Forthcoming historic anniversaries, April 2009

You may wish to write about the following historical events. Dates are given 6 months in advance to allow you time for research and writing.
 
We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research – just in case! Please let us know of any errors you find.

A greatly expanded list of anniversaries for this month is available in The Date-A-Base Book 2009, which covers the whole year from January to December 2009. More details below.

500 years ago (21 Apr 1509)
Henry VIII became King of England

500 years ago (27 Apr 1509)
Pope Julius II excommunicated every citizen in the Republic of Venice

400 years ago (6 Apr 1609)
English explorer Henry Hudson set off from Amsterdam in search of the North-West Passage

150 years ago (25 Apr 1859)
Work began on the Suez Canal at Port Said, Egypt

100 years ago (5 Apr 1909)
Birth of Albert R. ‘Cubby’ Broccoli, American film producer (‘James Bond’)

100 years ago (6 Apr 1909)
American explorers Robert Peary and Matthew Henson became the first men to reach the North Pole

100 years ago (6 Apr 1909)
Birth of Hermann Lang, German racing driver

100 years ago (30 Apr 1909)
Birth of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands

80 years ago (4 Apr 1929)
Death of Karl Benz, German mechanical engineer, designed and built the first practical motor car to be powered by an internal combustion engine

80 years ago (14 Apr 1929)
The first Monaco Grand Prix was held in Monte Carlo

75 years ago (4 Apr 1934)
The first 50 ‘cat’s-eye’ reflective road studs were installed at an accident black spot near Bradford, Yorkshire, UK by their inventor Percy Shaw

75 years ago (18 Apr 1934)
The first launderette opened, in Fort Worth, Texas

70 years ago (27 Apr 1939)
World War II: All able-bodied British men aged 20 – 21 were conscripted into the army

60 years ago (4 Apr 1949)
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was founded in Washington DC, with 12 nations signing up to join

60 years ago (7 Apr 1949)
The musical ‘South Pacific’ opened on Broadway, New York

60 years ago (18 Apr 1949)
The Republic of Ireland formalised its independence and withdrew from the British Commonwealth

60 years ago (18 Apr 1949)
Death of Will Hay, British actor, comedian and music hall entertainer

60 years ago (20 Apr 1949)
The Badminton Horse Trials were held for the first time

50 years ago (9 Apr 1959)
NASA announced that it had selected its first astronauts – the ‘Mercury 7’

50 years ago (9 Apr 1959)
Death of Frank Lloyd Wright, America’s most famous architect

50 years ago (23 Apr 1959)
Britain’s first heliport opened in London

40 years ago (1 Apr 1969)
The Hawker Siddeley Harrier ‘jump jet’ went into service with Britain’s RAF. It was the first aircraft capable of vertical take-off and landing

40 years ago (4 Apr 1969)
The world’s first temporary artificial heart was implanted into a patient by Dr Denton Cooley in Houston, Texas

40 years ago (9 Apr 1969)
The British-built supersonic aircraft Concorde made its first test flight, from Bristol to Fairford, Gloucestershire. (France tested theirs in March 1969)

40 years ago (17 Apr 1969)
Voting age in Britain was lowered from 21 to 18

40 years ago (28 Apr 1969)
French President Charles de Gaulle resigned

30 years ago (1 Apr 1979)
Iran became an Islamic Republic and the Shah was overthrown

30 years ago (11 Apr 1979)
Ugandan dictator Idi Amin was deposed

25 years ago (1 Apr 1984)
Death of Marvin Gaye, American soul singer, songwriter and music producer, shot by his father during a family dispute

25 years ago (15 Apr 1984)
Death of Tommy Cooper, Welsh comedy magician

25 years ago (17 Apr 1984)
WPC Yvonne Fletcher was shot dead outside the Libyan Embassy in London while policing a demonstration. An 11-day siege followed

25 years ago (22 Apr 1984)
Death of Ansel Adams, American photographer

25 years ago (23 Apr 1984)
HIV, the virus that causes Aids, was discovered by scientists in the USA and France

25 years ago (26 Apr 1984)
Death of Count Basie, American jazz pianist and bandleader

20 years ago (1 Apr 1989)
The unpopular and ill-fated ‘poll tax’ was introduced in Scotland

20 years ago (12 Apr 1989)
Death of Sugar Ray Robinson, American world champion boxer

20 years ago (15 Apr 1989)
Hillsborough disaster: 96 people were killed in a crush of football fans at the Hillsborough Stadium, Sheffield, UK

20 years ago (17 Apr 1989)
The Polish trade union Solidarity was granted legal status after years of repression by the Communist government

20 years ago (19 Apr 1989)
Death of Daphne du Maurier, British writer (‘Rebecca’, ‘Jamaica Inn’, etc)

20 years ago (21 Apr 1989)
More than 100,000 Chinese students gathered in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in a mass protest that spread and grew over the following weeks

20 years ago (26 Apr 1989)
Death of Lucille Ball, American comedy actress (‘I Love Lucy’, etc)

20 years ago (30 Apr 1989)
Death of Sergio Leone, Italian ‘spaghetti western’ film director (‘A Fistful of Dollars’, ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, etc)

15 years ago (27 Apr 1994)
Apartheid ended in South Africa. (Now celebrated as Freedom Day)

10 years ago (1 Apr 1999)
The minimum wage was introduced in Britain

10 years ago (5 Apr 1999)
Libya surrendered two suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, to the UN for trial in the Netherlands

10 years ago (12 Apr 1999)
Death of Boxcar Willie, American country music singer

10 years ago (13 Apr 1999)
American pathologist Dr Jack Kevorkian was sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison for the ‘assisted suicide’ murder of a terminally ill man

10 years ago (15 Apr 1999)
Death of Harvey Postlethwaite, British Formula One racing car engineer

 

The Date-A-Base Book 2009

For more historic anniversaries see The Date-A-Base Book 2009, which spans the whole of 2009 and contains over 1,200 forthcoming anniversaries – twice as many entries per month than our standard lists featured above. For example, there are 48 anniversaries listed above for April 2009, but 90 anniversaries for the same month in the Date-A-Base Book 2009. Over the course of the year you’ll get to hear about hundreds of significant forthcoming anniversaries that other writers just won’t know about – giving you a huge advantage!

The Date-A-Base Book 2009 is an excellent source of ideas for all writers, journalists, film-makers, editors, researchers, producers, teachers, students, speakers and event planners. Just one article sale will pay for your copy many times over!

Dave Haslett, ideas4writers, www.ideas4writers.co.uk

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