Tuesday 12 April 1994
Deaths: Niccolo Amati, violin-maker, 1684; Kaspar Merian, engraver, 1686; Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, bishop, orator and historian, 1704; George Cheyne, physician, 1743; William Kent, landscape gardener and architect, 1748; Pietro Antonio Metastasio, poet and playwright, 1782; Dr Charles Burney, organist and music historian, 1814; Charles-Joseph Messier, astronomer, 1817; Flora Annie Steel (Webster), novelist, 1929; Feodor Ivanovich Chaliapin, bass singer, 1938; Franklin Delano Roosevelt, 32nd US president, 1945; Sir Archibald Hector McIndoe, plastic surgeon, 1960; Antoine Pevsner, sculptor and painter, 1962; Josephine Baker, singer, 1975; Charles McMoran Wilson Moran, first Baron, physician, 1977; Joe Louis (Joseph Louis Barrow), heavyweight boxer, 1981; Desmond Bagley, novelist, 1983; Alan Stewart Paton, politician and author, 1988.
On this day: the armies of the Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople (Istanbul), 1204; the Union Flag (Union Jack) was first adopted in England, 1606; the Tatler was first published, 1709; the Battle of the Saints was fought, when Admiral Rodney defeated the French and Spanish Fleets in the West Indies, 1782; Napoleon Bonaparte defeated the Austrians and Sardinians at the Battle of Montenotte, 1796; the British settlers defeated the Zulus under Dingaan at the Battle of Tugela, 1838; the American Civil War began at the siege of Fort Sumter, South Carolina, 1861; the first London production of The Belle of New York was presented, 1898; President Harding declared that the United States could have no part in the League of Nations, 1921; the first successful East to West transatlantic flights by Captain Hermann Kohl, Baron von Huenefeld and Commandant Fitzmaurice began, 1928; the first manned space flight was made by the cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, 1961; the Columbia Space Shuttle went into space, completing its mission two days later, 1981.
Today is the Feast Day of St Alferius, St Julius I, pope, St Sabas the Goth and Others and St Zeno of Verona.
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