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This Day in U.S. History: April 2


1792 – The Coinage Act is passed establishing the United States Mint.

1863 – Richmond bread riot: Food shortages incite hundreds of angry women to riot in Richmond, Virginia, and demand that the Confederate government release emergency supplies.

1865 – American Civil War: Defeat at the Third Battle of Petersburg forces the Army of Northern Virginia and the Confederate government to abandon Richmond, Virginia.

1900 – The United States Congress passes the Foraker Act, giving Puerto Rico limited self-rule.

1902 – "Electric Theatre", the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opens in Los Angeles.

1917 – World War I: United States President Woodrow Wilson asks the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.

1956 – As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiere on CBS-TV. The two soaps become the first daytime dramas to debut in the 30-minute format.

1972 – Actor Charlie Chaplin returns to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s.

1980 – United States President Jimmy Carter signs the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act in an effort to help the U.S. economy rebound.

1986 – Alabama governor George Wallace, a former segregationist most widely known for the "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door", announces that he will not seek a fifth four-year term and will retire from public life upon the end of his term in January 1987.

1992 – In New York, Mafia boss John Gotti is convicted of murder and racketeering and is later sentenced to life in prison.

2006 – Over 60 tornadoes break out in the United States; Tennessee is hardest hit with 29 people killed.

2014 – A spree shooting occurs at the Fort Hood Army Base near the town of Killeen, Texas, with four people dead, including the gunman, and 16 others sustaining injuries.


1814 – Erastus Brigham Bigelow, American inventor (d. 1879)

1875 – Walter Chrysler, American businessman, founded Chrysler (d. 1940)

1908 – Buddy Ebsen, American actor and dancer (d. 2003)

1920 – Jack Webb, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1982)

1941 – Dr. Demento, American radio host

1965 – Rodney King, American victim of police brutality (d. 2012)

1966 -- Mary Sandbo, South High School Special Education Teacher


1787 – Thomas Gage, English general and politician, Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay (b. 1719)

1865 – A. P. Hill, American general (b. 1825)

1872 – Samuel Morse, American painter and academic, invented the Morse code (b. 1791)

1987 – Buddy Rich, American drummer, songwriter, and bandleader (b. 1917)

2015 – Robert H. Schuller, American pastor and author (b. 1926)