Here are 50 newsworthy anniversaries coming up in April 2017 for you to write about (and make money from). The anniversaries are listed 6 months in advance to give you enough time to find markets, and research and write your articles.
We have painstakingly cross-checked every entry, but you are advised to check all facts again as part of your research. Please let us know of any errors you find.
The listing below is a small sample of the entries for April from The Date-A-Base Book 2017. There are 322 anniversaries for April in the book (more than six times more than listed here). The book covers the whole of 2017 from January to December and features more than 4,000 anniversaries in total.
Just one published article should cover the cost of your copy many times over – and the book also explains how to get your articles published.
200 years ago (12 Apr 1817)
Death of Charles Messier, French astronomer. Best known for publishing the first systematic catalogue of diffuse (or ‘blurry’) celestial light sources – which we now know as galaxies, star clusters and nebulae.
200 years ago (15 Apr 1817)
The first school for the deaf in the USA was founded: the Hartford Asylum for the Education and Instruction of the Deaf and Dumb (now the American School for the Deaf), in Hartford, Connecticut.
150 years ago (10 Apr 1867)
Birth of George William Russell, (‘AE’), Irish nationalist, poet, artist and mystic.
150 years ago (16 Apr 1867)
Birth of Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer (Wright brothers) who achieved the first powered, sustained and controlled plane flight.
125 years ago (8 Apr 1892?)
Birth of Mary Pickford, (‘America’s Sweetheart’), pioneering Canadian-born American film actress. One of the first film stars in the USA. Co-founder of United Artists film studio and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. (Britannica gives her year of birth as 1893, but this appears to be incorrect.)
125 years ago (13 Apr 1892)
Birth of Sir Robert Watson-Watt, Scottish physicist who developed radar.
125 years ago (15 Apr 1892)
General Electric was founded in the USA when the Edison General Electric Company and the Thomson-Houston Company merged.
125 years ago (15 Apr 1892)
Birth of Corrie ten Boom, Dutch writer and speaker. Best known for helping many Jews escape the Holocaust during WWII. She also established a rehabilitation shelter for concentration camp survivors.
100 years ago (1 Apr 1917)
The Danish West Indies were officially transferred to the USA and renamed the United States Virgin Islands, after the USA purchased them from Denmark for $25 million (£16 million).
100 years ago (1 Apr 1917)
Death of Scott Joplin, (‘king of ragtime’), American composer and pianist. Known for his ragtime pieces including Maple Leaf Rag and The Entertainer. (Died from syphilitic dementia in a mental institution.) Posthumously awarded the Pulitzer Prize.
100 years ago (6 Apr 1917)
World War I: the USA declared war on Germany and entered the war.
100 years ago (14 Apr 1917)
Death of L. L. Zamenhof, Polish physician and linguist who created Esperanto.
100 years ago (16 Apr 1917)
Birth of Barry Nelson, American film and television actor. The first actor to play James Bond on screen (in a 1954 adaptation of Casino Royale on the TV anthology series Climax!). He also appeared in the films Airport, The Shining and more. (Died 2007.)
100 years ago (25 Apr 1917)
Birth of Ella Fitzgerald, world famous American jazz singer.
80 years ago (17 Apr 1937)
Daffy Duck made his debut appearance in the Warner Brothers’ cartoon Porky’s Duck Hunt.
80 years ago (26 Apr 1937)
Spanish Civil War: German planes bombed the Basque town of Guernica.
80 years ago (27 Apr 1937)
The National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London opened.
75 years ago (8 Apr 1942 – Nov 1945)
World War II – the Hump. Allied pilots carried out a daily airlift of supplies into China from India after Axis forces blocked supply routes including the Burma Road. They resupplied the Chinese war effort as well as U.S. Army Air Force units stationed in China. They were forced to fly a challenging route over the eastern end of the Himalayas – which they nicknamed ‘the Hump’. 594 aircraft were lost or irreparably damaged during the mission and 1,659 personnel were killed.
75 years ago (9 Apr 1942)
World War II: the Bataan Death March. The Japanese forced 75,000 captured Philippines and American troops to march for 6 days without food or water to a prisoner-of-war camp. Thousands died.
75 years ago (15 Apr 1942)
World War II: Britain awarded the George Cross to the island of Malta in recognition of the bravery of its people.
75 years ago (23 Apr – 6 Jun 1942)
World War II: Germany launched the ‘Baedeker Blitz’ in retaliation for the bombing of the city of Lübeck. They planned to bomb every building in Britain that scored 3 stars in the Baedeker tourist guide. Exeter, Bath, Norwich, York and Canterbury were the main targets.
75 years ago (24 Apr 1942)
Death of Lucy Maud Montgomery, Canadian romantic novelist. Best known for Anne of Green Gables.
75 years ago (26 Apr 1942)
The worst mining disaster in history. An explosion at the Honkeiko (also known as Benxihu) colliery in Benxi, China killed 1,549 miners.
70 years ago (6 Apr 1947)
The first Tony Awards were presented, at the Waldorf Astoria hotel, New York City, USA.
70 years ago (15 Apr 1947)
Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play major league baseball. He played for the Brooklyn Dodgers, ending the racial segregation that had relegated black players to the Negro leagues.
60 years ago (1 Apr 1957)
The BBC TV current affairs programme Panorama broadcast its famous April Fool’s Day ‘spaghetti tree’ hoax.
60 years ago (24 Apr 1957)
The first episode of the British astronomy programme The Sky at Night was broadcast on BBC TV. It became the world’s longest-running television programme with the same presenter (Patrick Moore) until his death in December 2012. (His final appearance was in the January 2013 episode, which was pre-recorded. The programme continues with new presenters.)
50 years ago (8 Apr 1967)
The United Kingdom won the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time, with the song Puppet on a String sung by Sandie Shaw. The contest was held in Vienna, Austria.
50 years ago (28 Apr 1967)
American world heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the U.S. Army after being drafted to fight in the Vietnam War. He was arrested, his boxing license suspended, and he was stripped of his title. He was found guilty at a trial held on 20th June. As he was unable to box, he spent the time giving inspirational speeches at schools and colleges. (The Supreme Court overturned the decision in June 1971, but he had lost 4 years’ boxing time when he would have been at the prime of his career. He became world heavyweight champion again in 1974 and 1978.)
40 years ago (2 Apr 1977)
British race horse Red Rum won the Grand National for a historic third time. It is considered one of the greatest moments in sporting history, and the record still stands today.
30 years ago (1 Apr 1987)
U.S. President Ronald Reagan declared AIDS ‘public health enemy No. 1’.
30 years ago (19 Apr 1987)
The Simpsons was first broadcast as a cartoon short on The Tracey Ullman Show in the USA.
25 years ago (2 Apr 1992)
American Mafia boss John Gotti was convicted of 13 counts of murder, racketeering and obstruction of justice. (On 23rd June he was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in 2002.)
25 years ago (5 Apr 1992)
Death of Sam Walton, American retail executive. Founder of Wal-Mart – the world’s largest company (by revenue).
25 years ago (6 Apr 1992 – Dec 1995)
The Bosnian War. Result: military stalemate and the internal partition of Bosnia and Herzegovina according to the Dayton Accords.
25 years ago (6 Apr 1992)
Microsoft released its Windows 3.1 graphical operating environment. This version introduced TrueType fonts and the famous Control-Alt-Delete command (also known as the ‘three finger salute’). It also allowed users to copy and paste data between different applications.
25 years ago (6 Apr 1992)
Death of Isaac Asimov, prolific Russian-born American writer and biochemist. Known for his hugely successful science fiction stories and popular science books.
25 years ago (9 Apr 1992)
Former Panamanian leader Manuel Noriega was convicted of drug trafficking, racketeering and money laundering at a court in Miami, Florida, USA. (Sentenced to 40 years in prison – later reduced to 30. After his release in 2007 he was extradited to France, retried, and sentenced to 7 years. In 2011 he was extradited to Panama and sentenced to 20 years.)
25 years ago (9 Apr 1992)
British general election. The Conservative Party won a fourth consecutive term in power, confounding expectations.
25 years ago (10 Apr 1992)
Baltic Exchange bombing, 30 St. Mary Axe, London. A one-ton IRA truck bomb exploded outside the Baltic Exchange, destroying part of the façade and damaging the rest of the building and surrounding buildings – cost of damage £800 million. 3 people were killed and 91 injured. (English Heritage wanted the building restored but, upon learning that the damage was far more severe than initially thought, it was demolished in 1998. The ‘Gherkin’ skyscraper now stands in its place.)
25 years ago (12 Apr 1992)
Disneyland Paris (formerly known as Euro Disney) opened in France.
25 years ago (18 Apr 1992?)
Death of Benny Hill, British comedian and actor. Best known for The Benny Hill Show. (Found dead on 20th April but probably died two days earlier.)
25 years ago (19 Apr 1992)
Death of Frankie Howerd, British comedian and comic actor. Known for the stage show A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and the TV series Up Pompeii!, and as a member of the Carry On… team.
25 years ago (20 Apr 1992)
The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness was held at Wembley Stadium in London. It was a tribute to the Queen singer who died in November 1991, with all proceeds going to AIDS research.
25 years ago (27 Apr 1992)
Betty Boothroyd became the first female Speaker of Britain’s House of Commons.
25 years ago (29 Apr 1992)
Los Angeles riots, California, USA. A jury acquitted four police officers of the (videotaped) beating of African American motorist Rodney King, sparking six days of riots in which 53 people were killed.
20 years ago (29 Apr 1997)
The Chemical Weapons Convention came into effect, banning their use, development, manufacture, stockpiling, and sale or transfer. (Angola, Egypt, North Korea and South Sudan are the only countries that have not signed the convention. Israel and Myanmar have signed but not ratified it.)
20 years ago (30 Apr 1997)
The famous ‘coming out’ episode of the sitcom Ellen was broadcast on ABC TV in the USA. The title character, played by Ellen DeGeneres, admitted that she was a lesbian.
10 years ago (4 Apr 2007)
The first Earth-like exoplanet, Gliese 581 c, was discovered by astronomers at the European Southern Observatory in Chile. It is 20.5 light years away, in the constellation Libra and has a mass 5.5 times that of the Earth. (In April 2009 another planet in that system, Gliese 581 e, was discovered with a mass 1.9 times that of the Earth.)
10 years ago (16 Apr 2007)
Virginia Tech shooting, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA. Seung-Hui Cho, a senior student diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder, shot and killed 32 people and wounded 17 others (6 more were injured when they jumped out of windows to escape). He then committed suicide. It is the deadliest shooting incident by a single gunman in U.S. history.
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