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on this day in April


April 1

1980  The nudists' beach in Brighton opened

1973  Value Added Tax came into force in the UK 

April 2

1967  Adrian Mole - secret diarist - was born

April 3

Jesse James  1847-18821882  Jesse James was shot in the back by a member of his own gang

1721  Horace Walpole became Britain's first Prime Minister

April 4

1984  Winston Smith begin his diary with the words "Down with Big Brother" repeated again and again

1981  Oxford won the University Boat Race with the first woman cox - Susan Brown

April 5

1794  The French revolutionary Georges Danton was guillotined

1614   Pocahontas - daughter of the Native American chief Powhatan - married John Rolfe, an English settler

April 6

1896  The Olympic games were revived by Pierre de Coubertin

April 7

1739  The highwayman Dick Turpin was hanged for murder

April 8

1986  Clint Eastwood was elected mayor of Carmel, California

April 9

1961  King Zog of Albania died in exile

April 10

2000  Peter Jones - the voice of the Book in 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' - died

1849  The safety pin was patented 

April 11

1939  Darts was banned in Glasgow pubs as too dangerous

April 12

Yuri Alexeyevich Gagarin  1934-19681961  Russian Yuri Gagarin became the first man in space

1861  The American Civil War began

1709  The Tatler was first published

April 13

1741  The Royal Military Academy was established at Woolwich though it later moved to Sandhurst

April 14

1937  The three penny bit went into circulation

April 15
Aah ... April showers

Isaac Vivian Alexander Richards  1952-1986  Playing for the West Indies against England in Antigua Viv Richards scored 100 off 56 balls 

1955  The MacDonald's hamburger chain was founded

1942  Malta was awarded the George Cross recognising the islanders' heroism in the face of constant German attack 

April 16

Harriet Quimby  1875-19121912  Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly the English Channel

April 17

The National Flag of Zimbabwe1980  Rhodesia became fully independent as Zimbabwe - nearthecoast was an undergraduate at North London Poly at the time and the next day we all shook hands with Zac, the new Zimbabwean of the class

April 18

1909  Joan of Arc was beatified

1951  The first Miss World beauty contest was held

April 19

1933  Cricket umpire 'Dickie' Bird was born

April 20
Aah ... April showers

Dolly Parton  1946-1981  Steve Davis won the world professional snooker championship for the first time

1959  At the age of 13 Dolly Parton released her first record, Puppy Love

1940  The electron microscope was first demonstrated

April 21

James Cook  1728-17791980  Sony (UK) became the first Japanese owned firm to win a Queen's Award for Export Achievement

1770  James Cook reached Australia

April 22

1884  The East Anglian earthquake, estimated at 5.2 on the Richter scale, is thought to have killed 4 people

April 23

1965  The Pennine Way long-distance footpath was opened

April 24

Harry Belafonte's album Midnight Special1961  Bob Dylan made his recording debut playing harmonica on the title track of Harry Belafonte's album 'Midnight Special'

1558  Mary, Queen of Scots married the Dauphine of France

April 25

1792  Nicolas Pelletier, found guilty of robbery with violence, became the first Frenchman to be executed by the guillotine

April 26

1564  William Shakespeare was baptised

April 27

George Frideric Handel  1685-17591749  Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks was first performed - only a few fireworks went off because of rain but the stand still  burnt down!

April 28

1789  Fletcher Christian led the mutiny on the Bounty

April 29

1933  The first FA Cup Final took place with the players wearing numbers, 1-11 for Everton and 12-22 for Manchester City

1884  A statute admitted women to examinations at Oxford University

April 30

1980  Queen Juliana of the Netherlands abdicated in favour of her daughter Beatrix

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