April Fool's Day A day of practical jokes and humor.
1992 National Hockey League The first strike of the NHL begins. It lasted for nine days.
1981 CNN broadcasts a video tape of psychic Tamara Rand predicting the Reagan shooting (March 30), claiming it had been taped January 6. It had actually been taped the day after the shooting.
1979 World's longest survival without food or water Andreas Mihavecz is locked in a Austrian prison and forgotten about for 18 days.
1978 U.S. Information Agency (USIA): The agency responsible for the government's overseas information and cultural programs, including Voice of America, is founded.
1972 First major-league baseball strike The first general player strike in organized baseball's 102-year history begins, lasting 13 days.
1970 Smoking Pres. Nixon signs the bill banning cigarette commercials on TV.
1967 U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) The transportation agency begins operation.
1963 General Hospital debuts.
1960 First weather satellite TIROS I (Television and Infra-Red Observation Satellite) is launched.
1954 U.S. Air Force Academy Congress establishes and authorizes the construction of the Academy. It would be built in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The first recruits were accepted in 1955.
1949 Republic of Ireland Republic of Ireland is established.
1945 World War II - Okinawa Invasion This 82-day-long battle begins on Easter Sunday and April Fool's day of 1945. It was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific and one of the bloodiest battles of the war. The Japanese lost 77,000 soldiers, while the U.S. lost 14,000. It is estimated that between 42,000 to 150,000 civilians also died in the battle. The U.S. general was killed in action, and after surrendering, the Japanese general committed suicide.
1939 Spanish Civil War The end of the war is proclaimed when the last of the Republican forces surrender.
1923 First dance marathon Alma Cummings wins after six partners and 27 hours of continuous dancing in New York City's Audubon Ballroom.
1917 World War I - First U.S. Serviceman Killed in the War John E. Eopolucci is killed when the steamship Aztec is torpedoed and sunk.
1913 First moving assembly line Henry Ford further advances the assembly line by experimenting with a moving assembly line in his Detroit factory.
1909 First U.S. federal narcotics prohibition A ban on the importation and smoking of opium goes into effect.
1891 Wrigley's Gum Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company is founded. It would add chewing gum to its line of products the following year.
1873 RMS Atlantic Disaster The ship strikes an underwater rock and sinks off the coast of Nova Scotia, killing 546 passengers. Every member of the crew survived.
1865 Civil War - Battle of Five Forks In Petersburg, Virginia, the last major battle of the war begins.
1856 Western Union Ezra Cornell founds his famous telegraph company.
1826 Internal-combustion engine American inventor Samuel Morey receives the first U.S. patent for an internal-combustion engine. It was a two-cylinder, two-cycle device fueled by turpentine vapors.
1778 The "$" symbol is created by Irish-born New Orleans businessman Oliver Pollock.
1634 First U.S. bridge Massachusetts authorized the construction of a bridge crossing the Neponset River.
1621 First treaty between the colonist and the Indians The colonist and Wampanoags, led by Massasoit, sign an agreement not to harm each other.
1955 Terry Nichols American terrorist. He conspired with Timothy McVeigh in the planning of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing.
1938 Ali MacGraw American actress. Film: Goodbye, Columbus (1969) and Love Story
1934 Don Hastings American actor. TV: Captain Video and His Video Rangers (Captain Video's 15-year-old partner, Ranger, on TV's first space series) and As the World Turns (Dr. Bob Hughes).
1932 Gordon Jump d. 2003 American actor. TV: WKRP In Cincinnati (Mr. Carlson) and the Maytag repairman of the commercials (1989-2003).
1932 Debbie Reynolds (Mary Frances Reynolds), American actress, Miss Burbank (1948).
1929 Jane Powell (Suzzanne Burce), American actress. TV: Growing Pains (Irma Seaver).
1926 Ann McCaffrey d. 2001 American-born Irish Hugo Award-winning Science Fiction Hall of Fame writer, author of the Dragonriders of Penn series. She was the first woman to win a Hugo award for science fiction.
1868 Edmond Rostand d. 1918 French poet, playwright. Plays: Cyrano de Bergarac (1897).
1815 Prince Otto von Bismarck d. 1898 Prussian statesman. He created and became first chancellor of the German Empire.
1578 William Harvey d. 1657 English physician. He discovered the function of the heart and circulatory system.
1984 Marvin Gaye b. 1939 (Marvin Pentz Gaye Jr.), American Grammy-winning Motown singer. He was shot and killed by his father. Music: How Sweet It Is To Be Loved By You (1965), I Heard It Through The Grapevine (1969, #1), Let's Get It On (1973, #1), and (Sexual) Healing (1982, Grammy).
1938 Su-Lin b. ???? first giant panda in the U.S. It arrived from China in 1936. Source: Famous First Facts
1917 Scott Joplin b. 1868 American musician, composer, rag time piano player. Music: Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer.