Thursday, April 13, 2017

This Day in History--April 5-April 9

By Miralee Ferrell

I was going to do today's date...the date I'm writing this--as the day in history--April 5th. Then I realized this would post on April 13. Rather than try to decide on one date, I thought it would be fun to see what took place over a few day period in the last few hundred years--early-April. I would have taken it through the 13th, but it would have filled twice as much space. I was surprised at some of what I found. Do any of you remember these people?

Winston Churchill
Most of us who are over the age of 45 or 50, at least know about Winston Churchill, even if we weren't alive when he was in power. Hopefully, a few of you younger set studied history and remember him as well. We remember him best for his service to his country and to the world during WWII. What I wasn't aware of, was the he continued to serve as Prime Minister in Great Britain for many more years, announcing his retirement on April 5, 1955, following rumors of failing health. He passed away 10 years later from a severe stroke at his home in London at the age of 90. The country was in mourning for a week.

Bette Davis 
One that really surprised me, as I remember her well in her later years, is that Bette Davis was born on April 5, 1908, as was Gregory Peck in 1916. I hadn't realized Davis was born just after the turn of the century. Davis won an Oscar for her role in Jezebel. The Oscar was later auctioned by Christie's Auction House and sold for a whopping $578,000.00! She also won the Academy Award for best actress twice. She passed away in 1989 at the age of 81.

Here's another one I didn't realize happened so long ago. On 6 Apr, 1896 - Greece Modern Olympics Games were Reborn in Athens 1,500 years after being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I. 

I didn't know there was controversy over this next huge historical fact. As stated on this website: Explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson claim to became the first men to reach the North Pole. On April 6 1909, they established
Peary in Arctic Furs 1909
"Camp Jesup" allegedly within five miles of the pole. There is a large amount of controversy over this claim for a number of reasons including no independent verification and discrepancies in his journal, and even looking at those Societies who accepted or did not accept his claim makes it difficult to know for certain. The National Geographic Society certified his claim The Royal Geographical Society of London accepted Claim. The American Geographical Society did not accept his claim Societies of semi-Arctic Scandinavia did not accept his claim What can be said is they did believe they attained their goal of reaching the North Pole and if they did or did not does not lesson the feat they accomplished. The main reason for the dispute is because of navigation techniques used and not used, and not having independent verification from other qualified navigators in his team. 

On this day in history--April 7th...Many important battles were fought over three consecutive years in America's early history: 

1865 Battle of Farmville, Virginia--also known as The Battle of High Bridge refers to two engagements fought on April 6, 1865 and April 7, 1865, near the end of the Appomattox Campaign of the American Civil War about 4 miles (6.4 km) northeast of Farmville, Virginia. The first battle is often the one identified as the Battle of High Bridge.
1863 Battle of Charleston, South Carolina, failed Federal fleet attack on Fort
Sumter--The First Battle of Charleston Harbor was an engagement near Charleston, South Carolina that took place April 7, 1863, during the American Civil War. The striking force was a fleet of nine ironclad warships of the Union Navy, including seven monitors that were improved versions of the original USS Monitor. A Union Army contingent associated with the attack took no active part in the battle.

1862 Grant defeats Confederates at Battle of Shiloh, Tennessee, Island #10 falls
The Battle of Shiloh, also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, was a major
battle in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, fought April 6–7, 1862, in southwestern Tennessee. A Union force known as the Army of the Tennessee under Major General Ulysses S. Grant had moved via the Tennessee River deep into Tennessee and was encamped principally at Pittsburg Landing, Tennessee on the west bank of that river, where the Confederate Army of Mississippi, under General Albert Sidney Johnston and second-in-command Pierre G. T. Beauregard, launched a surprise attack on Grant's army from its base in Corinth, Mississippi

A few brief but interesting facts for this day in history, April 8...

1. 1789 - The U.S. House of Representatives holds its first meeting

2. 1904 - Long Acre Square in Manhattan, New York, is renamed Times Square

3. 1941 - Designer Vivienne Westwood is born

4. 1946 - The League of Nations assembles in Geneva for the last time

5. 1973 - The artist Pablo Picasso dies of a heart attack at his chateau near Cannes on the French Riviera

6. 1986 - Clint Eastwood is elected mayor of Carmel, CA.   Eastwood felt that

residents were divided between a devotion to keeping the area modest and those who felt new business would be economically beneficial. On January 30, 1986—just hours before the deadline—he decided to run for office. While his celebrity as a performer helped, the town also felt indebted to him for rescuing a historic animal sanctuary, the Mission Ranch, from being bulldozed by condo developers. When city officials couldn’t buy it back, Eastwood spent almost $5 million of his own money to keep it standing. He won 72.5% of the vote. He donated his $200 a month salary to youth groups.

This day in history, April 9th--our final day--three events that are all very different, that happened on this day--If you look at the second one about Mae West, you'll see how far this country/society has fallen in the last 90 years.

Mae West with Cary Grant, 1933

9 Apr, 1865 - Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

9 Apr
, 1927 - U.S.A. Mae West Arrested: Mae West is Arrested during her starring role in the play "Sex" which she wrote, produced, directed and starred in on Broadway. She was prosecuted on morals charges and sentenced to 10 days in jail for public obscenity.

9 Apr, 1940 - Germany invades Norway and Denmark: Nazi Germany invades neutral Norway and Denmark, surprising the Norwegian, Danish and British defenders of the countries and capturing several strategic points along the coast.

Thanks for joining me on this journey down memory lane! Let me know how many of these stories you already knew, or people you recognized or personally remember.

Miralee Ferrell is an award-winning, best-selling author with 25 books in print, comprised mostly of historical romance as well as middle-grade horse novels. Besides mother, grandmother, dog owner, and horse-rider, she's now wearing yet another hat of publisher, having started Mountain Brook Ink over 3 years ago and publishing over 29 novels in a variety of genres by a number of excellent authors. You can find more about Miralee on her website or her publishing company on their website.

Miralee wrote a novella in the Heart of a Cowboy collection, along with three other awesome authors. I hope you'll check it out in either paperback or ebook


  1. Winston Churchill was in our history books along with some of the battles. I was more familiar with the Civil War battles and brave individuals during this era since it's been one of my favorite historical era to read about.

    Thank you for sharing all the history during the first part of April through the years. Easter Blessings!

    1. Thanks, Marilyn. It was fun for me to research and discover things I didn't know too.

  2. I remember listening to Churchill speak on the radio. We children were not allowed to talk when he or President Roosevelt spoke to the nation.

    Just a few days more and you would have included two very significant April events. President Lincoln was shot at Ford Theater on April 14, 1865 and died on Saturday, April 15, not quite one week after Appomattox. Ironically, the 14th was Good Friday and his death came the next day. April is also a historical month for Texas in that we defeated Santa Anna and gained our Independence to become the Republic of Texas.

    April seems to be a month filled with historic events. Thanks for letting us know about more of them.

    1. Martha, My mom has a lot of memories of listening to the radio...especially some of the shows that came prior to TV.

      Wow! You're right. Lots of history in April. Thanks for adding those extras.

  3. What interesting information! I remember when Clint Eastwood was elected mayor. Wow, that is really wild about Mae West. :-)

    1. I agree, Melissa. I didn't know about Mae West, either...and I remember when Eastwood was elected and thinking it would be fun to go to Carmel and maybe get to spot him. Never did,though. :-)