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This Day in U.S. History: April 1

Events

1789 – In New York City, the United States House of Representatives holds its first quorum and elects Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first Speaker.

1833 – The Convention of 1833, a political gathering of settlers in Mexican Texas to help draft a series of petitions to the Mexican government, begins in San Felipe de Austin

1865 – American Civil War: Battle of Five Forks. Union Army led by Philip Sheridan decisively defeated Confederate States Army led by George Pickett, leading to Breakthrough at Petersburg and Appomattox Campaign.

1889 – The University of Northern Colorado was established, as the Colorado State Normal School.

1891 – The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago, Illinois.

1893 – The rank of Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy is established.

1924 – Adolf Hitler is sentenced to five years in jail for his participation in the "Beer Hall Putsch". However, he spends only nine months in jail, during which he writes Mein Kampf.

1945 – World War II: Operation Iceberg: United States troops land on Okinawa in the last major campaign of the war.

1946 – Aleutian Islands earthquake: An 8.6 magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands creates a tsunami that strikes the Hawaiian Islands killing 159, mostly in Hilo.

1954 – United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.

1960 – The TIROS-1 satellite transmits the first television picture from space.

1967 – The United States Department of Transportation begins operation.

1970 – President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, requiring the Surgeon General's warnings on tobacco products and banning cigarette advertising on television and radio in the United States, starting on January 1, 1971.

1976 – Apple Inc. is formed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne in Cupertino, California, USA.

1976 – Conrail takes over operations from six bankrupt railroads in the Northeastern U.S..

2001 – An EP-3E United States Navy surveillance aircraft collides with a Chinese People's Liberation Army Shenyang J-8 fighter jet. The Navy crew makes an emergency landing in Hainan, China and is detained.

2004 – Google announces Gmail to the public.

Births

1852 – Edwin Austin Abbey, American painter and illustrator (d. 1911)

1898 – William James Sidis, American mathematician, anthropologist, and historian (d. 1944)

1901 – Whittaker Chambers, American journalist and spy (d. 1961)

1932 – Debbie Reynolds, American actress, singer, and dancer

1939 – Phil Niekro, American baseball player and manager

1950 – Samuel Alito, American lawyer and jurist

Deaths

1917 – Scott Joplin, American pianist and composer (b. 1868)

1950 – Charles R. Drew, American physician and surgeon (b. 1904)

1984 – Marvin Gaye, American singer-songwriter (b. 1939)

2007 – Herb Carneal, American sportscaster (b. 1923)