Fun Facts for Today

April 28

It’s Great Poetry Reading Day and Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day and National Blueberry Pie Day and Santa Fe Trail Day and Kiss Your Mate Day


1788 Maryland becomes the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States
1789 Fletcher Christian led a mutiny on the British ship Bounty; Captain William Bligh and 18 loyal crew members were set adrift on a small boat
1852 The first municipal electric fire alarm system using call boxes with automatic signaling indicating a fire’s location was placed into operation in Boston
1916 The British declared martial law throughout Ireland
1919 The first jump with the Army manually operated army parachute was made by Leslie LeRoy Irvin in Dayton, OH
1926 The term “wave mechanics” was coined by nuclear physicist Erwin Schrödinger in a letter he sent to Einstein; the term was applied to the newly emerging branch of physics which interprets the behaviors of subatomic particles according to a mathematical description in terms of a wave motion
1930 The first US motion picture of the 1.5 minute totality of an eclipse of the sun was taken from an airplane flying about 18,000 feet over at Honey Lake, CA
1932 The yellow fever vaccine for humans was announced
1937 The first animated-cartoon electric sign display in the US was shown by Douglas Leigh on the front of a building on Broadway, New York City; it used 2,000 bulbs
1940 “Pennsylvania 6-5000,” by Glenn Miller and his orchestra, was recorded
1944 Exercise “Tiger” ends with 750 U.S. soldiers dead in D-Day rehearsal after their convoy ships were attacked by German torpedo boats
1945 Around midnight Adolf Hitler weds Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker
1945 Italian fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci are executed by a firing squad consisting of members of the Italian resistance movement
1946 The Allies indicted Tojo with 55 counts of war crimes
1947 Thor Heyerdahl and five others began their Pacific Ocean crossing on the raft, Kon-Tiki
1950 Disney’s animated Trailer Horn, featuring Donald Duck and Chip ‘n’ Dale, is released in the US
1952 Dwight D. Eisenhower resigns as Supreme Commander of NATO
1952 The US occupation of Japan officially ended when a treaty with the US and 47 other countries went into effect
1960 French president Charles de Gaulle resigns after his proposals for constitutional reforms are defeated in a national referendum
1967 World heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali refuses induction into the US Army for religious reasons; he is later convicted of draft evasion and stripped of his title
1968 Hair opened on Broadway in New York
1972 Ralph Bakshi’s X-rated animated feature, Fritz the Cat is released in the US
1986 US Navy aircraft carrier USS Enterprise becomes the first nuclear-powered aircraft carrier to transit the Suez Canal
1987 For the first time, a compact disc of an album was released before its vinyl version; the album was “The Art of Excellence” by Tony Bennett
1988 Near Maui, Hawaii, flight attendant Clarabelle “C.B.” Lansing is blown out of Aloha Flight 243, a Boeing 737, and falls to her death when part of the plane’s fuselage rips open in mid-flight
1992 The US Dept. of Agriculture unveiled its first “food pyramid”
1994 Former CIA official Aldrich Ames pleads guilty to giving US secrets to the Soviet Union and later Russia
2001 Dennis Tito becomes the first space tourist by paying $20 million to fly on a Soyuz mission to the International Space Station

1442 King Edward IV of England from March 4, 1461 until October 2, 1470, and again from April 11, 1471 until his death
1758 James Monroe, fifth President of the United States (1817-1825); his administration was marked by the acquisition of Florida; the Missouri Compromise, in which Missouri was declared a slave state; and the profession of the Monroe Doctrine, declaring US opposition to European interference in the Americas, as well as breaking all ties with France remaining from the War of 1812
1878 Lionel Barrymore, Academy Award-winning director (A Free Soul, Madame X, Key Largo, Saratoga, Captains Courageous)
1908 Oskar Schindler, Austrian business man who saved more Jews during the Holocaust than any other private person
1916 Ferruccio Lamborghini, industrialist who founded a luxury car company that produced some of the fastest, most expensive, and sought-after sports cars in the world
1922 Alistair MacLean, novelist who wrote successful thrillers or adventure stories (The Guns of Navarone, Ice Station Zebra, Where Eagles Dare, Force 10 from Navarone)
1926 Harper Lee, Pulitzer Prize–novelist (To Kill a Mockingbird)
1933 Carolyn Jones, actress (House of Wax, The Seven Year Itch, The Addams Family, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The Man Who Knew Too Much)
1934 Lois Duncan, writer and novelist (I Know What You Did Last Summer, Killing Mr. Griffin, Stranger with my Face, Don’t Look Behind You)
1937 Saddam Hussein, Iraqi dictator, mass murdering shithead
1941 Ann-Margret, actress-singer-dancer (Pocketful of Miracles, State Fair, Bye Bye Birdie, Viva Las Vegas, Tommy, Newsies, Grumpy Old Men, The 10th Kingdom)
1948 Marcia Strassman, actress (Brenda Starr, Welcome Back, Kotter, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Another Stakeout, Tremors: The TV Series)
1948 Terry Pratchett, OBE, fantasy, science fiction and children’s author best known for his popular and long-running Discworld series of comic fantasy novels with sales of more than 55 million books worldwide, with translations made in 33 languages; is currently the second most-read writer in the UK, and seventh most-read non-US author in the US
1949 Bruno Kirby, actor (Superdad, The Godfather: Part II, This Is Spinal Tap, Good Morning Vietnam, City Slickers, Donnie Brasco)
1949 Paul Guilfoyle, actor (CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Air Force One, L.A. Confidential, Ransom, Howard the Duck)
1950 Jay Leno, comedian, actor and Emmy Award-winning producer (The Tonight Show, Ice Age, Robots, Cars, Americathon)
1960 Ian Rankin, OBE, author and one of the best-selling crime writers in the UK; his best known books are the Inspector Rebus novels
1971 Chris Young, actor (Max Headroom, PCU, Book of Love, The Great Outdoors)
1973 Elisabeth Röhm, actress (Angel, Law & Order, Miss Congeniality 2: Armed & Fabulous, One Life to Live)
1974 Penélope Cruz, actress (Sahara, Vanilla Sky, Blow, All the Pretty Horses)
1981 Jessica Alba, actress (Dark Angel, Sin City, Fantastic Four, The Love Guru)

1842 Sir Charles Bell, anatomist whose New Idea of Anatomy of the Brain has been called the “Magna Carta of neurology,” dies at 67
1858 Johannes Peter Müller, physiologist and anatomist, one of the greatest of 19th century who, with Magendie, is credited for establishing the science of physiology in its modern form, dies at 56
1977 Ricardo Cortez, actor-director (The Maltese Falcon (1931), Shadow of Doubt, Frisco Kid, The Case of the Black Cat), dies at 77
1999 Rory Calhoun, actor (How to Marry a Millionaire, The Spoilers, Pure Country), dies at 76

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