2010: Actor John Forsythe, best known for his TV roles in the 1950s sitcom "Bachelor Father" and the 1980s soap opera "Dynasty," dies of pneumonia at the age of 92 in Santa Ynez, Calif. Forsythe, whose birth name was Jacob Lincoln Freund, was also known for voicing the unseen millionaire, Charles Townsend, on the TV crime drama "Charlie's Angels" from 1976 to 1981.
2003: American troops rescue Army Pfc. Jessica Lynch from a hospital in Nasiriyah, Iraq, where she had been held prisoner since her unit was ambushed nine days earlier. Her rescue received considerable media coverage and was the first successful rescue of an American prisoner of war since Vietnam and the first ever of a woman.
2001: Same-sex marriage becomes legal in the Netherlands, the first country to allow it.
2001: Slobodan Milosevic, the former president of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, surrenders to police special forces to be tried on war crimes charges. His arrest came after nearly two days of negotiations at his residence during which Milosevic, bodyguards and armed supporters held off two previous arrest attempts.
1998: A federal judge dismisses Paula Jones' sexual harassment lawsuit against President Bill Clinton, saying that the claims fell "far short" of being worthy of a trial. Jones soon appealed the dismissal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, but dropped the appeal in November 1998 after reaching an $850,000 settlement with Clinton. A state employee when Clinton was governor of Arkansas, Jones had claimed that Clinton had exposed himself and asked her for oral sex in a hotel room. The Paula Jones case precipitated Clinton's impeachment, with charges of perjury and obstruction of justice being later brought against Clinton based on statements regarding the nature of his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky he made during the depositions for the Jones lawsuit.
1996: Rapper MC Hammer files for bankruptcy in California, reporting that he has assets of only $1 million and debts totaling at least $10 million.
1992: National Hockey League players begin the first strike in the 75-year history of the NHL. The strike would last only 10 days, with the settlement giving players a large increase in their playoff bonuses and increased control over the licensing of their likenesses and creating changes to the free agency system.
1991: Dancer and choreographer Martha Graham, the first dancer ever to perform at the White House, travel abroad as a cultural ambassador, and receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, dies of pneumonia at the age of 96 in New York City. She's seen here with Bertram Ross in 1961.
1989: Dick Clark hosts his last episode of "American Bandstand." He had been the host for 33 years.
1986: Country music singer-songwriter Hillary Scott, best known as the lead singer of the band Lady Antebellum, is born in Nashville, Tenn.
1985: David Lee Roth leaves Van Halen to pursue a solo career.
1985: The April 1 issue of Sports Illustrated contains a story by George Plimpton profiling a 28-year-old "eccentric mystic" who supposedly was quietly training with the New York Mets and who could throw a 168 mph pitch with accuracy. Hayden Sidd Finch was a former English orphan, a one-time Harvard student who learned to throw in Tibet -- and completely the fictitious imagining of Plimpton. The first letter of each wording in the story's sub-headline spelled out "H-a-p-p-y A-p-r-i-l F-o-o-l-s D-a-y — A-h F-i-b." The magazine printed a much smaller article in the following April 8 issue announcing Finch's retirement. It then announced it was a hoax on April 15.
1984: A day before his 45th birthday, soul music legend Marvin Gaye is shot dead by his father after intervening in an argument between his parents over misplaced business documents. Saying that he shot his son because he feared for his life after he struck him during the argument, Marvin Gaye Sr. pleaded no contest to a voluntary manslaughter charge and received a six-year suspended sentence and five years probation.
1980: Brian Johnson is announced as the replacement for the late Bon Scott as the lead singer of hard rock band AC/DC. Scott had died on Feb. 19, 1980, after a night of heavy drinking. Johnson's first album with the band would be "Back In Black," which was made as a tribute to Scott. The album launched the Australian band to new heights of success and became their all time best-seller.
1980: Actress and model Bijou Phillips, best known for movies such as "Black and White," "Almost Famous," "Bully," "The Door in the Floor," "Hostel: Part II" and "Choke," is born in Greenwich, Conn. Phillips is the daughter of late singer John Phillips of The Mamas & the Papas and the half-sister of fellow actress Mackenzie Phillips and Wilson Phillips singer Chynna Phillips.
1978: The sitcom "The Bob Newhart Show" airs its series finale, "Happy Trails To You," after six seasons. The sitcom, in which comedian Bob Newhart portrayed a Chicago psychologist having to deal with his patients and fellow office workers, ranked in the top 20 its first three seasons but had started to slip in the ratings by the end of its fifth season.
1976: Apple Computer is formed by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne. Pictured is the Apple I, the company's first computer, which was designed and hand-built by Wozniak.
1976: Wings release the song "Silly Love Songs" in the United States. The song, which was released in the United Kingdom on April 30, would eventually hit No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 singles chart.
1976: British astronomer Patrick Moore broadcasts his Jovian–Plutonian gravitational effect hoax on BBC Radio 2. Moore told his listeners that as Pluto passed behind Jupiter at 9:47 a.m. that day, it would briefly cause a powerful combination of the two planets' gravitation which would noticeably decrease gravity on Earth. If listeners were to jump into the air at that exact moment, he said, they would find they felt a floating sensation. Soon after 9:47 a.m., the BBC began to receive hundreds of telephone calls from people reporting they had observed the decrease in gravity and the story was quickly revealed as an April Fools' Day prank.
1972: Filmmaking twins Allen (left) and Albert Hughes, best known for directing movies such as "Menace II Society," "Dead Presidents," "From Hell" and "The Book of Eli," are born in Detroit, Mich.
1970: President Richard Nixon signs the Public Health Cigarette Smoking Act into law, requiring the surgeon general's warnings on tobacco products and banning cigarette advertisements on television and radio in the United States, effective Jan. 2, 1971.
1967: The United States Department of Transportation begins operation.
1963: The soap operas "General Hospital" and "Doctors" premiere. "Doctors" would run for 5,280 episodes before ending on Dec. 31, 1982, while "General Hospital" is still going today after more than 12,000 episodes. Here "General Hospital" stars John Beradino and Emily McLaughlin celebrate the show's 10th anniversary in 1973.
1961: Singer Susan Boyle is born in Blackburn, West Lothian, Scotland. Boyle became famous after an April 2009 appearance on the TV show "Britain's Got Talent" and her first album, "I Dreamed a Dream," debuted as the No. 1 best-selling album on charts around the globe in November 2009.
1960: TIROS-1, the world's first weather satellite, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., and provides the first televised picture from space. The satellite was operational for only 78 days before suffering an electrical system failure on June 15, 1960, but proved that satellites could be a useful tools for surveying global weather conditions from space.
1954: President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado. The first class would begin training a year later at a temporary site at Denver's Lowry Air Base while the permanent site was under construction near Colorado Springs.
1950: Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito, who was nominated by President George W. Bush and has served on the court since Jan. 31, 2006, is born in Trenton, N.J.
1948: Reggae musician, singer and actor Jimmy Cliff, best known for songs such as "Wonderful World, Beautiful People," "The Harder They Come," "Sitting in Limbo," "You Can Get It If You Really Want" and "Many Rivers to Cross," is born James Chambers in Somerton District, St. James, Jamaica.
1946: A 8.6-magnitude earthquake near the Aleutian Islands creates a tsunami that strikes the Hawaiian Islands, killing 159 and causing $26 million in damages.
1945: United States troops land on Okinawa in Operation Iceberg, the last campaign of World War II. The 82-day-long battle lasted until mid-June and was the largest amphibious assault in the Pacific War of World War II.
1939: The Spanish Civil War ends after more than two and a half years with Nationalist Gen. Francisco Franco proclaiming victory in a radio speech after the last of the Republican forces surrendered. Franco's rebel forces had captured Madrid on March 28 and controlled all the Spanish territory by March 31. Franco would rule Spain for the next 36 years until his death.
1939: Actress Ali MacGraw, best known for the movies "Goodbye, Columbus," "Love Story" (pictured here with Ryan O'Neal) and "The Getaway," is born Elizabeth Alice MacGraw in Pound Ridge, N.Y. MacGraw, who earned an Academy Award nomination and the second Golden Globe of her career for "Love Story," married Steve McQueen after appearing with him in "The Getaway."
1939: Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Phil Niekro, whose 318 career victories are the most by a knuckleball pitcher, is born in Blaine, Ohio. The five-time All-Star pitched most of his career for the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves, including tossing a no-hitter on Aug. 5, 1973. He also pitched for the Yankees, Indians and Blue Jays in his 24-year career.
1938: Su-Lin, the first panda to live in captivity outside China, dies at Brookfield Zoo in Chicago after a twig became lodged in his throat, leading to a throat infection and pneumonia. The panda, originally thought to be a female, was brought to America as a cub by Manhattan socialite Ruth Harkness, who had captured Su-Lin on an expedition to Tibet in November 1936. The body of Su-Lin is now on display at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago.
1932: Actor Gordon Jump, best known as the clueless radio station manager Arthur "Big Guy" Carlson in the sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati," is born in Dayton, Ohio. He also had recurring roles on the sitcoms "Soap" and "Growing Pains" and played the "Maytag Repairman" in commercials for Maytag brand appliances. He died at age 71 on Sept. 22, 2003, from pulmonary fibrosis, leading to respiratory failure.
1932: Actress and singer Debbie Reynolds, best known for movies such as "Singin' in the Rain,' "Tammy and the Bachelor" and "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," is born in El Paso, Texas. Reynolds, who earned an Oscar nomination for her performance in "The Unsinkable Molly Brown," is also the mother of "Star Wars" actress Carrie Fisher through her first marriage, to pop singer Eddie Fisher.
1929: College Football Hall of Fame coach Glenn Edward "Bo" Schembechler, best known for leading the University of Michigan to 13 Big Ten Conference titles in 21 seasons from 1969 to 1989, is born in Barberton, Ohio. Schembechler compiled a career coaching record of 234–65–8, also coaching Miami of Ohio from 1963 to 1968. He died of heart disease at age 77 on Nov. 17, 2006.
1924: Adolf Hitler is sentenced to five years in jail for his participation in a coup attempt known as the "Beer Hall Putsch." However, he would end up spending only nine months in jail, during which he wrote much of the first volume of "Mein Kampf," an autobiography and an exposition of his political ideology.
1920: Actor Toshiro Mifune, best known for his 16-film collaboration with filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, including such movies as "Rashomon" (pictured), "Seven Samurai" and "Yojimbo," is born in Tsingtao, China. He died of multiple organ failure at age 77 on Dec. 24, 1997.
1917: American musician and composer Scott Joplin, dubbed "The King of Ragtime" for his famous ragtime compositions, dies from advanced syphilis at the age of 49 in New York City. Some of his best known songs include "Maple Leaf Rag" and "The Entertainer," which found new popularity, along with Joplin himself, when featured in the 1973 movie "The Sting."
1891: The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago, Ill. The company originally sold products such as soap and baking powder, but began packaging chewing gum with each can of baking powder in 1892. The gum eventually became more popular than the baking powder itself and Wrigley's reoriented the company to produce the popular chewing gum.
1883: Actor Lon Chaney Sr., known for his starring roles in such silent horror films as "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" and "The Phantom of the Opera," is born Leonidas Frank Chaney in Colorado Springs, Colo. Chaney earned the nickname "The Man of a Thousand Faces" for his ability to transform himself using makeup techniques he developed.
1875: Writer Edgar Wallace, most famous as the co-creator of King Kong, writing the early screenplay and story for the 1933 movie, is born in London, England.
1873: Composer, pianist and conductor Sergei Rachmaninoff, widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day, is born near Great Novgorod in north-western Russia.
1873: The British steamer RMS Atlantic runs onto rocks and sinks off Nova Scotia, killing at least 535 people. It would remain the deadliest civilian maritime disaster in history until the sinking of the SS Norge in 1904 and the greatest disaster for the White Star Line shipping company prior to the loss of the Titanic 39 years later.
1868: Edmond Rostand, the poet and dramatist best known for his play "Cyrano de Bergerac," is born in Marseille, France.
1865: The Battle of Five Forks is fought southwest of Petersburg, Va., during the Appomattox Campaign of the American Civil War. The battle, sometimes referred to as the "Waterloo of the Confederacy," pitted Union Maj. Gen. Philip H. Sheridan against Confederate Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett of Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia. Pickett's loss at Five Forks triggered Lee's decision to abandon his entrenchments around Petersburg and begin the retreat that led to his surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9.
1826: Samuel Morey patents the internal combustion engine.
1789: In New York City, the United States House of Representatives holds its first quorum and elects Frederick Muhlenberg of Pennsylvania as its first House Speaker.
1748: The ruins of Pompeii, the Roman city buried in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 79, are found as the result of intentional excavations by the Spanish military engineer Rocque Joaquin de Alcubierre.