This Day in History

April 29


711      Moorish troops land at Gibralter—beginning of invasion of the Iberian Penisula   1306
1429      Joan of Arc enters the besieged city Orléans   588
1483      Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands is conquered by the Kingdom of Castle after a five-year campaign   534
1587      English fleet under the command of Francis Drake enters Bay of Cádiz and destroys the Spanish fleet   430
1694      Swedish chemist and discoverer of cobalt Georg Brandt dies in Stockholm, age 73—first to discover a metal unknown in ancient times   323
1770      James Cook lands and names Botany Bay on the east coast of Australia   247
1854      birth of French mathematician Jules Henri Poincaré in Nancy   163
1862      New Orleans falls to Union forces led by Admiral David Farragut   155
1882      the Electromote, world's first vehicle run like a trolleybus, debuts in Berlin by inventor Ernst Werner von Siemens   135
1903      rockslide buries part of the mining town of Frank, Northwest Territories—one of the largest landslides in Canadian history and deadliest   114
1916      Danish actuary and mathematician Jørgen Pedersen Gram dies in Copenhagen, age 66   101
1916      after 147 days British-Indian garrison surrenders to Ottoman siege of Kut south of Baghdad—over 40,000 casualties and captured   101
1945      Dachau concentration camp is liberated by U.S. troops   72
1945      German forces in Italy unconditionally surrender to the Allies   72
1945      RAF planes begin Operation Manna with the cooperation of the Germans dropping food to starving citizens of occupied Netherlands   72
1968      Hair opens on Braodway at the Biltmore Theatre after premiering off-Broadway at the Public Theater in the East Village   49
1975      Operation Frequent Wind—U.S. begins evacuation of Americans and Vietnamese from Saigon prior to its fall   42
1978      Naomi Uemura becomes first person to reach North Pole alone   39
1980      English film director and producer Alfred Hitchcock dies in Los Angeles, age 80   37
1986      Roger Clemens sets a major league record by striking out 20 batters in a nine-inning game   31
1986      arson fire destroys 450,000 books in the Los Angeles Central Library—many of the remaining 2,000,000 are damaged   31
1991      tropical cyclone strikes the Chittagong district of southeastern Bangladesh—at least 138,000 killed and 10 million left homeless   26
1997      first joint U.S.-Russian spacewalk—from Mir   20
2001      American solar physicist Arthur Bertram Cuthbert Walker, Jr. dies in Palo Alto, California, age 64   16
2004      Oldsmobile constructs its last automobile after 107 years of production   13
2005      American mathematics teacher and textbook author Louis Leithold dies in Los Angeles, age 80   12
2006      Canadian-American economist John Kenneth Galbraith dies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, age 97   11
2010      British inventor of first graphics computer game, "Noughts and Crosses" in 1952, Alexander "Sandy" Shafto Douglas dies, age 88   7
2011      heir to the throne of England William marries Kate Middleton in Westminster Abbey   6
2012      French engineer Roland Moreno, inventor of the smart card, dies in Paris, age 66   5
2013      ESA's Herschel space telescope ends its four-year mission as its helium refrigerant runs out   4
2013      Virgin Galactic's SpaceShipTwo makes its first powered flight reaching mach 1.2 with a 16 second rocket firing   4
2014      American writer, longtime editor of the magazine Mad, and artist Albert "Al" Bernard Feldstein dies, age 88   3
2015      due to civil unrest in Baltimore the White Sox at Orioles game is closed to the public—first time in MLB history   2

Dates are always somewhat ambiguous, the exact date depends on whether local time is used (and local time where) or Universal Time—for events on the surface of the Earth, local time is probably best but for an event that spans across the planet, it is not clear which local time to use!. For events in space it is more ambiguous. Further for dates after the original adoption of the Gregorian calendar but before it became accepted in different countries, the date given may be a Julian date or a Gregorian date depending upon where the event occurred. And, even the year may be different since the first of the year has not always been January 1 in all countries! The attempt is to use a date that is the one that is typically given.

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