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Events, deaths, births, of APR 13

[For Apr 13 Julian go to Gregorian date:
1583~1699: Apr 231700s: Apr 241800s: Apr 251900~2099: Apr 26]
• USSR~Japan nonagression pact... • Fort Sumter surrenders... • Guillotinés par la Révolution... • Biafra recognized... • Space craft disaster... • Uboat is sunk... • 4th day of Bataan Death March... • Amritsar Massacre... • Mort de La Fontaine... • Atheism propagandist is born... • Hitler bluffs from bunker... • Stainless steel's inventor dies... • Woolworth's founder is born... • US Navy ship snoops in Japan... • USSR admits to Katyn Massacre... • Grève de la faim en Turquie... • Major North Vietnamese attack... • SCLC's resolution against South Vietnamese junta... • Nacimiento de González Martínez...
On an April 13:
2003 The 2003 Jefferson Muzzles are awarded, for their egregious violations of free speech in 2002, to US Attorney General John Ashcroft (for abusive arrests, imprisonments, and denial of information), the 107th US Congress (for carelessly passing the USA PATRIOT "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism." Act, in particular its Section 215 which does away with the probable cause requirement for searches), Mayor Tom Bates of Berkeley CA (for taking and throwing in the trash, on 04 November 2002, some 1000 copies of newspapers critical of his electoral campaign), the Cedarville AR School Board (for restricting Harry Potter books), National Zoo Director Lucy Spelman (for refusing access to records about the death of Ryma, 17, “to preserve the giraffe's privacy”), the Tennessee Arts Commission (for its no-nudes policy), McMinnville TN City Administrator Herb Llewellyn (for prohibiting letters to the editor by city employees), the Whiting IN High School Administration (for withholding the valedictorian's diploma because, in her speech, she had given her favorite teachers such imaginary awards as "Trapped in the '80s," "Sesame Street Critic," "Shakespearean Occultist of the Year" and "Pain in the Asymptote."), The North Carolina House of Representatives (for passing 64-10 a bill that would make impossible a college assignment such as to discuss the book Approaching the Qur'an: The Early Revelations), and Utica MI High School Principal Richard Machesky (for censoring out of the student newspaper an article about diesel exhaust from school buses).
2002 The New York Times publishes a review of the book Harmful to Minors by Judith Levine, due to be published in May 2002, and the hysterical reaction to it by the many in the US in particular (contrasting with the Netherlands) who confuse the universal and justified abhorrence for pedophilia (especially when committed by priests) with their refusal to face facts and act in consequence. Some of the author's opinions, as distinguished from the facts she presents, do not seem consistent with the moral norms of the Catholic and other religions.
Elian Gonzalez, 13 April 2000

2000 Elian Gonzalez is in Miami at his great-uncle's Lazaro's home, where he has stayed since his Thanksgiving 1999 rescue at sea, where his mother died drowned while bringing him to the US Elian's father, after all these months, has at last come to the US, but refuses to go to see his boy in Miami.
1998 News media report that computer-security engineers found a security flaw in widely used cell phone technology.
1995 Microsoft agrees to invest $90 million in Wang Laboratories and to incorporate Wang's imaging technology into Windows 95. Wang, an early pioneer in word processing, had filed for bankruptcy in September 1992, following the death of founder An Wang, but it had emerged from bankruptcy the following year. Microsoft planned to incorporate Wang's office automation and workflow technology into Microsoft Exchange, a rival to Lotus Notes. Exchange was released later in 1995.
1993 Adobe Systems announces that it will ship a new electronic document system by the end of June:. Acrobat, which will make it easier to distribute identical copies of electronic documents.
1992 WordStar announced that its plan to acquire Delrina Corporation, maker of WinFax software, has collapsed.
1990 Soviets admit to Katyn Massacre       ^top^
      The Soviet government officially accepts blame for the Katyn Massacre of World War II, when nearly 5000 Polish military officers were murdered and buried in mass graves in the Katyn Forest. The admission was part of Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev's promise to be more forthcoming and candid concerning Soviet history. In 1939, Poland had been invaded from the west by Nazi forces and from the east by Soviet troops. Sometime in the spring of 1940, thousands of Polish military officers were rounded up by Soviet secret police forces, taken to the Katyn Forest outside of Smolensk, massacred, and buried in a mass grave. In 1941, Germany attacked the Soviet Union and pushed into the Polish territory once held by the Russians. In 1943, with the war against Russia going badly, the Germans announced that they had unearthed thousands of corpses in the Katyn Forest. Representatives from the Polish government-in-exile (situated in London) visited the site and decided that the Soviets, not the Nazis, were responsible for the killings. These representatives, however, were pressured by US and British officials to keep their report secret for the time being, since they did not want to risk a diplomatic rupture with the Soviets.
      As World War II came to an end, German propaganda lashed out at the Soviets, using the Katyn Massacre as an example of Russian atrocities. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin flatly denied the charges and claimed that the Nazis were responsible for the slaughter. The matter was not revisited for 40 years. By 1990, however, two factors pushed the Soviets to admit their culpability. First was Gorbachev's much publicized policy of "openness" in Soviet politics. This included a more candid appraisal of Soviet history, particularly concerning the Stalin period. Second was the state of Polish-Soviet relations in 1990. The Soviet Union was losing much of its power to hold onto its satellites in Eastern Europe, but the Russians hoped to retain as much influence as possible.
      In Poland, Lech Walesa's Solidarity movement was steadily eroding the power of the communist regime. The Katyn Massacre issue had been a sore spot in relations with Poland for over four decades, and it is possible that Soviet officials believed that a frank admission and apology would help ease the increasing diplomatic tensions. The Soviet government issued the following statement: "The Soviet side expresses deep regret over the tragedy, and assesses it as one of the worst Stalinist outrages." Whether the Soviet admission had any impact is difficult to ascertain. The communist regime in Poland crumbled by the end of 1990, and Lech Walesa was elected president of Poland in December of that year. Gorbachev resigned in December 1991, which brought an effective end to the Soviet Union.
1984 US President Reagan sends emergency military aid to El Salvador without congressional approval.
1972 Major North Vietnamese attack on An Loc       ^top^
      Three North Vietnamese divisions attack An Loc with infantry, tanks, heavy artillery and rockets, taking half the city after a day of close combat. An Loc, the capital of Binh Long Province, is 100 km northwest of Saïgon. This attack was the southernmost thrust of the three-pronged Nguyen Hue Offensive (later more commonly known as the "Easter Offensive"), a massive invasion by North Vietnamese forces designed to strike the knockout blow that would win the war for the communists. The attacking force included 14 infantry divisions and 26 separate regiments, with more than 120'000 soldiers and approximately 1200 tanks and other armored vehicles. The main North Vietnamese objectives, in addition to An Loc in the south, were Quang Tri in the north, and Kontum in the Central Highlands.
      Initially, the South Vietnamese defenders in each case were almost overwhelmed, particularly in the northernmost provinces, where the South Vietnamese abandoned their positions in Quang Tri and fled south in the face of the enemy onslaught. In Binh Long, the North Vietnamese forces crossed into South Vietnam from Cambodia to strike first at Loc Ninh on 05 April, then quickly encircled An Loc, holding it under siege for almost three months while they made repeated attempts to take the city. The defenders suffered heavy casualties, including 2300 dead or missing, but with the aid of US advisors and US airpower, they managed to hold An Loc against vastly superior odds until the siege was lifted on 18 June. Fighting continued all over South Vietnam throughout the summer months, but eventually the South Vietnamese forces prevailed against the invaders, even retaking Quang Tri in September. With the communist invasion blunted, President Nixon declared that the South Vietnamese victory proved the viability of his Vietnamization program, instituted in 1969 to increase the combat capability of the South Vietnamese armed forces.
1970 Disaster strikes Apollo 13       ^top^
     300'000 km from earth on its journey to the moon, when liquid oxygen tank No. 2 explodes, disabling the normal supply of oxygen, electricity, light, and water. A moment later Swigert reports to mission control: "Houston, we've had a problem," and minutes later the lunar landing is aborted. The crippled spacecraft continues to the moon, circles it, and begins a long, cold journey back to earth.
     On 11 April, Apollo 13, the third manned lunar landing mission, had been successfully launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise.
     After the accident, the astronauts and mission control are faced with enormous problems in stabilizing the spacecraft and its oxygen supply, and providing enough energy to the damaged fuel cells to allow successful re-entry into the earth's atmosphere.
      On 17 April, with the world anxiously watching, tragedy is averted as the Apollo 13 astronauts touch down safely in the Pacific Ocean.
1968 First foreign recognition of Biafra (History Channel)       ^top^
      Tanzania became the first of only five foreign nations to recognize the sovereignty of the Republic of Biafra (Côte d'Ivoire, Gabon, Tanzania, and Zambia recognized Biafra as an independent state, and France sent Biafra weapons), a breakaway state of eastern Nigeria, on this day in 1967. (Tanzania's rationale)
      In 1966, six years after Nigeria won its independence, the Muslim Hausas in northern Nigeria began massacring the Christian Igbos in the region, prompting tens of thousands of Igbos to flee to the east, where their people were the dominant ethnic group. The Igbos doubted that Nigeria's oppressive military government would allow them to develop, or even survive, so on 30 April 1967, Lieutenant Colonel Chukwuemeka Ojukwu and other Igbo and non-Igbo representatives of the area established the Republic of Biafra, comprising the East-Central, South-Eastern, and Rivers states of Nigeria.
      After diplomatic efforts by Nigeria failed to reunite the country, war between Nigeria and Biafra broke out in July of 1967. Ojukwu's forces made some initial advances, but Nigeria's superior military gradually reduced the territory under Biafran control. The breakaway state lost its oil fields — its main source of revenue — and without the funds to import food, at least a million of its civilian population died as a result of severe malnutrition.
      With the exception of a few African states, the international community largely ignored the plight of the Biafran people. On 11 January 1970, Nigerian forces captured the provincial capital of Owerri, one of the last Biafran strongholds, and Biafran leader Ojukwu was forced to flee to the Ivory Coast. Four days later, on 15 January 1970, Biafra surrendered to Nigeria.
1966 SCLC's resolution against South Vietnam's junta.       ^top^
      The Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) adopts a resolution urging that the United States "desist from aiding the military junta against the Buddhists, Catholics, and students, whose efforts to democratize their government are more in consonance with our traditions than the policy of the military oligarchy." This resolution, which had little real impact on administration policies, indicated the growing dissatisfaction among many segments of the American population with President Lyndon B. Johnson's handling of the war in Vietnam. Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., had helped establish the SCLC in 1957 to coordinate civil rights protests in the South. King began to speak out against the American involvement in Vietnam in July 1965, and he became increasingly identified with the antiwar movement. He argued that the war diverted money and attention from domestic programs created to aid the black poor. The SCLC resolution was one of the first public pronouncements by King and his followers against US policy in Vietnam, but successive protests by King rapidly alienated President Johnson.
1964 In New Zealand, Colin Bosher shears a record 565 sheep in 1 work day
1961 The UN General Assembly condemns South Africa for apartheid.
1960 France becomes the 4th nuclear nation exploding an A-Bomb, in Sahara.
1959 Vatican edict forbids Roman Catholics to vote for communists
1957 Due to lack of funds, Saturday mail delivery in the US is halted
1945 Hitler bluffs from bunker as Russians advance and Nazi atrocities continue       ^top^
      Adolf Hitler proclaims from his underground bunker that deliverance was at hand from encroaching Russian troops — Berlin would remain German. A "mighty artillery is waiting to greet the enemy," proclaims Der Fuhrer. This as Germans loyal to the Nazi creed continue the mass slaughter of Jews. As Hitler attempted to inflate his troops' morale, German soldiers, Hitler Youth, and local police chased 5000 to 6000 Jewish prisoners into a large barn, setting it on fire, in hopes of concealing the evidence of their monstrous war crimes as the end of the Reich quickly became a reality. As the Jewish victims attempted to burrow their way out of the blazing barn, Germans surrounding the conflagration shot them. "Several thousand people were burned alive," reported one survivor. The tragic irony is that President Roosevelt, had he lived, intended to give an address at the annual Jefferson Day dinner in Washington DC, on that very day, proclaiming his desire for "an end to the beginnings of all wars — yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman, and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments."
1945 Vienna falls to Soviet troops.
1942 German U-boat sunk off North Carolina       ^top^
      During World War II, the first sinking of a German submarine by a US naval vessel in the Battle of the Atlantic occurred off Wimble Shoal, near Hatteras, North Carolina. While escorting Allied vessels along the southern US Atlantic coast, the US destroyer Roper, captained by Lieutenant Commander Hamilton Howe, located and successfully pursued the German submarine U-85. By early the next morning, the enemy submarine had been destroyed. The victory came six weeks after US Navy Ensign William Tepuni, flying a Lockheed-Hudson aircraft off Newfoundland, Canada, became the first American flyer to sink a German submarine. In 1942, German U-boats took a terrible toll on Allied shipping and personnel. Although the British and Americans provided armed escorts for most vessels traveling across the Atlantic and developed improved radar and sonar systems, hundreds of merchant ships and thousands of sailors were lost during U-boat attacks. It was not until 1943, and the introduction of aircraft carriers and thus extended air cover into the escort convoys, that the German navy was forced to abandon its efforts to control the Atlantic Ocean.
1941 Japan and USSR sign nonaggression pact       ^top^
     During World War II, representatives from the Soviet Union and Japan signed a five-year neutrality agreement. Although traditional enemies, the nonaggression pact allowed both nations to free up large numbers of troops occupying disputed territory in Manchuria and Outer Mongolia to be used for more pressing purposes.
      The Soviet-Japanese pact came nearly two years after the Soviet Union signed a similar agreement with Nazi Germany, dividing much of Eastern Europe between the two countries. The Nazi-Soviet nonaggression pact allowed Nazi leader Adolf Hitler to move German forces to the West for his major offensives of 1939 to 1941, and bought Soviet leader Joseph Stalin time to complete his forced industrialization of the USSR and prepare the empire for its inevitable involvement in World War II.
      However, on 22 June 1941, just two months after the Soviet-Japanese nonaggression pact was signed, Hitler launched Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the USSR Stalin was caught by surprise, and the German Wehrmacht penetrated deep into the Soviet Union, killing millions of Russians and reaching the outskirts of Moscow before the Red Army was able to begin a successful counter-offensive.
      Although Japanese offensives into the eastern USSR during this time might have resulted in the defeat of the Soviet Union, Japan itself was forced to concentrate all of its resources in a resistance against the massive US counter-offensive in the Pacific, underway by the fall of 1942.
      At the Yalta conference in early 1945, Joseph Stalin, on the urging of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt, agreed to declare war against Japan within three months of Germany's defeat. On 08 August 1945, true to Stalin's promise, the Soviet Union declared war against Japan, and the next day the Red Army invaded Manchuria. The same day, the United States dropped its second atomic bomb on Japan, devastating Nagasaki as it had Hiroshima with the first atomic bomb three days earlier.
      Faced with the choice of destruction or surrender, Japan chose the latter. On August 15, one week after the Soviet declaration of war, Emperor Hirohito announced the Japanese surrender on national radio, urging the Japanese people to "endure the unendurable."
1941 German troops capture Belgrade.
1939 USS Astoria attempts pre-war reconnaissance       ^top^
      The USS Astoria arrives in Japan under the command of Richard Kelly Turner in an attempt to photograph the Japanese battleships Yamato and Musashi. US Navy Rear Admiral Turner, whose motto was "If you don't have losses, you're not doing enough," saw the cruiser Astoria through many assignments, from assessing Japanese naval strength before US entry in the war, to returning the ashes of a Japanese ambassador to Japan, to the amphibious assault at Guadalcanal. Unfortunately the Astoria was sunk, along with the Quincy and the Vincennes, during Operation Watchtower, the landing of 16'000 soldiers on Guadalcanal, in the Solomon Islands, in August 1942.
1934 4.7 million US families report receiving welfare payments
1895 Start of Sherlock Holmes's Adventure of the Solitary Cyclist.
1883 Alfred Packer convicted of cannibalism
1865 Union forces under General Sherman begin their devastating march through Georgia.
1865 Skirmish at Raleigh, North Carolina
1863 Siege of Suffolk, Virginia by Confederates continues
1862 Siege of Yorktown, Virginia continues
1861 Fort Sumter surrenders       ^top^
      The bloodiest four years in US history began the day before when Confederate shore batteries under General Pierre G. T. Beauregard opened fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina's Charleston Bay. Over the next thirty-four hours, fifty Confederate guns and mortars launched over four thousand rounds at the poorly supplied fort, and on 13 April, US Major Robert Anderson, commander of the Union garrison, surrenders. On 15 April, US President Abraham Lincoln issues a proclamation calling for seventy-five thousand volunteer soldiers to help quell the Southern "insurrection."
      As early as 1858, the ongoing conflict between the North and South over the issue of slavery had led Southern leadership to discuss a common separation from the United States. By 1860, the majority of the slave states were publicly threatening secession if the Republicans, the anti-slavery party, won the presidency. Following Republican Abraham Lincoln's victory over the divided Democratic Party on 07 November 1860, South Carolina immediately initiated secession proceedings. On 20 December, the South Carolina legislature passed the "Ordinance of Secession," which declared that "the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved."
      After the declaration, South Carolina set about seizing forts, arsenals, and other strategic locations within the state. Within six weeks, five more Southern states had followed South Carolina's lead. On 04 February 1861, delegates from South Carolina, Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana convened to establish a unified government, and on 09 February, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was elected the first president of the Confederate States of America.
      When Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated on 04 March 1861, seven states had seceded from the Union, and federal troops held only Fort Sumter in South Carolina, Fort Pickens off the Florida coast, and a handful of minor outposts in the South.
      On 12 April 1861, the US Civil War began when Confederate General P. G. T. Beauregard attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina. Four years later, the Confederacy was defeated at the total cost of 620'000 Union and Confederate dead.
1860 First Pony Express mail arrives       ^top^
in Sacramento, California, carried by Henry Wallace who had started from  St. Joseph, Missouri on 03 April, at the same time that John Roff started in the opposite direction (Roff arrived in St. Joseph on 15 April). During the 2900-km journey, the riders changed horses dozens of times.
      Operating on a semiweekly basis for nearly two years, the route followed a pioneer trail across the present-day states of Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, and Nevada to California, carrying mail as well as some small freight for the young Wells Fargo Company. The Pony Express Company, a private enterprise, charged five dollars for every half-ounce of mail.
      Although short-lived and unprofitable, the Pony Express captivated the American imagination and helped win federal aid for a more economical overland mail service. The Pony Express also contributed to the economy of the towns on its route, and served the mail service needs of the American West in the days before the telegraph and an efficient transcontinental railroad.
      Pony Express mail service was discontinued on 24 October 1861.
1849 Hungarian Republic proclaimed
1829 English Parliament grants freedom of religion to Catholics
1796 first elephant brought to US (from Bengal, India)
1759 French beat European Aliies in Battle of Bergen
1598 The Edict of Nantes was promulgated by France's King Henri IV (of Navarre), granting his Huguenot (Protestant) subjects a large measure of religious freedom. (The Edict of Nantes remained in effect for 87 years, until revoked by Louis XIV on 18 October 1685)
1059 Pope Nicholas II decreed that future popes could be elected by cardinals only.
0837 Best view of Halley's Comet in 2000 years.
hostage QuattrocchiDeaths which occurred on an April 13:
2004 Fabrizio Quattrochi, 35, one of four Italian security guards abducted in Iraq on 12 April 2004, is murdered by the abductors. [he is seen this day on al-Jazeera television, in photo made by the abductors >]
2003 James J. Softy, 44, of Cresson PA, of the effects of partial drowning suffered the previous day during a fishing trip with his twin Raymond C. Softy, on a lake in Canoe Creek State Park in Blair County, when their boat capsizes. It was loaded 131 kb over capacity, and Raymond, who survives, pleads guilty, on Tuesday 02 September 2003, to one summary count of reckless and negligent operation of watercraft and a summary count of violating general boating regulations.
2002 At least 25 Venezuelans in a mass demonstration protesting the previous day's military coup that ousted President Hugo Chávez, shot at by police. The demonstrations and the defection of some military leaders would result the next day in Chavez's reinstatement.
2002 Vlajko Stojiljkovic, 65, at 21:30, former Serbian interior minister indicted for war crimes by the UN tribunal in the Hague, from having shot himself in the temple two days earlier when the Yugoslav Parliament passed a law removing legal obstacles for the arrest and extradition to the UN tribunal of those accused of war crimes.
2002 Three Nepalese by a bomb near a school in the northwestern town of Laltin Bazaar: one postal worker, one town resident and a man who had just dropped off his wife at the school. Four persons are injured.
2002 Ramiro de León Carpio, 60, former president of Guatemala, possibly from a diabetic coma (probable date: his body is found on 16 April, in Miami, where he had gone to meet with lawyers. He had phoned home on 12 April, but not thereafter). A former human rights ombudsman, Mr. de León Carpio was named president in 1993 when Jorge Serrano fled after a failed attempt to dismiss Congress and the Supreme Court. Carpio eventually called general elections, then turned power over to Álvaro Arzu, the elected president, on 14 January 1996.
^ 2001 Erol Evcil et Mehmet Sahin, en grève de la faim.
      Ils étaient emprisonnés à Ankara.pour appartenance à un groupe d'extrême gauche clandestin. La grève avait été lancée en octobre 2000 par quelque 800 prisonniers membres d'organisations d'extrême gauche pour protester contre les nouvelles prisons à cellules, qui remplacent les dortoirs abritant jusqu'à 60 prisonniers, ce qui facilitait les révoltes de prisonniers. Les autorités avaient lancé l'armée à l'assaut de 20 prisons en décembre 2000 pour stopper la grève, faisant 32 morts dont 2 gendarmes. Plus d'un millier de détenus ont alors été transférés dans les nouvelles prisons, mais sans arrêter le mouvement, qui touche aujourd'hui 300 à 400 prisonniers, tandis que plus d'une centaine ont été hospitalisés dans un état critique, selon l'Association turque des Droits de l'Homme (IHD).
1984 Christopher Wilder, suicide to avoid capture, on FBI's "10 most wanted" list for month-long murder spree of 11 young women.
1975 François “Ngarta” Tombalbaye, dictator of Chad, assassinated during a successful military coup headed by General Félix Malloum.
1966 Carlo Dalmazzo Carrà, Italian Futurist painter born on 11 February 1881. MORE ON CARRÀ AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
1942 The Victims of the 4th Day of the Bataan Death March       ^top^
     Three days before, one day after the surrender of the main Philippine island of Luzon to the Japanese, the seventy-five thousand American and Filipino troops captured on the Bataan Peninsula had begun a forced march to a prison camp near Cabanatuan. During this infamous trek, known as the "Bataan Death March," the prisoners are forced to march 140 km in six days with only one meal of rice during the entire journey. By the end of the march, which was punctuated with atrocities by the Japanese guards, over five thousand Americans and many more Filipinos died.
      The day after Japan bombed the US naval base at Pearl Harbor, the Japanese invasion of the Philippines began. Within a month, the Japanese had captured Manila, the capital of the Philippines, and the US and Filipino defenders of Luzon were forced to retreat to the Bataan Peninsula. For the next three months, the combined US-Filipino army, under the command of US General Jonathan Wainwright, held out impressively despite a lack of naval and air support.
      Finally, on 07 April, with his army crippled by starvation and disease, Wainwright began withdrawing as many troops as possible to the island fortress of Corregidor in Manila Bay. However, two days later, seventy-five thousand Allied troops were trapped by the Japanese and forced to surrender.
      The next day, 10 April 1942, the Bataan Death March began, resulting in the deaths of over a third of the prisoners. Of those who survived to reach the Japanese prison camp near Cabanatuan, few lived to celebrate US General Douglas MacArthur's liberation of the Philippines in early 1945.
      In the Philippines, homage is paid to the victims of the Bataan Death March every April on Bataan Day, a national holiday that sees large groups of Filipinos solemnly rewalking parts of the death route. parts of the death route.
1928:: 40 persons from explosion at a dance hall in West Plains MO.
Haynes driving his car1925 Elwood Haynes, 67, in Kokomo, Indiana.       ^top^
      Haynes, the founder of the Haynes Automobile Company, led a remarkable life that began in Portland, Indiana. The son of pioneer farmers Judge Jacob and Hillinda Haynes, Elwood thirsted for education at an early age. He eventually received degrees in engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and from Johns Hopkins. He returned to Portland to become a high school teacher in his subjects.
      His career and life turned around as the result of the discovery of vast natural gas deposits near Portland. Forever curious, Haynes familiarized himself with natural gas containment and piping methods. He became the architect for the Indiana Natural Gas Company's pipe network, which provided most of Chicago with natural gas. Haynes was the first man to suggest that natural gas should be dehydrated before it was piped, a principle still in use today. From his laboratory at the Indiana Natural Gas Company, Haynes began tinkering with internal combustion engines. He completed his first car in 1894, one year after Charles Duryea is credited with having built the first American car.
[photo: Elwood Haynes, in his gasoline automobile in Kokomo, Indiana, 1894. His first trial run was made at about 10 km/h >]
      Such was the dissemination of information at the time that Haynes, even until his death, was credited with building the first American car. After creating his prototype, Haynes started his own car company, which he ran for nearly three decades. He is credited with a number of automotive innovations, including the rotary engine.
      But Haynes' greatest achievements came as a metallurgist. He was the first American to pioneer the oxidization of steel and the use of chromium to retard nature's oxidization process. He eventually received a US patent for "stainless steel," although the invention first surfaced in England under the name "rustless iron." Haynes biographer Ralph Gray described the man succinctly: "Neither exceptionally bright nor a fast learner, Haynes had the capacity to absorb completely that which he had learned... He had an uncanny ability to be at the forefront of the most exciting new industrial and technological breakthroughs in his state during his lifetime." In our age of specialization, it is hard to imagine one man making such an impact in such diverse fields of exploration.
1919:: 379 or more demonstrators in Amritsar       ^top^
     On this day in 1919, a scene of great carnage took place in Amritsar, India's holy city of the Sikh religion. British and Gurkha troops, acting under the direction of British Brigadier General Reginald Dyer, massacred at least 379 unarmed demonstrators meeting at the Jallianwala Bagh, a city park enclosed on all sides. Most of those killed were Indian nationalists meeting to protest the British government's forced conscription of Indian soldiers and the heavy war tax imposed against the Indian people.
      A few days earlier, in reaction to a recent escalation in protests, Amritsar was placed under martial law and handed over to Brigadier General Dyer, who banned all meetings and gatherings in the city. On 13 April, the day of the Sikh Baisakhi festival, tens of thousand of people came to Amritsar from surrounding villages to attend the city's traditional fairs. Thousands of these people, many unaware of Dyer's recent ban on public assemblies, convened at Jallianwala Bagh, where a nationalist demonstration was being held. Dyer's troops surrounded the park and without warning opened fire on the crowd, killing several hundred and wounding thousands. Dyer, who in a subsequent investigation admitted to ordering the attack for its "moral effect" on the people of the region, had his troops continue the murderous barrage until all their artillery was exhausted. British authorities later removed him from his post.
      The massacre stirred nationalist feelings across India, and had a profound effect on one of the movement's leaders, Mohandas Gandhi. During World War I, Gandhi had actively supported the British in the hope of winning partial autonomy for India, but after the Amritsar Massacre he became convinced that India must accept nothing less than full independence. To achieve this end, Gandhi began organizing his first campaigns of mass civil disobedience against Britain's oppressive rule.
     Les Indiens manifestent en masse contre les colonisateurs britanniques. A Amritsar, au Pendjab, la journée se termine sur un massacre. Les habitants de l'Empire des Indes ont loyalement soutenu les Britanniques pendant la première guerre mondiale. Ils attendent l'autonomie qui leur a été promise en 1917 et aspirent à un statut analogue à celui de l'Australie et du Canada. Les Britanniques leur octroient une nouvelle Constitution mais ils conservent l'essentiel du pouvoir exécutif. Le mécontentement monte dans les élites indiennes d'autant que de nouvelles lois permettent d'emprisonner et de juger n'importe qui sous prétexte d'agitation. Les Indiens entament des grèves et boycottent les produits britanniques à l'appel du leader du Congrès National Indien, le Mahatma Gandhi. Les manifestations se multiplient dans tout le pays. C'est ainsi qu'à Amritsar, le général Dyer perd son sang-froid face à 20'000 Indiens pacifiques. Il ordonne à ses troupes de tirer sans sommation. On relève 379 morts parmi les manifestants. De cette tragédie date la rupture entre les élites du pays et les Britanniques. Il va s'ensuivre des crises sans fin jusqu'à l'indépendance. Amritsar est aujourd'hui une ville prospère, à l'ouest de l'Union indienne. C'est la métropole religieuse des Sikhs et ceux-ci viennent s'y recueillir en grand nombre dans le Temple d'Or. La tragédie de 1919 y est commémorée par un monument et son souvenir reste très vif en Inde.
1911 William Castle Keith, Scottish US painter born in 1838 or 1839, specialized in Landscapes. MORE ON KEITH AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
1910 William Quiller Orchardson, Scottish painter born on 27 March 1832. MORE ON ORCHARDSON AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
1908 Martín Rico y Ortega, Spanish artist born on 12 November 1833. — more
1906 Weldon, mathematician.
1904 Vasili Vasilievitch Veretshchagin, Russian artist born on 26 October 1842. — more
1886 Sidney Richard Williams Percy, British artist born in 1821.
^ 1873 Nearly 100 Blacks, and 3 Whites of the mob that commits the “Colfax Massacre”.
      Since the end of the Civil War, the Ku Klux Klan and other White supremacist organizations had been growing in strength in the South. Prior to the war, white Southern Democrats had enjoyed a great deal of governmental power. But when the war ended, Democrats were no longer powerful. Northern Republicans controlled the nation's government. They placed federal troops in Southern cities to keep that control. Southerners deeply resented this imposition. Southern Democrats hated the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments to the US Constitution. The Fourteenth Amendment granted citizenship to blacks and declared that no state was to deprive them of "life, liberty, or property." The Fifteenth Amendment prevented a state from denying the vote to any person because of race. Together, these laws guaranteed Blacks equal citizenship. Southern Democrats, however, feared that Blacks would not only vote Republican, but would be considered equal to their White former masters.
     . The southern states began electing their pre-war leaders and leaders of the Confederacy, includeing the former Vice President of the Confederacy, ex generals and officials, and many confederate senators. . They also set up a system of Black Codes, imposing on Black workers something as similar as possible to slavery. Workers were to be paid with housing, food, and clothing. Labor control laws limited the freedom of movement for the former slaves. The workers could choose who to work for, but they must work for a White, or be fined for vagrancy. The workers could then work off their fine, but their former masters have the first chance to boss them. The workers could be arrested for leaving the plantation, even during the night. The US Congress consequently refused to seat the Southern congressmen.
      The elections of 1872 caused turmoil throughout Louisiana. Henry C. Warmoth had been elected governor in 1868. He was a carpetbagger who changed his allegiance to the conservatives in the state and went against the radicals who had the backing of the President. This resulted in a conflict with United States Marshal Packard. Warmoth had the votes of the conservative majority. Packard appealed to the US District judge, Durell. Durell then prohibited the conservative legislature of Louisiana from meeting, and ordered federal troops to occupy their hall. A radical governor and legislature were then declared elected. Two conflicting electoral results were sent to Washington, and two rival governments were set up in New Orleans. The radical Legislature then impeached Warmoth, and declared that another carpetbagger, Kellogg, was the new governor. The conservative legislature stuck with Warmoth until the end of his term in January 1873, then installed McEnery as governor. The President recognized Kellogg, and ordered federal troops to protect him. The US Congress eventually rejected both governments and called for a new vote. The Whites of most of the state and the city of New Orleans recognized and backed the McEnery government, while the Blacks backed Kellogg. In many of the rural districts of Louisiana, armed conflicts developed and anarchy reigned in Louisiana
      Louisiana Whites formed their own militia, the White League, similar to the Ku Klux Klan, which intimidated and attacked Republicans and Blacks all over the state. Republican office holders of Grants Parish had sought refuge in the court house in Colfax. Blacks from the surrounding area feared an attack, so they entrenched themselves in front of the court house. On April 13, 1873 (Easter Sunday), the White League led an attack by a huge mob. Only three members of the White League died. But some one hundred Black men were killed, nearly half of them murdered in cold blood after they had surrendered.
      All the other Blacks in the area, their White sympathizers, and governor Kellogg were spared only because the President ordered the federal troops to stop the White mob's rampage. The New Orleans Times' headline the next day read, "War at Last!!"
      While the worst violence occurred in Colfax, other incidents were sparked in Coushatta, when the White League murdered six Republicans, and in New Orleans, when thirty were killed and one hundred more wounded. In response to these incidents and others throughout the South, US President Grant [27 Apr 1822 – 23 Jul 1885] ordered federal troops to restore order. But most of the relief was temporary. After Colfax, the federal government convicted only three Whites for the murders. In the end, they were freed when the US Supreme Court declared that they had been convicted unconstitutionally.
1870 Augustin Alexandre Thierrat, French artist born on 10 March 1789.
1858 Carl Georg Adolph Hasenpflug, German artist born on 03 September 1802.
1812 reverend Abraham Pether, British landscape painter born in 1756. — links to images.
1806 Jean-Jacques Bachelier, French painter, writer and administrator, born in 1724.
1800 Ludwig Hess, Swiss artist born on 16 October 1760.
1794 (24 germinal an II) Condamnés à mort par la Révolution:       ^top^
Par le tribunal révolutionnaire de Paris:
BARAS Maris Marc Antoine, âgé de 30 ans, né à Toulouse, avocat et administrateur du district de Toulouse, y domicilié, département de Haute-Garonne, comme conspirateur , et comme complice d'Hébert, Ronsin, Vincent, Monoro, pour dissoudre la convention nationale, et donner un tyran à l'état.
BEYSSER Jean Michel, âgé de 40 ans, né à Libouvilliers, département du Haut-Rhin, domicilié à l'Orient, chirurgien Major, des armée françaises dans l'Inde, capitaine du régiment hollandais, depuis colonel de gendarmerie et général de la Brigade à l'armée de l'Ouest, comme complice d'Hébert, Ronsin, Vincent, Mazuel, Momoro, déjà frappés du glaive de la loi, pour dissoudre la représentation nationale et donner un tyran à l'état.
BUSCHER Jean Baptiste Ernest, commandant de la garde nationale domicilié à Mesnil-St-Denis, canton de Versailles, département de la Seine et Oise, comme conspirateur .
CHAUMETTE P. Gaspard Anaxagoras, âgé de 31 ans, natif de Nevers, département de la Nièvre, domicilié à Paris agent nationale de la commune de Paris, comme complice d'une conspiration contre la liberté et la souveraineté du Peuple, tendante à troubler l'état par une guerre civile, dissoudre la représentation nationale, assassiner les membres des comités et les patriotes, détruire le gouvernement républicain, s'emparer de la souveraineté du peuple, rétablir la monarchie.
DILLON Arture, ex comte, âgé de 43 ans, natif de Braywick en Angleterre, ex maréchal de camp, général de division à l'armée des Ardennes, domicilié à Paris, département de la Seine, comme conspirateur .
DUCHESNE Jean Baptiste Ernet, âgé de 44 ans, né à Amiens, département de la Somme, domicilié à Denis, département de la Seine et Loire, sous-lieutenant de dragons du 6ème régiment avant la révolte, depuis 1791 commandant de la garde nationale au Menil-Denis, comme prévenu de complicité avec les Hébert, Ronsin, Vincent, Mazuel et Momoro.
DUPLESSIS-LARIDON Anne Philippe Louis, veuve de Camille Desmoulins, âgée de 23 ans, née et domicilié à Paris, département de la Seine, condamnée à mort , comme convaincu d'être auteur ou complice d'une conspiration tendante à troubler l'état par une guerre civile, dissoudre la représentation nationale, assassiner ses membres, détruire le gouvernement républicain, s'emparer de la souveraineté du Peuple, et rétablir la monarchie.
DURET Antoine, âgé de 40 ans, né à Roanne-en-Forêz, adjudant général de l'armée des Alpes, domicilié à Montbrison, département de la Loire, comme conspirateur, .
GOBEL Jean Baptiste, âgé de 67 ans, ex évêque de Paris, natif de Hanne, département du Haut-Rhin, ci-devant évêque de Lydda, suffragant et vicaire général de l'évêque de Bâle, député à l'assemblée constituante, domicilié à Paris, département de la Seine, par le tribunal révolutionnaire séant à Paris, comme complice des Hébert, Clootz, et autres, déjà frappés du glaive de la loi.
GOUPILE Marie Marguerite Françoise, veuve d'Hébert, ex procureur de la Commune de Paris et auteur du journal dit " le père Duchesne", âgée de 38 ans, ex religieuse du couvent de la Conception-Honoré, domiciliée à Paris, département de la Seine, condamnée à mort , comme conspiratrice et complice d'Herbert son mari, Clootz et autres, pour détruire le gouvernement républicain.
LACOMBE Jean Jacques, rentier, âgé de 33 ans, natif de Cajac, département du Lot, domicilié à Paris, département de la Seine, comme complice de la conspiration de Chaumette, Gobel, évêque de Paris, et autre, tendant à dissoudre la représentation nationale, assassiner ses membres et les patriotes, détruire le gouvernement républicain.
LAMBERT Jean François, âgé de 25 ans, natif de Boisne, département du Loiret, porte-clefs du Luxembourg, domicilié à Paris, département de la Seine, par le tribunal révolutionnaire séant à Paris, comme complice de la conspiration de Chaumette, Gobel évêque de Paris, Dillon et autres.
LAPALU Jean Marie, âgé de 26 ans, natif de Matour, département de Saône et Loire, juge de paix du canton de Tissy, commissaire du comité de sûreté générale de la convention, juge de la commune révolutionnaire de Feurs, domicilié à Mardon, département du Rhône, comme conspirateur.
LASALLE Guillaume Nicolas, âgé de 24 ans, officier de marine, capitaine d'un bâtiment marchand, natif de Bourgogne sur Mer, domicilié à Paris, département de la Seine, comme complice de la conspiration de Chaumette, Gobel évêque de Paris, tendant à dissoudre la convention assassiner les membres et les patriotes, détruire le gouvernement républicain.
LEBRASSE Jean Maurice François, lieutenant de gendarmerie, près les trib, âgé de 51 ans, né à Rennes, département d'Ille-et-Vilaine, domicilié à Paris, département de la Seine, comme complice de la conspiration de Chaumette, Gobel, évêque de Paris et autres, tendante à dissoudre la représentation nationale, à en assassiner les membres et les patriotes, et détruire le gouvernement républicain.
NOURRY (dit Grammont), père, adjudant général de l’armée révolutionnaire, ci-devant artiste du théâtre de Montansier, âgé de 42 ans, natif de la Rochelle, département de la Charente Inférieure, domicilié à Paris, département de la Seine, comme complice d’une conspiration contre la liberté, la sûreté et la souveraineté du peuple, tendante à dissoudre la représentation nationale, assassiner ses membres et les patriotes, détruire le gouvernement républicain, rétablir la monarchie, et donner un tyran à l’état.
NOURRY Alexandre, (dit Grammont), fils, officier dans la cavalerie révolutionnaire, âgé de 19 ans, natif de Limoges, département de la Haute Vienne, domicilié à Paris, département de la Seine, par le tribunal révolutionnaire de Pris, comme complice d’une conspiration contre la liberté, la sûreté et la souveraineté du peuple, tendante à dissoudre la représentation nationale, assassiner ses membres et les patriotes, détruire le gouvernement républicain, rétablir la monarchie, et donner un tyran à l’état.
PRAGEY Prudent Antoine, commis principal de l’administration de l’habillement des troupes, âgé de 41 ans, natif de Balnod-la-Grange, département de l’Aube, comme complice de la conspiration formée, contre la liberté et la sûreté du peuple français, par Hebert, Ronsin, Vincent, Momoro, et autres.
RAGONDET Etienne, âgé de 46 ans, natif de Paris, département de la Seine, inspecteur dans les charrois de l’armée, aide major et commandant du bataillon de la section de la république, domicilié à Cappy, département de la Somme, comme complice de la conspiration formée par Capet, son épouse et autres, le 20 juin et le 10 août 1792, contre la liberté la sûreté et la souveraineté du peuple français.
RAMEAU Edme, âgé de 41 ans, natif d’Auxerre, département de l’Yonne, domicilié à Paris, département de la Seine, comme complice de la conspiration d’Hébert, Ronsin, et autres, pour dissoudre la représentation nationale, assassiner ses membres et les patriotes, détruire le gouvernement républicain, s’emparer de la souveraineté du peuple, et donné un tyran à l’état.
BROSSARD Louis Guillaume André, homme de loi et secrétaire du comité révolutionnaire de Périgueux, âgé de 32 ans, né à Terrasson, département de la Dordogne, domicilié à Périgueux, même département, comme contre-révolutionnaire , pour avoir tenu des propos tendants à ébranler la fidélité des soldats envers la République.
BRUMEAU Marie Sébastien, (dit Lacroix), âgé de 26 ans, membre du comité révolutionnaire de la section de l'unité, domicilié à Paris, département de la Seine, comme convaincu d'avoir procuré à prix d'argent un faux certificat au duc du Châtelet.
BUCHERE de l'EPINOIS Jean Baptiste Ernest, port-arquebuse de l'Artois, officier aux dragons de la reine, pour avoir tenté, avec le général Dillon (*) d'enlever le Dauphin au Temple (*), exécuté le 24 germinal an II, place de la Révolution, inhumé au cimetière des Errancis
Domiciliés dans le département du Bouches du Rhône, par le tribunal criminel dudit département:
RUELLE Amable, gendarme, domicilié à Salon, comme fédéraliste.
     ... domiciliés à Marseille:
CHEVALIER Antoine, tambour major et marchand magasinier, comme fédéraliste. — FABRY Etienne, instituteur, comme contre révolutionnaire. — MAYSSE Honoré, fabricant de savon, comme contre-révolutionnaire. — PECHE Julien, maçon, comme fédéraliste. — VILARET Antoine, comme fédéraliste.
Par la commission militaire séante à Laval, comme brigands de la Vendée, domiciliés à Courbeville, département de Mayenne:
ALAUX Gery, ex-curé, domicilié à Ste Radegonde de Beaumont, canton de Toulouse, comme réfractaire, à la loi, par le tribunal criminel du département de la haute Garonne.
ANTOINE Nicolas, ex-curé de Dompaire, y demeurant, canton de Mirecourt, département des Vosges, comme réfractaire par le tribunal criminel du dit département.
CLAUDEL Dominique Nicolas, ex vicaire, domicilié au Ménil, département des Vosges, comme émigré, par le tribunal criminel dudit département établi à Mirecourt.
BARBIER Adrien Marie Joseph, âgé de 35 ans, né à Arras, ex notaire à Lens, époux de Prévost Joséphine, à Arras
HENRY Guislain Joseph, âgé de 35 ans, né et demeurant à Arras, ci-devant marchand, à Arras.
NOISRON Marguerite, (dite Boet-la-Montagne), âgée de 44 ans, née à Saint-Sicé, département de la Charente Inférieure, ex noble, domicilié à Bordeaux, département de la Gironde, comme complice d'émigrés et de prêtres fanatiques, par la commission militaire séante à Bordeaux.
DESPART Victor (dit Tourangeau), menuisier, natif de Civray-sur-Cher, domicilié à Bordeaux, département de la Gironde, le 24 germinal an 2an 2, par la commission militaire de Bordeaux, comme fanatique, et pour avoir colporté des écrits contre-révolutionnaires, tels que "les derniers Avis aux Français".
INGRES Jean Bernard, officier de santé, âgé de 23 ans, natif de St Martin-Gimos, département du Gers, domicilié à Lacanau, département de la Gironde, par la commission militaire séante à Bordeaux, comme contre-révolutionnaire, et fanatique.
LABOURDETTE Pierre (dit Bagnolles), prêtre, domicilié à Baigts, département des Basses-Pyrénées, par le tribunal criminel dudit département, comme réfractaire à la loi.
1793 BARDOU Jean, laboureur, domicilié à la Trinité de Machecoul, département de la Loire inférieure, condamné à mort comme brigand de la Vendée, par la commission militaire séante aux Sables.
1793 BOUQUART Jean, maçon, domicilié à Talmont, canton des Sables, département de la Vendée, condamné à mort comme brigand de la Vendée, par la commission militaire séante aux Sables.
1793 LAPREE Jacques, domestique, domicilié à St Gervais, département de la Vendée, condamné à mort, par la commission militaire séante aux Sables, comme brigand de la Vendée.
1695 Jean de La Fontaine, poet whose Fables rank among the greatest masterpieces of French Literature, born on 08 July 1621.    ^top^
      La Fontaine est né à Chateau-Thierry. Son père Charles, alors âgé de 27 ans, était maître des Eaux et Forêts et Capitaine des Chasses. Sa mère, née Françoise Pidoux, était originaire de Coulommiers dans le Poitou. Elle avait 12 ans de plus que son époux et était déjà mère d'une fille d'un premier mariage.
      On ne connaît que peu les premières années de La Fontaine. On sait néanmoins qu'il étudia au collège de Château-Thierry jusqu'en troisième. Il y apprit surtout le latin, mais, soit par négligence, soit par paresse, ne s'intéressa pas au grec. Il le regrettera plus tard quand il aura besoin de certains textes anciens dont il ne pourra lire que les traductions latines. C'est à cette époque qu'il fit la connaissance des frères Maucroix: Louis et François qui restera son plus fidèle ami et son confident.
      En 1641, il entra à l'Oratoire, rue St Honoré, à Paris. Mais la vie monacale ne l'intéressait pas plus que le travail scolaire qu'il avait rejeté. Dans cette école, il appréciait surtout le calme et la tranquillité qui lui permettait de s'adonner à la lecture, son passe-temps préféré. Malheureusement pour ses maîtres, ses lectures n'étaient pas celles prônées par l'Oratoire. Il quitta cet établissement 18 mois plus tard. Il se remit alors aux études de droit et décrocha, en 1649, un diplôme d'avocat au parlement de Paris.
      Entre temps, en 1647, son père le maria à Marie Héricart, alors âgée de 14 ans. Mais ce mariage de complaisance ne fut pas un mariage heureux, c'est le moins que l'on puisse dire. Et malgré la naissance d'une enfant, Charles, en 1653, La Fontaine ne fut jamais ni un bon mari, ni un bon père.
      En 1652, La Fontaine fut reçu en qualité de Maître des Eaux et Forêts. Il essaya du mieux qu'il pût d'exercer cette lourde tâche. On retrouve sa signature jusqu'en 1671 sur certains écrits du canton de Château-Thierry. En 1672, il vendra l'intégralité de cette charge.
      Lorsque le travail lui en laissait le temps (de plus en plus souvent au fil des années !), il partait à Paris rencontrer ses amis. Là, il se mêlait aux sociétés précieuses et surtout libertines de l'époque. Il y rencontrait Maucroix, Furetière, les frères Tallemant, Antoine de la Sablière. Sa vocation poétique s'éveillait de plus en plus. Il passait de longues heures à lire Malherbe, son préféré, mais il admirait aussi les écrits de Benserade et Voiture, Rabelais et Boccace.
      C'était pour lui le moment des petits vers, épîtres, épigrammes, ballades à la façon de Marot. Il traduisit l'Eunuque de Térence (1654), composa une comédie Clymène vers 1659, et un poème: Adonis qu'il offrit à Nicolas Fouquet, alors surintendant des finances.
      Il entra à cette époque au service de Fouquet. Il lui dédia le Songe de Vaux, ainsi qu'une trentaine de poèmes qu'il devait donner, par contrat, au surintendant. Au moment de la chute de Fouquet, La Fontaine resta son pus fidèle défenseur. Il écrivit à cette occasion 'l'ode au roi' et surtout l'admirable Élégie aux nymphes de Vaux. Cette fidélité à Fouquet lui valut rapidement la haine de Colbert, puis celle de Louis XIV lui-même. Peu après, il se lia intimement avec Molière, Boileau et Racine et écrit les amours de Psyché et Cupidon, charmant roman en prose entremêlé de vers(1669). Après Fouquet, il fut le protégé de la Duchesse de Bouillon et la Duchesse d'Orléans. En 1673, il passa chez Madame de la Sablière, et après la mort de celle-ci en 1693, chez Madame Hervart.
      En 1684, il fut élu, non sans mal à l'Académie, au fauteuil de Colbert! Lisez à ce propos la page consacrée à cette élection. Il fut un excellent académicien, régulièrement présent aux séances. Dans la Querelle des Anciens et des Modernes, il se rangea résolument dans le clan des anciens qu'il défendit avec acharnement. A l'Académie, il retrouva Boileau, Perrault, Furetière. La vieillesse et la maladie amenèrent sa conversion (1692). Il fut obligé de renier ses écrits licencieux. Il mourut en 1695. Lire à ce sujet la page consacrée à ses derniers mois.
      Outre les contes, et surtout les fables qui constituent toute sa gloire, La Fontaine s'est essayé dans tous les genres. Il faut citer Philémon et Baucis en 1685, et particulièrement les épîtres dans lesquelles il excelle: épître à Huet, Discours à Madame de la Sablière. Il a laissé une énorme correspondance, notamment des lettres à Madame de La Fontaine (1663) écrites lors de son exil volontaire dans le Limousin, mais aussi une importante série de lettres à son oncle Jannard et à son ami François Maucroix.
      Ses contes sont divisés en cinq livres publiés en 1664, 1665, 1666, 1668, 1671, 1674 et 1682. Ecrits pour la Duchesse de Bouillon, ils empruntent leurs sujets à Boccace, à l'Arioste et aux nouvellistes italiens. Ses fables, au nombre de 243 restent son chef d'oeuvre. Certains considèrent la Fontaine comme un copieur qui n'a rien inventé, mais il est certain que sans sa contribution, les noms d'Esope et de Phèdre, entre autres, n'auraient pas le retentissement qu'ils ont maintenant. La Fontaine s'est certes inspiré de ces fables anciennes, mais il les a considérablement améliorées et écrites dans une langue belle et douce à lire.
      Plus de 12'000 vers, rien que pour les fables! Pas si mal pour un paresseux et un oisif!

Oeuvres complètes
Bonnie and DollyBirths which occurred on an April 13:
1998 Bonnie, born to Dolly Finn Dorset [05 Jul 1996 – 14 Feb 2003], the first cloned ewe, and David Welsh Mountain ram. [photo: Bonnie and Dolly >]
1963 Gary Kimovich Kasparov world chess champion from USSR (1985- )
1922 John Braine, English novelist; one of the "Angry Young Men". He died on 28 October 1987.
1919 Madalyn Murray O'Hair       ^top^
      US atheist, one of the litigants in the 1963 case which led the US Supreme Court to ban school prayer. The decision made her America's most famous atheist and such a controversial figure that in 1964 Life magazine called her "the most hated woman in America." O'Hair founded American Atheists and remained a spokesperson for atheism until 1995, when she, her son Jon Garth Murray, 40, and her granddaughter Robin Murray O'Hair, 30, vanished after leaving a note saying they would be away temporarily. The trio appeared to have taken with them $629'500 in American Atheist funds (and possibly had secreted much more in overseas bank accounts); one private investigator concluded that they had fled to New Zealand. In April of 1999 police searched a Texas ranch for her body, apparently on a tip from a criminal. Nothing turned up, and her disappearance remained a mystery for six years. (O'Hair's other son William J. , the eldest and the one in the Supreme Court case, announced his conversion to Christianity on Mother's Day in 1980 and became a fundamentalist Baptist minister, the father of Robin). In January 2001, their dismembered and burned remains were found in a mass grave west of San Antonio. Police were led to the grave by David Roland Waters, 53, O'Hair's former office manager, who had admitted kidnapping the three, binding and gagging them with duct tape, and killing them to obtain $600'000 in gold coins owned by O'Hair. Waters pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge as part of a plea bargain. Another man convicted in connection with the kidnapping, Gary Paul Karr, was sentenced to a life term.
     A self-described advocate for “family-friendly legislation,” William Murray went to live in Washington DC, and wrote books, such as Let Us Pray: A Plea for Prayer in Our Schools, My Life Without God and The Church Is Not for Perfect People.
1909 Eudora Welty, Southern writer, in Jackson, Mississippi.       ^top^
      Welty, whose father owned an insurance company, led a sheltered life. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1929 and studied advertising at Columbia University School of Business. When she returned to Mississippi in 1931, she worked as a radio writer and newspaper society writer while working on fiction on the side. She also worked for the Works Progress Administration, taking photographs and recording interviews with Jackson residents. She remained an avid photographer throughout her life.
      Welty's first short story, The Death of a Traveling Salesman, was published in 1936. For the next two years, her work appeared regularly in the well-respected Southern Review. Her first book of stories, A Curtain of Green, was published in 1941, followed by The Wide Net in 1943 and The Robber Bridegroom in 1942. She won the prestigious O. Henry Award for best short fiction of the year in 1942 and 1943 and won the Pulitzer Prize for her 1972 novel, The Optimist's Daughter. She also wrote Delta Wedding, and Losing Battles.
1907 Harold Stassen (Gov-R-Minn) perennial US Presidential candidate.
1906 Samuel Beckett French playwright (Waiting for Godot) (Nobel 1969) (author, critic, playwright: Waiting for Godot, The Unnamable, Eleutheria, Malone Dies, Malloy, Endgame). He died on 22 December 1989.
1902 Philippe de Rothschild Paris, manager (Bordeaux Vineyard)
1899 Alfred Butts, architect, game inventor ("Scrabble")
1892 Robert Watson-Watt, Scottish physicist; he had a role in the development of radar. He died on 05 December 1973.
1888 John Hammond (changed later to Hays Jr.), US inventor who developed radio remote control. He died on 12 February 1965.
1885 Gyorgy Lukacs, Hungarian Marxist philosopher, writer and literary critic, who died on 04 June 1971.
1879 Severi, mathematician.
1878 Bror Julius Olsson Nordfeldt, Swedish US artist who died in 1955. — link to images.
1871 Enrique González Martínez, poet.       ^top^
     A Mexican poet, physician and diplomat, he had a major influence on Mexican literature. He died on 19 February 1952. Author of Los Senderos Ocultos (1911)
—     Poeta mejicano, nacido en Guadalajara (1871) y fallecido en la ciudad de México (1952); era médico de oficio, profesión que ejerció en Sinaloa y, más tarde, en Mocorito. El cambio de rumbo en su vida lo supuso la marcha a la Ciudad de México para entregarse al estudio de la literatura. Fue profesor de esta materia en la Escuela Nacional Preparatoria y en la Escuela de Altos Estudios; más tarde, tuvo destinos diplomáticos en Chile, Argentina y España. Considerado el patriarca de la poesía mexicana moderna, fue autor de una extensa obra que cubre desde el parnasianismo de sus inicios (Lirismos, 1907; Silenter, 1909) hasta sus posteriores intereses éticos. Destacan Los senderos ocultos (1911), La palabra del viento (1921), Ausencia y canto (1937) y su Autobiografía (1944-1951). De Silenter procede este característico soneto, de idéntico título, que muestra claras señas de identidad parnasianas y modernistas:

En mármoles pentélicos, en bloques de obsidiana
o en bronces de Corinto esculpe tu presea,
el orto de Afrodita, el triunfo de Frinea
o un lance cinegético de las ninfas de Diana.

No importa que ante el símbolo de tu visión pagana
se abata o regocije la turba que vocea;
dales forma a tus ansias, cristaliza tu idea
y aguarda altivamente una aurora lejana.

Que un sagrado silencio del bullicio te aparte;
enciérrate en los muros del recinto del arte
y tu idea repule titánico o pequeño;

sírvete la belleza de coraza y escudo,
y sordo ante el aplauso y ante la befa mudo,
envuélvete en la nube prestigiosa del sueño.
1870 The Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded in New York City.
1869 Steam power brake patented (George Westinghouse)
1860 James Sydney Ensor, Belgian Expressionist painter who died on 19 November 1949. — MORE ON ENSOR AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
1852 Frank Winfield Woolworth, 5&10 stores king.       ^top^
      A century before retail giants like Wal-Mart and Target, Frank Woolworth pioneered the notion of the discount variety store. Born in Rodman, New York, on this day in 1852, Woolworth had tried for a number of years to establish his own business. But, his various ventures met with failure. However, in the winter of 1879, Woolworth's fortunes changed, as he opened the Great 5 Cents Store in Utica, New York. Rather than specializing in one product or line, Woolworth stuffed his store with kitchen wares, beauty items and an array of other goods, none of which cost more than a nickel. Though the Utica branch of the store was eventually forced to shut its doors, Woolworth's concept soon proved to be a smashing success. Later in 1789, he opened another discount store in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; though it was a tad pricier than its predecessor — Woolworth sold items that cost up to ten cents — Pennsylvanians loved the store. Having finally hit pay dirt, Woolworth set about opening a small army of discount stores across the nation. In 1911, Woolworth solidified his kingdom by merging with four retail rivals. That same year, Woolworth incorporated his empire, which now numbered over 1000 shops, and rechristened it under a more familiar name, Woolworth's. He funded NY's Woolworth Building. Frank Woolworth died in 1919.
1823 William Holbrook Beard, US painter specialized in Animals, who died on 20 February 1900. — links to images.
1823 Schlömilch, mathematician.
1813 Duncan Gregory, mathematician.
1808 Antonio Meucci, in Florence, Italy, first inventor of the telephone (1857). He emigrated first to Cuba and later to the US, where he hosted Garibaldi in exile. Meucci died in 1889.
1772 Eli Terry, US clockmaker and an innovator in mass production, who died on 26 February 1852.
1771 Richard Trevithick inventor (steam locomotive).
1769 Sir Thomas Lawrence, English portrait painter and draftsman who died on 07 January 1830. MORE ON LAWRENCE AT ART “4” APRIL with links to images.
1764 Giacomo Guardi, Italian artist who died on 03 November 1835
1743 Thomas Jefferson Virginia, (D-R) 3rd US president (1801-09), slave owner, drafted the Declaration of Independence, on whose 50th anniversary he died (04 July 1826). In his honor The Thomas Jefferson Center for the Protection of Free Expression, annually on this date since 1992, awards the Jefferson Muzzles to those who in the past year ignored Jefferson's admonition that freedom of speech cannot be limited without being lost.
1732 Frederick Lord North (C) British PM (1770-82)
1728 Frisi, mathematician.
1519 Catherine de Médicis queen consort of Henry II of France and major meddler in politics.
1506 Pierre Lefèvre (or Favre) “Peter Faber”, saint, French Jesuit theologian and co-founder of the Society of Jesus. He died on 01 August 1546.
Holidays US : Huguenot Day (1598) / Alabama, Oklahoma : Thomas Jefferson's Birthday (1743) / Maryland : John Hanson Day / Thailand : Songkran Day-honors monks

Religious Observances Buddhist : New Year; Songkran Day; honors monks (Thailand) / St Hermenegild, martyr / St Martin I, pope, martyr (opt) / Sainte Ida fut l'épouse du comte de Boulogne et la mère de Godefroy de Bouillon et Baudoin Ier, chefs de la première Croisade (1099). Elle fonda elle-même plusieurs monastères. Ses reliques sont conservées à Bayeux, en Normandie.
France 1598, England 1829: Religious Freedom Day
Easter Sunday in 1721, 1727, 1732, 1800, 1873, 1879, 1884, 1941, 1952, 2031, 2036, 2104, 2183, 2188, 2245, 2251, 2256. (more)
Good Friday in 1759, 1770, 1781, 1827, 1838, 1900, 1906, 1979, 1990, 2001, 2063, 2074, 2085, 2096, 2131, 2142, 2153, 2210, 2221, 2283, 2294.
Holy Thursday in 1702, 1713, 1724, 1775, 1786, 1797, 1843, 1854, 1865, 1876, 1911, 1922, 1933, 1995, 2006, 2017, 2028, 2090, 2147, 2158, 2169, 2180, 2226, 2215, 2237, 2248, 2299.
. Thought for the day :“Communism will work when love, not greed, inspires it.” — {but then it will be even less attractive to capitalists}
updated Thursday 15-Apr-2004 14:06 UT
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