Category: on this day in history

April 4th 1841: President William Henry Harrison diesOn this…

April 4th 1841: President William Henry Harrison dies

On
this day in 1841, the 9th President of the United States, William Henry
Harrison, died in office. Harrison’s time in office was the shortest of
any US President, serving only 32 days. He died of complications from
pneumonia which he supposedly caught at his inauguration, held in the
middle of winter, as he did not want to look old and so refused to wear a
coat. Harrison was the oldest President to take office, aged 68, until
Ronald Reagan in 1981. He was succeeded upon his death by his
Vice-President John Tyler.

April 4th 1841: President William Henry Harris…

April 4th 1841: President William Henry Harrison dies

On
this day in 1841, the 9th President of the United States, William Henry
Harrison, died in office. Harrison’s time in office was the shortest of
any US President, serving only 32 days. He died of complications from
pneumonia which he supposedly caught at his inauguration, held in the
middle of winter, as he did not want to look old and so refused to wear a
coat. Harrison was the oldest President to take office, aged 68, until
Ronald Reagan in 1981. He was succeeded upon his death by his
Vice-President John Tyler.

April 3rd 1968: King’s last speechOn this day in 1968, the…

April 3rd 1968: King’s last speech

On this day
in 1968, the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. made
his last speech, the day before his assassination. King was one of many leaders of the Civil Rights Movement for racial equality in America, but became the
face of the movement for his non-violent tactics and powerful oratory.
In 1963,
during the March on Washington, King delivered the crowning speech of
the struggle – the ‘I have a dream’ speech. Beyond his role in combating
racial inequality, King also focused on tackling poverty and advocating
peace, especially during the Vietnam War. In April 1968, King visited
Memphis in solidarity with striking sanitation workers. It was at the
Mason Temple in this city that he delivered his ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’
speech. The
very next day,
King was assassinated at his Memphis hotel by James Earl Ray. His final
speech was remarkably prophetic, as he appeared to acknowledge he would
not live long. King, a Baptist minister, invoked the Biblical story of Moses, who led the
Israelites out of slavery in Egypt but died before he could enter the
Promised Land.

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity
has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do
God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve
looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with
you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to
the promised land.”

April 3rd 1968: King’s last speechOn this day …

April 3rd 1968: King’s last speech

On this day
in 1968, the American civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. made
his last speech, the day before his assassination. King was one of many leaders of the Civil Rights Movement for racial equality in America, but became the
face of the movement for his non-violent tactics and powerful oratory.
In 1963,
during the March on Washington, King delivered the crowning speech of
the struggle – the ‘I have a dream’ speech. Beyond his role in combating
racial inequality, King also focused on tackling poverty and advocating
peace, especially during the Vietnam War. In April 1968, King visited
Memphis in solidarity with striking sanitation workers. It was at the
Mason Temple in this city that he delivered his ‘I’ve Been to the Mountaintop’
speech. The
very next day,
King was assassinated at his Memphis hotel by James Earl Ray. His final
speech was remarkably prophetic, as he appeared to acknowledge he would
not live long. King, a Baptist minister, invoked the Biblical story of Moses, who led the
Israelites out of slavery in Egypt but died before he could enter the
Promised Land.

“Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity
has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do
God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve
looked over. And I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with
you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to
the promised land.”

April 2nd 1982: Argentina invades the Falkland…

April 2nd 1982: Argentina invades the Falkland Islands

On
this day in 1982, Argentine forces landed on the Falkland Islands and
occupied the area, which marked the beginning of the Falklands War. The
war was the product of long tensions over who possessed the islands,
with Argentina claiming ownership and Britain seeing the islands as
British territory. Argentine forces landed on the islands and fought the
British Royal Marines at Government House, leading to British surrender
and thus Argentina seizing control of the Falklands. British Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher responded by sending a naval task force to
attack the Argentinians. The conflict killed 649 Argentinians, 255
Britons and three Falkland Islanders, even though it only lasted 74
days. The war ended with Argentine surrender on 14th June, thus
returning the islands to Britain.

April 2nd 1982: Argentina invades the Falkland IslandsOn this…

April 2nd 1982: Argentina invades the Falkland Islands

On
this day in 1982, Argentine forces landed on the Falkland Islands and
occupied the area, which marked the beginning of the Falklands War. The
war was the product of long tensions over who possessed the islands,
with Argentina claiming ownership and Britain seeing the islands as
British territory. Argentine forces landed on the islands and fought the
British Royal Marines at Government House, leading to British surrender
and thus Argentina seizing control of the Falklands. British Prime
Minister Margaret Thatcher responded by sending a naval task force to
attack the Argentinians. The conflict killed 649 Argentinians, 255
Britons and three Falkland Islanders, even though it only lasted 74
days. The war ended with Argentine surrender on 14th June, thus
returning the islands to Britain.

March 31st 1492: Spanish expulsionOn this day…

March 31st 1492: Spanish expulsion

On
this day in 1492, the joint Catholic monarchs of Spain – Ferdinand and
Isabella – issued the Alhambra Decree. This decree ordered the expulsion
of all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity from the Spanish
kingdoms of Castile and Aragon by July 31st. This measure was pushed for
by the monarchs’ adviser Tomas de Torquemada, who spearheaded the
Spanish Inquisition aimed at rooting out heresy. Ferdinand and Isabella
agreed to the expulsion after successfully completing the reconquista
the unification of Spain under Christian rule – with the conquest of
Granada. The majority of the nearly 200,000 Spanish Jews chose to leave
the country rather than renounce their religion and culture. Many of
these Sephardic Jews moved to Turkey, Africa, and elsewhere in Europe,
though they often encountered violence as they tried to leave the
country. The Jews who remained became conversos, suffering harassment and mistrust. The
policy of religious conformity continued in 1502, when Spanish Muslims
were also ordered to convert to Christianity. The Alhambra Decree was formally revoked by the Second Vatican
Council in 1968, as part of a general attempt by the Spanish government
to make amends for the painful legacy of the expulsion.

March 31st 1492: Spanish expulsionOn this day in 1492, the…

March 31st 1492: Spanish expulsion

On
this day in 1492, the joint Catholic monarchs of Spain – Ferdinand and
Isabella – issued the Alhambra Decree. This decree ordered the expulsion
of all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity from the Spanish
kingdoms of Castile and Aragon by July 31st. This measure was pushed for
by the monarchs’ adviser Tomas de Torquemada, who spearheaded the
Spanish Inquisition aimed at rooting out heresy. Ferdinand and Isabella
agreed to the expulsion after successfully completing the reconquista
the unification of Spain under Christian rule – with the conquest of
Granada. The majority of the nearly 200,000 Spanish Jews chose to leave
the country rather than renounce their religion and culture. Many of
these Sephardic Jews moved to Turkey, Africa, and elsewhere in Europe,
though they often encountered violence as they tried to leave the
country. The Jews who remained became conversos, suffering harassment and mistrust. The
policy of religious conformity continued in 1502, when Spanish Muslims
were also ordered to convert to Christianity. The Alhambra Decree was formally revoked by the Second Vatican
Council in 1968, as part of a general attempt by the Spanish government
to make amends for the painful legacy of the expulsion.

March 30th 1979: Airey Neave killedOn this da…

March 30th 1979: Airey Neave killed

On this
day in 1979, the Shadow Secretary for Northern Ireland Airey Neave was
assassinated by a car bomb aged 63. Neave was elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament for
Abingdon in 1953, and in the mid 1970s helped lead the effort to install
Margaret Thatcher as party
leader. At the time of Neave’s death, the Conservatives were the
opposition party to the Labour government
of James Callaghan but the Conservatives were poised to win the upcoming election, which would
have elevated Neave to the cabinet. Neave was known for his tough,
anti-IRA policies, which invoked the ire of republican paramilitary
groups in Northern Ireland. As the politician was leaving the House of Commons
car park, a bomb attached to his car exploded, and he subsequently died
from his injuries. The noise
from the explosion could be heard in the Commons, which led to a
suspension of proceedings as MPs rushed to the windows to see what had
happened. The Irish National Liberation Army claimed
responsibility for the murder. The incident occurred at the height of the Troubles,
which saw conflict in Northern Ireland over the country’s relationship
to Britain.

March 30th 1979: Airey Neave killedOn this day in 1979, the…

March 30th 1979: Airey Neave killed

On this
day in 1979, the Shadow Secretary for Northern Ireland Airey Neave was
assassinated by a car bomb aged 63. Neave was elected as a Conservative Member of Parliament for
Abingdon in 1953, and in the mid 1970s helped lead the effort to install
Margaret Thatcher as party
leader. At the time of Neave’s death, the Conservatives were the
opposition party to the Labour government
of James Callaghan but the Conservatives were poised to win the upcoming election, which would
have elevated Neave to the cabinet. Neave was known for his tough,
anti-IRA policies, which invoked the ire of republican paramilitary
groups in Northern Ireland. As the politician was leaving the House of Commons
car park, a bomb attached to his car exploded, and he subsequently died
from his injuries. The noise
from the explosion could be heard in the Commons, which led to a
suspension of proceedings as MPs rushed to the windows to see what had
happened. The Irish National Liberation Army claimed
responsibility for the murder. The incident occurred at the height of the Troubles,
which saw conflict in Northern Ireland over the country’s relationship
to Britain.