Today in History: April 5 | HistoryNet MENU

Today in History: April 5

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 5

1242   The Battle on the Ice takes place between Russian forces, led by Alexander Nevsky, and invading Teutonic Knights. The event is later immortalized by Sergei Eisenstein in the 1938 film Alexander Nevsky. [From MHQ—The Quarterly Journal of Military History]
1614   Pocahontas marries English colonist John Rolfe.
1792   George Washington casts the first presidential veto.
1843   Queen Victoria proclaims Hong Kong a British crown colony.
1861   Gideon Welles, the Secretary of the Navy issues official orders for the USS Powhatan to sail to Fort Sumter.
1865   As the Confederate army approaches Appomattox, it skirmishes with Union forces at Amelia Springs and Paine’s Cross Road.
1908   The Japanese Army reaches Yalu River as Russians retreat.
1919   Eamon de Valera becomes president of Ireland.
1930   Mahatma Gandhi defies British law by making salt in India instead of buying it from the British.
1941   German commandos secure docks along the Danube River in preparation for Germany’s invasion of the Balkans.
1943   The British 8th Army attacks the next blocking position of the retreating Axis forces at Wadi Akarit.
1951   Americans Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are sentenced to death for espionage.
1955   Winston Churchill resigns as British prime minister.
1986   A bomb explodes in a West Berlin disco packed with American soldiers.
Born on April 5
1588   Thomas Hobbes, English philosopher (Leviathan).
1827   Joseph Lister, English physician, founded the idea of using antiseptics during surgery.
1839   Robert Smalls, black congressman from South Carolina, 1875-87.
1856   Booker T. Washington, former slave, educator, founded the Tuskegee Institute.
1858   Washington Atlee Burpee, founder of the world’s largest mail-order seed company.
1900   Spencer Tracy, actor (Adam’s Rib, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner).
1908   Bette Davis, film actress (Jezebel, All About Eve).
1916   Gregory Peck, film actor (To Kill a Mockingbird).
1917   Robert Bloch, novelist (Psycho).
1920   Arthur Hailey, novelist (Hotel, Airport).
1923   Nguyen Van Thieu, president of South Vietnam.
1937   Colin Powell, U.S. Army general, Secretary of State.