Today's History Trivia for April 6
1993 A tank of radioactive material explodes in Siberia, spewing clouds of radioactive material and causing the worst nuclear accident since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
1965 First geosynchronous communications satellite Early Bird is launched for COMSAT. It was the first satellite to provide direct and nearly instantaneous contact between Europe and North America.
1957 Trolley Cars NY trolley cars make their last runs.
1947 First Tony Awards Best Actress went to Ingrid Bergman and Helen Hayes, and Best Actor to José Ferrer and Fredric March.
1938 Teflon DuPont researchers accidentally discover polytetrafluoroethylene, which would later be marketed as teflon.
1930 Twinkie James Dewar invents the Hostess Twinkie.
1929 First sighting of the Mediterranean fruit fly in North America, at Orlando, Florida.
1924 First around-the-world flight Lt. Lowell Smith and Lt. Erik Nelson (in separate planes) take off. The flight took 175 days.
1917 World War I U.S. declares war with Germany.
1909 First person to reach the North Pole American explorer Robert E. Peary.
1896 The Olympic games begin again after an absence of almost 1600 years. Source: Guinness Book of World Records
1892 Ice Cream Sundae Although the origin of this treat is highly disputed, the first newspaper ad for it appeared on this date, by Chester Platt in the Ithaca Daily Journal.
1869 First patent for plastic Celluloid is patented by John Wesley Hyatt, who was looking for a new way to make billiard balls.
1866 First post of the Grand Army of the Republic A fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army, Union Navy, Marines and the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service who served in the American Civil War for the Northern forces.
1862 Civil War Battle of Shiloh begins. During the two-day battle, 23,746 men were killed, wounded, captured, or missing. This is more than the American casualties of the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Mexican War combined, making it the bloodiest battle in United States history up to that time.
1830 The Mormon Church Joseph Smith organizes the Church at Fayette Seneca county, New York. Source: An Almanac of the Christian Church
1814 Napoleon The French Emperor abdicates. He would then be exiled to Elba.
648 B.C. First solar eclipse recorded by the Greeks Greek poet Archilochus wrote, "Zeus, the father of the Olympic Gods, turned mid-day into night, hiding the light of the dazzling Sun; and sore fear came upon men."
Today's Birthdays for April 6
1952 Marilu Henner (Mary Lucy Denise Pudlowski), American actress. TV: Taxi (Elaine Nardo). She dated Taxi co-stars Tony Danza and Judd Hirsch.
1949 Jane Actman American actress. TV: The Paul Lynde Show (1972, Paul Lynde's daughter).
1947 John Ratzenberger American actor. TV: Cheers (Cliff).
1938 Roy Thinnes American actor. TV: The Invaders (David Vincent) and Falcon Crest (Nick Hogan).
1937 Merle Haggard d. 2016 American country singer. He served time in prison for attempted burglary (1958-63), for which he was pardoned (1972) by California governor Ronald Reagan.
1937 Billy Dee Williams American actor. Film: The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Lando Calrissian). TV: The Guiding Light (Dr. Jim Frazier).
1931 Ivan Dixon d. 2008 (Ivan Nathaniel Dixon III), American actor. TV: Hogan's Heroes (1965-70, Sgt. Kinchloe).
1928 James Dewey Watson American biochemist, co-winner of the 1962 Nobel prize for discovering the structure of DNA.
1895 Dudley Nichols d. 1960 American screenwriter. He became the first person to refuse an Oscar (1935, Best Screenplay for The Informer).
1810 Philip Henry Gosse d. 1888 English naturalist. He coined the word "Aquarium."
1745 William Dawes d. 1799 American patriot. He rode with Paul Revere on his famous ride (1775) warning of the British advancement.
Deaths for April 6
Russian-born American science-fiction author and giver of the "three laws of robotics." Writings: I, Robot (1950).
2016 Merle Haggard b. 1937 American country singer. He served time in prison for attempted burglary (1958-63), for which he was pardoned (1972) by California governor Ronald Reagan.
2015 James Best b. 1926 (Jewel Franklin Guy), American actor. TV: Dukes of Hazzard (Roscoe P. Coltrane).
1998 Tammy Wynette b. 1942 (Virginia Wynette Pugh), American country singer. Music: Stand By Your Man. She has more #1 country hits than any other female singer.
1996 Greer Garson b. 1904 British Oscar-winning actress. Film: Goodbye Mr. Chips (1939) and Mrs. Miniver (1942, Oscar).
1971 Igor Fedorovich Stravinsky b. 1882 Russian composer, The Firebird, The Rite of Spring, and Petrushka.
1953 Whirlaway b. 1938 American racehorse, 1941 Triple Crown Winner.
1944 Rose Cecil O'Neill b. 1874 American illustrator, cartoonist. She created the Kewpie doll in her comic strip, Kewpies (1909). They were made into dolls in 1912. She was the first published female cartoonist in the U.S. "Kewpie" comes from the naked babies known as cupids.
1935 Edwin Arlington Robinson b. 1869 American poet, 3-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, known for his short character sketches such as Richard Cory and Miniver Cheevy.
1888 Thomas Green Clemson b. 1807 American mining engineer, politician, founder of Clemson University.
1860 James Kirke Paulding b. 1778 American author, poet. He wrote Koningsmarke, the Long Finne (1823) in which the tongue-twister "Peter Piper pick'd a peck of pickled peppers" first appeared.
1528 Albrecht Dürer b. 1471 German Renaissance artist. His series of Apocalypse woodcuts became the first book published by an artist from their own work (1498).
1199 Richard I b. 1157 King of England (1189-99), known as Richard the Lion-Hearted.