April 14 1028 Henry III, son of Conrad, is elected king of the Germans.
1471 Battle of Barnet: In England, the Yorkists under Edward IV defeat the Lancastrians under Warwick. The Earl of Warwick is killed and Edward IV resumes the throne.
1629 Birth: Dutch physicist Christian Huygens; will found the wave theory of light. "...In 1651 he published an essay in which he shewed the fallacy in a system of quadratures proposed by GrĂ©goire de Saint-Vincent, who was well versed in the geometry of the Greeks, but had not grasped the essential points in the more modern methods. This essay was followed by tracts on the quadrature of the conics and the approximate rectification of the circle. In 1654 his attention was directed to the improvement of the telescope. In conjunction with his brother he devised a new and better way of grinding and polishing lenses. As a result of these improvements he was able during the following two years, 1655 and 1656, to resolve numerous astronomical questions; as, for example, the nature of Saturn's appendage. His astronomical observations required some exact means of measuring time, and he was thus led in 1656 to invent the pendulum clock, as described in his tract Horologium, 1658. The time-pieces previously in use had been balance-clocks. In the year 1657 Huygens wrote a small work on the calculus of probabilities founded on the correspondence of Pascal and Fermat. He spent a couple of years in England about this time. His reputation was now so great that in 1665 Louis XIV. offered him a pension if he would live in Paris, which accordingly then became his place of residence. In 1668 he sent to the Royal Society of London, in answer to a problem they had proposed, a memoir in which (simultaneously with Wallis and Wren) he proved by experiment that the momentum in a certain direction before the collision of two bodies is equal to the momentum in that direction after the collision. This was one of the points in mechanics on which Descartes had been mistaken. The most important of Huygens's work was his Horologium Oscillatorium..."
1775 Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush organize the "Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage" in Philadelphia: The first abolition society in America.
1828 The first edition of Noah Webster's American Dictionary of the English Language is published.
1849 Hungary declares itself independent of Austria with Louis Kossuth as its leader.
1865 John Wilkes Booth, a well-known actor, is permitted upstairs at Ford's Theater, gaining access to US President Abraham Lincoln's private theater box as Lincoln watches the performance of Our American Cousin. It is just after 10pm when Booth, a Confederate sympathizer, shoots Lincoln in the head. After shooting the President, Booth leaps to the stage below, shouting, Sic semper tyrannis! (Thus always to tyrants! - the state motto of Virginia.) Booth breaks his leg in the fall but manages to escape the theater, which is in Washington, DC, mount a horse, and flee to Virginia. Booth is hunted down and shot as he hides in a barn near Port Royal, Virginia. (See April 15)
1866 Birth: Anne Sullivan, the 'miracle worker' who will teach a blind and deaf Helen Keller.
1889 Birth: Arnold Toynbee, English historian.
1890 The Pan American Union is founded by the First International Conference of American States at their meeting in Washington. Known originally as the International Bureau of American Republics. William Elleroy Curtis becomes its first director.
1894 The kinescope is demonstrated by its inventor, Thomas A. Edison, in New York City. A viewer that holds 50 feet of film - about 13 seconds worth - shows images of Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill. The demonstration is actually called the first peep show, as one has to peep into the device to see what is on the film.
1907 Birth: Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier, Haitian dictator.
1910 William Howard Taft begins a tradition when he throws out the first ball at a baseball game as the Washington Senators defeat the Philadelphia Athletics 3-0.
1912 Stuntman Frederick Rodman Law becomes the first man to intentionally jump from the Brooklyn Bridge in New York without intending to take his own life.
1912 The Royal Mail Steamship Titanic of the White Star Line strikes an iceberg at approximately 11:40 p.m. The great ship, on its maiden voyage, sinks just under three hours later. 1,517 passengers are lost at sea.
1918 WW1: The Allied situation is desperate as General Foch and Pershing make a joint plea to President Wilson to get more US troops to Europe as soon as possible, even if untrained.
1923 Weimar: First mention of Hitler in a leading German newspaper, the Frankfurter Zeitung. "At a meeting yesterday, Hitler made it known that indictments were pending against Editor Eher of the Voelkischer Beobachter, against the president of the Oberland Bund, and against himself, and he added: "I ask you to be sticky as burrs and hard as steel in standing by our movement. We will not talk..."
1921 Silver Lake, Colorado endures the world's record 24-hour snowfall: 76 inches.
1931 King Alfonso XIII of Spain abdicates and flees the country as the Spanish Republic is proclaimed.
1931 Volkishness: Johann Warthari WĂlfl, Lanz von Liebenfels' longtime follower, begins publishing Ostara-Rundschau (Panarische Revue) based on the concept of "Pan-Aryan" cooperation between the right-wing radical groups of the world. It includes the addresses of the "VĂlkischer Beobachter" in Munich, as well as racist and patriotic associations in Italy, France, Great Britain and the United States. (Roots)
1933 Japan begins an anti-Jewish drive in Tokyo. (Edelheit)
1934 Volkishness: Karl Maria Weisthor (Wiligut) is promoted to SS-Standartenfuhrer (Colonel). "...Karl Maria Willigut...has been called Himmlerâs Lord of the Runes. He was also referred to as Heinrich Himmlerâs âRasputin.â That name was in fact placed because this mystic mover had for sure become an ever-influential personage and soothsayer extraordinaire, and possibly the innermost ideological presence in the SS organization. A follower and adherent of the teaching of the occult mystic Guido von List, born December 10, 1866, in Vienna. He was the greatest influence on Himmler over the decision to take over the 17th-century castle at Wewelsburg. Himmler first visited this castle in 1933 accompanied by Willigut and immediately he started to put high-flown ideas into the imaginations of the RFSS as to the conceptualization of this wonderful edifice (Note: This is in reference to Himmler's Chair, above, designed by Willigut). âThe Center of the Worldâ was the theme that Willigut often repeated and it is certain that this advisor convinced the ReichsfĂŒhrer of a concept of quasi-pagan practices and the conception of a knightly order of the Schutzstaffell..."
1936 Volkishness: Otto Rahn is promoted to SS-Unterscharfuehrer, a noncommissioned officer (NCO). "...Who were the Cathars, in Rahn's view? "We do not need the god of Rome, we have our own. We do not need the commandments of Moses, we carry in our hearts the legacy of our ancestors. It is Moses who is imperfect and impure... We, Westerners of nordic blood, we call ourselves Cathars just as Easterners of nordic blood are called Parsees, the Pure. Our heaven is open only to those who are not creatures of an inferior race, or bastards, or slaves. It is open to Aryas. Their name means that they are nobles and lords." Otto Rahn became a legend by itself, having joined the SS he had to resign followed by various the wild stories about his dead in the Pyrenees, none of which has been proven. Christian Bernadac in "Le Mystere Otto Rahn"(1994) even claims that Otto Rahn simple changed his name and became "Rudolf Rahn" the last Nazi ambassador in Rome. One issue Christian Bernadac's book has in common however with the more reliable article by Joseph Mandement in 'La Depeche', both agree Otto Rahn was part of a propaganda fraud (he was seen planting German rune-grafitti on the walls of some of the mountain hideouts he visited), in preparation of the invasion of France by the Nazi's. The Vichy Government in France indeed actively collaborated with the Nazi's, and there even is a letter of Priory of Sion inventor to its leader General Petan! The legacy of Peyrat did not degenerate wholly into nostalgia for the Third Reich..."
1937 Holocaust: A decision is made that all German colored children are to be illegally sterilized. After the prerequisite expert reports are provided by Dr. Abel, Dr. Schade, and Professor Fischer, the sterilization's are carried out. (Science)
1940 WW2: The British make several small landings in Norway.
1941 Holocaust: The German authorities order that any Jew leaving the Lodz ghetto is to be shot on sight. (Atlas)
1941 Holocaust: Belgrade is occupied by the Germans. Within a few hours, Jewish shops are looted, and within a few weeks all Jewish communal activity is forbidden. (Atlas)
1943 Holocaust: The slave labor camp at Siedlce near Sobibor is "liquidated." (Atlas)
1944 Diary of Leon Gladun: (Italy) We toured Fontegreca--situated high in the mountains it's similar to Ferrazzano. An old town with massive stone buildings, it has the most beautiful setting of all the villages that I've visited so far.
1945 WW2: Incendiary raids on Tokyo, using B-29's, damage the Imperial Palace.
1945 WW2: Franz Von Papen is arrested by allied troops.
1950 Comic strip hero Dan Dare makes his debut appearance in the first edition of Britain's The Eagle.
1951 Death: Labour dreadnought Ernest Bevin, whose wartime Cabinet contributed as much to victory as anyone bar Winston Churchill, at 70. From childhood drudgery he rose to become Britain's most powerful trade union leader. His wartime mobilization of 22 million troops and workers ranks among his great achievements.
1954 Soviet diplomat Vladimir Petrov requests political asylum in Canberra, confirming that British diplomats Burgess and Maclean are Russian spies.
1956 The Ampex Corporation of Redwood City, California demonstrates the first commercial videotape recorder. The videotape machine has a price tag of $75,000 and is a unit the size of a deep-freeze, with an additional five 6-foot racks of circuitry.
1962 In Paris, Prime Minister Michel Debre resigns and is succeeded by Georges Pompidou.
1981 NASA's first space shuttle, Columbia, makes a perfect landing at Edwards Air Force Base on its maiden flight
1983 President Reagan denies he is trying to overthrow the leftist Nicaraguan government.
1985 The once-notorious Lexington Hotel in Chicago receives a visitor, in the person of media celebrity Geraldo Rivera, along with a camera crew. A record audience yawns as the long-sealed vault of racketeer Al Capone is opened during a much-hyped TV special to find some broken bottles and no trace that Capone and his gang had ever stashed anything at all there.
1986 US warplanes strike Libya in the biggest US air strike since the Vietnam War. Libya claims 40 people are killed in the early morning raid.
1989 The Communist Party chief and the prime minister of Soviet Georgia are replaced in a purge of the Republic's leadership after nationalist demonstrations.
1990 Lithuanian officials, facing a Kremlin deadline to back away from their declaration of independence, acknowledge that an economic blockade threatened by Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev could result in huge layoffs.
1991 US troops begin withdrawing from southern Iraq into buffer zones.
1991 In a short-lived art theft, 20 major paintings by Van Gogh are stolen from an Amsterdam museum by two gunmen. The paintings are found abandoned 35 minutes later.
1992 A federal appeals court in New York rules that arrogant hotel magnate Leona Helmsley, 71, must go to prison for tax evasion.
1993 British archaeologists unearth a 7,000-year-old seafarers village on Dalma Island in the United Arab Emirates; the first major settlement of the Ubaid period in that area.
1993 12 top former Communist officials go on trial charged with treason in the August 1991 coup attempt that hastened the fall of the Soviet Union. Two days later, the trial is adjourned indefinitely because of the illness of one defendant.
1993 Violence rages throughout South Africa as hundreds of thousands of blacks protest the slaying of popular Communist Party chief Chris Hani.
1994 Executives representing seven major tobacco companies give six hours of testimony to a US House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee to the effect that they do not believe cigarettes are addictive.
1994 In what is called a tragic mistake, two US warplanes shoot down two US Army helicopters in northern Iraq's so-called 'no fly' zone. All 26 aboard, including 15 Americans, are killed.
1994 Dissident soldiers shoot dead Lesotho's deputy prime minister and seize four cabinet ministers in a mutiny over a planned government probe into the army.
1995 The UN Security Council gives permission to Iraq, still under sanctions for its invasion of Kuwait, to sell $2 billion dollars' worth of oil to buy food, medicine and other supplies. Iraq will reject the offer.
1997 Former Nazi SS captain Erich Priebke, accused in Italy's worst WW2 atrocity, goes on trial for the second time in a year.
1997 Attorney General Janet Reno declines to appoint an independent counsel to investigate whether President Clinton's 1996 reelection campaign raised funds improperly.
1997 Whitewater: James McDougal, once a partner with then-Governor Bill Clinton in the Whitewater Development Corporation, is sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of seeking to enrich himself with fraudulent loans.
1998 Eight members of the Republic of Texas separatist group are convicted on fraud charges in a federal court in Dallas.
1999 NATO mistakenly bombs a convoy of ethnic Albanian refugees. Yugoslav officials declare that 75 people are killed.
1999 Former Vice President Dan Quayle announces he will seek the Republican presidential nomination.
2002 US Secretary of State Colin Powell meets with Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat in an effort to ease tensions with Israel and stop the wave of suicide bombings but is told there will be no cease fire until the Israelis end their military operation and pull back.
2003 Allied forces reach the heart of Tikrit - the last stronghold of Saddam Hussein's devastated Iraqi regime.
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1028 Henry III, son of Conrad, is elected king of the Germans.