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3 April 1945
War at Sea
German submarine U-288 sunk with all hands off Bear Island
German submarines U-1221 sunk by Allied bombing at Kieler Forde
General MacArthur is appointed commander-in-chief of US Armed Force, Pacific with Admiral Nimitz as command of US naval forces in the Pacific
US 7th Army takes Aschaffenburg
Allied troops occupy Shweggin
President Truman confronts Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov
Less than two weeks after taking over as president after the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman gives a tongue-lashing to Soviet Foreign Minister Vyacheslav Molotov. The incident indicated that Truman was determined to take a “tougher” stance with the Soviets than his predecessor had.
When Roosevelt died of a massive stroke on April 12, 1945, Harry S. Truman took over as president. Truman was overwhelmed by the responsibilities so suddenly thrust upon him and, particularly in terms of foreign policy, the new president was uncertain about his approach. Roosevelt had kept his vice-president in the dark about most diplomatic decisions, not even informing Truman about the secret program to develop an atomic bomb. Truman had to learn quickly, however. The approaching end of World War II meant that momentous decisions about the postwar world needed to be made quickly. The primary issue Truman faced was how to deal with the Soviet Union.
Just weeks before his death, Roosevelt met with Russian leader Joseph Stalin and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Yalta to discuss the postwar situation. Agreements made during the meeting left the Soviets in de facto control of Eastern Europe in exchange for Soviet promises to hold mocratic” elections in Poland. Some officials in the U.S. government were appalled at these decisions, believing that Roosevelt was too “soft” on the Soviets and naive in his belief that Stalin would cooperate with the West after the war. Truman gravitated to this same point of view, partially because of his desire to appear decisive, but also because of his long-standing animosity toward the Soviets.
On April 23, 1945, Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov arrived at the White House for a meeting with the new president. Truman immediately lashed out at Molotov, “in words of one syllable,” as the president later recalled. As Molotov listened incredulously, Truman charged that the Soviets were breaking their agreements and that Stalin needed to keep his word. At the end of Truman’s tirade, Molotov indignantly declared that he had never been talked to in such a manner. Truman, not to be outdone, replied that if Molotov had kept his promises, he would not need to be talked to like that. Molotov stormed out of the meeting. Truman was delighted with his own performance, telling one friend that he gave the Soviet official “the straight one-two to the jaw.” The president was convinced that a tough stance was the only way to deal with the communists, a policy that came to dominate America’s early Cold War policies toward the Soviets.
President Harry Truman signs Marshall Plan
On April 3, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signs the Economic Assistance Act, which authorized the creation of a program that would help the nations of Europe recover and rebuild after the devastation wrought by World War II. Commonly known as the Marshall Plan, it aimed to stabilize Europe economically and politically so that European nations would not be tempted by the appeal of communist parties.
U.S. Secretary of State George C. Marshall made his famous call for American assistance to Europe in a speech at Harvard University on June 5, 1947. He proposed that the European states themselves draw up a program for economic recovery, which the United States would help fund. In mid-June 1947, Britain and France invited European nations to send representatives to Paris in order to draw up a cooperative recovery plan. The Soviet Union declined to attend the meeting the Soviet-influenced nations of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Poland also excluded themselves. The Committee of European Economic Cooperation (CEEC) eventually presented a unified plan before Congress, which authorized the Economic Cooperation Act on April 2, 1948. President Truman signed the act into law the following day.
Under the Marshall Plan, the Economic Cooperation Administration (ECA) distributed $13 billion in aid over four years (1948-51). Most of the funds were given in direct grants, and the rest in loans. Seventeen nations in western and southern Europe received assistance, including the United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, France, Sweden, Iceland, Ireland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Portugal, Switzerland, Turkey and West Germany. The plan aided both agricultural and industrial productivity in Europe, and helped rejuvenate ailing industries like chemicals, engineering and steel. Participating countries saw their gross national products go up by 15 to 25 percent.
American soldier wearing the crown of the Holy Roman Empire in a cave in Siegen, Germany, on April 3, 1945. [623x800]
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3rd April 1945
After Flight Lieutenant Chris House was shot down in RB396, he knew he had to get away from the crash site as quickly as possible. As he was coming in for his forced landing, he had noticed a large build with a Red Cross on the roof. Rightly deciding this was a German field hospital, he made for the fields in the other direction.
As he was escaping, he could see German troops making their way towards RB396. Safely away, Chris needed to make sure he wasn’t found. In a field where he noticed a few people working, Chris burrowed into a haystack and hoped for the best. He was found by Herman ter Duis and taken to their farmhouse. With the aid of a translator, Chris explained his situation and that he had come from an airfield in Germany. Chris remembered they listened to the BBC before turning in for the night.
The next day, April 2nd, a local guide turned up with a spare bicycle and they made their way toward Allied lines, using the ditches and hedges for cover. Eventually, Chris found the advanced units of the Guards Armoured Division and he was safe. From there, he made his way back across the Rhine to B.100 at Goch, Germany. When he arrived back, the rumours that had been whispered were now confirmed, 174 (Mauritius) Squadron was to be disbanded in the following days.
The Squadron was not in the best of mood but the ORB Summary noted that the mood lifted noticeably when an exhausted Chris turned up and told all about his adventure. With the war’s end in sight, 2TAF were consolidating their units. In 121 Wing, 174 Squadron were the third to be disbanded. Between Chris’ return and the formal disbanding of the unit, 174 Squadron flies 11 more sorties, Chris himself flew one more on the 7th, four days after getting back, before being posted to 175 Squadron where he saw out the war.
174 Squadron had been formed at Manston on 3 March 1942 around seventeen Hurricanes and eight pilots from No.607 Squadron, and as a result, was able to begin operations on the same day. They flew on the Dieppe Raid and converted to Typhoons a year later. After being equipped with Rockets in January 1944, 174 would play a key role as part of 121 Wing 2nd Tactical Air Force, including the attack on the Jobourg radar station near Cap de la Hague on the day before the D-Day landings. RB396 would only be a part of the squadron for a little under four months but she lived up to the squadron’s simple but apt moto, “Attack”.
3 April 1945 - History
Fifty nations gathered in San Francisco from April 25th, 1945 to June 26th, 1945 to negotiate the details on the establishment of the United Nations. The basic outlines of the new organization had already been agreed to both Dumbarton Oaks Conference and at Yalta.
The delegates reviewed the agreements reached at Dumbarton Oaks. They agreed to add the concept of regional organizations under the umbrella of United Nations.
The one major disagreement at the conference was the veto power that was given to the big five. Most of the other countries opposed the provision and wanted to at least decrease its scope. However, the major powers refused to cede and the veto remained. President Roosevelt who had been the key mover behind the creation of the United Nations had died before the conference had opened in his memory the attendees traveled to nearby Muir National Forest and placed a plaque in his memory.
On June 25th, 1945 the conference met for the last time to approve the new charter. It was approved unanimously by the delegates.
24–25 April 1945
MEDAL OF HONOR
RAYMOND L. KNIGHT
Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army Air Corps.
Place and date: In Northern Po Valley, Italy, 24-25 April 1945.
Entered service at: Houston, Texas. Born: Texas.
G.O. No.: 81, 24 September 1945.
Citation: First Lieutenant Raymond L. Knight on 24 and 25 April 1945 in the northern Po Valley, Italy, piloted a fighter-bomber aircraft in a series of low-level strafing missions, destroying 14 grounded enemy aircraft and leading attacks which wrecked 10 others during a critical period of the Allied drive in northern Italy. On the morning of 24 April, he volunteered to lead two other aircraft against the strongly defended enemy airdrome at Ghedi. Ordering his fellow pilots to remain aloft, he skimmed the ground through a deadly curtain of antiaircraft fire to reconnoiter the field, locating eight German aircraft hidden beneath heavy camouflage. He rejoined his flight, briefed them by radio, and then led them with consummate skill through the hail of enemy fire in a low-level attack, destroying five aircraft, while his flight accounted for two others. Returning to his base, he volunteered to lead three other aircraft in reconnaissance of Bergamo Airfield, an enemy base near Ghedi and one known to be equally well defended. Again ordering his flight to remain out of range of antiaircraft fire, Lieutenant Knight flew through an exceptionally intense barrage, which heavily damaged his Thunderbolt, to observe the field at minimum altitude. He discovered a squadron of enemy aircraft under heavy camouflage and led his flight to the assault. Returning alone after this strafing, he made 10 deliberate passes against the field despite being hit twice more by antiaircraft fire, destroying six fully loaded enemy twin-engine aircraft and two fighters. His skillfully led attack enabled his flight to destroy four other twin-engine aircraft and a fighter airplane. He then returned to his base in his seriously damaged airplane. Early the next morning, when he again attacked Bergamo, he sighted an enemy plane on the runway. Again he led three other American pilots in a blistering low-level sweep through vicious antiaircraft fire that damaged his airplane so severely that it was virtually nonflyable. Three of the few remaining enemy twin-engine aircraft at that base were destroyed. Realizing the critical need for aircraft in his unit, he declined to parachute to safety over friendly territory and unhesitatingly attempted to return his shattered airplane to his home field. With great skill and strength, he flew homeward until caught by treacherous air conditions in the Apennine Mountains, where he crashed and was killed. The gallant action of Lieutenant Knight eliminated the German aircraft which were poised to wreak havoc on Allied forces pressing to establish the first firm bridgehead across the Po River. His fearless daring and voluntary self-sacrifice averted possible heavy casualties among ground forces and the resultant slowing of the drive which culminated in the collapse of German resistance in Italy.
1st Lieutenant Raymond L. Knight with a battle-damaged Republic P-47D Thunderbolt fighter bomber. (U.S. Air Force)
Raymond Larry Knight was born 15 June 1922 in Houston, Texas. He was the third child of John Franklin Knight, a clerk, and Sarah Francis Kelly Knight. He attended John H. Reagan Senior High School in Houston, graduating in 1940.
Knight married Miss Johnnie Lee Kinchloe, also a 1940 graduate of Reagan High School, 5 June 1942. They had one son, Raymond Jr.
Knight enlisted as an aviation cadet in the United States Army Air Corps, 10 Oct 1942, and trained as a fighter pilot at various airfields in Texas. He graduated from flight school and was commissioned as a second lieutenant, May 1944. After advanced training, Knight was assigned to the 346th Fighter Squadron, 350th Fighter Group, 12th Air Force, at Tarquinia Airfield, Italy, in November 1944. He was promoted to first lieutenant in March 1945.
Lieutenant Knight flew 82 combat missions. He is credited with 14 enemy aircraft destroyed.
The Medal of Honor was presented to Mrs. Knight by Major General James Pratt Hodges at a ceremony at John H. Reagan Senior High School, 23 October 1945.
In addition to the Medal of Honor, Lieutenant Knight was also awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, and the Air Medal with five oak leaf clusters (six awards).
The remains of 1st Lieutenant Raymond Larry Knight, United States Army Air Corps, are interred at the Houston National Cemetery, Houston, Texas.
1st Lieutenant Raymond L. Knight (at right) and crew chief Sergeant Marvin Childers, with Republic P-47D-27-RE Thunderbolt 42-26785, marked 6D5. This is the fighter bomber that he flew on the final mission. It was named “OH JOHNNIE” after his wife. (U.S. Air Force)
The Republic P-47 Thunderbolt was the largest single-engine fighter that had yet been built. The first P-47D variant was very similar to the preceding P-47C. The Thunderbolt which Raymond Knight flew on his final mission was a P-47D-27-RE, serial number 42-26785. He had named it OH JOHNNIE after his wife. The Thunderbolt’s bubble canopy had been introduced with the Block 25 series, and Block 27 added a dorsal fillet to improve longitudinal stability which had been diminished with the new aft fuselage configuration.
The P-47D-27-RE was 36 feet, 1¾ inches (11.017 meters) long with a wingspan of 40 feet, 9-3/8 inches (12.430 meters) The overall height was 14 feet, 7 inches (4.445 meters). The fighter’s empty weight was 10,700 pounds (4,853 kilograms) and maximum gross weight was 17,500 pounds (7,938 kilograms).
The P-47D-27-RE was powered by an air-cooled, supercharged and turbocharged 2,804.4-cubic-inch-displacement (45.956 liter) Pratt & Whitney Double Wasp TSB1-G (R-2800-59) two-row, 18-cylinder radial engine with a compression ratio of 6.65:1. The R-2800-59 had a Normal Power rating of 1,625 horsepower at 2,550 r.p.m. to 25,000 feet (7,620 meters) and a Takeoff/Military Power rating of 2,000 horsepower at 2,700 r.p.m. to an altitude of 25,000 feet (7,620 meters).¹ A large General Electric turbosupercharger was mounted in the rear of the fuselage. Internal ducts carried exhaust gases from the engine to drive the turbocharger. This supercharged air was then carried forward through an intercooler and then on to the carburetor to supply the engine. The engine’s mechanical supercharger further pressurized the air-fuel charge. The engine drove a 13 foot, 0 inch (3.962 meter) diameter four-bladed Curtiss Electric or Hamilton Standard Hydromatic propeller through a 2:1 gear reduction. The R-2800-59 was 6 feet, 3.72 inches (1.923 meters) long, 4 feet, 4.50 inches (1.340 meters) in diameter, and weighed 2,290 pounds (1,039 kilograms).
A flight of three Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighters. (U.S. Air Force)
The P-47D had a maximum speed in level flight of 444 miles per hour (715 kilometers per hour) at 23,200 feet (7,071 meters) with 70 inches Hg manifold pressure (2.37 Bar), using water injection. The service ceiling was 40,000 feet (12,192 meters). It had a maximum range of 950 miles (1,529 kilometers) with internal fuel, and 1,800 miles (2,897 kilometers) with external tanks.
The Thunderbolt was armed with eight Browning AN-M2 .50-caliber machine guns, four in each wing, with 3,400 rounds of ammunition. It could also carry external fuel tanks, rockets and bombs. The structure of the P-47 could be described as “robust” and it was heavily armored. The amount of damage that the airplane could absorb and still return was remarkable.
A total of 15,683 Thunderbolts were built more than any other Allied fighter type. In aerial combat, it had a kill-to-loss ratio of 4.6:1. The P-47, though, really made its name as a ground attack fighter, destroying aircraft, locomotives, rail cars, and tanks by the many thousands. It was one of the most successful aircraft of World War II.
3 April 1945 - History
Historical events in the month of April, by day:
April 1, 1778 - Oliver Pollack invents the dollar sign $
April 1, 1/856 - Dexter Mason Ferry and partners found Gardener, Ferry & Church Seed Company, now called Ferry-Morse, the oldest seed company in America.
April 1, 1963 - Daytime soap opera General Hospital first airs on ABC.
April 1, 1976 - Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak found Apple computer from the garage of Job's parents home in Cupertino, CA.
April 1, 2004 - Google introduces Gmail.
April 2, 1513 - Explorer Juan Ponce DeLeon, claims Florida for Spain.
April 2, 1792 - Congress passes the Coinage Act and the U.S. Mint is born.
April 2, 1823 - William Magear "Boss" Tweed, a corrupt NYC politician, U.S. Senator, NY State Senator.
April 2, 1877 - The first Easter Egg Roll is held on the White House Lawn.
April 2, 1978 - Television series "Dallas" premieres.
April 3, 1860 - The Pony Express begins delivering the mail.
April 3, 1882 - American outlaw Jesse James is killed by Robert Ford in his home in St. Joseph.
April 3, 1968 - The movie "Planet of the Apes" premieres at theaters across America.
April 4, 1887 - Susanna Medora Salter is the first woman to be elected mayor in the nation in Argonia, Kansas.
April 4, 1968 - Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated.
April 4, 1949 - The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is signed.
April 4, 1973 - In New York City, the World Trade tower opens. At 110 stories, it is the tallest building in the world at the time.
April 4, 1975 - Microsoft is founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen.
April 5, 456 - Saint Patrick returns to Ireland as a missionary Bishop.
April 5, 1964 - General Douglas MacArthur died in Washington, D.C. at the age of 84.
April 6, 1909 - Explorers Matthew A. Henson and Robert E. Perry are the first to reach the North Pole.
April 6, 1896 - The first modern Olympic games opens in Athens, Greece.
April 6, 1930 - Twinkies hit the market. The first Twinkies were banana-filled.
April 6, 1938 - Teflon is invented by Roy J. Plunkett
April 7, 1948 - The World Health Organization (WHO) is founded.
April 7, 1949 - The musical South Pacific , by Rodgers and Hammerstein, opens on Broadway.
April 7, 1969 - The Internet's symbolic birthday.
April 8, 1820 - The ancient Greek Statue Vincent di Milo is discovered on the Aegean island of Milos.
April 8, 1879 - Milk is sold in glass bottles for the first time.
April 8, 1974 - Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th home run to surpass Babe Ruth's 714 home run record.
April 9, 1865 - Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Courthouse, ending the Civil War.
April 9, 1950 - Bob Hope's first appearance on television.
April 9, 1691 - French explorer LaSalle reaches the Mississippi river.
April 9, 1963 - The U.S. Senate passes a law making Winston Churchill the first honorary U.S. citizen.
April 10, 1849 - Walter Hunt of New York City patents the safety pin. He later sells the patent for $400. See Safety Pin Day.
April 10, 1866 - Do you love animals? The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was established.
April 10, 1912 - The "unsinkable" RMS Titanic departs on it's maiden (and final) voyage from Southampton, England.
April 10, 1916 - The PGA was formed, and the first professional golf tournament was held.
April 10, 1970 - Paul McCartney officially announce that the Beatles have split up.
April 11, 1900 - The U.S. Submarine Force was officially established.
April 11, 1968 - President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968.
April 11, 1976 - Apple's Steve Wozniak creates the Apple 1 computer.
April 11, 2003 - Fossilized dinosaur eggs with embryo is discovered in China.
April 12, 1862 - The Civil War begins when confederate troops opened fire on the Union garrison at Fort Sumter, SC. 40,000 shells were fired before the Union troops surrendered. No one was killed.
April 12, 1900 - By an Act of Congress, Puerto Rico becomes a U.S, territory. (1900)
April 12, 1934 - Mount Washington Observatory records the highest surface wind ever measured, anywhere on earth--- 231 miles per hour! See Big Wind Day
April 12, 1961 - Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first person in space.
April 13, 1861 - After 34 hours of bombardment, Fort Sumter surrenders to the Confederates during the Civil War.
April 13, 1997 - Tiger Woods wins the Masters Golf Tournament, becoming the first African American and youngest person to win this premier golf event.
April 14, 1828 - Noah Webster produced the first American Dictionary.
April 14, 1865 - President Abraham Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. He died the next day.
April 14, 1939 - Author John Steinbeck publishes hid novel "The Grapes of Wrath".
April 15, 1912 - The Titanic hits an iceberg in the Northern Atlantic ocean as sinks.
April 15, 1955 - The first franchised McDonald's restaurant opens in Des Plaines, IL.
April 15, 2002 - The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves the use of Botox.
April 15, 2019 - A major fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, topples spire, destroys roof and more.
April 16, 1900- The U.S Postal Service issues the first books of postage stamps.
April 16, 1945 - The battle of Berlin begins as Russian forces begin to attack the Nazi capital.
April 16, 1962 - Walter Cronkite begins as anchor of CBS Evening News.
April 17, 1397 - Geoffrey Chaucer tells "The Canterbury Tales" for the first time at the court of English King Richard II.
April 17, 1964 - The Ford Mustang is formally introduced to the marketplace. The base price : $2,368.
April 18, 1775 - Paul Revere makes his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Ma., shouting "the Red Coats are coming" as the American Revolutionary War begins.
April 18, 1783 - Fighting ended for the American Revolution, exactly 8 years to the day when it first started.
April 18, 1906 - The Great San Francisco earthquake hits, killing almost 4,000 people and destroying over 75% of the city.
April 18, 1981 - Longest game in professional baseball history: Pawtucket Red Sox tie the Rochester Red Wings 2-2 in 32 innings. The game was finished on June 23, Pawtucket won 3-2 in 33 innings.
April 19, 1775 - The Battle of Lexington and Concord. British troops fire "the shot heard 'round the world" and the Revolutionary War begins.
April 19, 1932 - President Herbert Hoover suggests a five day work week.
April 19, 1993 - After a 51 day siege in Waco, Texas, the Branch Dividian compound goes up in flames, killing the cult members.
April 19, 1995 - Timothy McVeigh bombs the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, and injuring hundreds more.
April 20, 1611 - The first known performance of Shakespeare's tragedy "Macbeth" is performed at Globe Theatre in London, England.
April 20, 1981 - The final episode of television series "Soap" airs.
April 20, 1999 - Two teenage boys go on a shooting rampage in Columbine High school in Littleton, Colorado. One teacher and 12 students are killed.
April 21, 753 B.C. - The city of Rome, Italy was founded.
April 21, 1878- First Lady Lucy Hayes begins the tradition of holding an egg rolling contest on the White House lawn.
April 21, 1898 - The Spanish-American War begins.
April 21, 1918 - German WWI Air Ace Baron Manfred von Richtofen, "The Red Baron", is shot down and killed over Vaux sur Somme, France.
April 21, 1952 - Secretaries Day, now called "Administrative Professionals Day", is first celebrated.
April 21, 1956 - Elvis Presley's first hit record, "Heartbreak Hotel", reaches #1 on the charts.
April 22, 1969 - The first human eye transplant is performed.
April 22, 1970 - The First Earth Day celebration is held, founded by Gaylord Nelson.
April 22, 1976 - Barbara Walters becomes the first female U.S. nightly news anchor (for ABC).
April 23, 1861 - Robert E. Lee is named the Commander of the Virginia Confederate forces.
April 23, 1954 - Hammerin' Hank Aaron hits the first of his 755 home runs.
April 24, 1184 B.C. - Greek force enter Troy by using a Trojan Horse.
April 24, 1888 - Eastman Kodak Company is founded by George Eastman.
April 24, 1908 - Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Murdock are the first to travel across the U.S. in a car. They drove their Packard from LA to NYC in 32 days 5 hours and 25 minutes.
April 25, 1859 - Ground is broken for the Suez canal.
April 25, 1901 - New York becomes the first state to require automobile license plates. The fee: $1.00.
April 25, 1945 - Delegates from 45 countries meet in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.
April 25, 1952 - The American Bowling Congress approves the use of automated pinsetters.
April 26, 1514 - Copernicus makes his first observations of Saturn.
April 26, 1986 - The world's worst nuclear power plant accident occurs in Chernobyl, Russia when reactor #4 explodes.
April 27, 1840 -The cornerstone is laid for the new Palace of Westminster.
April 27, 1937 - Senior citizens take note, the first Social Security checks were distributed.
April 28, 1789 - Mutiny on the HMS Bounty, the most famous naval mutiny in history.
April 28, 1967 - Muhammad Ali refuses to be inducted into the army and is stripped of his world heavyweight title.
April 28, 1989 - Iran opposes the sale of "Satanic Verses" by Salman Rushdie.
April 29, 1852 - The first edition of Peter Roget's Thesaurus is published.
April 29, 1975 - U.S. forces begin withdrawal of its citizens from South Vietnam..
April 29, 1995 - The world record longest sausage is made in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada . It is 28.77 miles long!
April 30, 1789 - George Washington is inaugurated as the first president of the United States.
April 30, 1803 - The Louisiana Purchase is completed in Paris, France. The price tag: $15M, about 4 cents per acre.
April 30, 1936 - Warner Brother's "Bugs Bunny" debuts.
April 30, 1904 - The ice cream cone makes its debut at the St. Louis World's Fair.
April 30, 1945 - Adolph Hitler commits suicide along with his new wife Eva Braun in his bunker in Berlin.
April 30, 1952 - Mr. Potato Head is marketed for the first time.
April 30, 1975 - The Vietnam War ends with the fall of Saigon (later renamed Ho Chi Minh City).
Holiday Insights , where every day is a holiday, a bizarre or wacky day, an observance, or a special event. Join us in the daily calendar fun each and every day of the year.
Did You Know? There are literally thousands of daily holidays, special events and observances, more than one for every day of the year. Many of these holidays are new. More holidays are being created on a regular basis. At Holiday Insights, we take great efforts to thoroughly research and document the details of each one, as completely and accurately as possible.
Evacuation and Liberation of Buchenwald
As Soviet forces entered German-occupied Poland, the Germans evacuated thousands of prisoners from Nazi German concentration camps. After long, brutal marches, more than 10,000 weak and exhausted prisoners from Auschwitz and Gross-Rosen, most of them Jews, arrived in Buchenwald in January 1945. By February, the number of prisoners in Buchenwald reached 112,000.
In early April 1945, as US forces approached the camp, the Germans began to evacuate some 28,000 prisoners from the main camp and an additional several thousand prisoners from the subcamps of Buchenwald. There are no records of the deaths resulting from starvation, exposure, exhaustion, or murder by guards.
The underground resistance organization in Buchenwald, whose members held key administrative posts in the camp, saved many lives. They obstructed Nazi orders and delayed the evacuation.
On April 11, 1945, in expectation of liberation, prisoners stormed the watchtowers. They seized control of the camp. Later that afternoon, US forces entered Buchenwald. Soldiers from the 6th Armored Division, part of the Third Army, found more than 21,000 people in the camp.
Between July 1937 and April 1945, the SS imprisoned some 250,000 persons from all countries of Europe in Buchenwald. Exact mortality figures for the Buchenwald site can only be estimated, as camp authorities never registered a significant number of the prisoners. The SS murdered at least 56,000 male prisoners in the Buchenwald camp system. Some 11,000 of them were Jews.