This Day in History

April 30


65      Roman poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus dies, age 25   1952
311      Edict of Toleration by Galerius ends the Diocletianic Persecution against Christianity   1706
313      Emperor Licinius decisively defeats the larger forces of Maximinus II in the Battle of Tzirallum—unifies the Eastern Roman Empire   1704
1598      Juan de Oñate founds Santa Fe—becomes capital in 1610—oldest state capital in U.S.   419
1777      German mathematician Johann Karl Frederich Gauss born   240
1789      George Washington's first inaugural—first U.S. president takes office   228
1792      John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich dies, age 73—noted for his food item consisting of meat between slices of bread   225
1803      American representatives sign the Louisiana Purchase Treaty   214
1812      Louisiana becomes the 18th state   205
1883      French Impressionism painter Édouard Manet dies, age 51   134
1891      American paleontologist Joseph Leidy dies in Philadelphia, age 67   126
1897      J.J. Thomson announces the existence of electrons   120
1900      Casey Jones killed trying to prevent his train from colliding with a stalled train, age 37   117
1900      Hawaii becomes a territory of the United States   117
1916      American mathematician and electrical engineer "the father of information theory," Claude Elwood Shannon born in Petoskey, Michigan   101
1926      Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman, first female pilot of African American descent, dies after falling from an airplane, age 34   91
1927      Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford become the first to leave their footprints in concrete at Grauman's Chinese Theater   90
1936      English classical scholar and poet Alfred Edward (A.E.) Housman dies in Cambridge, age 77   81
1938      FA Cup Final between Preston North End and Huddersfield Town at Wembley Stadium is first Cup Final televised—Preston North End wins   79
1939      Franklin Roosevelt becomes first president to appear on television—NBC   78
1939      Lou Gehrig plays his last major league game ending a streak of 2130 consecutive games—record to stand for 43 years   78
1943      Operation Mincemeat: submarine HMS Seraph surfaces off the coast of Spain to deposit a dead man planted with false invasion plans   74
1945      German dictator and his wife of two days commit suicide in Berlin, age 56 and 33   72
1948      Organization of American States is chartered   69
1961      first Soviet nuclear ballistic missile submarine K-19 is commissioned   56
1975      Saigon is captured by the People's Army of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front—end of Vietnam War   42
1993      CERN announces that the World Wide Web is be free to anyone—no licensing fees due   24
1998      Syrian poet Nizar Tawfiq Qabbani dies in London, age 75   19
2002      Al Leiter becomes the first MLB pitcher to beat all 30 major league teams   15
2009      Venetia Katharine Douglas Phair (née Burney), 11-year old who suggested Pluto for the name of object discovered in 1930, dies, age 90   8
2011      Argentine writer, painter, and physicist Ernesto Sabato dies, age 99   6
2013      Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands, age 75 abdicates after a reign of 33 years in favor of her son Willem-Alexander   4
2015      MESSENGER, first Mercury orbital mission ends when the craft impacts the surface after exhausting all propellant   2
2016      Franky Zapata, inventor of the jet-powered Flyboard Air, sets the world record for a flight by a hoverboard 2,252 m (7,388 ft)   1
2016      Kenya burns 106 tons of illegal elephant ivory and other wildlife goods worth $172 million—largest such destruction   1

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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