Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Take a look at the important historical events that changed the world during the month of April.


April 1

1789 – In New York City, the United States House of Representatives holds its first quorum and elects Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first Speaker.

1826 – Samuel Morey patents the internal combustion engine.

1833 – The Convention of 1833, a political gathering of settlers in Mexican Texas to help draft a series of petitions to the Mexican government, begins in San Felipe de Austin

April 2

1755 – Commodore William James captures the Maratha fortress of Suvarnadurg on the west coast of India.

1792 – The Coinage Act is passed establishing the United States Mint.

1800 – Ludwig van Beethoven leads the premiere of his First Symphony in Vienna.

1801 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Copenhagen: The British capture the Danish fleet.

April 3

1834 – The generals in the Greek War of Independence stand trial for treason.

April 4

1721 – Sir Robert Walpole takes office as the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom under King George I.

1768 – In London, Philip Astley stages the first modern circus.

1796 – Georges Cuvier delivers his first paleontological lecture at École Centrale du Pantheon of the National Museum of Natural History on living and fossil remains of elephants and related species, founding the science of Paleontology.

1812 – United States President James Madison enacts a ninety-day embargo on trade with the United Kingdom.

1814 – Napoleon abdicates for the first time and names his son Napoleon II as Emperor of the French.

1818 – The United States Congress adopts the flag of the United States with 13 red and white stripes and one star for each state (then 20).

April 5

1710 – The Statute of Anne receives the Royal Assent establishing the Copyright law of the United Kingdom.

1722 – The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovers Easter Island.

1792 – United States President George Washington exercises his authority to veto a bill, the first time this power is used in the United States.

1804 – High Possil meteorite: The first recorded meteorite in Scotland falls in Possil.

1818 – In the Battle of Maipú, Chile's independence movement, led by Bernardo O'Higgins and José de San Martín, win a decisive victory over Spain, leaving 2,000 Spaniards and 1,000 Chilean patriots dead. 

April 6

1712 – The New York Slave Revolt of 1712 begins near Broadway.

1776 – American Revolutionary War: Ships of the Continental Navy fail in their attempt to capture a Royal Navy dispatch boat.

1782 – King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke (Rama I) of Siam (modern-day Thailand) founds the Chakri dynasty.

1793 – During the French Revolution, the Committee of Public Safety becomes the executive organ of the republic.

1808 – John Jacob Astor incorporates the American Fur Company, which would eventually make him America's first millionaire.

1812 – British forces under the command of the Duke of Wellington assault the fortress of Badajoz. This would be the turning point in the Peninsular War against Napoleon-led France.

1814 – Nominal beginning of the Bourbon Restoration; anniversary date that Napoleon abdicates and is exiled to Elba.

1830 – Church of Christ, the original church of the Latter Day Saint movement, is organized by Joseph Smith and others at Fayette or Manchester, New York. 

April 7

1724 – Premiere performance of Johann Sebastian Bach's St John Passion BWV 245 at St. Nicholas Church, Leipzig.

1767 – End of Burmese–Siamese War (1765–67).

1776 – Captain John Barry and the USS Lexington capture the Edward.

1788 – American pioneers to the Northwest Territory arrive at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers, establishing Marietta, Ohio, as the first permanent American settlement of the new United States in the Northwest Territory, and opening the westward expansion of the new country.

1789 – Selim III became Sultan of the Ottoman Empire and Caliph of Islam.

1798 – The Mississippi Territory is organized from disputed territory claimed by both the United States and Spain. It is expanded in 1804 and again in 1812.

1805 – Lewis and Clark Expedition: The Corps of Discovery breaks camp among the Mandan tribe and resumes its journey West along the Missouri River.

1805 – German composer Ludwig van Beethoven premiered his Third Symphony, at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna.

1827 – John Walker, an English chemist, sells the first friction match that he had invented the previous year.

1829 – Joseph Smith, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, commences translation of the Book of Mormon, with Oliver Cowdery as his scribe.

1831 – Emperor Pedro I of Brazil resigns. He goes to his native Portugal to become King Pedro IV. 

April 8

1665 – English colonial patents are granted for the establishment of the Monmouth Tract, for what would eventually become Monmouth County in northeastern New Jersey.

1730 – Shearith Israel, the first synagogue in New York City, is dedicated.

1740 – War of Jenkins' Ear: Three British ships captured the Spanish third-rate Princesa, taken into service as HMS Princess.

1808 – The Roman Catholic Diocese of Baltimore is promoted to an archdiocese, with the founding of the dioceses of New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Bardstown (now Louisville) by Pope Pius VII.

1820 – The Venus de Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Milos.

1832 – Black Hawk War: Around three hundred United States 6th Infantry troops leave St. Louis, Missouri to fight the Sauk Native Americans. 

April 9

1682 – Robert Cavelier de La Salle discovers the mouth of the Mississippi River, claims it for France, and names it Louisiana.

1782 – American War of Independence: Battle of the Saintes begins. 

1784 – The Treaty of Paris, ratified by the United States Congress on January 14, 1784, is ratified by King George III of the Kingdom of Great Britain, ending the American Revolutionary War. Copies of the ratified documents are exchanged on May 12, 1784.

April 10

1710 – The Statute of Anne, the first law regulating copyright, comes into force in Great Britain.

1717 – Robert Walpole resigns from the British government, commencing the Whig Split which lasts until 1720.

1741 – War of the Austrian Succession (10 April 1755 – 2 July 1843): defeat for Austria at Mollwitz on this date.

1809 – Napoleonic Wars: The War of the Fifth Coalition begins when forces of the Austrian Empire invade Bavaria.

1815 – The Mount Tambora volcano begins a three-month-long eruption, lasting until July 15. The eruption ultimately kills 71,000 people and affects Earth's climate for the next two years.

1816 – The Federal government of the United States approves the creation of the Second Bank of the United States.

1821 – Patriarch Gregory V of Constantinople is hanged by the Ottoman government from the main gate of the Patriarchate and his body is thrown into the Bosphorus.

1826 – The 10,500 inhabitants of the Greek town of Missolonghi begin leaving the town after a year's siege by Turkish forces. Very few of them survive. 

April 11

1689 – William III and Mary II are crowned as joint sovereigns of Great Britain.

1713 – War of the Spanish Succession (Queen Anne's War): Treaty of Utrecht.

1727 – Premiere of Johann Sebastian Bach's St Matthew Passion BWV 244b at the St. Thomas Church, Leipzig

1809 – Battle of the Basque Roads Naval battle fought between France and the United Kingdom

1814 – The Treaty of Fontainebleau ends the War of the Sixth Coalition against Napoleon Bonaparte, and forces him to abdicate unconditionally for the first time. 

April 12

1776 – American Revolution: With the Halifax Resolves, the North Carolina Provincial Congress authorizes its Congressional delegation to vote for independence from Britain.

1807 – The Froberg mutiny ends when the remaining mutineers blow up the magazine of Fort Ricasoli.

1820 – Alexander Ypsilantis is declared leader of Filiki Eteria, a secret organization to overthrow Ottoman rule over Greece.

1831 – Soldiers marching on the Broughton Suspension Bridge in Manchester, England caused it to collapse. 

April 13

1699 – Guru Gobind Singh, the Tenth Sikh Guru, Created Khalsa on this day at Anandpur Sahib, Punjab.

1742 – George Frideric Handel's oratorio Messiah makes its world premiere in Dublin, Ireland.

1777 – American Revolutionary War: American forces are ambushed and defeated in the Battle of Bound Brook, New Jersey.

1829 – The Roman Catholic Relief Act 1829 gives Roman Catholics in the United Kingdom the right to vote and to sit in Parliament. 

April 14

1699 – Khalsa: The Sikh religion was formalized as the Khalsa - the brotherhood of Warrior-Saints - by Guru Gobind Singh in northern India, in accordance with the Nanakshahi calendar.

1715 – The Yamasee War begins in South Carolina.

1775 – The first abolition society in North America is established. The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage is organized in Philadelphia by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

1816 – Bussa, a slave in British-ruled Barbados, leads a slave rebellion and is killed. For this, he is remembered as the first national hero of Barbados.

1828 – Noah Webster copyrights the first edition of his dictionary. 

April 15

1715 – The Pocotaligo Massacre triggers the start of the Yamasee War in colonial South Carolina.

1738 – Serse, an Italian opera by George Frideric Handel receives its premiere performance in London, England.

1755 – Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London.

1783 – Preliminary articles of peace ending the American Revolutionary War (or American War of Independence) are ratified.

1802 – William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy see a "long belt" of daffodils, inspiring the former to pen I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud.

1817 – Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc founded the American School for the Deaf, the first American school for deaf students, in Hartford, Connecticut. 

April 16

1746 – The Battle of Culloden is fought between the French-supported Jacobites and the British Hanoverian forces commanded by William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, in Scotland. After the battle, many highland traditions were banned and the Highlands of Scotland were cleared of inhabitants.

1780 – The University of Münster in Münster, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany is founded.

1799 – Napoleonic Wars: The Battle of Mount Tabor: Napoleon drives Ottoman Turks across the River Jordan near Acre.

1818 – The United States Senate ratifies the Rush–Bagot Treaty, establishing the border with Canada. 

April 17

1797 – Sir Ralph Abercromby attacks San Juan, Puerto Rico, in what would be one of the largest invasions of the Spanish territories in America.

1797 – Citizens of Verona, Italy, begin an eight-day rebellion against the French occupying forces, which will end unsuccessfully. 

April 18

1689 – Bostonians rise up in rebellion against Sir Edmund Andros. (1689 Boston revolt)

1738 – Real Academia de la Historia ("Royal Academy of History") is founded in Madrid.

1775 – American Revolution: The British advancement by sea begins; Paul Revere and other riders warn the countryside of the troop movements.

1797 – The Battle of Neuwied: French victory against the Austrians.

1807 – The Harwich ferry disaster occurred near the North Sea port of Harwich on the Essex coast (England) in which 60-90 people drowned during the capsizing of a small ferry boat.

1831 – The University of Alabama is founded.

April 19

1677 – The French army captures the town of Cambrai held by Spanish troops.

1713 – With no living male heirs, Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor, issues the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713 to ensure that Habsburg lands and the Austrian throne would be inherited by his daughter, Maria Theresa (not actually born until 1717).

1770 – Captain James Cook, still holding the rank of lieutenant, sights the eastern coast of what is now Australia.

1770 – Marie Antoinette marries Louis XVI of France in a proxy wedding.

1775 – American Revolutionary War: The war begins with an American victory in Concord during the battles of Lexington and Concord.

1782 – John Adams secures the Dutch Republic's recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The Hague, Netherlands becomes the first American embassy.

1809 – An Austrian corps is defeated by the forces of the Duchy of Warsaw in the Battle of Raszyn, part of the struggles of the Fifth Coalition. On the same day, the Austrian main army is defeated by a First French Empire Corps led by Louis-Nicolas Davout at the Battle of Teugen-Hausen in Bavaria, part of a four-day campaign that ended in a French victory.

1810 – Venezuela achieves home rule: Vicente Emparán, Governor of the Captaincy General is removed by the people of Caracas and a junta is installed.

1839 – The Treaty of London establishes Belgium as a kingdom and guarantees its neutrality. 

April 20

1689 – The former king, James II of England, now deposed, lays siege to Derry.

1752 – Start of Konbaung–Hanthawaddy War, a new phase in the Burmese Civil War (1740–57).

1770 – The Georgian king, Erekle II, abandoned by his Russian ally Count Totleben, wins a victory over Ottoman forces at Aspindza.

1775 – American Revolutionary War: The Siege of Boston begins, following the battles at Lexington and Concord.

1789 – George Washington arrives at Grays Ferry, Philadelphia while en route to Manhattan for his inauguration

1792 – France declares war against the "King of Hungary and Bohemia", the beginning of the French Revolutionary Wars.

1800 – The Septinsular Republic is established.

1809 – Two Austrian army corps in Bavaria are defeated by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon at the Battle of Abensberg on the second day of a four-day campaign that ended in a French victory.

1810 – The Governor of Caracas declares independence from Spain.

1818 – The case of Ashford v Thornton ends, with Abraham Thornton, allowed to go free rather than face a retrial for murder, after his demand for trial by battle is upheld.

1828 – René Caillié becomes the first non-Muslim to enter Timbuktu.

1836 – U.S. Congress passes an act creating the Wisconsin Territory. 

April 21

1782 – The city of Rattanakosin, now known internationally as Bangkok, is founded on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya River by King Buddha Yodfa Chulaloke.

1792 – Tiradentes, a revolutionary leading a movement for Brazil's independence, is hanged, drawn, and quartered.

1806 – Action of 21 April 1806: A French frigate escapes British forces off the coast of South Africa.

1809 – Two Austrian army corps are driven from Landshut by a First French Empire army led by Napoleon as two French corps to the north hold off the main Austrian army on the first day of the Battle of Eckmühl.

1821 – Benderli Ali Pasha arrives in Constantinople as the new Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire; he remains in power for only nine days before being sent into exile.

1836 – Texas Revolution: The Battle of San Jacinto: Republic of Texas forces under Sam Houston defeat troops under Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna. 

April 22

1809 – The second day of the Battle of Eckmühl: The Austrian army is defeated by the First French Empire army led by Napoleon and driven over the Danube in Regensburg.

1836 – Texas Revolution: A day after the Battle of San Jacinto, forces under Texas General Sam Houston identify Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna among the captives of the battle when one of his fellow captives mistakenly gives away his identity. 

April 23

1661 - King Charles II of England, Scotland, and Ireland is crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1815 – The Second Serbian Uprising: A second phase of the national revolution of the Serbs against the Ottoman Empire, erupts shortly after the annexation of the country to the Ottoman Empire. 

April 24

1704 – The first regular newspaper in British Colonial America, The Boston News-Letter, is published.

1800 – The United States Library of Congress is established when President John Adams signs legislation to appropriate $5,000 to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress". 

April 25

1707 – A coalition of England, the Netherlands, and Portugal is defeated by a Franco-Spanish army at Almansa (Spain) in the War of the Spanish Succession.

1792 – Highwayman Nicolas J. Pelletier becomes the first person executed by guillotine.

1792 – "La Marseillaise" (the French national anthem) is composed by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

1804 – The western Georgian kingdom of Imereti accepts the suzerainty of the Russian Empire

1829 – Charles Fremantle arrives in HMS Challenger off the coast of modern-day Western Australia prior to declaring the Swan River Colony for the United Kingdom. 

April 26

1721 – A massive earthquake devastates the Iranian city of Tabriz.

1802 – Napoleon Bonaparte signs a general amnesty to allow all but about one thousand of the most notorious émigrés of the French Revolution to return to France, as part of a reconciliatory gesture with the factions of the Ancien Régime and to eventually consolidate his own rule.

1803 – Thousands of meteor fragments fall from the skies of L'Aigle, France; the event convinces European scientists that meteors exist.

1805 – First Barbary War: United States Marines captured Derne under the command of First Lieutenant Presley O'Bannon. 

April 27

1667 – The blind and impoverished John Milton sells the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10.

1749 – First performance of George Frideric Handel's Music for the Royal Fireworks in Green Park, London.

1777 – American Revolutionary War: The Battle of Ridgefield: A British invasion force engages and defeats Continental Army regulars and militia irregulars at Ridgefield, Connecticut.

1805 – First Barbary War: United States Marines and Berbers attack the Tripolitan city of Derna (The "shores of Tripoli" part of the Marines' Hymn).

1810 – Beethoven composes Für Elise.

1813 – War of 1812: American troops capture the capital of Upper Canada in the Battle of York (present-day Toronto, Canada). 

April 28

1788 – Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.

1789 – Mutiny on the Bounty: Lieutenant William Bligh and 18 sailors are set adrift and the rebel crew returns to Tahiti briefly and then sets sail for Pitcairn Island.

1792 – France invades the Austrian Netherlands (present-day Belgium), beginning the French Revolutionary War.

1796 – The Armistice of Cherasco is signed by Napoleon Bonaparte and Vittorio Amedeo III, the King of Sardinia, expanding French territory along the Mediterranean coast. 

April 29

1770 – James Cook arrives at and names Botany Bay, Australia.

1781 – American Revolutionary War: British and French ships clash in the Battle of Fort Royal off the coast of Martinique.

1832 – Évariste Galois is released from prison. 

April 30

1789 – On the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City, George Washington takes the oath of office to become the first elected President of the United States.

1803 – Louisiana Purchase: The United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of the young nation.

1812 – The Territory of Orleans becomes the 18th U.S. state under the name Louisiana.

1838 – Nicaragua declares independence from the Central American Federation.