#April 13, 1928: First nonstop flight from Europe to North America

German pilot Hermann Köhl, Irish aviator James Fitzmaurice and Baron Ehrenfried Günther Freiherr von Hünefeld, the expedition’s financier, completed on this day, April 13, 1928 the first Europe to North America transatlantic flight, taking off from Ireland and landing safely on a small Canadian island. The prevailing winds in the North Atlantic blowed from North America towards Europe, hastening Eastbound airplanes on their way but making headwinds a major problem for those flying West. Köhl, who had flown in the German Army Air Service in World War I, and von…

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#April 13, 1742: Handel’s “Messiah” premieres in Dublin

Nowadays, the performance of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah oratorio at Christmas time is a tradition almost as deeply entrenched as decorating trees and waiting for Santa. In churches and concert halls around the world, the most famous piece of sacred music in the English language is performed both full and abridged, with and without audience, but almost always and exclusively during the weeks leading up to the celebration of Christmas. However, it was not originally intended as a piece of Christmas music. The Messiah received its world premiere on this…

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#TodayInHistory – April 13

April 13 – Some important events on this day 837 👉🏼 Best view of Halley’s Comet in 2,000 years ☄️ 1250 👉🏼 The Seventh Crusade is defeated in Egypt, Louis IX of France captured 1560 👉🏼 Giovanni, son of Italian mathematician Girolamo Cardano is executed for poisoning his wife, despite his father’s efforts to save him. Well-known for his achievements in algebra, especially as the first mathematician to make systematic use of numbers less than zero, Girolamo Cardano was one of the fathers of probability, discovering the binomial coefficients and…

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#TodayInHistory – April 12

April 12 – Some important events on this day 467 👉🏼 Anthemius is elevated to Emperor of the Western Roman Empire 1204 👉🏼 4th Crusade occupies and plunders Constantinople 1606 👉🏼 England adopts the Union Flag, replaced in 1801 by current Union Flag the Union Jack 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 1782 👉🏼 Battle at Les Saintes: British fleet under Admiral George Rodney defeats the French fleet under Comte de Grasse off Dominica in the West Indies. Prevents a planned French and Spanish invasion of Jamaica. With a long-standing historical rivalry against the British…

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#TodayInHistory – April 11

April 11 – Some important events on this day 1512 👉🏼 Battle of Ravenna: French forces under Gaston de Foix defeat the Holy League in a major battle of the Italian Wars. In 1508, as the Venetian trading republic secured more influence in northern Italy, Pope Julius II created the League of Cambrai, an anti-Venetian alliance consisting of the Papal States, France, Holy Roman Empire, Spain and the Duchy of Ferrara. By 1512 however that alliance had morphed into the Holy League. Venice was now allied with the Papal States…

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#April 10, 1633: The day bananas made their debut in England

Among scientists, Thomas Johnson is known as “the father of British field botany”. But, more confidentially, he is celebrated as the first man to sell bananas in England. Born in 1600, he established his scientific credentials in his “Herball” tome, with 2,000 pages and 2,900 illustrations listing plants, where they grew and their medicinal properties. It remained the accepted and trusted text in its field for over 200 years. Historical records show that in 1626 Johnson had established an apothecary business in central London and it was here, on this…

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#TodayInHistory – April 10

April 10 – Some important events on this day 837 👉🏼 Comet 1P/837 F1 (Halley) approaches within 0.0334 AUs of Earth 💫 1407 👉🏼 Lama Deshin Shekpa visits the Ming Dynasty capital at Nanjing and is awarded the title Great Treasure Prince of Dharma 1500 👉🏼 France captures duke Ludovico Sforza of Milan. Patron of Leonardo da Vinci and other artists, Ludovico Sforza presided over the final and most productive stage of the Milanese Renaissance. 1516 👉🏼 1st Jewish ghetto established: Venice compels Jews to live in a specific area…

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#TodayInHistory – April 9

April 9 – Some important events on this day 1388 👉🏼 Battle of Näfels: Glarius Swiss defeat Habsburg (Austrian) army 1483 👉🏼 Edward V (aged 12) succeeds his father Edward IV as king of England. He is never crowned, and disappears presumed murdered, after incarceration in the Tower of London with his younger brother Richard (the “Princes in the Tower”) 1667 👉🏼 1st public art exhibition at the Palais-Royale in Paris 1731 👉🏼 British mariner Robert Jenkins’ ear cut off by Spanish Guarde Costa in the Caribbean, later catalyst for…

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#TodayInHistory – April 8

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…

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#April 7, 1832: Joseph Thompson – the man who sold his wife

Nagging wives needed to be careful in 19th Century England, for, as Joseph Thompson did, her husband might put her up for sale. That’s just what happened on this day, April 7 1832, to Mary Thompson, according to this local newspaper report: SALE OF A WIFE BY HER HUSBAND AT CARLISLE On Saturday the 7th instant, the inhabitants of this city witnessed the sale of a wife by her husband, Joseph Thompson, a local farmer who was married in the year 1829, to his present wife. She is a spruce,…

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#TodayInHistory – April 7

April 7 – Some importante events on this day 30 👉🏼 Scholars’ estimate for Jesus’ crucifixion by Roman troops in Jerusalem. 529 👉🏼 First draft of Corpus Juris Civilis (fundamental work in jurisprudence) issued by Eastern Roman Emperor Justinian I 1739 👉🏼 Dick Turpin executed in England for horse stealing 1795 👉🏼 France adopts the metre as the basic measure of length 1832 👉🏼 Nagging wives needed to be careful in 19th Century England, for, as Joseph Thompson did, her husband might put her up for sale. ✔️ Read the…

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#TodayInHistory – April 6

April 6 – Some importante events on this day 46 BC 👉🏼 Julius Caesar defeats Caecilius Metellus Scipio and Marcus Porcius Cato (Cato the Younger) in the battle of Thapsus. 1652 👉🏼 Cape Colony, the 1st European settlement in South Africa, on the Cape of Good Hope, established by Dutch East India Company under Jan van Riebeeck. His arrival depicted here in a painting by Charles Bell (1813-1882). In the beginning the Cape Colony was established as a re-supply point for the company’s trade between the east and the Netherlands.…

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#TodayInHistory – April 5

April 5 – Some Important Events on this day 1242 👉🏼 Alexander Nevsky of Novgorod defeats Teutonic Knights in the Battle of the Ice. He was the Prince of Novgorod, Grand Prince of Kiev and Grand Prince of Vladimir during some of the most trying times in the city’s history. He rose to legendary status on account of his military victories over the German and Swedish invaders. 1722 👉🏼 Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeveen discovers Easter Island 1815 👉🏼 Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies, has its first violent eruption…

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#TodayInHistory – April 4

April 4 – Some Important Events on this day 655 👉🏼 Battle at Postage Farina, Tunis: English fleet beats Barbary pirates 🏴‍☠️ 1460 👉🏼 University of Basel in Swizerland forms 1660 👉🏼 English King Charles II sends Declaration of Breda (freedom of religion) 1789 👉🏼 1st US Congress begins regular sessions during George Washington’s presidency at Federal Hall, NYC (ending 1791) 1818 👉🏼 Congress decides on the US flag: 13 red & white stripes & 20 stars 🇺🇸 1905 👉🏼 1905 Earthquake in Kangra India, kills 20,000 🇮🇳 1949 👉🏼…

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#April 3, 1957: the computer that came by truck

Today, on April 3, a regular computer would probably do the job. But back in 1957, when Norwich City Council and its forward-thinking Treasurer, Mr A.J. Barnard, became a pioneer among British local authorities applying computer technology to handle its payroll and tax on residents, a huge machine was needed to handle the work. So huge, in fact, that the computer had to be delivered on the back of a truck and then manoeuvred into the offices using ropes, pulleys….and brute strength. In 1953-4, Mr Barnard and his team began…

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#TodayInHistory – April 3

April 3 – Some Important Events on this day 1367 👉🏼 Battle of Navarrete, La Rioja, Castile: alliance of King Peter of Castile and the English defeats Count Henry of Castile. When Alfonso XI of Castile died in 1350 he was succeeded by Peter, called either The Just by his supporters or The Cruel by his opponents. After 16 years of rule, a civil war began when his half-brother Henry, backed by French and Aroganese nobleman and mercenaries. The war quickly became a part of the Hundred Years’ War between…

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#April 2, 1887: the world’s first human cannonball

First there was an explosion, then a puff of smoke, and then, on this day, April 2, 1887 the first human cannonball was propelled into the air about 20 meters above the heads of an astonished crowd. She was Rosa Richter, a 16-year-old English girl who performed under the singular and clearly un-English name of “Zazel”. A tightrope walker and aerial acrobat, she had learnt her craft from William Hunt, a Canadian who gloried under the title of The Great Farini. He was most famous for performing a high-wire walk…

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#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…

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#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…

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