History: April 5

April 5

2348BC Some believe that Noah's ark grounded on Mt. Ararat this day.

1242 Russian troops under Alexander Nevsky of Novgorod, repel an invasion by Teutonic knights.

1355 Charles IV is crowned in Rome as Holy Roman Emperor.

1513 Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian, Henry VIII of England, Ferdinand of Aragon and Pope Leo X sign the Treaty of Mechlin, forming an alliance to invade France.

1531 Death: Richard Roose; boiled to death for attempting to poison an archbishop.

"The universe is corporeal; all that is real is material,
and what is not material is not real."

1588 Birth: Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher; The Leviathan. "The philosophy of Thomas Hobbes is perhaps the most complete materialist philosophy of the 17th century. Hobbes rejects Cartesian dualism and believes in the mortality of the soul. He rejects free will in favor of determinism, a determinism which treats freedom as being able to do what one desires. He rejects Aristotelian and scholastic philosophy in favor of the "new" philosophy of Galileo and Gassendi, which largely treats the world as matter in motion. Hobbes is perhaps most famous for his political philosophy. Men in a state of nature, that is a state without civil government, are in a war of all against all in which life is hardly worth living. The way out of this desperate state is to make a social contract and establish the state to keep peace and order. Because of his view of how nasty life is without the state, Hobbes subscribes to a very authoritarian version of the social contract...born in Malmesbury, Wiltshire, England. His premature birth was hastened by his mother's fear upon hearing of the approach of the Spanish Armada. His father was vicar of Westport but fled to London after being involved in a brawl outside his own church, leaving Thomas to be raised by a wealthy uncle..."

1614 Pocahontas, daughter of King Powahatan, weds the farmer John Rolfe in Jamestown, Virginia.

1614 The second parliament of King James I begins session, but accomplishes not a single enactment.

1621 The Mayflower sails from Plymouth, Massachusetts, on a return trip to England.

1649 Birth: Elihu Yale, the English philanthropist for whom Yale University is named.

1649 Death: John Winthrop, first governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony. " ...Winthrop decided to move the colony away from Salem, someplace where they would have room to build houses and raise crops. After exploring the coast he led the colonists to what is now called Boston harbor. He ordered them to fan out, and they settled throughout the areas of Charlestown, Cambridge, Boston, Watertown, Roxbury and Dorchester. Realizing that they did not have enough provisions to last through the coming winter, he sent a ship back to England with one message for his son: Send food now! But the ship would take a long time to arrive. Governor Winthrop collected provisions while the settlers made shelters for the winter. They carved caves in the hillsides and dug holes in the ground. When autumn came, many began to fall sick and die. By November, Winthrop had lost eleven servants from his household. But he never wavered; he set the example in bravery. In his letters to his wife there was no hint of despair, and he never suggested that the rest of his family should stay in England. Fall turned to winter, and hundreds died. The whole company was tottering on the brink of starvation. In February, their supplies totally ran out. John Winthrop reached into a barrel to pull out their last handful of grain to give to a starving settler. Just as his hand was coming out of the barrel, someone shouted, "It's here!" At that very moment a ship arrived, bringing new supplies of food. John Winthrop distributed the food and proclaimed a day of thanksgiving to God. Out of one thousand who had come to the New World, two hundred died the first winter. When spring came, another two hundred gave up and went back to England. Many of the British investors decided this was a losing business and pulled out, leaving the colonists without support or supplies. John Winthrop took his own money which he had acquired from the sale of his estate and used it to buy more provisions. In that first year, Winthrop almost singlehandedly fed the colony out of his own pocket. Later that year, his wife Margaret and the rest of his children arrived. Winthrop found that two more of his children had died that year, including the newborn baby daughter whom he never saw. But he praised God for bringing his family to the New World, and he never wavered in his conviction that the Lord was with them. Over the next ten years, twenty thousand settlers poured into Massachusetts. Winthrop governed them as if they were his own children. He required that they treat the Indians with dignity and respect, so that they might be won over to Christ. A few settlers resented his power and influence. But no one could deny that the very existence of Massachusetts was due to the courage, faith, and sacrifice of their governor. Even secular historians marvel at his kindness, wisdom, and leadership, and agree that John Winthrop was one of the princes of our civilization."

1684 Death: William Brouncker, second viscount, first president of Royal Society.

1722 Easter Island is discovered. "...With his three ships, Eagles, Thienhoven and the African Galley, the Dutch Admiral Jacob Roggeveen went in search of the “Southern Continent”. Until prevented by ice, he managed to make the southerly latitude of 60 degrees. With this, he turned his ships towards the Juan Fernandez Islands thinking that there might be an opportunity to found a settlement. On April 6th, 1722, his westerly course brought him to a lonely island. As it was Easter, he baptized the island “Easter Island”. Another account suggests that Roggeveen was in search of Davis or David’s Island. Reported in latitude 27o by and Englishman buccaneer named Davis, in 1687. He claimed that it was five hundred miles from the coast of Chile, low and sandy and some 12 leagues to the west of it was seen “a long tract of pretty high land”. This description in no way applies to Easter Island, as sometimes suggested, but is possibly a description of Crescent Island. The latitude of Easter Island is 27o 8’S, Crescent Island is 23o 20’S. Roggeveen concluded this was not the island he was looking for. Due to strong surf and no readily suitable anchorage, he lay off the north coast for a week and was only able to make landfall once. The landing party gave descriptions of an island with no large trees, a rich soil, sugar-cane, bananas and figs. Current scientific thought suggests that these descriptions may have been somewhat inaccurate. Roggeveen made contact with the indigenous population. Roggeveen wrote that he “admired the large stone statues that dotted the landscape." After departing Easter Island, Roggeveen was to discover some islands of the Tuamotu group. He visited Takapoto, Makatea and Samoa where his fleet were to rest for sometime before continuing on..."

1732 Birth: Jean-Honore Fragonard, painter.

1752 Birth: Sebastien Erard, piano, harp manufacturer.

1762 The British wrest Grenada, in the West Indies, from the French.

1792 US President George Washington rejects a congressional measure for apportioning representatives among the states; the first presidential veto.

1794 Death: French revolutionary leader Georges Jacques Danton; guillotined for treason. He had attempted to temper the Revolutionary Tribunal's severity, which he himself had set up and by which he is ultimately sentenced.

1795 Birth: Sir Henry Havelock, British soldier; War in Afghanistan, 1838-39.

1806 Isaac Quintard of Connecticut patents the apple cider mill. Note: Cider is the expressed juice of apples used as a beverage or for making other products, such as vinegar. In North America cider may or may not be alcoholic, in most European countries the name refers exclusively to fermented apple juice.

1811 Birth: Jules Dupr‚ landscape painter.

1812 War of 1812: The British storm the Badajoz fortress, held by French and Spanish troops.

1815 Sumbawa, Indonesia: Tambora blows its top; the largest volcanic eruption in historic time. About 150 cubic kilometers of ash blot the landscape, about 150 times more than the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Ash falls as far as 800 miles (1,300 km) from the volcano. In central Java and Kalimantan, 550 miles (900 km) from the eruption, one centimeter of ash falls. The eruption column reaches a height of about 28 miles (44 km). The collapse of the eruption column produces numerous pyroclastic flows. As these hot pyroclastic flows reach the ocean they cause additional explosions. The eruption forms a caldera. An estimated 92,000 people are killed by the eruption; about 10,000 direct deaths are caused by bomb impacts, tephra fall, and pyroclastic flows. An estimated 82,000 are killed indirectly by the eruption due to starvation, disease, and hunger. Tambora is a stratovolcano, forming the Sanggar peninsula of Sumbawa Island. The diameter of the volcano at sea-level is about 38 miles (60 km). Prior to the 1815 eruption, the volcano may have been as tall as 13,000 feet (4,000 m). The 1815 eruption formed a caldera about 4 miles (6 km) in diameter. The caldera is 3,640 feet (1,110 m) deep. The 1815 eruption of Tambora will cause the 'Year without a Summer.' Daily minimum temperatures will be abnormally low in the northern hemisphere from late spring to early autumn. Famine will be widespread because of crop failures. (Bradley)

1827 Birth: Joseph Lister, English physician; will hit upon the brilliant idea of using antiseptics during surgery.

1838 Birth: Alpheus Hyatt, US invertebrate paleontologist.

1843 Queen Victoria proclaims Hong Kong a British crown colony.

1856 Birth: Booker T. (Taliaferro) Washington, former slave, educator; will found the Tuskegee Institute.

1858 Birth: Washington Atlee Burpee; will found the world's largest mail-order seed company.

1859 Charles Darwin sends off the first three chapters of The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection to his publisher, John Murray.

1861 US Civil War: Federals abandon Ft. Quitman, Texas.

1865 US Civil War: As the Confederate army approaches Appomattox, it skirmishes with Union forces at Amelia Springs and Paine's Cross Road.

1869 Death: Daniel Bakeman, the last surviving soldier of the Revolutionary War, at the age of 109.

1881 The Transvaal regains independence under British sovereignty.

1892 Walter H. Coe, of Providence, Rhode Island, patents gold leaf in rolls.

1894 11 strikers are killed in a riot at Connellsville, Pennsylvania.

1895 Playwright Oscar Wilde loses his criminal libel case against the Marquis of Queensberry, who had accused the writer of homosexual practices. Note: One can't help but wonder if Wilde resented the charge itself, or whether he was appalled by the implication that he was in need of practice?

1896 The first modern Olympic Games officially open in Athens.

1901 Birth: Chester Bowles, in Massachusetts, ambassador, writer; Conscience of a Liberal.

1908 Birth: Mary Hemingway, writer; Ernest Hemmingway Biography.

1908 The Japanese Army reaches the Yalu River as the Russians retreat.

1911 Volkishness: The Hammer group in Magdeburg institutes what is called the Wotan Lodge, with Hermann Pohl elected Master. (Roots)

1917 Birth: Robert Bloch, novelist; Psycho.

1917 WW1: Two telegrams reach the office of British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour. One, from Berne, informs Balfour that Lenin and his group of Russian Communists are negotiating with the Germans for safe passage through Germany. The other, from Lord Halifax, informs him that, Trotsky and five of his associates have been seized in Nova Scotia and that Trotsky is now "the leader of a movement to start a revolution against the present Russian Government, the funds being subscribed by socialists and Germans." (Tuchman II)

1918 WW1: Japanese troops embark from Japanese battleships anchored off Vladivostok and overrun the city. They are soon followed by British troops. (Polyakov)

1919 The Polish Army executes 35 young Jews.

1919 Eamon de Valera becomes president of Ireland.

1920 Birth: Arthur Hailey, English born Canadian author and novelist; Airport, Hotel.

1923 Firestone Tire and Rubber Company of Akron, Ohio, begins production of the first modern automobile tires. The company had previously experimented with large-section, thin-walled tires with small bead diameters for special purposes, but none had been put on the commercial market. Firestone had become America's largest producer of tires when it received the contract to supply Henry Ford's Model T's. The company remained on top of the tire industry, challenged for supremacy only by Goodyear. Balloon tires provide better handling and a smoother ride for car drivers. In balloon tires, an inner tube is fitted inside the tire and inflated. Firestone's innovation also ushers in the era of the flat tire. People may have had problems with their cars before 1923, but none had yet enjoyed the pleasure of standing by the roadside watching their hissing tire deflate-along with their hopes of arriving on time. (Bradley)

1923 Birth: Nguyen Van Thieu, president of South Vietnam.

1930 Mahatma Gandhi defies British law by making salt in India instead of buying it from the British.

1933 At Barnes Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri, the first operation to remove a lung s performed.

1934 Holocaust: Dr. Ludwig Marum, a former Jewish member of the Reichstag, commits suicide while in "protective custody" by the Gestapo.

1934 Forty-six Iron Guard leaders are freed by a military court in Romania.

1935 Birth: Donald Lynden-Bell, British astronomer.

1937 Birth: Colin Powell, in the Bronx, New York, US Army general (retired), US Secretary of State 2001-2005, US President 2009-2017.

1938 Anti-Jewish riots break out in Dabrowa, Poland.

1939 The HMS Illustrious is launched: Britain's largest aircraft carrier.

1940 WW2: Britain and France notify Norway that they reserve the right to deprive Germany of Norway's resources.

1941 Holocaust: The newspaper Cologne Zeitung reports that, "Although the Lodz ghetto was intended as a mere trial, a mere prelude to the solution of the Jewish question, it has turned out to be the best and most perfect temporary solution of the Jewish problem." (Lewy)

1941 WW2: German commandos secure the docks along the Danube River in preparation for Germany's invasion of the Balkans.

1942 WW2: Hitler issues a directive for the summer offensive.

1942 WW2: Allen W. Dulles joins Col. William (Wild Bill) Donovan's Office of Strategic Services (OSS, 1942-45).

1943 Resistance: Pastor Dietrich Bonhffer (Bonhoeffer) is arrested and imprisoned by the Gestapo, charged with subverting the German armed forces. (See May 1942)

1943 WW2: The British 8th Army under Montgomery attacks the next blocking position of the retreating Axis forces at Wadi Akarit.

1943 WW2: Poon Lim is rescued. "Poon Lim was born in Hainan Island in 1917. 1942, during the World War Two, he was working as a second steward in a British merchant ship SS Ben Lomond in its way from Cape Town to Dutch Guiana. On November 23 1942 a German U-boat intercepted and torpedoed the ship. As the ship was sinking, Poon Lim took a life jacket and jumped overboard before the ship's boilers exploded. After approximately two hours in water he noticed an empty life raft and climbed into it. The raft had couple of tins of biscuits, a ten gallon jug of water, couple of flares and an electric torch. Poon Lim kept himself alive by drinking only few swallows of water and taking two biscuits a day. He kept himself in shape by swimming around the raft twice a day. He took a wire from electric torch and made it into a fishhook and used a hemp rope as a fishing line. When he captured a fish, he cut it open with a biscuit tin and used half of it for baits. Later he captured seagulls for food. He used the canvas of the life jacked to collect rainwater. Twice other vessels passed nearby, first a freighter and then 7 US Navy patrol planes. Neither one noticed him. He also saw another U-boat, who let him be. He counted the days with notches on the side of the raft. On April 5 1943 Poon Lim finally saw a sail on the horizon and managed to attract attention. Three Brazilian fishermen rescued him and took him to Belem three days later. During his ordeal Poon Lim had lost 20 pounds but was able to walk unaided. He spent two weeks in a Brazilian hospital and then the British consul arranged him to return to Britain via Miami and New York. He later found out that only 11 others of the all 55 of ship's crew had been rescued. King George VI bestowed a British Empire Medal on him and British Navy used his tale in its manuals of survival techniques. His employers gave him a gold watch. After the war, Poon Lim decided to immigrate to USA but the quota for Chinese was full. However, because of his fame and the aid of senator Warren Magnuson he received a special permission to gain citizenship."

1945 WW2: Kuniaki Koiso resigns as Prime Minister of Japan, and is replaced by Kantaro Suzuki.

1945 WW2: Molotov tells the Japanese Ambassador in Moscow that the Soviet Union is denouncing its 1941 nonaggression pact with Japan, making it possible for the Soviets to take part in the war against Japan. They will wait until August 8, two days after the US drops the first atomic bomb on Japan, when its surrender seems imminent. (Freedman)

1945 At Eagles Nest, New Mexico, the temperature plunges to 45°F below zero (-43 °C) to establish an April record for the United States.

1949 Birth: Dr Judith Arlene Resnik, in Akron, Ohio, astronaut STS 41D, 51L Challenger disaster.

1951 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are sentenced to death following their conviction on charges of conspiring to spy for the Soviet Union.

1953 US President Dwight Eisenhower inaugurates the Presidential Prayer Breakfast, later changed to the Annual National Prayer Breakfast.

1955 Sir Winston Churchill, at 80, resigns as Prime Minister. The following day Anthony Eden will take office.

1964 Death: Douglas MacArthur, US general, Pacific theater WW2, Military Governor of Japan. "...The American public welcomed MacArthur as a hero on his return to the United States; he was the last American General to come home from the war and this was his first time back in the country since 1937. After a Senate investigation of his dismissal, popular support for his position declined sharply. Some conservative Republicans tried in vain to get their party to nominate MacArthur for the presidency in 1944, 1948, and 1952. In 1952, MacArthur became chairman of the board of Remington Rand, Inc. (now part of Unisys Corporation). Except for board duties and a few speeches, he lived in seclusion in New York City. His memoirs, Reminiscences, were published shortly before he died on April 5, 1964. After a state funeral, he was buried in a crypt of the MacArthur Memorial in Norfolk, Virginia."

1966 Counterculture guru Dr. Timothy Leary speaks at New York’s Town Hall and compares LSD to a microscope saying that the drug “is to psychology what the microscope is to biology.”

1969 Pope Paul VI abolishes the spiffy red hat (galero) and red shoes and buckles customarily worn by Roman Catholic cardinals.

1970 Count Carl von Spreti, West German ambassador to Guatemala, is found murdered six days after his kidnapping by guerrillas.

1974 The then tallest building at 110 stories, the World Trade Center, opens its doors in New York City.

1975 Soyuz 18A is launched, but is aborted short of orbit with the cosmonauts returning safely.

1975 Death: Chiang Kai-shek, Chinese military and political leader, at 87. Chiang had fled to Taiwan after his Nationalist forces lost the Chinese civil war against Mao Zedong in 1949.

1976 British Prime Minister Harold Wilson resigns and is succeeded by James Callaghan.

1976 Death: Howard Hughes. Hughes's checkered, though certainly profitable, career started at the tender age of 17, when he assumed control of his late father's tool company. A few years later, Hughes headed to Hollywood, where he produced a string of gritty classics, including The Outlaw and Scarface. Hughes was credited for discovering then-unknown Jean Harlow in 1930, when he was reconstructing the film Hell's Angels from a silent picture to sound. He also was a major impetus in the film career of Jane Russell. In 1948, Hughes parlayed his clout and capital into a majority stake in RKO Pictures. Hughes soon sold his shares in RKO, only to buy it outright in 1954; ever the eccentric, Hughes waited but a year to sell the studio. Along the way, the offbeat millionaire indulged his passion for aviation, establishing the Hughes Aircraft Company and later buying a majority stake in Trans World Airlines. During the 1930s, Hughes flew his own custom-made plane into the record books, breaking various speed and flight-time records. Despite his glittery achievements and hefty bankroll, Hughes was never one for publicity; he ultimately retreated from public life in 1950. Hughes eventually sequestered himself away in an ever-rotating series of luxury hotels, where he would toil for days on end, surviving on a diet that leaned more heavily toward drugs than food. Hughes's death this day will touch off a well-publicised scrap, as a number of wills, all supposedly in the millionaire's name, are unearthed. The wills will all ultimately be dismissed as frauds. Multimillionaire recluse Howard Hughes succumbs this day to kidney failure on his way to the hospital in Houston, Texas at the age of 72. (Bradley)

1979 Pioneer 11 is launched towards Jupiter.

1982 Falklands War: British foreign secretary Lord Carrington, resigns due to the war.

1982 Falklands War: A British task force gets underway from Portsmouth to recover the Falkland Islands from their Argentinean occupiers.

1984 Death: Arthur Travors Harris, marshal of RAF. "Known universally by his nickname 'Bomber', Sir Arthur Harris was the architect of Britain's strategic air offensive in the Second World War and for three years pursued the systematic destruction of Germany with a single-minded determination. Of all the Allied wartime commanders, Harris is arguably the most controversial and to this day his name is closely linked with the questionable policy of area bombing. Although he did not invent area bombing, he applied himself rigorously to its execution and demonstrated to the world the importance of strategic air power and the key role played by the RAF in the Allied war effort. Harris was a man who could express himself clearly and who exuded a clear sense of purpose, although he was seen by some as unrefined and rude, lacking in sensitivity, impatient and totally inflexible. Yet generally he was regarded with affection by his bomber crews, and with awe by his many minions at Bomber Command headquarters. When he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command in 1942, the bomber war had scarcely begun. In the thirty months that preceded his arrival at High Wycombe, Bomber Command had dropped about 90,000 tons of bombs and lost some 7,000 aircrew killed on operations; during the period of his command from 1942 to 1945, over 850,000 tons of bombs were dropped but aircrew casualties climbed to more than 40,000. Although promoted Marshal of the RAF in 1945, unlike the other main leaders of the war years Harris did not receive a peerage in the 1946 New Year honours. Politicians, including Churchill himself, were quick to distance themselves from the bomber offensive now that the war had been won, and Sir Arthur Harris and Bomber Command became victims of post-war political expediency..."

1986 A bomb explodes in La Bell, a popular discotheque in West Berlin, killing two American soldiers and a Turkish woman.

1988 The Democratic convention picks Michael Dukakis as their presidential candidate.

1988 A 15-day hijacking ordeal begins as gunmen force a Kuwait Airways jumbo jet to land in Iran. There are 115 passengers on board.

1989 The Polish government legalizes the Solidarity union, and introduces democratic measures into the political system.

1991 The US begins air drops to Kurdish refugees in Northern Iraq.

1992 Suada Dilberovic, a 24-year-old Croat medical student who is shot and killed by a sniper on the Vrbania bridge in Sarajevo, becomes the first woman casualty of the war in Bosnia.




2003 US troops enter Baghdad in force as a spokesman declares: 'We are in and we're staying put.'






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