp established by Germany's Nazi regime. A major Dachau subcamp was liberated the same day by the 42nd Rainbow Division. Established five weeks after Adolf Hitler took power as German chancellor in 1933, Dachau was situated on the outskirts of the town of Dachau, about 10 miles northwest of Munich. During its first year, the camp held about 5000 political prisoners, consisting primarily of German communists, Social Democrats, and other political opponents of the Nazi regime. During the next few years, the number of prisoners grew dramatically, and other groups were interned at Dachau, including Jehovah's Witnesses, Gypsies, homosexuals, and repeat criminals. Beginning in 1938, Jews began to comprise a major portion of camp internees. Prisoners at Dachau were used as forced laborers, initially in the construction and expansion of the camp and later for German armaments production.
      The camp served as the training center for SS concentration camp guards and was a model for other Nazi concentration camps. Dachau was also the first Nazi camp to use prisoners as human guinea pigs in medical experiments. At Dachau, Nazi scientists tested the effects of freezing and changes to atmospheric pressure on inmates, infected them with malaria and tuberculosis and treated them with experimental drugs, and forced them to test methods of making seawater potable and of halting excessive bleeding. Hundreds of prisoners died or were crippled as a result of these experiments. Thousands of inmates died or were executed at Dachau, and thousands more were transferred to a Nazi extermination center near Linz, Austria, when they became too sick or weak to work.
      In 1944, to increase war production, the main camp was supplemented by dozens of satellite camps established near armaments factories in southern Germany and Austria. These camps were administered by the main camp and collectively called Dachau. With the advance of Allied forces against Germany in April 1945, the Germans transferred prisoners from concentration camps near the front to Dachau, leading to a general deterioration of conditions and typhus epidemics. On 27 April 1945, approximately 7000 prisoners, mostly Jews, were forced to begin a death march from Dachau to Tegernsee, far to the south. The next day, many of the SS guards abandoned the camp. On 29 April, the Dachau main camp was liberated by units of the 45th Infantry after a brief battle with the camp's remaining guards. As they neared the camp, the Americans found more than 30 railroad cars filled with bodies in various states of decomposition. Inside the camp there were more bodies and 30'000 survivors, most severely emaciated. Some of the American troops who liberated Dachau were so appalled by conditions at the camp that they machine-gunned at least two groups of captured German guards. It is officially reported that 30 SS guards were killed in this fashion, but conspiracy theorists have alleged that more than 10 times that number were executed by the American liberators. The German citizens of the town of Dachau were later forced to bury the 9000 dead inmates found at the camp. In the course of Dachau's history, at least 160'000 prisoners passed through the main camp, and 90'000 through the subcamps. Incomplete records indicate that at least 32'000 of the inmates perished at Dachau and its subcamps, but countless more were shipped to extermination camps elsewhere.
1945 Las tropas estadounidenses entran en Múnich.
1944 Constitution du Comité français des Waffen S.S. où l'on retrouve Doriot, Déat, Darnand.
1943 Entrevue Hitler-Laval.
1941  Los iraquíes cortan el oleoducto que alimentaba a los ejércitos británicos.
1938  La renovación de la entente franco-británica pone el acento sobre las obligaciones de ambos países respecto a Checoslovaquia.
1937  Francisco Franco Bahamonde nombra a María del Pilar Primo de Rivera y Saenz de Heredia delegada nacional de la Sección Femenina.
1931  El Consejo de Ministros provisional de la Segunda República española autoriza el empleo del catalán en las escuelas primarias de Cataluña.
Easter Rising surrender document1926 US will forgive 60% of France's debt       ^top^
      During the early stretch of the twentieth century, the United States was a "debtor nation," saddled with $3 billion in loans to foreign creditors. But World War I helped transform the US into a creditor nation: by 1919, a number of European nations had racked up roughly $10 billion in debts to the American government. Suddenly freed from its reliance on foreign loans, the US government set about solidifying its new position as a global economic force.
      However, under the rule of President Warren G. Harding, and his successor, Calvin Coolidge, the US adopted fiscal policies, including high tariffs and other barriers to foreign trade, which made it nearly impossible for Europe to repay its loans. Nevertheless, the White House steadfastly refused to wipe any portion of Europe's debts off the books, despite European leaders' attempts to persuade the U.S to reconsider its unwieldy fiscal policy.
      Finally, in the mid-1920s, Coolidge relented and made arrangements to reduce, though not entirely scuttle, Europe's debts. Indeed, on this day in 1926, the US and France sealed a deal that eventually wiped away sixty percent of the French debt. France, who owed the US in the neighborhood of $4 billion, also agreed to a sixty-two-year term, at 1.6% interest, for the repayment of its debt.
1923  Se celebran las últimas elecciones de Diputados a Cortes de la Monarquía española antes de la Guerra Civil.
1916  El cuerpo expedicionario británico, bajo el mando del general Townsend, capitula en Irak ante los turcos, que hacen 10'000 prisioneros.
1916 Surviving Irish nationalists surrender to British in Dublin, as the Easter Rising is crushed after 5 days. [surrender document >]
1912 108ºF (42ºC), Tuguegarao, Philippines (Oceania record)
1910  Se forma en Australia un Gobierno laborista, presidido por Andrew Fisher.
1905  Se publica en Rusia un edicto de tolerancia para con las minorías religiosas.
1901  Estallan violentos enfrentamientos en la Universidad de Budapest entre estudiantes judíos y antisemitas.
1899  El piloto belga Camille Jenatzy establece un récord de velocidad en automóvil con 105,876 km/h a bordo de su vehículo, La Jamais Contente.
1894 Commonweal of Christ (Coxey's Army) arrives in Washington DC 500 strong to protest unemployment; Coxey is arrested for trespassing at Capitol
1875  Portugal aprueba la ley que suprime la esclavitud en todas las provincias de ultramar.
1863 Siege of Suffolk, Virginia, by Confederates continues
1862 100'000 federal troops prepare to march into Corinth, Mississippi.
1862 New Orleans falls to Union forces during the US Civil War. [on the 433rd anniversary of the fall of old Orléans to Jeanne d'Arc].
1862 Siege of Yorktown, Virginia, continues
1861 Maryland's House of Delegates votes against seceding from the Union.
1856 Peace between England and Russia
1854 First African-American College is chartered       ^top^
      By an act of the Pennsylvania legislature, Ashmun Insitute, the first college founded solely for African-American students, was officially chartered. Established in the rolling farmlands of southern Chester County, Pennsylvania, Ashmun Institute was named after Jehudi Ashmun, the US agent who helped reorganize and preserve the struggling African-American colony in Africa that later grew into the independent nation of Liberia. The Ashmun Institute, chartered to give theological, classical, and scientific training to African Americans, opened on 01 January 1857, and John Pym Carter served as the college’s first president. In 1866, the institution was renamed Lincoln University.
1814  Los franceses se retiran de Cataluña y concluye la Guerra de la Independencia Española.
1729  El rey de España Felipe V da carácter de institución oficial a los mozos de Veciana, más conocidos en toda Cataluña por Mozos de Escuadra.
1715 John Flamsteed observes Uranus for 6th time
1661 Chinese Ming dynasty occupies Taiwan.
1597  Se calcula que en la ciudad de Sevilla viven unos 2000 mendigos.
^ 1429 Joan of Arc relieves Orléans
      During the Hundred Years’ War, Joan of Arc, a seventeen-year-old French peasant, led a French force in relieving the city of Orleans, besieged by the English since October.
      Early in life, Joan began to hear "voices" of Catholic saints. Shortly after she turned sixteen, these voices told her to aid the French dauphin, the later King Charles VII, in regaining the French throne and expelling the English from France. A captain in the French army arranged a meeting with Charles, and the dauphin, convinced of the validity of Joan’s divine mission, furnished her with a small force of troops.
      Wearing white armor, she led her troops to Orleans, and on 29 April, as a French sortie distracted the English troops on the west side of the city, Joan entered unopposed by its eastern gate. Bringing needed supplies and troops into the besieged city, she also inspired the French to a passionate resistance, and over the next week she led the charge during a number of skirmishes and battles. On one occasion, she was even hit by an arrow, but after dressing her wounds, she returned to the battle.
      On 08 May, the siege of Orleans was broken and the English retreated. Over the next five weeks, Joan led French forces into a number of stunning victories over the English, and in July, Reims, the traditional city of coronation, was captured. On 16 July 1429, with Joan of Arc kneeling beside him, Charles VII was crowned king of France.
      In May of the next year, while leading another military expedition against the foreign occupiers of France, Joan was captured by the Burgundians at Compiegne and later sold to the English. She was tried as a heretic and witch, convicted, and, on 30 May 1431, burned at the stake at Rouen.
      In 1920, Joan of Arc, already one of the great heroes of French history, was recognized as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church.
< 28 Apr 30 Apr >
^  Deaths which occurred on a 29 April:

2005 A soldier of an Iraqi border guard patrol west of Basra, by a roadside bomb. Two soldiers are wounded.
2005 Four persons including two suicide car bombers, the first of whom hits an Iraqi National Guard convoy in the New Baghdad area, then the second explodes after police gathers at the scene.
2005 At least 9 Iraqi soldiers and 4 suicide car bombers of the “Al Qaeda Organization for Holy War in Iraq”, in Madaen, Iraq, at a hospital, at the post office, and near a checkpoint where, after a roadside bomb is detonated, two suicide bombers drive their cars from two different directions into police men arriving to investigate, killing two of them and wounding six. In all 35 Iraqi soldiers are wounded.
2005 Abdul Razaq Rashid Hamid, imam of the al-Aqsa mosque in Baqouba, Iraq, a suspected member of the “Al Qaeda Organization for Holy War in Iraq”, who, when Iraqi security forces surround the mosque, comes out with two hand grenades, throws one at them and kills himself with the second one.
2005 Two Iraqi policemen, two civilians, and a suicide ambulance bomber exploding near a police patrol in Baqouba, Iraq.. 20 Iraqis are injured.
2005 A civilian and a bomb disposal expert, by the roadside bomb he was trying to defuse in Arbil, Iraqi Kurdistan.
2005 At least 15 Iraqi soldiers, 5 civilians, and 4 suicide car bombers in the Aadhamiya district of Baghdad, Iraq. The first one hit an Iraqi army patrol, the second a police patrol, and the third and fourth struck separate barricades near the headquarters of the Interior Ministry's local special forces unit. At least 30 soldiers and 35 civilians are injured.
2005 Dharmeratnam Sivaram, murdered in the early hours after being abducted at 22:30 (16:30 UT) the previous evening in front of the police station of the Bambalapitya district of Colombo, Sri Lanka. Under the pseudonym Taraki, he was a journalist who openly supported the “Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam” guerrillas.
2003 At least 15 Iraqis, including children, as US troops fire upon a crowd demonstrating against their occupation of a school in Falluja, Iraq. According to the US, the troops had been fired upon from the crowd. According to Iraqis, the demonstrators were unarmed. 70 are wounded
2002 Guillermo Ovalle, shot in attack by three gunmen, disguised as robbery at a small cafeteria in Guatemala. He was an accountant working for the human rights foundation of Rigoberta Menchú.
2001 Adnan Odeh, Palestinian, shot fleeing from Israeli soldiers who were trying to arrest him late in the day, near Qalqilya, West Bank. Odeh had collaborated with Israeli security forces in the past, but had begun working with Palestinian militants to carry out attacks in Israel. This brings the body count of the al-Aqsa intifada to 427 Palestinians and 71 Israelis.
2001 Jamal Nasser, 23, Palestinian, by bomb exploding prematurely in his car, near an Israeli school bus outside of Nablus, West Bank. Nasser, an engineering student at An-Najah University in Nablus, intended a suicide bombing.
2000  Antonio Buero Vallejo, dramaturgo español.
1999 Jessical Lall (or Lal), 34, a model, shot at 02:10 (20:40 UT on 28 Apr) while working as a celebrity barmaid at a socialite party hosted by socialites Beena and Malini Ramani which had just ended at the Qutub Colonade Tamarind Court restaurant in New Delhi, India. Dozens of witnesses pointed to Siddharth Vashisht alias Manu Sharma, the son of Venod Sharma, a minister in Haryana, as the murderer. Due to inadequacies in the investigation and a shoddy prosecution, Manu Sharma and a number of others were all acquitted by Judge S L Bhayana on 21 February 2006, sparking widespread protests among India's growing middle class against corruption of the legal system favoring the rich. — (060321)
1996, 35 victims, aged 3 to 72, of shooting spree by Martin Bryant, 29, at Seascape, near Port Arthur in Tasmania.
1996 William Colby, drowned after boating accident, former CIA director. His body would be recovered later after he had been listed as missing.
^ 1992 Several die after police acquittals ignite L.A. riots
      In Siimi Valley, California, a jury acquits four Los Angeles police officers, caught beating an unarmed Black motorist in an amateur video, of almost all state charges. Hours after the verdicts are announced, outrage and protest turns to violence, as rioters in South-Central Los Angeles block freeway traffic and beat motorists, wreck and loot numerous downtown stores and buildings, and set more than one hundred fires.
      On 03 March 1991, paroled felon Rodney King led police on a high-speed chase through the streets of Los Angeles County before eventually surrendering. Intoxicated and uncooperative, King was dragged out of his car and attacked by four police officers: Sergeant Stacey Koon and officers Laurence Powell, Theodore Briseno, and Timothy Wind.
      Unbeknownst to the police, a citizen with a personal video camera was filming the arrest, and the 81-second video caught the police brutally beating King long after he was capable of resistance. The video, released to the press, caused outrage around the country, and triggered a national debate on police brutality.
      When the trial of the four policemen began in Simi Valley, few doubted that the men would be convicted on at least some of the assault charges levied against them. However, on 29 April 1992, the twelve-person jury, which includes no Blacks, ends seven days of deliberation with not guilty verdicts on all counts, except one assault charge that would end in a mistrial.
      Hours later, violence erupts at the intersection of Florence Boulevard and Normandie Avenue in South-Central Los Angeles. Traffic is blocked, and rioters beat dozens of motorists, including Reginald Denny, a white truck driver who is dragged out of his truck and nearly beaten to death by three African-American men. A news helicopter, hovering over the street, records the gruesome event.
      Los Angeles police are slow to respond, and the violence radiates to areas throughout the city. California Governor Pete Wilson deploys the National Guard at the request of Mayor Tom Bradley, and a curfew is declared. By the next morning, hundreds of fires would be burning across the city, more than a dozen people would have been killed, and hundreds injured.
      Rioting and violence continued over the next twenty-four hours, and Korean shop-owners in Black neighborhoods defended their businesses with armed snipers. On 01 May, President George Bush ordered military troops and riot-trained federal officers to Los Angeles, and by the end of the next day, the city was under control.
      The three days of disorder killed 54 persons, injured almost 2000 (200 severely), led to 7000 arrests, and caused one billion dollars in damages, including the burning of nearly 4000 buildings.
      On 17 April 1993, a federal jury would convict officers Stacey Koon and Laurence Powell of violating the constitutional rights of Rodney King. Although the other two officers were acquitted, most civil rights advocates considered the mixed verdict a victory. On 04 August, Koon and Powell were sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
1991 More than 100 by earthquake in Soviet Georgia. Some 100'000 are left homeless.
1980  Decenas de estudiantes afganos muertos en Kabul durante las manifestaciones antisoviéticas.
1970 Paul Finsler, German mathematician born on 11 April 1894. His doctoral dissertation Curves and surfaces in general spaces introduced Finsler spaces, a generalisation of Riemannian spaces where the length function is defined differently and Minkowski's geometry holds locally. But Finsler's main work was in set theory, though he also worked on differential geometry, number theory, probability theory, and the foundations of mathematics. Author of On the foundations of set theory (part I: 1926, part II: 1965)
1966 William Eccles.       ^top^
     He was a British physicist, proponent of Oliver Heaviside's theory that an upper layer of the atmosphere reflects radio waves. Eccles' research helped establish the feasibility of long-distance radio transmission. He wrote two books on wireless technology and studied the effects of the sun and other environmental conditions on the speed and behavior of radio waves.
1964 Albert Saverys, Belgian artist born on 12 May 1886.
1964  Wenceslao Fernández Flórez, escritor y periodista español.
1953 Moïse Kisling, Jewish Polish French artist born on 22 January 1891. — more
1951 Ludwig Josef Johann Wittgenstein, Austrian British philosopher, mathematician, born on 26 April 1889. He worked on the foundations of mathematics and on mathematical logic. He is the author of Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1918).
1937 Wallace Hume Carothers, US chemist born on 27 April 1896; he developed nylon.
1933  José Félix Uriburu, general y político argentino. — [Un Ubu Roi décontracté?]
1916 Jorgen Pedersen Gram, Danish mathematician born on 27 June 1850.
1906 André Plumot, Belgian artist born in 1829.
1903  El general Sierra, ex presidente de Honduras, fusilado por los revolucionarios.
1900  Nueve muertos en la Exposición Universal de París, al desplomarse los postes que sostenían un globo.
1894 Giuseppe Battaglini, Napolitan mathematician born on 11 January 1826.
1872 Jean-Marie-Constant Duhamel, French mathematician born on 05 February 1797.
1864 Charles-Julien Brianchon, French mathematician born on 19 December 1783.
1861  José María Ramón Obando del Campo, militar y político colombiano.
1794 (10 floréal an II) Condamnés à mort par la Révolution:       ^top^
Comme émigrés, par la commission extraordinaire de Bayonne:
BALADE Pierre, tonnelier, domicilié à Bergerac (Dordogne).
CAMPAGNE Jean, cordonnier, domicilié à Sibourre (Basses Pyrénées).
DESTROGH Gérard, volontaire dans le 2ème bataillon de la Gironde, domicilié à Pau (Basses-Pyrénées)..
ESCALAPONGUAI 4ème cadet, laboureur, domicilié aux Aldules (Basses-Pyrénées).
FOUQUE Pierre, volontaire dans le 5ème bataillon de chasse d'infanterie légère, domicilié à Montesquieu-Volvestre (Haute Garonne).
LAFOUSSE Louis, facturier, domicilié à Vigan (Gard).
MORIN Philippe, marin, soldat dans le 2ème bataillon de la Gironde, domicilié à Bordeaux (Gironde).
SALLE Jean Pierre, domicilié à St Michel (Haute Garonne)
SOUHARRANDO Bernard, volontaire dans le bataillon Basque de la Victoire, domicilié à Pau (Basses Pyrénées).
SOULACQ Pierre, volontaire dans le 5ème bataillon du Lot et Garonne, domicilié à Colbiac (Lot).
click for photo of bust
1793 VERDON Pierre
, marchand, domicilié à Sonne (Vendée), est condamé à mort par la commission militaire séante à Sables.
1790 Charles-Nicolas Cochin the Younger, French artist born in 1715. — dibujante, grabador y escritor — LINKS

1676 Michiel Adriaanzoon de Ruyter [click image for photo of 1677 bust by Verhulst >], born on 24 March 1607, great Dutch admiral, whose brilliant naval victories in the Second and Third Anglo-Dutch Wars enabled the United Provinces to maintain a balance of power with England, dies from mortal wounds received while fighting the French off Sicily.

1655 Cornelis Schut I, Flemish painter, draftsman and etcher, active in Italy, born on 13 May 1597. — more
1380 Caterina Benincasa “Saint Catherine of Siena” [25 Mar 1347–], — Lettera a frate Raimondo da Capua: l'esecuzione di un condannato a morte —(090429)
< 28 Apr 30 Apr >
^  Births which occurred on a 29 April:

2002 Natasha and Courtney Smith, in the UK, to Tina May and Dennis Smith, conjoined twins sharing one liver and one heart. They would die on 17 May 2002 without separation surgery, which they would have not been likely to survive.
1962  El Colegio de Arquitectos de Cataluña y Baleares se inaugura en Barcelona, construido por Xavier Busquets en 1961 y decorado el exterior con tres grandes frisos diseñados por Pablo Picasso.
1940  José Antonio García Blázquez, escritor y traductor español.
1936 Jacob Rothschild, financiero francés..
1934  Pedro R. Pires, político y primer ministro de Cabo Verde.
1933  Mark Eyskens, economista y político belga
1933 Rod McKuen, poet.
1931 Frank Auerbach, German British painter. — MORE ON AUERBACH AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
1930  Miguel Ángel Riera, escritor español.
1929  Jeremy Thorpe, político británico.
1923 Elegías de Duino, de Rainer Maria Rilke, se publica.
^ zipper close-up
1913 First “hookless fastener”
, named “zipper” later by B. F. Goodrich.
Judson's clasp locker     A slide fastener [< image] was exhibited by Chicago mechanical engineer Whitcomb L. Judson at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 in Chicago. Judson's fastener, patented on 29 August 1893 and called a clasp locker, was an arrangement of hooks and eyes with a slide clasp for closing and opening. But it didn't work and no one wanted it. He sold twenty, all to the US Postal Service, to close their mailbags.
      Gideon Sundbäck, a Swedish engineer working in the US, substituted spring clips in place of hooks and eyes and in 1912 produced his Hookless #2. In the same year a similar device was patented in Europe by Catharina Kuhn-Moos. Sundbäck patents his invention in the US on 29 April 1913.
      In 1917 the US Navy equipped windproof flying suits with slide fasteners. But people couldn't figure out how to use the slide fasteners. They actually came with directions. Still, no one wanted them.
      In 1923 B.G. Work of the B.F. Goodrich Company ordered 150'000 slide fasteners, for closing overshoes, and in 1926 coined the name zipper. That did it. In the late 1920s and early 1930s zippers appeared on clothing for both men and women.

1905 Ogden Minton Pleissner, US painter specialized in Landscapes, who died is 1963. — MORE ON PLEISSNER AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.

1901 Hirohito (Japan's longest reigning emperor: 1926-89). He died on 07 January 1989.

1893 Harold C. Urey, in Indiana, physicist (Nobel 1934); discovered deuterium and participated in the development of nuclear weapons. He died on 05 January 1981.

1882 Auguste Herbin, French artist who died on 31 January 1960. — more with link to an image.

1882 Hendrik Nikolaas Werkman (or Werkmann), Dutch artist who died on 10 April 1945. — more

1879 Sir Thomas Beecham England, composer, founded London Philharmonic.

1876 Paul Antoine Aristide Montel, French mathematician who died on 22 January 1975. He worked mostly on the theory of analytic functions of a complex variable.
^ 1875 Henry James' Transatlantic Sketches is published
     It is a collection of travel pieces. The same year, James publishes a collection of stories, A Passionate Pilgrim, and a novel, Roderick Hudson (20 November 1875). These three works herald the beginning of James' long and influential writing career.
      Henry James [15 Apr 1843 – 28 Feb 1916] was born in New York City to a wealthy and eccentric philosophical theologian father, also named Henry James [03 Jun 1811 – 18 Dec 1882], whose eldest son, William James [11 Jan 1842 – 26 Aug 1910], became the US's first distinguished psychologist and a well-known philosopher. During their teens, the brothers and their younger siblings were taken abroad by their parents for to study European culture. The family roamed England, Switzerland, and France, visiting galleries, museum, theaters, and libraries for four years. A back injury exempted James from serving in the Civil War, and he briefly attended Harvard Law School.
      Henry James Jr. began writing fiction in his teens and published his first story when he was 21. He soon became a regularly contributor of essays, reviews, and stories to Atlantic Monthly and other important periodicals. In 1873, James moved to England and continued publishing reviews while writing many more novels, including The American (1877) and the popular Daisy Miller (1878). In 1881, he published his masterpiece The Portrait of a Lady. Like many of his other works, it deals with naïve, young people from the US moving among sophisticated European circles. He wrote prolifically, nonfiction as well as fiction, and the prefaces to new editions of his novels have been collected in The Art of the Novel (1934).

  • The Altar of the Dead
  • The Ambassadors
  • The Ambassadors
  • The American
  • The Aspern Papers
  • The Aspern Papers
  • The Awkward Age
  • The Beast in the Jungle
  • The Beast in the Jungle
  • The Bostonians
  • A Bundle of Letters
  • Complete On-Line Works
  • Confidence
  • The Coxon Fund
  • Daisy Miller
  • Daisy Miller
  • What Maisie Knew
  • The Death of the Lion
  • The Diary of a Man of Fifty
  • Eugene Pickering
  • The Europeans
  • The Figure in the Carpet
  • The Finer Grain
  • Glasses
  • The Golden Bowl
  • Hawthorne
  • In the Cage
  • In the Cage
  • An International Episode
  • The Ivory Tower
  • The Jolly Corner
  • The Jolly Corner
  • The Lesson of the Master
  • A Little Tour in France
  • The Madonna of the Future
  • The Outcry (zip+requires Decoder)
  • The Point of View
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • The Portrait of a Lady
  • The Real Thing, and Other Stories
  • Roderick Hudson
  • The Sacred Fount
  • The Spoils of Poynton
  • The Tragic Muse
  • The Turn of the Screw
  • The Turn of the Screw
  • Washington Square
  • Washington Square
  • Watch and Ward
  • The Wings of the Dove
  • ^ 1863 William Randolph Hearst, newspaper tycoon, in San Francisco.
         He would become the publisher of the San Francisco Examiner, Baltimore Sun and some twenty other newspapers, influence the establishment of comic strips, build San Simeon estate, be the subject of biographical Citizen Kane movie, grandfather of kidnapped Patricia Hearst
          Hearst was the only son and principle heir to western mining magnate George Hearst. George Hearst had made a fortune with his shrewd investments in successful western mining operations. His son William, however, had little interest in the mining industry. While attending Harvard, he became an admirer of Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and briefly worked as a reporter for the paper after being expelled from college. In 1887, he returned to San Francisco and convinced his father to put him in charge of the Examiner, a paper that the senior Hearst had bought to back his successful 1886 bid for the US Senate. With a tremendous fortune at his disposal, William Hearst spared no expense in obtaining the best eastern reporters and techniques for the Examiner. Eager to give the people what they wanted, he filled the pages of the newspaper with sensationalism and scandal. Some complained that he showed poor taste, but many San Franciscans considered the paper to be required reading. Having made the Examiner a brilliant success, Hearst began acquiring newspapers elsewhere in the country. He soon controlled one of the largest newspaper empires in the US.
          Like his father, Hearst also used his papers to promote his political ambitions. Relocating to New York, he twice won election to the House of Representatives, in 1902 and 1904. Although some championed him as a possible presidential candidate, Hearst's failed attempt to win the New York governorship in 1906 raised questions about his chances in a presidential campaign. He tried to win the presidency by organizing his own Independence Party in 1908, but his third-party candidacy gained few followers. For all his wealth and influence, Hearst could not obtain the political power he craved. Returning to California, Hearst continued to expand his media empire and contented himself with being a behind-the-scenes political powerbroker. When his mother died in 1919, he inherited the family ranch at San Simeon. During the next six years, he built a massive castle on a hill at the ranch. In 1924, he became involved in the Hollywood movie industry by relocating his motion picture company to Los Angeles. A year later, he took charge of the Los Angeles Examiner, and he soon controlled many of California's top newspapers. With a vast media empire at his disposal, Hearst exercised tremendous influence over California and national politics during the 1930s. Often the subject of news stories in his own right, Hearst was one of the most prominent persons in the US to emerge from the Far West during the first half of the 20th century. Hearst died on 14 August 1951.
    1861 Achille Guillaume Lauge, French artist who died on 02 June 1944. — more with links to images.
    1854 Charles Angrand, French artist who died on 01 April 1926
    1854 Jules-Henri Poincaré France, mathematician, theoretical astronomer, philosopher of science. He died on 17 July 1912. Author of Les Méthodes Nouvelles de la Mécanique Céleste (1899) — La Science et l'Hypothèse (1903) — La Valeur de la Science (1905) — Science et Méthode (1908) — Not to be confused with his first cousin Raymond Poincaré [20 Aug 1860 – 15 Oct 1934] president of the French Republic during WW I. — {Cicéron, c'est Poincaré?}
    1852 Peter Roget's Thesaurus first edition is published.
    1848 Theodore Blake Wirgman, in Louvain, Swiss painter and etcher, active in England, who died on 16 January 1925 in London. — links to images.
    1824  Francesc Pi i Margall, político y escritor, presidente de la República española.
    1818 Alexander II, Tsar of Russia (1855-81). He emancipated the serfs in 1861 and died on 13 March 1881.
    ^ 1818 (17 April Julian) Aleksandr II Nikolayevich, emperor of Russia from 1855. His liberal education and distress at the outcome of the Crimean War, which had demonstrated Russia's backwardness, inspired him toward a great program of domestic reforms, the most important being the emancipation (1861) of the serfs. A period of repression after 1866 led to a resurgence of revolutionary terrorism and to Aleksandr II's 13 March 1881 assassination.
         The future Aleksandr II was the eldest son of the grand duke Nikolay Pavlovich (who, in 1825, became the emperor Nicholas I) [06 Jul 1796 – 02 Mar 1855] and his wife, Alexandra Fyodorovna (who, before her marriage to the Grand Duke and baptism into the Orthodox Church, had been the princess Charlotte of Prussia). Aleksandr's youth and early manhood were overshadowed by the overpowering personality of his dominating father, from whose authoritarian principles of government he was never to free himself. But at the same time, at the instigation of his mother, responsibility for the boy's moral and intellectual development was entrusted to the poet Vasily Zhukovsky [09 Feb 1783 – 24 Apr 1852], a humanitarian liberal and romantic. Aleksandr, a rather lazy boy of average intelligence, retained throughout his life traces of his old tutor's romantic sensibility. The tensions created by the conflicting influences of Nicholas I and Zhukovsky left their mark on the future emperor's personality. Aleksandr II, like his uncle Aleksandr I before him (who was educated by a Swiss republican tutor, a follower of Rousseau), was to turn into a “liberalizing,” or at any rate humanitarian, autocrat.
          Aleksandr II succeeded to the throne at the age of 36, following the death of his father, at the height of the Crimean War. The war had revealed Russia's glaring backwardness in comparison with more advanced nations like England and France. Russian defeats, which had set the seal of final discredit on the oppressive regime of Nicholas I, had provoked among Russia's educated elitea general desire for drastic change. It was under the impact of this widespread urge that the Tsar embarked upon a series of reforms designed, through “modernization,” to bring Russia into line with the more advanced Western countries.
          Among the earliest concerns of the new emperor (once peace had been concluded in Paris in the spring of 1856 on terms considered harsh by the Russian public) was the improvement of communications. Russia at this time hadonly one railway line of significance, that linking the two capitals of St. Petersburg and Moscow. At Aleksandr II's accession there were fewer than 600 miles (965 kilometres) of track; when he died in 1881, some 14,000 miles (22,525 kilometres) of railway were in operation. In Russia, as elsewhere, railway construction, in its turn, meant a general quickening of economic life in a hithertopredominantly feudal agricultural society. Joint-stock companies developed, as did banking and credit institutions. The movement of grain, Russia's major articleof export, was facilitated.
          The same effect was achieved by another measure of modernization, the abolition of serfdom. In the face of bitter opposition from landowning interests, Aleksandr II, overcoming his natural indolence, took an active personal part in the arduous legislative labours that on Feb. 19, 1861, culminated in the Emancipation Act. By a stroke of the autocrat's pen, tens of millions of human chattels were given their personal freedom. By means of a long-drawn-out redemption operation, moreover, they were also endowed with modest allotments of land. Although for a variety of reasons the reform failed in its ultimate object of creating an economically viable class of peasant proprietors, its psychological impact was immense. It has been described as “the greatest social movement since the French Revolution” and constituted a major step in the freeing of laborers in Russia. Yet at the same time, it helped to undermine the already shaken economic foundations of Russia's landowning class.
          The abolition of serfdom brought in its train a drastic overhaul of some of Russia's archaic administrative institutions. The most crying abuses of the old judicial system were remedied by the judicial statute of 1864. Russia, for the firsttime, was given a judicial system that in important respects could stand comparison with those of Western countries (in fact, in many particulars it followed that of France). Local government in its turn was remodelled by the statute of 1864, setting up elective local assemblies known as zemstva. Their gradual introduction extended the area of self-government, improved local welfare (education, hygiene, medical care, local crafts, agronomy), and brought the first rays of enlightenment to the benighted Russian villages. Before long zemstvo village schools powerfully supported the spread of rural literacy. Meanwhile, Dmitry Milyutin, an enlightened minister of war, was carrying out an extensive series of reforms affecting nearly every branch of the Russian militaryorganization. The educative role of military service was underlined by a marked improvement of military schools. The army statute of 1874 introduced conscription for the first time, making young men of all classes liable to military service.
          The keynote of these reforms, and there were many lesser ones affecting various aspects of Russian life, was the modernization of Russia, its release from feudalism, and acceptance of Western culture and technology. Their aim and results were the reduction of class privilege, humanitarian progress, and economic development. Moreover, Aleksandr II, from the moment of his accession, had instituted a political “thaw.” Political prisoners had been releasedand Siberian exiles allowed to return. The personally tolerant emperor had removed or mitigated the heavy disabilities weighing on religious minorities, particularly Jews and sectarians. Restrictions on foreign travel had been lifted. Barbarous medieval punishments were abolished. The severity of Russian rule inPoland was relaxed. Yet, notwithstanding these measures, it would be wrong, as is sometimes done, to describe Aleksandr II as a liberal. He was in fact a firm upholder of autocratic principles, sincerely convinced both of his duty to maintain the God-given autocratic power he had inherited and of Russia's unreadiness for constitutional or representative government.
          Practical experience only strengthened these convictions. Thus, the relaxation of Russian rule in Poland led to patriotic street demonstrations, attempted assassinations, and, finally, in 1863, to a national uprising that was only suppressed with some difficulty—and under threat of Western intervention on behalf of the Poles. Even more serious, from the Tsar's point of view, was the spread of nihilistic doctrines among Russian youth, producing radical leaflets, secret societies, and the beginnings of a revolutionary movement. The government, after 1862, had reacted increasingly with repressive police measures. A climax was reached in the spring of 1866, when Dmitry Karakozov, a young revolutionary, attempted to kill the Emperor. Aleksandr II, who bore himself gallantly in the face of great danger, escaped almost by a miracle. The attempt, however, left its mark by completing his conversion to conservatism. For the next eight years, the Tsar's leading minister, maintaining his influence at least in part by frightening his master with real and imaginary dangers, —was Pyotr Shuvalov, the head of the secret police.
          The period of reaction following Karakozov's attempt coincided with a turning point in Aleksandr II's personal life, the beginning of his liaison with Princess Yekaterina Dolgorukaya, a young girl to whom the aging emperor had become passionately attached. The affair, which it was impossible to conceal, absorbed the Tsar's energies while weakening his authority both in his own family circle (his wife, the former princess Marie of Hesse-Darmstadt, had borne him six sons and two daughters) and in St. Petersburg society. His sense of guilt, moreover, made him vulnerable to the pressures of the Pan-Slav nationalists, who used the ailing and bigoted empress as their advocate when in 1876 Serbia became involved in war with the Ottoman Empire. Although decidedly a man of peace, Aleksandr II became the reluctant champion of the oppressed Slav peoples and in 1877 finally declared war on Turkey. Following initial setbacks, Russian arms eventually triumphed, and, early in 1878, the vanguard of the Russian armies stood encamped on the shores of the Sea of Marmara. The prime reward of Russian victory, seriously reduced by the European powers at the Congress of Berlin, was the independence of Bulgaria from Turkey. Appropriately, that country still honors Aleksandr II among its “founding fathers” with a statue in the heart of its capital, Sofia.
          Comparative military failure in 1877, aggravated by comparative diplomatic failure at the conference table, ushered in a major crisis in the Russian state. Beginning in 1879, there was a resurgence of revolutionary terrorism soon concentrated on the person of the Tsar himself. Following unsuccessful attempts to shoot him, to derail his train, and finally to blow up the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg itself, Aleksandr II, who under personal attack had shown unflinching courage based on a fatalist philosophy, entrusted supreme power to a temporarydictator. The minister of the interior, Count Mikhail Loris-Melikov, was charged with exterminating the terrorist organization (calling itself People's Will) while at the same time conciliating moderate opinion, which had become alienated by the repressive policies pursued since 1866. At the same time, following the deathof the Empress in 1880, the Tsar had privately married Yekaterina Dolgorukaya (who had borne him three children) and was planning to proclaim her his consort. To make this step palatable to the Russian public, he intended to couple the announcement with a modest concession to constitutionalist aspirations. There were to be two legislative commissions including indirectly elected representatives. This so-called Loris-Melikov Constitution, if implemented, mightpossibly have become the germ of constitutional development in Russia. But on 13 March (01 March Julian) 1881, the day when, after much hesitation, the Tsar finally signed the proclamation announcing his intentions, he was mortally wounded by bombs in a plot sponsored by the Pervomartovtsi (“March-Firsters”) revolutionary terrorist faction of Narodnaya Volya (“People's Will”), of which a later version, including Aleksandr Ilich Ulyanov [1866 – 20 May 1887], brother of Vladimir Ilich Ulyanov “Lenin” [22 Apr 1870 – 21 Jan 1924], would fail in its 13 March (01 March Julian) 1887 attempt to assassinate Aleksandr III [10 Mar 1845 – 01 Nov 1894].
          It can be said that Aleksandr II was a great historical figure without being a great man, thatwhat he did was more important than what he was. His Great Reforms indeed rank in importance with those of Peter the Great and Lenin, yet the impact of his personality was much inferior to theirs. The Tsar's place in history, a substantial one, is due almost entirely to his position as the absolute ruler of a vast empire at a critical stage in its development.
          The modernization of Russian institutions, though piecemeal, was extensive. In Aleksandr II's reign, Russia built the base needed for emergence into capitalism and industrialization later in the century. At the same time, Russian expansion, especially in Asia, steadily gathered momentum. The sale of Alaska to the US (“Seward's Folly”) in 1867 was outweighed in importance by the acquisition of the Maritime Province from China (1858 and 1860) and the founding of Vladivostok as Russia's far eastern capital (1860), the definitive subjugation of the Caucasus (in the 1860s), and the conquest of central Asia (Khiva, Bokhara, Turkestan) in the 1870s. The contribution of the reign to the development of what was to be described as Russia's “cotton imperialism” was immense. Here also, the reign of Aleksandr II paved the way for the later phases of Russian imperialism in Asia.
         Aleksandr II's importance lies chiefly in his efforts to assist Russia's emergence from the past. To some extent, he was, of course, the representative of forces, intellectual, economic, and political, that were stronger than himself or, indeed, any single individual. After the Crimean War, the modernization of Russiahad indeed become imperative if Russia was to retain its position as a major European power. But even within the context of a wider movement, the role of Aleksandr II, through his position as autocratic ruler, was a highly important one. The Great Reforms, both in what they achieved and in what they failed to do,bear the imprint of his personality. Unfortunately, however, by placing great power in the hands of the influential reactionary minister K.P. Pobedonostsev, whom he appointed minister for church affairs (procurator of the Holy Synod) and entrusted with the education of his son and heir, the future Aleksandr III, Aleksandr II, perhaps unwittingly, did much to frustrate his own reforming policies and to set Russia finally on the road to revolution.
    1813 Rubber is patented.
    1792 Matthew Vassar, in Norfolk, England, founder of Vassar College.
    1783 David Cox I, British painter who died on 15 June 1859. — MORE ON COX AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    ^ 1762 Jean-Baptiste Jourdan, French military commander who died on 23 November 1833. He remembered as the sponsor of conscription during the French Revolutionary regime and as one of the marshals of the empire of Napoléon [15 Aug 1769 – 05 May 1821].
           After being a soldier in King Louis XVI's army and serving in the West Indies (1778–1784), Jourdan retired and became a draper in Limoges. He supported the Revolution, however; and, having been elected lieutenant colonel of volunteers in1791, he rose to general of a division (1793). After successes against the Austrians, he was made commander of the Army of the Moselle in March 1794. He marched his troops westward to the Sambre River and, applying the new strategy of Lazare Carnot [13 May 1753 – 02 Aug 1823], he concentrated troops and artillery at points of attack on 26 June 1794, at the battle of Fleurus, in Hainaut, and won so decisive a victory that Austrian resistance west of the Meuse River collapsed. By October, his army was occupying all of Belgium.
          Jourdan's campaigns east of the Rhine River (1795 and 1796) were less successful; and, in 1797, he was elected to sit as deputy for Haute-Vienne in the council of Five Hundred. He was there responsible for the legalization of mass conscription (05 Sep 1798). His subsequent military career was largely unsuccessful, though in 1804 Napoleon appointed him a marshal. He was at last dismissed from command because of his failure to control his troops at the Battle of Vitoria (21 Jun 1813).
          In 1814 Jourdan favored Napoleon's abdication and switched his loyalties to Louis XVIII [17 Nov 1755 – 16 Sep 1824]. He was made head of the Army of the Rhine and named count (1816) and a peer of France (1819). He served for a few days as foreign minister during the July Revolution of 1830, then became governor of the Invalides. His Mémoires, edited by E.H. de Grouchy, appeared in 1899.
    1745 Oliver Ellsworth, US lawyer, politician, and diplomat and third chief justice of the United States (1796–1800). He died on 26 November 1807.
    He is best remembered as the coauthor (with Roger Sherman) of the Connecticut Compromise (1787), concerning representation in the two houses of Congress, and as the chief author of the Judiciary Act of 1789, establishing the federal court system. From 1775 Ellsworth built a practice in Hartford, Connecticut. The future lexicographer Noah Webster [16 Oct 1758 – 28 May 1843] read law in his office. Ellsworth served in the Continental Congress (1777–1783), on the Connecticut governor's council (1780–1784), and on the state Superior Court (1784–1789). In 1789 Ellsworth became one of Connecticut's first two US senators and the acknowledged Federalist leader in the Senate. He was a principal draftsman of the conference report on the first 12 proposed amendments to the Constitution (accepted by Congress in September 1789; 10 amendments, the “Bill of Rights”, were ratified by the states and became effective on 15 December 1791). Ellsworth was commissioned as chief justice on 04 March 1796. While presiding over the US Circuit Court for Connecticut, he ruled, in United States v. Isaac Williams (1799), that a US citizen could not expatriate himself without the consent of the government. He resigned late in 1800 because his health had been permanently impaired on an arduous trip to France to negotiate a treaty.
    1675 Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini, Venetian painter who died on 05 November 1741 (or possibly up to 3 days earlier). — MORE ON PELLEGRINI AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
    John Bull^ 1667 John Arbuthnot.
         He would become a Scottish mathematician, physician, and occasional writer, who died on 27 February 1735. He is remembered as the close friend of Jonathan Swift, Alexander Pope, and John Gay with whom, in 1714, he founded the Scriblerus Club, which aimed to ridicule bad literature and false learning.
         As a mathematician Arbuthnot translated Huygens' tract on probability in 1692 and extended it by adding to a few further games of chance. This was the first work on probability published in English. But, although he published other mathematical and scientific works, his fame rests on his reputation as a wit and on his satirical writings. The most important of the latter fall into two groups. The first consists of a political allegory dealing with the political jockeying of the British, French, Spanish, and Dutch that led up to the Treaty of Utrecht (1713). Published in five pamphlets, the earliest appearing in 1712, it was collected in 1727 under the composite title Law is a Bottom-less Pit; or, The History of John Bull, and it established for the first time the character who was to become the permanent symbol of England in cartoon and literature [image >].
    [Washington Irving's essay on John Bull]
          The other satire in which Arbuthnot had an important share was the Memoirs of Martinus Scriblerus, a mocking exposure of pedantry, first published in the 1741 edition of Pope's works but largely written as early as 1713–14 by the members of the Scriblerus Club. Arbuthnot was the chief contributor and guiding spirit of the work. Many of his witticisms and ideas for satires were later developed by and credited to his more famous literary friends.
         Summary: Martinus Scriblerus was born at Münster, the son of a learned gentleman, Cornelius, by profession an antiquary. When the child was born, his father remembered that the cradle of Hercules was a shield, and, finding an antique buckler, he determined that the child should be laid on it and brought into the study and shown to learned men; but the maid-servant, having regard to her reputation for cleanliness, scoured the shield and, in so doing, showed that a certain prominency, on which the antiquaries had speculated, was nothing but the head of a nail. The nurse was indignant at the father’s views about the proper food for the infant and about its early education. He found an assistant in a boy called Crambe, who had a great store of words and composed a treatise on syllogisms. Martin had the Greek alphabet stamped on his gingerbread, played games after the manner of the ancients and wore a geographical suit of clothes. Afterwards, he became a critic, practised medicine, studied the diseases of the mind, and endeavored to find out the seat of the soul. Then, he went on his travels, and visited the countries mentioned in Gulliver’s Travels.
    Holidays Japan : Emperor Hirohito's Birthday

    Religious Observances: RC, Ang : Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin, doctor of the Church, patron of Italy / Bah'ai : 9th day of Ridv n-festival / RC : St Peter of Verona, martyr / Jewish : Lag B'Omer (love for Holy Land Day) (Iyar 18, 5754 AM) / Santos Pedro de Verona y Agapio.
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    Thoughts for the day:
    “Losing weight: the triumph of mind over platter.”
    “Spring cleaning: the triumph of mind over clutter.”
    “Diapers: the triumph of bind over bladder.”
    “Keep your nose away from other people's grindstones.”
    “But, most of all, keep your nose away from other people's diapers.”

    updated Wednesday 29-Apr-2009 18:35 UT
    Principal updates:
    v.8.30 Sunday 27-Apr-2008 20:50 UT
    Sunday 29-Apr-2007 19:46 UT
    v.6.20 Saturday 01-Apr-2006 15:21 UT
    v.5.32 Friday 29-Apr-2005 16:23 UT
    Thursday 29-Apr-2004 3:55 UT

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