April 21 1509 – Henry VIII Becomes King of England

April 21 1509 – Henry VIII Becomes King of England2.3 (46.67%) 3 votes *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Hours after the death of his father, Henry VII, one of the most famous monarchs in history, King Henry VIII of England took the throne on April 21, 1509. Though known for marrying six times in pursuit of a male heir and forcing a split with the Roman Catholic Church because he was willing to divorce in order to achieve it, he had an undeniable charm and sharp mind. During his nearly 38-year reign, Henry set England on a course that would define it as a nation for centuries to come. Born the […]

April 22 1529 – The Treaty of Zaragoza Divides the World Between Spain and Portugal for Good

April 22 1529 – The Treaty of Zaragoza Divides the World Between Spain and Portugal for GoodRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Thirty-five years after the Treaty of Tordesillas created a boundary in the New World for Spanish and Portuguese explorers, the Treaty of Zaragoza completed the worldwide division of Iberian colonial interests on April 22, 1529. By settling a decade-long dispute over who would control the trade and settlement in eastern Asia, King John III of Portugal and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, King of Spain, created a pattern for conquering the planet outside of Europe. When Christopher Columbus reached Hispaniola in 1492 and claimed it for Spain, […]

April 23 1616 – William Shakespeare Dies in Stratford-upon-Avon

April 23 1616 – William Shakespeare Dies in Stratford-upon-AvonRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Throughout human history, a small number of creative individuals have left a mark on the world that will last forever — arguably none more than William Shakespeare. After a prolific career writing plays and poems, the “Bard of Avon” died on April 23, 1616 at the age of 52. In the five centuries since he took London by storm, his influence on literature, the theater and even the English language continues to impress. The third of eight children born to John Shakespeare and Mary Arden, very little is known of the world-renowned playwright’s youth in […]

April 24 1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope is Launched

April 24 1990 – The Hubble Space Telescope is LaunchedRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Some 44 years after the idea was first proposed by Princeton University astronomer and theoretical physicist Lyman Spitzer, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was lifted into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990. Coming in at more than six times the projected cost by the time it was launched, the HST has provided researchers unparalleled views of the universe for more than two decades. The foundation for placing a large telescope in orbit was laid in the early 1920s, when physicists Hermann Oberth and Robert Goddard made advances in rocket technology […]

April 25 1945 – Soldiers from the Soviet Union and United States Meet at the River Elbe

April 25 1945 – Soldiers from the Soviet Union and United States Meet at the River Elbe3 (60%) 1 vote *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Almost seven years after the Nazis rolled into Poland, combat in the European theater of World War II came to a halt at the River Elbe on April 25, 1945. Just outside the town of Torgau in eastern Germany, elements of the United States Army’s 69th Infantry Division and the 5th Guards Army of the Soviet Union came face to face following a long campaign of rolling back Adolf Hitler’s conquest of the continent. Less than two weeks later, the Allies would celebrate victory in Europe. […]

April 26 1986 – Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Experiences a Meltdown

April 26 1986 – Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Experiences a Meltdown5 (100%) 1 vote *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons In the western Soviet Union, 60 miles north of the Ukrainian capital Kiev, darkness exploded at 1:23am on April 26, 1986. During a routine test, an error by the technical team led reactor Unit 4 at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant to experience a horrifying accident. Less than a decade after the less-serious incident at the Three Mile Island facility in Pennsylvania, the safety of nuclear power was once again called into question — and, thanks to dangerous levels of secrecy, the Soviet Union was soon facing condemnation from every corner of […]

April 27 1981 – Xerox PARC Introduces the Mouse

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April 27 1981 – Xerox PARC Introduces the MouseRate this post Even though computing machines had existed since World War II, major breakthroughs had been comparatively few and far between until the mid-1970s. On April 27, 1981, the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) changed the way people interacted with machines forever by introducing the mouse as part of the 8010 Star Information System workstation. The small, hand-guided box with two clickable buttons finally made the computer personal, leading to a revolution in technology that continues to this day. Founded in 1970 as a research and development arm of the Xerox empire, the team of engineers at PARC were charged […]

April 28 1906 – Mathematician Kurt Goedel is Born

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April 28 1906 – Mathematician Kurt Goedel is BornRate this post Though most would think the foundation of philosophy and mathematics do not intertwine, a man born on April 28, 1906 in the small Austro-Hungarian town of Brunn (modern Brno, Czech Republic) would redefine the relationship between them. Kurt Goedel, who eventually emigrated to the United States and rubbed elbows with Albert Einstein, is regarded by many as perhaps the most influential thinker in logic since the Greek scholar Aristotle. By his death in 1978, his theories had rocked accepted science and exploded the concept of time. At the turn of the 20th century, Brunn was very much an Austrian […]

April 29 711 AD – Moorish General Tariq ibn-Ziyad Lands at Gibraltar

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April 29 711 AD – Moorish General Tariq ibn-Ziyad Lands at Gibraltar5 (100%) 1 vote Long before Sultan Mehmed II terrified Europe after seizing Constantinople, the western edge of the continent fell under Muslim control when the Moors landed on the Iberian Peninsula. Tariq ibn-Ziyad, at the head of a 10,000-strong army from North Africa, began the conquest on April 29, 711AD at Gibraltar — a strip of land jutting into the Mediterranean Sea he named after himself. For nearly 500 years the Umayyad Dynasty reigned in Spain, leading to a flowering of culture while the rest of Europe languished in the Dark Ages. In the centuries following the disintegration […]

April 30 2009 – American Automaker Chrysler Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

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April 30 2009 – American Automaker Chrysler Files for Chapter 11 BankruptcyRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Six months after the United States Congress passed legislation authorizing the purchase of assets from a variety of industries, news from the American auto industry worsened on April 30, 2009 when Chrysler LLC announced it would be filing for the Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Unable to secure approval from its creditors for a plan to reorganize, the company was forced to seek additional funding from the Treasury Department and folded into the portfolio of Italian carmaker Fiat. Investors shuddered: the global economic freefall was clearly far from over. The problem began around […]