#TodayInHistory – April 84 min read
April 8 – Some important events on this day
217 👉🏼 Roman Emperor Caracalla is assassinated (and succeeded) by his Praetorian Guard prefect, Marcus Opellius Macrinus.
1766 👉🏼 1st fire escape patented, wicker basket on a pulley & chain
1796 👉🏼 Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician, proves the quadratic reciprocity law (the ability to determine the solvability of any quadratic equation in modular arithmetic).
He was one of the world’s most famous mathematicians and his achievements include his contributions to number theory, proving the fundamental theorem of algebra, independently arriving at the least squares method (line of best fit) and introducing the bell curve (Gaussian distribution) in statistics. He also made important contributions to geodesy, planetary astronomy, the theory of functions and potential theory (including electromagnetism).
1820 👉🏼 The famous ancient Greek statue, Venus de Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Milos.
Now it is one of the star attractions, along with the Mona Lisa, of the Louvre Museum in Paris. The Venus de Milo, named after the island where she was rediscovered in 1820, is thought to have been made by the sculptor Alexandros of Antioch in the 2nd century BC.
Although most often held to be a depiction of Aphrodite, the ancient goddess of Love, she may also be Amphitrite, the Greek goddess of the sea. Carved in two main sections in the Hellenistic style, the statue is famous for its missing arms in addition to its beauty.
1886 👉🏼 William Ewart Gladstone introduces the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.
1898 👉🏼 Battle of Atbara River, Anglo-Egyptian forces crush 6,000 Sudanese
1913 👉🏼 Opening of China’s 1st parliament takes place in Peking (now Beijing)
1929 👉🏼 Indian Independence Movement: At the Delhi Central Assembly, Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt throw handouts and bombs to court arrest
1983 👉🏼 In front of a live audience of 20 tourists, David Copperfield makes the Statue of Liberty disappear.
The Statue of Liberty or in full Liberty Enlightening the World was first proposed by the French thinker Édouard René de Laboulaye as a gift from the French people to America and to commemorate the abolition of slavery.
Designed by the French sculptor Frédéric Bartholdi, construction began in 1870 with Gustave Eiffel designing and building the interior metal framework. The statue was completed in France before being disassembled and shipped to America in 1885. It was then reassembled on what was then called Bedloe Island (now Liberty Island) in New York Harbour and dedicated by President Grover Cleveland in 1886.
The statue depicts Liberty striding forward with a torch raised in her right hand, her left holds a tabula ansata with the date of the declaration of independence. Emma Lazarus’s poem “The New Colossus” composed to raise money for the statue was inscribed inside the pedestal in 1903 with its famous lines “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,”. The monument is now not only a symbol of Liberty but of the city of New York and America itself. It became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984.
2004 👉🏼 Darfur conflict: The Humanitarian Ceasefire Agreement is signed by the Sudanese government and two rebel groups.
2019 👉🏼 Protests in Sudan against the government of Omar al-Bashir continue with seven killed and 2,500 arrested in Khartoum.
The image of Alaa Salah has become a a symbol of the Sudanese protests against the regime of president Omar al-Bashi in 2019. She stands on top of a car leading a chant in Khartoum, dressed as a Kanate, an ancient Kushite Queen.
The protest movement had begun in December 2018 in response to the high cost of living and grew to demand economic reforms and for the president to step down. President al-Bashir attempted a crack down, declaring a state of emergency in February and dissolved the countries parliaments. By April there were large-scale public protests in Khartoum meet by violence by the ruling regime’s security forces.
President al-Bashir was deposed by the military on April 11 but protests for democracy continued. A massacre in June prompted worldwide condemnation. After negotiations a transitional Sovereignty Council was appointed in August to rule for three years before elections would be held.