[The tarring and feathering of Mormon leader Joseph Smith - shown here in a scene by C. C. A. Christensen - was all well and good for 1832, but today's modern Christianist wingnut has become attuned to such treatment, and might even liken it to the tortures endured by Christ; in fact, methinks some of them even get off on it a little bit, and their battery-operated underwear or whatever it is they wear simply cannot cope. For their egregious support of Proposition 8, for their interference with and denial of the civil rights of others, for their refusal to believe anything but the bunkum taught from their pulpits without any critical thinking being employed whatsoever, only the mockery and derision of the modern Internet will do.]
1455 - Pope Nicholas V died; he was succeeded by Pope Callixtus III on April 8th.
1603 - James VI of Scotland became James I of England following the death of Elizabeth I, although the so-called Union of the Crowns was to be a personal rule only; the Acts of Union in 1707 - ratified under his great-granddaughter Queen Anne - would be needed to formalize the arrangement.
1765 - The first Quartering Act - which required householders in the Thirteen Colonies to house British troops - received the royal assent of King George III; one of the so-called Intolerable Acts issued in direct response to the Boston Tea Party of December 1773 - along with the Boston Port Act, the Massachusetts Government Act, and the Administration of Justice Act - their heavy-handedness virtually assured the inevitability of the American Revolution.
1832 - A group of men tarred and feathered Mormon leader Joseph Smith, Jr. in Hiram, Ohio.
1868 - The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company was formed.
1878 - The British frigate HMS Eurydice sank off the Isle of Wight; only 2 of the 378 on board survived.
1882 - Robert Koch announced the discovery of mycobacterium tuberculosis, the bacterium responsible for tuberculosis.
1900 - Mayor Robert Anderson Van Wyck broke ground at the corner of Bleecker and Greene streets in Greenwich Village for a new underground 'Rapid Transit Railroad' that would link Manhattan and Brooklyn; in what seemed like no time at all the New York City Subway was the largest in the world.
1934 - The US Congress passed the Tydings-McDuffie Act allowing the Philippines to become a self-governing commonwealth.
1958 - Elvis Presley was officially inducted into the US Army as Private #53310761, having been granted a deferral the previous December to complete work on the film King Creole; he completed his basic training at Fort Hood, in Texas.
1959 - The Party of the African Federation (PFA) was launched by Senegal's Léopold Sédar Senghor and Modibo Keita of Mali.
1965 - NASA's Ranger 9, equipped to convert its signals into a form suitable for showing on domestic television, brought images of the Moon into ordinary homes before crash-landing exactly as planned in the crater Alphonsus.
1976 - Argentina's military deposed President Isabel Perón and started the National Reorganization Process.
1980 - Archbishop Óscar Romero was killed by government troops while celebrating Mass in San Salvador; an outspoken advocate of liberation theology, Romero had embraced Marxist ideology but had also run afoul of the Vatican for his attempts to help the poor in a 20th Century fashion as well as his support for human rights.
1981 - Fugitive Ronnie Biggs - who was kidnapped from his home in Brazil by John Miller and Patrick King among others and transported to Barbados in hopes that his captors could claim the reward on his head - was rescued and returned to Brazil. Despite its status as a Commonwealth nation, Barbados has no extradition treaty with the UK, rendering the entire operation a total failure. Biggs, of course, was best known for his role in the Great Train Robbery of 1963; he escaped from HM Prison Wandsworth in 1965, but returned voluntarily to Britain in 2001.
1989 - After running aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska's Prince William Sound the Exxon Valdez spilled 240,000 barrels (or about 20% of its total cargo) of petroleum; far from the largest in terms of volume, the Exxon Valdez oil spill nevertheless united environmentalists and sportsmen alike against the carelessness of oil companies when transporting their hazardous material through otherwise pristine wilderness areas. At the time of the accident ship's master Joseph Hazelwood was in his cabin, allegedly drunk.
1992 - Britain's satirical Punch magazine - founded in July 1841 - ceased publication after 150 years; it was revived in 1996 by Mohamed Al-Fayed but folded again in May 2002.
1998 - At the Jonesboro massacre Andrew Golden, aged 11, and Mitchell Johnson, 13, fired upon teachers and students at Westside Middle School in Jonesboro, Arkansas. All told five people were killed - Natalie Brooks (11), Paige Ann Herring (12), Stephanie Johnson (12, no relation), Brittheny R. Varner (11), and Shannon Wright (32) - and ten were wounded; both shooters were released from custody on their 21st birthdays, having essentially gotten away with murder.
1999 - 39 people died when a Belgian transport truck carrying flour and margarine caught fire in the Mont Blanc Tunnel which connects France and Italy beneath the Alps.
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