History of 2 April
1900 – The United States Congress passes the Foraker Act, giving Puerto Rico limited self-rule.
1902 – Dmitry Sipyagin, Minister of Interior of the Russian Empire, is assassinated in the Marie Palace, Saint Petersburg.
1902 – “Electric Theatre”, the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opens in Los Angeles.
1911 – The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducts the country’s first national census.
1912 – The ill-fated RMS Titanic begins sea trials.
1917 – World War I: United States President Woodrow Wilson asks the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.
1921 – The Autonomous Government of Khorasan, a military government encompassing the modern state of Iran, is established.
1930 – After the mysterious death of Empress Zewditu, Haile Selassie is proclaimed emperor of Ethiopia.
1956 – As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiere on CBS. The two soaps become the first daytime dramas to debut in the 30-minute format.
1972 – Burt Reynolds appeared nude in “Cosmopolitan” magazine.
1978 – The first episode of “Dallas” aired on CBS.
1981 – In Lebanon, thirty-seven people were reported killed during fighting in the cities of Beirut and Zahle. It was the worst violence since 1976 cease-fire.
1982 – Argentina invaded the British-owned Falkland Islands. The following June Britain took the islands back.
1983 – The New Jersey Transit strike that began on March 1 came to an end.
1984 – John Thompson became the first black coach to lead his team to the NCAA college basketball championship.
1984 – In Jerusalem, three Arab gunmen wounded 48 people when they opened fire into a crowd of shoppers.
1985 – The NCAA Rules Committee adopted the 45-second shot clock for men’s basketball to begin in the 1986 season.
1986 – On a TWA airliner flying from Rome to Athens, a bomb exploded under a seat killing four Americans.
1987 – The speed limit on U.S. interstate highways was increased to 65 miles per hour in limited areas.
1988 – U.S. Special Prosecutor James McKay declined to indict Attorney General Edwin Meese for criminal wrongdoing.
1989 – An editorial in the “New York Times” declared that the Cold War was over.
1989 – General Prosper Avril, Haiti’s military leader, survived a coup attempt. The attempt was apparently provoked by Avril’s U.S.-backed efforts to fight drug trafficking.
1990 – Iraqi President Saddam Hussein threatened to incinerate half of Israel with chemical weapons if Israel joined a conspiracy against Iraq.
1992 – Mob boss John Gotti was convicted in New York of murder and racketeering. He was later sentenced to life in prison.
1995 – The costliest strike in professional sports history ended when baseball owners agreed to let players play without a contract.
1996 – Russia and Belarus signed a treaty that created a political and economic alliance in an effort to reunite the two former Soviet republics.
1996 – Lech Walesa resumed his old job as an electrician at the Gdansk shipyard. He was the former Solidarity union leader who became Poland’s first post-war democratic president.
2002 – Israeli troops surrounded the Church of the Nativity. More than 200 Palestinians had taken refuge at the church when Israel invaded Bethlehem.
2013 – The United Nations General Assembly adopted the Arms Trade Treaty to regulate the international trade of conventional weapons.
2014 – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that limits on the total amount of money individuals can give political candidates and political action committees were unconstitutional.
2015 – Gunmen attack Garissa University College in Kenya, killing at least 148 people and wounding 79 others.
2015 – Four men stole items worth up to £200 million from an underground safe deposit facility in London’s Hatton Garden area in what has been called the “largest burglary in English legal history.
Celebrating Birthday Today
- 1981 – Michael Clarke, Australian cricketer
- 1981 – Kapil Sharma, Indian stand-up comedian, television presenter, and actor
- 1982 – Marco Amelia, Italian footballer
- 1982 – Jeremy Bloom, American football player, and skier
- 1982 – Jack Evans, American wrestler
- 1982 – David Ferrer, a Spanish tennis player
- 1983 – Yung Joc, American rapper
- 1983 – Maksym Mazuryk, Ukrainian pole vaulter
- 1984 – Engin Atsür, Turkish basketball player
- 1984 – Nóra Barta, Hungarian diver
- 1984 – Jérémy Morel, French footballer
- 1985 – Thom Evans, Zimbabwean-Scottish rugby player
- 1985 – Stéphane Lambiel, Swiss figure skater
- 1986 – Ibrahim Afellay, Dutch footballer
- 1986 – Andris Biedriņs, Latvian basketball player
- 1986 – Lee DeWyze, American singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1987 – Pablo Aguilar, Paraguayan footballer
- 1987 – Marc Pugh, English footballer
- 1988 – Jesse Plemons, American actor
- 1990 – Yevgeniya Kanayeva, Russian gymnast
- 1990 – Miralem Pjanic, Bosnian footballer
- 1991 – Quavo, American rapper
- 1997 – Abdelhak Nouri, Dutch footballer