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Today In History. What Happened This Day In History

A chronological timetable of historical events that occurred on this day in history. Historical facts of the day in the areas of military, politics, science, music, sports, arts, entertainment and more. Discover what happened today in history.

April 2

1792   The United States authorizes the minting of the $10 Eagle, $5 half-Eagle & 2.50 quarter-Eagle gold coins as well as the silver dollar, dollar, quarter, dime & half-dime.
1796   Haitian revolt leader Toussaint L'Ouverture takes command of French forces at Santo Domingo.
1801   The British navy defeats the Danish at the Battle of Copenhagen.
1865   Confederate President Jefferson Davis flees Richmond, Virginia as Grant breaks Lee's line at Petersburg.
1910   Karl Harris perfects the process for the artificial synthesis of rubber.
1914   The U.S. Federal Reserve Board announces plans to divide the country into 12 districts.
1917   President Woodrow Wilson presents a declaration of war against Germany to Congress.
1917   Jeannette Pickering Rankin is sworn in as the first woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
1931   Virne "Jackie" Mitchell becomes the first woman to play for an all-male pro baseball team. In an exhibition game against the New York Yankees, she strikes out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
1932   Charles Lindbergh pays over $50,000 ransom for his kidnapped son.
1944   Soviet forces enter Romania, one of Germany's allied countries.
1958   The National Advisory Council on Aeronautics is renamed NASA.
1963   Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King begins the first non-violent campaign in Birmingham, Alabama.
1982   Argentina invades the British-owned Falkland Islands.

Born on April 2

742   Charlemagne, first Holy Roman Emperor.
1725   Giovanni Casanova, Italian adventurer.
1805   Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author of fairy tales.
1834   Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, sculptor.
1840   Emile Zola, French novelist and activist.
1875   Walter P. Chrysler, founder of Chrysler Automobile Company.
1891   Max Ernst, German painter, sculptor and founder of surrealism.
1905   Kurt Adler, American conductor.
1905   Serge Lifar, dancer and opera director.
1914   Alec Guinness, British actor.
1948   Emmylou Harris, American singer.

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