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On this Day in History

April 24 1990 - The Hubble Space Telescope is Launched

Some 44 years after the idea was first proposed by Princeton University astronomer and theoretical physicist Lyman Spitzer, the Hubble Space Telescope (HST) was lifted into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery on April 24, 1990. Coming in at more than… Read More →

April 23 1616 - William Shakespeare Dies in Stratford-upon-Avon

Throughout human history, a small number of creative individuals have left a mark on the world that will last forever -- arguably none more than William Shakespeare. After a prolific career writing plays and poems, the “Bard of Avon” died on April 23,… Read More →

April 22 1529 - The Treaty of Zaragoza Divides the World Between Spain and Portugal for Good


Thirty-five years after the Treaty of Tordesillas created a boundary in the New World for Spanish and Portuguese explorers, the Treaty of Zaragoza completed the worldwide division of Iberian colonial interests on April 22,… Read More →

April 21 1509 - Henry VIII Becomes King of England

Hours after the death of his father, Henry VII, one of the most famous monarchs in history, King Henry VIII of England took the throne on April 21, 1509. Though known for marrying six times in pursuit of a male heir and forcing… Read More →

April 20 1862 - Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard Begin Tests of Pasteurization

Medical science has experienced countless breakthroughs over the centuries, yet the work of Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard may have some of the widest effects beyond the discipline: as the result of experiments began on April 20, 1862, the two men… Read More →

April 19 1824 - English Romantic Poet Lord Byron Dies

Throughout the history of British literature, there are a litany of world-renowned authors of poetry and prose. On April 19, 1824, George Gordon Byron - famously called Lord Byron - joined the ranks of those artists who have tragically died young when he… Read More →

April 18 1942 - The Doolittle Raid is Launched from the USS Hornet

Six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States needed a morale boost. Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle and his crew of pilots from the US Army Air Force provided just that with a strike on the heart of Japan on… Read More →

April 17 1961 - The Bay of Pigs Invasion Begins

Throughout the Cold War, a sharply-divided Europe always seemed the likeliest place for a full-scale conflict. During the late 1950s and early 1960s though, the Americas saw a rapid increase in pro-Communist sentiment -- and most troubling for officials in the United States -- nowhere more than in Cuba, just 90 miles from the American coast. Tension only got worse… Read More →

April 16 73 - The Jewish Revolt Ends When Roman Soldiers Capture the Fortress at Masada

Situated on steep cliffs some 1,300 feet above the Judean Desert about 2.5 miles southwest of the Dead Sea, Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning panoramic views of eastern Israel. Historically, the isolated fortress serves as a… Read More →

April 15 1989 - Protests Begin in Tiananmen Square

With the death of Hu Yaobang on April 15, 1989, the People’s Republic of China was sent into an emotional tailspin. A former General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and popular member of the National People’s Congress, Hu represented the way of reform for many younger Chinese. Just hours after his passing was announced, students gathered… Read More →