On This Day: April 2
Today is Thursday, April 2, 2015. This is the 92nd day of the year, with 273 days remaining in 2015.
Fact of the Day: Greek theatre
The Greek theatre grew out of Dionysian worship. Dionysus, also called Bacchus, was a nature god of fruitfulness and vegetation, especially known as a god of wine and ecstasy. He was the son of Zeus and Semele. Dionysus was the patron god of the important international society of actors, and their reunions were celebrated in the mode of Dionysiac Mysteries. The meetings of the mystery clubs evolved into the Greek theatre.
Feast day of St. Francis of Paola, St. Mary of Egypt, St. John Payne, St. Zosimus, St. Nicetius of Lyons, and Saints Apphian and Theodosia.
Florida: Pascua Florida Day.
1513 - Spanish explorer Juan Poncé de Leon landed in Florida.
1792 - Congress passed the Coinage Act, which established the U.S. Mint, which then opened in Philadelphia.
1860 - The first parliament of the united Italy met at Turin.
1865 - Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
1877 - The first White House Easter Egg Roll took place during the administration of Rutherford B. Hayes.
1889 - Charles Hall patented aluminum.
1917 - President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, "The world must be made safe for democracy."
1917 - Jeannette Pickering Rankin was sworn in as the first woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.
1956 - The soap operas "As the World Turns" and "The Edge of Night" premiered on television.
1958 - The National Advisory Council on Aeronautics was renamed NASA.
1978 - The nighttime drama, "Dallas" premiered on television.
1979 - Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin became the first Israeli leader to visit Cairo where he met Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat.
1982 - Argentina invaded the Falklands Islands, a British colony.
1992 - John Gotti, head of largest Mafia family in New York, was convicted of murder and racketeering.
1997 - Tennessee became the last state in the union to ratify the 15th Amendment.
2002 - Israel seized control of Bethlehem; Palestinian gunmen forced their way into the Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, beginning a 39-day standoff.
742 - Charlemagne, King of the Franks, first Holy Roman Emperor.
1725 - Giovanni Casanova, Italian adventurer.
1805 - Hans Christian Andersen, Danish author, poet, storyteller.
1814 - Erastus B. Bigelow, American industrialist, founder of Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
1834 - Frederic-Auguste Bartholdi, French sculptor of the Statue of Liberty.
1840 - Émile Zola, French novelist.
1875 - Walter Chrysler, American auto manufacturer.
1891 - Max Ernst, German painter and sculptor.
1914 - Sir Alec Guinness, Academy Award-winning actor.
1872 - Samuel Morse, American inventor.
2005 - Karol Wojtyla, Pope John Paul II