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This Day in History — April 30


Today is the 120th day of 2021. There are 245 days left in the year.

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHT

2004: Ten countries join the European Union (EU) bloc in a historic enlargement that unites a region separated for decades from the West by barbed wire and Soviet ideology. The EU’s biggest expansion in its 47-year history adds the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia — along with Cyprus and Malta. Together, they boost the EU’s population to 450 million people.

OTHER EVENTS

1789: George Washington is inaugurated as the first president of the United States.

1803: The United States doubles in size with the purchases of the Louisiana Territory and New Orleans from France.

1824: Crete, in rebellion against Turkey along with the rest of Greece, is captured by Egyptian allies of the Turks.

1881: France invades Tunisia from Algeria on a pretext, and later establishes a protectorate.

1900: Hawaii becomes a territory of the United States.

1919: World War I peace conference grants German concession in Shantung, China, to Japan, whereupon China leaves the conference.

1945: Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker with his new wife, Eva Braun.

1948: The Organization of American States holds its first meeting, in Bogota, Colombia.

1953: People’s Progressive Party wins first election in British Guiana.

1970: US President Richard Nixon announces he has ordered American troops into action against Vietnamese Communist sanctuaries inside Cambodia, a move that sparks widespread protests.

1973: US President Richard Nixon announces the resignations of his aides H R Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, along with Attorney General Richard Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean.

1975: Vietnamese Communist troops take over Saigon, ending Vietnam War.

1977: Argentina’s Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo hold first weekly march to demand return of their disappeared children.

1986: Soviet Government says 197 people were hospitalised following Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, that the plant’s reactor has been shut down and radiation levels are dropping.

1991: Cyclone hits Bangladesh, killing at least 125,000 people.

1993: Tennis star Monica Seles, the world’s number one player, is stabbed with a kitchen knife in Hamburg, Germany, by a supporter of her German rival Steffi Graf.

1995: US President Bill Clinton ends US trade and investment with Iran, accusing the Tehran government of supporting terrorism.

1997: An airlift starts to ship Rwandan refugees, trapped in Zaire and hunted by rebels, back to Rwanda.

2005: Insurgents unleash another day of deadly bombings in Iraq’s capital and beyond, staging a series of assaults that kill at least 65 people over two days and appear timed to deflate hopes that the installation of the nation’s first democratically elected government would curb spiking violence.

2006: Nepal’s Parliament calls for a ceasefire with communist rebels and elections for an assembly to rewrite the constitution.

2007: A gasoline tanker crashes and bursts into flames near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in the US state of California, creating such intense heat that a stretch of highway melts and collapses. The driver walks away from the scene with second-degree burns.

2008: DNA tests carried out by a US laboratory prove that remains exhumed in 2007 belong to two children of Czar Nicholas II, Crown Prince Alexei and his sister, Maria, putting to rest questions about what happened to Russia’s last royal family.

2009: Iraq war formally ends for British forces as America’s main battlefield ally hands control of oil-rich Basra area to US commanders and prepares to ship out its remaining 4,000 troops.

2010: Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi insists that his Government will serve out the remaining three years of its term, despite mounting infighting and trouble within his coalition.

2011: Thousands of young people flood an ancient Roman field for an all-night prayer vigil honouring Pope John Paul II on the eve of his beatification, remembering his teachings, travels and his own suffering.

2013: The US Food and Drug Administration lowered to 15 the age at which females could buy the Plan B emergency contraceptive without a prescription, and said it no longer had to be kept behind pharmacy counters.

2017: US President Donald Trump said after North Korea’s latest failed rocket launch that communist leader Kim Jong-un would eventually develop better missiles, and that “we can’t allow it to happen”. In a taped interview broadcast on CBS’s Face the Nation, the president would not discuss the possibility of military action.

 

TODAY’S BIRTHDAYS

Casimir III The Great, Polish king (1310-1370); Jacques-Louis David, French artist (1748-1825); Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician (1799-1855); Kaspar Hauser, German mystery youth (1812-1833); Corinne Calvet, French-born actress (1926-2001); Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden (1946- ); Kirsten Dunst, US actress (1982- )

 

— AP

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