#TodayInHistory – April 1
April 1 – Some Important Events on this day
374 👉🏼 Comet 1P/374 E1 (Halley) approaches within 0.0884 AUs of Earth ☄️
527 👉🏼 Byzantine Emperor Justin I names his nephew Justinian I as co-ruler and successor to the throne
1515 👉🏼 Portuguese fleet under Afonso de Albuquerque captures the Persian fortress of Ormuz, renaming it the Fort of Our Lady of the Conception.
His military brilliance in campaigns against the much larger Ottoman Empire and its allies enabled Portugal to become the first global empire in history. Afonso notable victories include the capture of Ormuz in 1507 from the Persians, the conquest of Goa in 1510 and the capture of Malacca in 1511. During the last five years of his life, he became the second governor of Portuguese India, pioneering European sea trade with China during the Ming Dynasty and also with Thailand and Timor. He also aided diplomatic relations with Ethiopia and established diplomatic ties with Persia, during the Safavid dynasty.
1693 👉🏼 Cotton Mather’s four-day-old son dies, and witchcraft is blamed.
He was socially and politically influential New England Puritan minister. He is often remembered for his role in the Salem witch trials.
1748 👉🏼 Ruins of Pompeii rediscovered by Spaniard Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre.
Buried in 79 AD by the eruption of Vesuvius, the ruins of the Roman town were rediscovered then excavated in the mid 18th century during the earliest days of archaeology. The town is especially famous for the picture it provides of everyday Roman life. Its luxurious courtyard villas survived with their fresco paintings and mosaic floors. Excavations continue today and a third of the town still remains uncovered.
1778 👉🏼 New Orleans businessman Oliver Pollock creates the “$” symbol 💲
1934 👉🏼 Clyde Barrow kills two young highway patrolmen, H. D. Murphy and Edward Bryant Wheeler, at the intersection of Route 114 near Grapevine, Texas. Bonnie Parker’s role in the murders helps turn public perception against the gang for good.
Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow formed the famous ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ duo that traveled the central United States with their gang in the early 1930s, committing robberies of banks, small gas stations and various murders throughout the Great Depression.
Clyde Barrow was born into a poor farming family in Texas. He began cracking safes, robbing stores and breaking into cars in his late teens and early 20s, and met Bonnie Parker in 1930. He was sent to prison for theft. Here committed his first murder of a fellow inmate who repeatedly sexually assaulted him, and had an inmate chop off two of his toes to avoid hard labor. When he was released in 1932, he started a gang with various people, including Bonnie Parker and his elder brother Buck.
The duo became known for bank robberies but preferred robbing small gas stations and rural stores. They became the face of the ‘public enemy’ era in the United States, and their exploits were captured by the press, various pulp fiction magazines and newsreels.
1931 👉🏼 Earthquake devastate Managua Nicaragua, kills 2,000
1933 👉🏼 Nazi Germany begins persecution of Jews by boycotting Jewish businesses
1939 👉🏼 US recognizes Francisco Franco’s government in Spain at end of Spanish civil war. Pope Pius XII congratulates Generalissimo Franco’s victory in Spain 🇪🇸
1941 👉🏼 Nazis forbid Jews access to cafés ☕️
1945 👉🏼 World War II: Canadian troops free the Dutch cities of Doetinchem, Enschede, Borculo and Eibergen
1945 👉🏼 Battle of Okinawa: US ground forces invade Okinawa during World War II in the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific theatre.
The island of Okinawa was strategically important to the Allies as they intended to use the airfields for the impending invasion of mainland Japan, Operation Downfall.
The US naval task force assembled for the battle began bombing Okinawa on March 23, 1945, ahead of the amphibious invasion on April 1, 1945, which was the largest amphibious assault of the Pacific War.
Okinawa was devastated by the battle. The fighting was extremely fierce on both sides, and Japan used numerous kamikaze attacks to try and sink Allied naval vessels, which assembled in the hundreds for the battle. Okinawa’s pre-battle population was about 300,000; nearly 150,000 were killed, committed suicide or went missing.
The Americans eventually captured the island, losing between 14-20,000 soldiers, while Japan lost between 77-110,000 dead. Okinawa would remain occupied by the United States until 1972, and the continued presence of an American military base on the island is a center of controversy in Japan.
1952 👉🏼 Big Bang theory proposed in Physical Review by Alpher, Bethe & Gamow
1954 👉🏼 1st Dutch motorway, Amsterdam-Utrecht, opens 🇳🇱
1974 👉🏼 Iranian religious leader, revolutionary, politician and leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution Ayatollah Khomeini calls for an Islamic Republic in Iran.
2001 👉🏼 Netherlands becomes the first country in the world to make same-sex marriage legal 👨🏼🤝👨🏾
2004 👉🏼 Google introduces Gmail: the launch is met with skepticism on account of the launch date 📧
2017 👉🏼 Bob Dylan receives his Nobel Prize for Literature at a private ceremony in Stockholm
2019 👉🏼 Japanese government announces the name of a new era ‘Reiwa’ for the next Emperor, Crown Prince Naruhito.
In Japan, the country has an additional calendar system which divides the past and present into ‘eras’, which coincide with the reign of the Emperor. For instance, the period from 1926 to 1989 is called the Shōwa Era, named after Emperor Shōwa (known during his lifetime as Emperor Hirohito, because Japanese monarchs are renamed posthumously.)
After Hirohito’s death in 1989, his son Akihito took over, and it was announced that the new era name would be Heisei, which roughly means ‘peace everywhere.’ This lasted until April 30, 2019, when Akihito abdicated and was succeeded by his son Naruhito. Prior to Naruhito’s accession, the Japanese cabinet met and declared the name Reiwa for his era, translated as ‘beautiful harmony.’
To choose the name, a panel of academics convened and consulted ancient Japanese works before the cabinet voted on the names under consideration. Reiwa is taken from an eighth-century work of Japanese poetry, making it the first such era name with kanji characters taken from Japanese classical literature rather than classic Chinese literature (the kanji system is based on Chinese symbols).
The era will continue until Naruhito’s death or abdication.