#TodayInHistory – April 2
April 2 – Some Important Events on this day
1453 👉🏼 Mehmed II begins his siege of Constantinople (the current İstanbul), which falls on May 29
1513 👉🏼 Explorer Juan Ponce de León claims Florida for Spain as the first known European to reach Florida. Juan Ponce de León first arrived in the Caribbean with Columbus’ 2nd voyage in 1493.
In 1502 he served under the new governor of Hispaniola, Nicolás de Ovando and was involved with the massacre of the local population of Taínos. Later he became the governor of the eastern part of Hispaniola. In 1508 he founded the first European settlement in Puerto Rico, Camparra.
In 1513 with a royal contract he was the first known European to discover Florida, which he named. A popular myth asserts that another part of his exploration was a search for the ‘fountain of youth’.
1792 👉🏼 The Coinage Act is passed establishing the United States Mint and authorizing the $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle & 2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins & silver dollar, ½ dollar, quarter, dime & half-dime 💵
1801 👉🏼 Napoleonic Wars: The British led by Horatio Nelson destroy the Danish fleet in the naval Battle of Copenhagen. One of Great Britain’s greatest war heroes, Nelson was the victor of many battles of the Napoleonic Wars.
The Battle of Copenhagen was fought to force Denmark out of the hostile ‘Armed Neutrality’ of the Northern Powers, Russia, Sweden, Denmark and Prussia. It was the second of Horatio Nelson’s great battles and like the Battle of the Nile, also against an enemy at anchor.
Nelson’s intention was to concentrate on parts of the Danish defense and defeat it in detail but despite careful preparations the issue remained in doubt. Nelson ignored his superior’s signal of recall: “Leave off action! … Now damn me if I do. You know, Foley, I have only one eye – I have a right to be blind sometimes….I really do not see the signal”. Eventually he offered a truce to save the Danish wounded in sinking and burning ships.
As against this show of humanity, he used diplomacy, threat and bluff to engineer an armistice. With arrival of the news of the assassination the Tsar Paul I of Russia, which in fact preceded the battle, the Armed Neutrality collapsed.
Pocock’s painting shows Nelson’s line anchored and in action against the Danish line, which lies between him and Copenhagen. Nelson’s flagship, the ‘Elephant’, can be seen to the left of center flying his blue vice-admiral’s flag. Bomb vessels anchored on the edge of the Middle Ground shoal at the bottom right fire shells over the heads of both fleets towards Copenhagen.
This painting, which is a highly detailed representation of the action, was executed for engraving in Clarke and Macarthur’s ‘Life of Nelson’(1809).
1860 👉🏼 1st Italian Parliament meets at Turin 🇮🇹
1878 👉🏼 1st issue of Rotterdam’s Newspaper 📰
1882 👉🏼 First “fly” of the 1st human cannonball in history in London.
✔️Read the article!
1902 👉🏼 “Electric Theatre”, the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opens in Los Angeles, California
1902 👉🏼 Dutch football club Maatschappelijke Voetbal Vereniging (MVV) is established in Maastricht, Netherlands 🇳🇱
1917 👉🏼 US President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to declare war against Germany
1930 👉🏼 Ras Tafari Makonnen becomes Emperor Haile Selassie of Abyssinia (Ethiopia).
Defining figure in Ethiopian history, he served as Ethiopia’s regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor from 1930 to 1974. He led his people in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War and condemned Italy’s use of chemical weapons at the League of Nations. His belief in multilateralism and collective security led to Ethiopia becoming a charter member of the United Nations. After a two year famine in north-eastern Ethiopia that is estimated to have killed 200,000 people he was deposed in a military coup in 1974 and died in internment under suspicious circumstances a year later. Among the Rastafari movement, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate.
1962 👉🏼 The first official Panda crossing is opened outside Waterloo station, London.
1982 👉🏼 Several thousand Argentine troops seize the Falkland (Malvinas) Islands from Great Britain
1992 👉🏼 Mafia boss John Gotti is found guilty of 5 murders (Paul Castellano, Thomas Bilotti, Robert DiBernardo, Liborio Milito and Louis Dibono), plus conspiracy to murder, loansharking, illegal gambling, obstruction of justice, bribery and tax evasion