Fun Facts for Today

April 30

It’s Hairstyle Appreciation Day and National Honesty Day and National Oatmeal Cookie Day and Beltane


0030 Suggested date of the crucifixion of Jesus
1006 Chinese and Arabic astronomers noted a supernova; this is was history’s brightest “new star” ever recorded, at first seen to be brighter than the planet Venus
1492 Spain gives Christopher Columbus his commission of exploration
1563 All Jews were expelled from France by order of Charles VI
1665 Samuel Pepys made his first diary reference to the Great Plague in London; “Great fears of the sicknesses here in the City, it being said that two or three houses are already shut up. God preserve us all.”
1789 George Washington is inaugurated as the first president of the United States in New York City
1803 The United States more than doubles its size with the Louisiana Purchase, a vast territory bought from France for $15 million
1812 The Territory of Orleans enters the Union as the 18th state, the state of Louisiana
1844 Henry David Thoreau accidentally burns 300 acres of forest near Concord, Massachusetts, during a fishing trip, causing $2,000 in damages
1878 Louis Pasteur lectured at the French Academy of Science in support of his germ theory of disease, in which he held that many diseases were caused by tiny organisms
1900 Hawaii becomes a territory of the United States, with Sanford B. Dole as governor
1900 Casey Jones was killed while trying to save the runaway train “Cannonball Express”
1907 Honolulu, Hawaii becomes an independent city
1927 The Federal Industrial Institute for Women, opens in Alderson, West Virginia, as the first women’s federal prison in the US
1927 Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford become the first celebrities to leave their footprints in concrete at Grauman’s Chinese Theater in Hollywood
1931 The George Washington Bridge, linking New York City and New Jersey, opened
1939 Franklin D. Roosevelt is the first U.S. president to appear on television when NBC begins regular broadcasting with live coverage of the opening of the New York World’s Fair
1938 The cartoon short Porky’s Hare Hunt debuts in movie theaters, introducing Happy Rabbit (aka Bugs Bunny)
1938 The first televised FA Cup Final took place between Huddersfield Town and Preston North End
1939 RCA owned NBC begins regularly scheduled television service from its New York station with the opening ceremonies of the 1939 New York World’s Fair broadcast
1939 Lou Gehrig played his last game with the New York Yankees
1941 That Hamilton Woman starring Laurence Olivier and Vivian Leigh opens in the US
1945 Refusing to surrender after Germany is defeated by Allied forces at the end of World War II, German dictator Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker
1945 The Radio program, “Arthur Godfrey Time”, began a run on the CBS Radio Network that lasted 27 years
1947 In Nevada, the Boulder Dam is officially renamed Hoover Dam again
1957 Elvis recorded “Jailhouse Rock”
1964 The FCC ruled that all TV receivers should be equipped to receive both VHF and UHF channels
1966 Anton LaVey founds the Church of Satan
1973 President Richard Nixon announces that top White House aids H.R. Haldeman, John Ehrlichman, and others have resigned
1975 The Vietnam War ends when Duong Van Minh, president of South Vietnam, surrenders unconditionally to North Vietnamese communist forces
1987 The Beatles albums “Help!”, “Rubber Soul” and “Revolver” were released on compact disc
1988 Tom Hanks married Rita Wilson
1993 Virgin Radio broadcasts for the first time in the United Kingdom
1993 During a changeover at a tennis tournament in Hamburg, Germany, Monica Seles is stabbed in the back by a deranged fan of rival Steffi Graf; Seles would not play competitively for more than two years after the incident
1992 President Bill Clinton became the first U.S. President to visit Northern Ireland
2003 Libya accepted responsibility for the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland
2007 Starting on this day, Disneyland Resort tickets can be purchased online and printed at home

1662 Mary II, reigned as Queen of England and Ireland (1689-1694) and Queen of Scots (1689-1694)
1777 Carl Friedrich Gauss, mathematician who transformed nearly all areas of mathematics, for which his talent showed from a very early age
1834 John Lubbock, banker, politician, naturalist and archaeologist who coined the terms “Neolithic” and “Paleolithic”
1857 Eugen Bleuler, psychiatrist, who made notable contributions to the understanding of mental illness, and coined the term “schizophrenia” for the disorder previously named as “dementia praecox”
1877 Alice B. Toklas, life partner of writer Gertrude Stein
1893 Joachim von Ribbentrop, Foreign Minister of Nazi Germany (and a shithead)
1908 Eve Arden, Emmy Award-winning actress (Our Miss Brooks Mildred Pierce, Anatomy of a Murder, Grease)
1910 Al Lewis, actor (The Munsters, Car 54, Where Are You?, Married to the Mob, Used Cars)
1926 Cloris Leachman, Academy and Emmy Award-winning actress (The Last Picture Show, Malcolm in the Middle, Promised Land, Mary Tyler Moore)
1933 Willie Nelson, multiple Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and musician and sometimes actor
1938 Larry Niven, science fiction writer who has won the Hugo, Locus, Ditmar, and Nebula awards (Ringworld series, Man-Kzin anthologies, Lucifer’s Hammer with Jerry Pournelle)
1940 Burt Young, character actor (Rocky, Betsy’s Wedding, Back to School, Chinatown)
1944 Jill Clayburgh, actress (Silver Streak, Semi-Tough, Dirty Sexy Money, I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can)
1948 Perry King, actor (Slaughterhouse-Five, Riptide, I’ll Take Manhattan, Almost Home, Melrose Place, The Day After Tomorrow)
1954 Jane Campion, Academy Award-winning writer, director (The Piano, After Hours, The Portrait of a Lady)
1956 Lars von Trier, director (Dogville, The Kingdom, Europa)
1959 Paul Gross, actor-producer-writer-director-composer (Slings and Arrows, Due South, Married to It)
1965 Adrian Pasdar, actor (Heroes, Judging Amy, Secondhand Lions, Mysterious Ways, Near Dark, Top Gun)
1967 Steven Mackintosh, actor (The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, Underworld: Evolution, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Prick Up Your Ears)
1982 Kirsten Dunst, actress (The Bonfire of the Vanities, Interview with a Vampire, Little Women, Jumanji, The Cat’s Meow, Spider-Man, Marie Antoinette)

1792 John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, was a politician, inventor and explorer, for whom the sandwich is named, which is said he invented in 1762, dies at 73
1865 Robert Fitzroy, naval officer, hydrographer, and meteorologist who commanded the voyage of HMS Beagle, aboard which Charles Darwin sailed around the world as the ship’s naturalist, commits suicide at 59
1947 Sir Almroth Wright, bacteriologist who developed an immunization against typhoid fever that protected British soldiers in WW I, saving lives from infection, dies at 85
1970 Inger Stevens, actress (The Farmer’s Daughter, The Buccaneer, Hang ‘Em High), commits suicide at 35
1974 Agnes Moorehead, Emmy Award-winning actress (The Wild, Wild West, Bewitched, Citizen Kane, Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte, The Magnificent Ambersons, Johnny Belinda, Mrs. Parkington, Pollyanna), dies at 73
1982 Lester Bangs, music journalist, author and musician who is most famous for his work at Creem and Rolling Stone magazines; he was and still is regarded as an extremely influential voice in rock criticism, dies of a drug overdose at 33
1983 Muddy Waters, blues musician and is generally considered “the Father of Chicago blues,” dies at 70
1983 George Balanchine, ballet master who is one of the 20th century’s foremost choreographers and one of the founders of American ballet whose work formed a bridge between classical and modern ballet, dies at 79
1989 Sergio Leone, director-writer-producer-actor (For a Few Dollars More, A Fistful of Dollars, Once Upon a Time in the West), dies at 60
1989 Guy Williams, actor (Lost in Space, Zorro, The Man from the Alamo, Bonzo Goes to College), dies at 65
1994 Richard Scarry, popular children’s author and illustrator who published over 300 books with total sales of 300 million worldwide, dies at 74
2007 Tom Poston, Emmy Award-winning actor (The Steve Allen Show, Newhart, Mad Magazine Presents Up the Academy, Mork & Mindy, Fresno), dies at 85

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