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This Day in History - April 9

April 9

193 – The distinguished soldier Septimius Severus is proclaimed emperor by the army in Illyricum, in the Balkans

715 – Constantine ends his reign at Catholic Pope

1241 – In the Battle of Liegnitz, Mongol armies defeat Poles and Germans

1454 – The city states of Venice, Milan, and Florence sign a peace agreement at Lodi, Italy

1649 – Duke of Monmouth, James Scott, is born

1682 – Robert La Salle claims lower Mississippi River and all lands that touch it for France

1731 – British Captain Robert Jenkins loses an ear to a band of Spanish brigands, starting The War of Jenkins’ Ear, between Britain and Spain

1770 – Captain James Cook discovers Botany Bay on the Australian continent

1778 – Jeremiah Wadsworth is named commissary general of purchases for the Continental Army

1821 – French poet Charles Baudelaire is born

1826 – Confederate commander during the Civil War, Chatham Roberdeau Wheat is born

1859 – Realizing that France has encouraged the Piedmontese forces to mobilize for invading Italy, Austria mobilizes its army

1859 – Samuel Langhorne Clemens, aka Mark Twain, receives his steamboat pilot’s license

1860 – French inventor Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinville uses his phonautograph, the world’s earliest known sound recording device, to capture himself singing. It is the first time a human voice is recorded

1865 – General Robert E. Lee surrenders his rebel forces to Union General Ulysses Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia

1865 – German general during World War I, Erich Ludendorff, is born

1879 – Comedian and actor WC Fields is born

1881 – Bill, the Kid, is found guilty of murdering the Lincoln County, New Mexico Sheriff, William Brady, and is sentenced to hang. He will escape on April 28th

1898 – Actor and activist Paul Robeson is born

1900 – British forces route Boers at Kroonstad, South Africa

1905 – US Arkansas Senator J. William Fulbright is born

1914 – The first full-color film, The World, The Flesh and the Devil, is shown in London

1916 – The German army launches its third offensive during the Battle of Verdun

1917 – The Battle of Arras begins as Canadian troops begin a massive assault on Vimy Ridge

1918 – German troops launch “Operation Georgette” against the Allies in Armentieres, France on the River Lys

1921 – Russo-Polish conflict ends with the signing of the Riga Treaty

1926 – Founder of Playboy magazine, Hugh Hefner, is born

1939 – Contralto Marian Anderson gives a free concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, attracting more than 75,000

1940 – Germany invades Norway and Denmark

1942 – In the Battle of Bataan, American and Filipino forces are beaten by the Japanese army

1945 – The Red Army is repulsed at the Seelow Heights on the outskirts of Berlin

1945 – Drummer Steve Gadd is born

1945 – German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer dies

1947 – The town of Woodward, Oklahoma is reduced to rubble by a tornado, killing 100 in Woodward alone. The series of twisters hit the US heartland, killing 80 in other places as well

1950 – Comedian Bob Hope makes his first television appearance

1952 – The Bolivian National Revolution overthrows Hugo Ballivian’s government

1954 – Scottish politician Iain Duncan Smith is born

1959 – NASA introduces America’s first astronauts to the press: Scott Carpenter, L. Gordon Cooper Jr., John H. Glenn Jr., Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Walter Schirra Jr., Alan Shepard Jr., and Donald Slayton

1959 – Architect Frank Lloyd Wright dies

1962 – Sophia Loren wins Best Actress Oscar for Two Women at the 34th Academy Awards ceremony

1963 – Winston Churchill becomes the first honorary US citizen

1966 – The statue of Winston Churchill is dedicated at the British Embassy in Washington, DC

1967 – The first Boeing 737 takes off on its maiden flight

1968 – Murdered civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. is buried

1969 – The “Chicago Eight” plead not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to incite a riot at the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago

1970 – Paul McCartney announces the official break-up of the Beatles

1971 – Canadian race car driver Jacques Villeneuve is born

1975 – English soccer player and manager, Robbie Fowler is born

1976 – Guitarist, singer, and songwriter, Phil Ochs dies

1984 – Margaret Backhouse turns the ignition of her husband’s car, setting off a pipe bomb filled with nitroglycerine and shotgun shells in Horton, England. Her legs were nearly torn off, and she received many lacerations from the pellets, but she survived. Days prior, at the Backhouse’s Widden Hall Farm, a worker discovered a sheep's head impaled on a fence along with a note that read, “You Next.” After the death of a neighbor, Colyn Bedale-Taylor, who Graham Backhouse, Margaret’s husband, had implicated in the bombing, police discovered that Graham had increased his wife’s life insurance, created false threats, set off the car bomb and framed and killed Bedale-Taylor. He received life in prison the following year

1987 – US Secretary of State George Shultz states that he is “damned angry” about possible Soviet spy activity in the American embassy in the Soviet Union

1992 – Former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega is convicted of drug and racketeering charges

2003 – American Marine pull down Saddam Hussein’s statue in Baghdad after US commanders declare that his rule has ended

2005 – Prince Charles marries his longtime mistress, Camila Parker Bowles

2005 – Activist and author Andrea Dworkin dies

2009 – The Honda FCX Clarity, and the world’s first hydrogen-powered fuel-cell vehicle intended for mass production, wins the World Green Car award in New York

2011 – Director Sidney Lumet dies


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the Chief Operating Officer of Lanterns Media Network and the owner of Madisons Media. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and is the proud mother of two adult children.


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