1743 Birth: Thomas Jefferson, third president of the US. From Jefferson's Autobiography: "...The tradition in my father's family was that their ancestor came to this country from Wales, and from near the mountain of Snowdon, the highest in Gr. Br. I noted once a case from Wales in the law reports where a person of our name was either pl. or def. and one of the same name was Secretary to the Virginia company. These are the only instances in which I have met with the name in that country. I have found it in our early records, but the first particular information I have of any ancestor was my grandfather who lived at the place in Chesterfield called Ozborne's and ownd. the lands afterwards the glebe of the parish. He had three sons, Thomas who died young, Field who settled on the waters of Roanoke and left numerous descendants, and Peter my father, who settled on the lands I still own called Shadwell adjoining my present residence. He was born Feb. 29, 1707/8, and intermarried 1739. with Jane Randolph, of the age of 19. daur of Isham Randolph one of the seven sons of that name & family settled at Dungeoness in Goochld. They trace their pedigree far back in England & Scotland, to which let every one ascribe the faith & merit he chooses. My father's education had been quite neglected; but being of a strong mind, sound judgment and eager after information, he read much and improved himself insomuch that he was chosen with Joshua Fry professor of Mathem. in W. & M. college to continue the boundary line between Virginia & N. Caroline which had been begun by Colo Byrd, and was afterwards employed with the same Mr. Fry to make the 1st map of Virginia which had ever been made, that of Capt Smith being merely a conjectural sketch. They possessed excellent materials for so much of the country as is below the blue ridge; little being then known beyond that ridge. He was the 3d or 4th settler of the part of the country in which I live, which was about 1737. He died Aug. 17. 1757, leaving my mother a widow who lived till 1776, with 6 daurs & 2. sons, myself the elder. To my younger brother he left his estate on James river called Snowden after the supposed birth-place of the family. To myself the lands on which I was born & live..." Note: This is a detailed and definitive link.
1782 Washington, North Carolina is incorporated; the first town to be named for George Washington.
1796 The first known elephant to arrive in the United States, from Bengal, India, enters the US at New York City.
1848 Sicily declares its independence from Naples.
1849 The Hungarian Republic is proclaimed.
1861 US Civil War: After 34 hours of bombardment, Union forces at Fort Sumter, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, surrender to the Confederates.
1870 The Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded in New York City.
1882 The Anti-Semitic League is founded in Prussia.
1913 An assassination attempt on King Alphonso XIII of Spain by an anarchist fails.
1919 Amritsar Massacre: British troops under General Edward Dyer open fire without warning on a crowd of some 10,000, assembled to protest against the arrest of two Indian National Congress leaders, at the site of a Sikh religious shrine in the Punjab. 379 Indians are killed and 1,200 wounded.
1919 Weimar: After a right-wing uprising is crushed, a more serious band of Communists seizes power in Munich. Leadership is taken over by the Russian emigres Eugen Levine-Nissen, Tobias Axelrod, and Max Levien. All three are of Jewish descent and had been bloodied in the 1905 Russian revolution. During the reign of terror that follows, schools, banks and newspapers are closed due to looting and violence. (Roots)
1928 Frank Kellogg, US Secretary of State, prepares a plan to outlaw war as an instrument of national policy. (Freedman)
1932 Weimar: The German government bans the Nazi paramilitary groups the SS and SA after plans for a coup are discovered.
1933 Church and Reich: Jehovah's Witnesses and their religion are officially suppressed in Bavaria. The Catholic Church accepts the assignment, given it by the Ministry of Education and Religion, to report on any member of the sect still practicing this "forbidden religion." (Lewy)
1937 Holocaust: The Gestapo prohibits all Jewish public meetings for 60 days with the exception of synagogue services.
1938 Church and Reich: The Roman Congregation of Seminaries and Universities attacks as erroneous eight theses taken from Nazi doctrine. Antisemitism is neither mentioned nor criticized. (Lewy)
1939 Britain and France counter Mussolini's threats with a guarantee to protect the sovereignty of Greece and Romania.
1940 WW2: Another major naval battle takes place off Narvik in the battle for Norway.
1940 WW2: Second of four mass deportations of Poles to Siberia; taken are 230,000 members of families of people previously arrested and of those who escaped abroad, tradesmen and farmers.
1941 WW2: Japanese Foreign Minister Matsuoka, in Moscow, signs a five-year non-aggression pact pact of friendship with Stalin
1943 FDR dedicates The Thomas Jefferson Memorial in Washington, DC. on this, the anniversary of Jefferson’s birth.
1945 WW2: Vienna, the first foreign capital to be occupied by Hitler, is liberated by the Russians under Fedor Tolbukhin (above).
1945 Death: Albert Voegler, leading German industrial tycoon and chairman of the board of the United Steel Works. Along with Thyssen was one of the first industry bosses to funnel money to Hitler. Commits suicide on this day.
1949 Nuremberg War Crimes Trials: Military Tribunal IV-A sentences nineteen defendants found guilty in the Ministries Trial, a trial involving three Reich Ministers and eighteen other members of the Nazi party hierarchry accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Although appeals continue in this case until January of 1951, sentencing in the Ministries Trial brings an end to the four-year-long series of Nuremberg trials. (Maser II)
1959 A Vatican edict forbides Roman Catholics for voting for Communists.
1960 The British Government announces plans to scrap the 'Blue Streak' project.
1961 The UN General Assembly condemns South Africa for apartheid.
1966 Abdul Salam Arif, president of Iraq, is killed in a helicopter crash.
1968 Tanzania becomes the first country to recognise the Nigerian secessionist state of Biafra as a sovereign nation.
1970 Apollo 13: Disaster strikes 200,000 miles from Earth when oxygen tank No.2 blows up on Apollo 13, the third manned lunar landing mission. Astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise had left Earth two days before for the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon but are now forced to turn their attention to simply making it home alive. Mission commander Lovell reports to mission control on Earth: "Houston, we've had a problem here," and it is discovered that the normal supply of oxygen, electricity, light, and water has been disrupted. The landing mission is aborted, and the astronauts and controllers on Earth scramble to come up with emergency procedures. The crippled spacecraft continues to the moon, circles it, and begins a long, cold journey back to Earth. The astronauts and mission control are faced with enormous logistical problems in stabilising the spacecraft and its air supply, and providing enough energy to the damaged fuel cells to allow successful re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. Navigation is another problem, and Apollo 13's course is repeatedly corrected with dramatic and untested manoeuvers. (See April 17)
1981 Journalist Janet Cook wins a Pulitzer Prize for her feature about an 8-year-old heroin addict. Note: Things will take a strange turn when she later declares that her prize-winning story in The Washington Post is a fake. She made up the story and passed it off as truth. Her award will be taken away and given instead to Teresa Carpenter of New York’s Village Voice.
1982 Falklands War: US Secretary of State Alexander Haig returns to Washington after failed attempts in London and Buenos Aires to settle the Falkland Islands dispute diplomatically.
1995 A federal appeals court opens the way for Shannon Faulkner to become the first woman to undergo military training at The Citadel.
1996 The Brussels conference of aid donors for Bosnia ends with a pledge to donate 1.23 billion dollars to rebuild the country.
1999 Right-to-die advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian is sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder in the lethal injection of a Lou Gehrig's disease patient.
2002 British peacekeepers on patrol in the Afghan capital Kabul are attacked by gunmen armed with AK-47 rifles.
2003 French President Jacques Chirac declares that the UN should be entrusted with arrangements for a new Iraq government.
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