April 1

1985, Sports Illustrated published an article about the New York Mets having an unknown rookie pitcher who was raised by Buddhist monks and could throw a fastball at 168 mph with pinpoint accuracy. The magazine received almost 2,000 letters about the story. Two weeks later, Sports Illustrated announced the story as a hoax. “April fools”!

1989, on the outskirts of London, business magnate Richard Branson landed a custom-made hot air balloon, designed like a UFO. Local residents called in the police which arrived with weapons in hand. When Branson emerged, wearing a silver body suit, the police ran away. “April fools”!

April 11

Napolean's exile to Elba1814, allied European nations marched into Paris and forced Napoleon to abdicate the throne. He was then exiled to the island of Elba.

1981, President Reagan returned to the White House, having recovered from the assassination attempt on March 30th in Washington, D.C. The president suffered a punctured lung but he made a quick recovery.

1986, the Kellogg Company stopped giving free tours inside their cereal manufacturing plant, stating spies from other cereal companies were among the tourists and were able to steal company secrets. Kellogg’s had been giving the tours for eighty years.

April 13

1598, King Henry IV of France signed the Edict of Nantes which granted political rights to the French Huguenots.

1860, the first pony express delivery was made when a rider arrived at his destination in Sacramento, California. The delivery originated from St. Joseph, Missouri.

1943, President Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

1954, Hank Aaron debuted with the Milwaukee Braves baseball team.

April 15

1956, Ray Kroc started his McDonald’s restaurant.

1983, Disneyland opened a theme park in Tokyo.

April 17

1941, Igor Sikorsky demonstrated the first successful lift-off by a helicopter.

1970, the Apollo 13 mission returned safely to earth after losing an oxygen tank in an explosion, stopping the mission from landing on the moon.

April 18

1521, during the trial at the Diet of Worms, when Martin Luther was asked if he would recant, replied to the magistrates “… I do not accept the authority of popes and councils… my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise, God help me. Amen.” He stated it in German and in Latin.

April 19

1529, the term “Protestants” is created from the Diet at Speyer, Germany, where those who were breaking with the Roman church would all be considered Protestants.

April 22

1778, colonial naval Commander John Paul Jones took two boats and thirty volunteers from the USS. Ranger and rowed to shore at Whitehaven, England, where he disabled a cannon and set fire to the fort, which spread into the town.

1915, the New York Yankees baseball team debuted their pin-stripe uniform and the hat in the ring logo.

1952, the first television broadcast of an atomic bomb detonation was televised.

1970, the first “earth day” observance was made.

April 23

1954, Hank Aaron, formerly of the Negro Baseball League, hit his first home run as a Milwaukee Brave in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. Aaron was the last player from the Negro League to play in the majors. He became the home run king in 1974 when he broke Babe Ruth’s home run record of 714. Hank retired in 1976 with a record 755 home runs — a record which would stand for thirty-one years.

1987, Chrysler Corporation, recently bailed out by the U.S. government, purchased the luxury performance car company Lamborghini. The company was sold again in 1994 to a group of Indonesians, who in turn resold the company to Volkswagen in 1998.

April 24

Library of Congress, Washington DC1800, the Library of Congress was approved and started with $5,000 to purchase materials. During the war of 1812, the British burnt the capital where the library was kept. To compensate for the loss, Thomas Jefferson sold his library of over 6,000 volumes —then the largest in the nation—to the government. A second fire in 1851 burnt most of the library. Congress quickly acted to replace the lost volumes. Today the Library is one of the largest in the world and occupies three buildings in Washington, D.C. and contains over 17 million books, as well as millions of maps, films, photos and recordings.

1990, the Space Shuttle Discovery launched with the Hubble telescope.

April 25

1945, the Russian army, surrounding Berlin, met up with the American army at the Elbe River. News of the link up between the two armies was celebrated in New York as people sang and danced in Times Square. In Moscow their celebration included a 324-gun salute.Within a week, the Russians forced an unconditional surrender from the Nazis.

2007, the Dow Jones Industrials closed above 13,000 for the first time.

April 26

1931, Chet Lauck and Norris Goff debuted their radio drama characters Columbus Eddards and Abner Peabody. The team continued their program until 1954, also making seven movies with these characters. The characters are most notably known as “Lum and Abner,” the owners of the “Jot ’em Down” store.

April 27

1956, Rocky Marciano, 31, retired from boxing with a perfect win record of 49 and 0, including 43 knock outs. Marciano earned the heavyweight title when he knocked out Jersey Joe Walcott in the 13th round in 1952.

1965, “Pampers” were first patented.

April 28

1789, sailors mutinied aboard the British ship Bounty, and left their captain and eighteen others adrift near Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific Ocean.

April 29

1992, fifty-three people were killed during the unrest that occurred after the acquittal of four Los Angeles police officers in the Rodney King trial. A week of protests erupted as thousands of people rampaged, looted and set fire to buildings. Damages totaled between $800,000 and $1 billion dollars as over 1,000 buildings were destroyed. Asian store owners were especially targeted by the rioters during the rampage. National Guard were ordered to assist the police in bringing peace to the city.

2004, Oldsmobile produced its final vehicle, an Alero GLS 4-door sedan, after operating for 107 years.

April 30

1939, the New York World’s Fair opened with President Roosevelt delivering the opening address, which was broadcast over radio and television. Some of the new inventions on display were IBM’s electric typewriter and a futuristic electric calculator which used punched cards for a computer to calculate results from.

1940, Nazi Germany declared it had conquered Norway and had captured most of the British soldiers who were stationed in Norway.

1943, Operation: Mincemeat went into effect. The British conceived a plan to mislead the Germans into thinking the Allies were invading Sardinia and the Balkans instead of Sicily. The secret plans were attached to a body and dumped into the ocean off the coast of Spain where the body would be swept away by the tide and show up on Nazi controlled land. The information on the body was bogus, and was code-named “The Man Who Never Was.” The operation was a success.

Anne Frank1952, The Diary of a Young Girl was published, detailing life as an underground Jew living in Nazi occupied Holland. In later editions, the title was changed to The Diary of Anne Frank. It was once required reading in many schools nationwide.