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On This Day In History - April 2

By CM Chaney · April 2, 2024

On This Day In History - April 2

"On This Day in History" is a captivating journey through time, revisiting the most significant events that have occurred on this very date throughout the years.

From monumental political decisions and groundbreaking scientific discoveries to unforgettable moments in sports and cultural milestones, each article in this series will transport you back to a specific day, offering a glimpse into the past and revealing how these events have shaped our world.

Join us as we uncover the fascinating stories that have left an indelible mark on history.  Wikimedia

1513: Ponce de León Discovers Florida

In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León landed on the east coast of Florida, becoming the first European to reach the peninsula.  Wikimedia/

1681: King Charles II Proclaims Pennsylvania Charter

In 1681, King Charles II of England officially proclaimed the charter he had granted to William Penn in March, establishing the Quaker colony of Pennsylvania.  Wikimedia/John Michael Wright

1865: Confederate Troops Abandon Richmond

On April 2, 1865, as Union forces advanced, Confederate troops evacuated Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War.  Wikimedia/Internet Archive Book Images

1891: Max Ernst, Pioneering Surrealist Artist, Born

Max Ernst, a German sculptor and painter known for his pivotal role in the Surrealist movement and advocacy of irrationality in art, was born.  Wikimedia

1914: Alec Guinness, Versatile British Actor, Born

Alec Guinness, a British actor renowned for his diverse and exceptional performances on stage and screen, was born on April 2, 1914.  Wikimedia/Allan warren

1917: Wilson Seeks Declaration of War Against Germany

On April 2, 1917, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany, marking America's entry into World War I.  Wikimedia

1968: Kubrick's Groundbreaking "2001: A Space Odyssey" Premieres

On April 2, 1968, Stanley Kubrick's "2001: A Space Odyssey" premiered in Washington, D.C., becoming a sci-fi classic and setting new standards for the genre.  Wikimedia/Matthew J. Cotter

1978: "Dallas" Debuts, Revolutionizing Prime-Time Dramas

On April 2, 1978, the soap opera "Dallas" premiered as a five-part miniseries on American television, gaining immense popularity and revolutionizing prime-time dramas.  Wikimedia/Vin9

1982: Argentine Forces Invade Falkland Islands

On April 2, 1982, Argentine troops seized the Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas), leading to the outbreak of the Falkland Islands War with Britain.  Wikimedia/

1992: John Gotti Convicted, Sentenced to Life

On April 2, 1992, American mob boss John Gotti was found guilty on 13 charges, including murder, racketeering, and obstruction of justice, receiving a life sentence.  Wikimedia/FBI New York

2005: Pope John Paul II, First Non-Italian Pope in 455 Years, Dies

On April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II, the Bishop of Rome and head of the Roman Catholic Church since 1978, died in Vatican City.  Wikimedia/Gregorini Demetrio

2015: Manoel de Oliveira, Legendary Portuguese Filmmaker, Dies at 106

Manoel de Oliveira, a Portuguese filmmaker renowned for his contemplative and self-reflexive films often inspired by literature and theater, passed away at the age of 106.  Wikimedia/Georges Biard