World Facts

What Happened On April 1st In...?

China saw the rise of its first female ruler, Hitler was sent to prison, Iran became an Islamic Republic, and Gmail was introduced to the masses.

April 1st, sometimes referred to as April Fools’ Day, is for many one of the most lighthearted days of the year. It is the 91st day of most years and the 92nd day of a leap year. The day is often marked by playing practical jokes with the victims being referred to as "April Fools". Some big companies and media houses have also taken part in spreading hoaxes by publishing fake stories which are later explained. Although the Fools Day has been popular since the beginning of the 19th Century, it is not a public day in any country. However, real events that have shaped the history have also taken place on this day. Some of these major events are looked at below.

First Female ruler in Chinese History Comes to Power

After the sudden death of Emperor Xiaoming on March 31, 528, his daughter, who was 50 days old, was declared the new emperor of the Northern Wei Empire in China on the following day of April 1, 528. When Yuan the infant emperor was born, her grandmother, Empress Dowager Hu, falsely declared that she was a boy. The infant was dethroned a few hours later after she was declared a girl because girls or women could not be emperors. The status of Yuan as emperor remains controversial as many do not recognize her. She is not listed in the official historical records and usually referred to as impostor to the throne as a boy.

Robert Winchelsey Leaves England to be Consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury

After the death of John Peckman, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in December of 1292, Robert Winchelsey was elected as his replacement on February 13, 1293, without the influence of the Pope or the king. Winchelsey left England for Rome on April, 1 1293, for his consecration by the pope. However, his consecration did not take place because of the Papal vacancy. He was eventually confirmed on September 12, 1294, by Pope Celestine V. He became a forceful opponent of the King resisting attempts to tax the clergy. He died in May of 1313.

Samuel Morey Patents an Internal Combustion Engine

Samuel Morey was an American inventor who worked on internal combustion engines, and was also a pioneer of steamship technologies. He discovered the vapor of turpentine that was explosive when mixed with air. Having recognized the potential of the vapor he made an internal combustion engine and wrote its description in 1924. He published and patented his ideas on April 1, 1826. Morey demonstrated his engine throughout the US, especially in the New York and Philadelphia. However, he could not find a buyer for his engine because his methods were more complicated and less efficient because of the more engine strokes that were used to draw fuel. He retired back to Oxford where he called it quit.

Notable Births and Deaths on April 1st

Some of the notable births occurring on the date of April 1st included Emperor Go-Saga of Japan in 1220, the first German Chancellor Otto Von Bismarck in 1815, the eighth governor of Texas Edward Clerk in 1815, Nobel Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai in 1940, and Dutch footballer Clarence Seedorf in 1976, among other prominent births. Some reported deaths on this day have included American politician David Wilber in 1890, Nigel Pearson in 1992, and Aaron Bank in 2004.

What Happened On April 1st In...?

Notable Events Occurring On April 1st Through HistoryYear
The daughter of Xiaoming of the Northern Wei Dynasty becomes the first female ruler in Chinese history.
528 AD
Robert Winchelsey leaves England to be consecrated as the Archbishop of Canterbury by Pope Celestine V in Rome. The ceremony is postponed for more than one year thereafter.
American inventor Samuel Morey patents an early version of the internal combustion engine.1826
Singapore becomes a Crown Colony of Great Britain.1867
Adolf Hitler is sent to prison for his role in the Munich Beer Hall Putsch the prior November.1924
Generalissimo Francisco Franco and his Nationalists claim final victory over Republican forces in the Spanish Civil War.
Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne form Apple, which would become a world leading tech giant.1976
Following a referendum to settle the issue, Iran officially becomes an Islamic republic.1979
The Netherlands becomes the first country to legalize same-sex marriage at the national level.2001
Google launches its free e-mail service, Gmail.2004

More in World Facts