This is your morning Open Thread. Pour your favorite beverage and review the past and comment on the future.
Find the past “On This Day in History” here.
April 4 is the 94th day of the year (95th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 271 days remaining until the end of the year.
The United States and 11 other nations establish the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a mutual defense pact aimed at containing possible Soviet aggression against Western Europe. NATO stood as the main U.S.-led military alliance against the Soviet Union throughout the duration of the Cold War.
Relations between the United States and the Soviet Union began to deteriorate rapidly in 1948. There were heated disagreements over the postwar status of Germany, with the Americans insisting on German recovery and eventual rearmament and the Soviets steadfastly opposing such actions. In June 1948, the Soviets blocked all ground travel to the American occupation zone in West Berlin, and only a massive U.S. airlift of food and other necessities sustained the population of the zone until the Soviets relented and lifted the blockade in May 1949. In January 1949, President Harry S. Truman warned in his State of the Union Address that the forces of democracy and communism were locked in a dangerous struggle, and he called for a defensive alliance of nations in the North Atlantic-U.S military in Korea.NATO was the result. In April 1949, representatives from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Great Britain, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Portugal joined the United States in signing the NATO agreement. The signatories agreed, “An armed attack against one or more of them… shall be considered an attack against them all.” President Truman welcomed the organization as “a shield against aggression.”
1081 – Alexios I Komnenos is crowned Byzantine emperor at Constantinople, beginning the Komnenian dynasty.
1147 – First historical record of Moscow.
1581 – Francis Drake is knighted for completing a circumnavigation of the world.
1660 – Declaration of Breda by King Charles II of England.
1721 – Sir Robert Walpole enters office as the first Prime Minister of the United Kingdom under King George I.
1812 – U.S. President James Madison enacted a ninety-day embargo on trade with the United Kingdom.
1814 – Napoleon abdicates for the first time.
1818 – The United States Congress adopts the flag of the United States with 13 red and white stripes and one star for each state (then 20).
1841 – William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia becoming the first President of the United States to die in office and the one with the shortest term served.
1850 – The Great Fire of Cottenham, a large part of the Cambridgeshire village (England) is burnt to the ground under suspicious circumstances.
1850 – Los Angeles, California is incorporated as a city.
1859 – Bryant’s Minstrels debut “Dixie” in New York City in the finale of a blackface minstrel show.
1865 – American Civil War: A day after Union forces capture Richmond, Virginia, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln visits the Confederate capital.
1866 – Alexander II of Russia narrowly escapes an assassination attempt in the city of Kiev.
1873 – The Kennel Club is founded, the oldest and first official registry of purebred dogs in the world.
1887 – Argonia, Kansas elects Susanna M. Salter as the first female mayor in the United States.
1905 – In India, the 1905 Kangra earthquake hits the Kangra valley, kills 20,000, and destroys most buildings in Kangra, Mcleodganj and Dharamshala
1913 – The Greek aviator Emmanouil Argyropoulos becomes the first pilot victim of the Hellenic Air Force when his plane crashes.
1930 – The Communist Party of Panama is founded.
1939 – Faisal II becomes King of Iraq.
1944 – World War II: First bombardment of Bucharest by Anglo-American forces kills 3000 civilians.
1945 – World War II: American troops liberate Ohrdruf forced labor camp in Germany.
1945 – World War II: Soviet Army takes control of Hungary.
1949 – Twelve nations sign the North Atlantic Treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
1958 – The CND Peace Symbol displayed in public for the first time in London.
1960 – Senegal independence day.
1964 – The Beatles occupy the top five positions on the Billboard Hot 100 pop chart.
1965 – The first model of the new Saab Viggen fighter aircraft plane is unveiled.
1967 – Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” speech in New York City’s Riverside Church.
1968 – Martin Luther King, Jr. is assassinated by James Earl Ray at a motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
1968 – Apollo program: NASA launches Apollo 6.
1968 – AEK Athens BC becomes the first Greek team to win the European Basketball Cup.
1969 – Dr. Denton Cooley implants the first temporary artificial heart.
1973 – The World Trade Center in New York is officially dedicated.
1975 – Microsoft is founded as a partnership between Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico
1975 – Vietnam War: Operation Baby Lift – A United States Air Force C-5A Galaxy crashes near Saigon, South Vietnam shortly after takeoff, transporting orphans – 172 die.
1976 – Prince Norodom Sihanouk resigns as leader of Cambodia and is placed under house arrest.
1979 – President Zulfikar Ali Bhutto of Pakistan is executed.
1979 – The 2nd Congress of the Communist Youth of Greece starts.
1983 – Space Shuttle Challenger makes its maiden voyage into space (STS-6).
1984 – President Ronald Reagan calls for an international ban on chemical weapons.
1988 – Governor Evan Mecham of Arizona is convicted in his impeachment trial and removed from office.
1991 – Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and six others are killed when a helicopter collides with their plane over an elementary school in Merion, Pennsylvania.
1994 – Marc Andreessen and Jim Clark found Netscape Communications Corporation under the name “Mosaic Communications Corporation”.
1996 – Comet Hyakutake is imaged by the USA Asteroid Orbiter Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous.
2002 – The Angolan government and UNITA rebels sign a peace treaty ending the Angolan Civil War.
2007 – 15 British Royal Navy personnel held in Iran are released by the Iranian President.
2008 – In a raid on the FLDS’s YFZ Ranch in Texas, 401 children and 133 women are taken into state custody.
* Children’s Day (Taiwan and Hong Kong)
* Christian Feast Day:
* International Day for Landmine Awareness and Assistance (International)