[Jacob Roggeveen had been discharged with finding Terra Australis at the helm of a three-ship convoy - consisting of the Arend, the Thienhoven, and Afrikaansche Galey - when he accidentally encountered an island known to its residents as Rapa Nui on Easter Sunday 1722; the ships were greeted by as many as 3,000 natives and some mysterious sculptures known as moai...]
1566 - 200 Dutch noblemen, led by Hendrik van Brederode, forced their way into the presence of the country's regent - Margaret of Parma - and presented her with their Petition of Compromise, denouncing the Inquisition in the Netherlands; the Inquisition was subsequently suspended there and a delegation was sent to Spain to petition Philip II, although van Brederode himself was banished by the governor, the ruthless Duke of Alba.
1614 - Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe at Henricus, a plantation up river from Jamestown Settlement, after which they settled on their own property at Varina Farms.
1621 - Captain Christopher Jones left the Plymouth Colony aboard the Mayflower and returned to England.
1722 - The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen became the first European to visit Easter Island.
1792 - The presidential veto power was first exercised when President George Washington vetoed the Apportionment Bill (on the grounds that it was unconstitutional); the Bill was designed to apportion representatives among the several states following a census (in this instance, that of 1790). Congress overrode this veto and the bill subsequently passed.
1804 - The High Possil Meteorite - Scotland's first recorded meteorite, and one of only four in that country's history - fell in High Possil, to the north of Glasgow (where it now resides, in the collection of the Hunterian Museum).
1818 - At the Battle of Maipú, Chile's independence movement - led by Bernardo O'Higgins and José de San Martín - won a decisive victory over Spain, leaving 2,000 Spanish and 1,000 Chilean patriots dead.
1847 - Birkenhead Park - Britain's first public civic park - was opened in (of all places) Birkenhead; designed by Joseph Paxton, it would later influence Frederick Law Olmsted's work on New York's Central Park.
1879 - Chile declared war on Bolivia and Peru, starting the War of the Pacific.
1904 - The first international rugby league match was played between England and an Other Nationalities team (comprised of Welsh & Scottish players) in Wigan's Central Park.
1932 - In the Dominion of Newfoundland 10,000 rioters unhappy with the government of Prime Minister Sir Richard Squires seized the Colonial Building; he only barely escaped with his life. As a result of the riot the Commission of Government was established, returning the colony to unelected leadership subordinate to London, and eventually leading to the country's admission into the Canadian Confederation in March 1949.
1949 - Fireside Theater had its television debut on NBC.
1951 - Americans Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death by Judge Irving Kaufman for engaging in espionage on behalf of the Soviet Union; their trial, which began on March 6th, had already led to their March 29th conviction.
1955 - Sir Winston Churchill resigned as British Prime Minister, citing ill-health; unbeknownst to the public, Churchill had suffered a stroke.
1958 - Ripple Rock, an underwater threat to navigation in British Columbia's Seymour Narrows, was destroyed in one of the largest non-nuclear controlled explosions to date.
1976 - During the Qingming Festival - China's annual day of mourning, held in Tiananmen Square, which was that year dominated by mourning for the country's recently deceased Premier Zhou Enlai - the removal of the usual displays of mourning evoked protests by members of the April Fifth Movement; later deemed 'counter-revolutionary' and resulting in the house arrest of Vice Premier Deng Xiaoping ordered by the Gang of Four, the Tiananmen Incident has since been considered a display of patriotism.
1986 - Three people were killed in the bombing of the La Belle Discotheque in West Berlin, two of whom were American servicemen - Kenneth T. Ford and James E. Goins - in addition to a Turkish woman, Nermin Hannay; in retaliation US President Ronald Reagan ordered Operation El Dorado Canyon against Libya, who it was believed ordered the attack.
1992 -President Alberto Fujimori used military force to dissolve the Peruvian Congress.
1998 - When Japan's Akashi-Kaikyo Bridge - linking Shikoku with Honshū at a cost of about US$3.8 billion - opened to traffic, it became the longest suspension bridge in the world, with a span of 1,991 m (6,529 ft).
share on: facebook