2 April 2020 (MIA)
– International Children’s Book Day
1513 – Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León first sights land in what is now Florida.
1755 – Commodore William James captures the Maratha fortress of Suvarnadurg on west coast of India.
1800 – Ludwig van Beethoven leads the premiere of his First Symphony in Vienna.
1801 – Napoleonic Wars: Battle of Copenhagen: The British capture the Danish fleet.
1851 – Rama IV is crowned King of Thailand.
1863 – Richmond Bread Riot: Food shortages incite hundreds of angry women to riot in Richmond, Virginia, and demand that the Confederate government release emergency supplies.
1865 – American Civil War: At the Third Battle of Petersburg Virginia, the Siege of Petersburg is broken by Union Army troops capturing trenches and breaking Confederate States Army lines, forcing the Confederates under General Robert E. Lee to retreat in the Appomattox Campaign.
1865 – American Civil War: Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet flee the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia.
1885 – Cree warriors attack the village of Frog Lake, North-West Territories, Canada, killing nine.
1900 – The United States Congress passes the Foraker Act, giving Puerto Rico limited self-rule.
1902 – Dmitry Sipyagin, Minister of Interior of the Russian Empire, is assassinated in the Marie Palace, St Petersburg.
1911 – The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducts the country’s first national census.
1917 – World War I: United States President Woodrow Wilson asks the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.
1921 – The Autonomous Government of Khorasan, a military government encompassing the modern state of Iran, is established.
1930 – After the mysterious death of Empress Zewditu, Haile Selassie is proclaimed emperor of Ethiopia.
1945 – Diplomatic relations between the Soviet Union and Brazil are established.
1972 – Actor Charlie Chaplin returns to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s.
1973 – Launch of the LexisNexis computerized legal research service.
1975 – Vietnam War: Thousands of civilian refugees flee from Quảng Ngãi Province in front of advancing North Vietnamese troops.
1975 – Construction of the CN Tower is completed in Toronto, Canada. It reaches 553.33 metres (1,815.4 ft) in height, becoming the world’s tallest free-standing structure.
1980 – United States President Jimmy Carter signs the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act in an effort to help the U.S. economy rebound.
1982 – Falklands War: Argentina invades the Falkland Islands.
1989 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in Havana, Cuba, to meet with Fidel Castro in an attempt to mend strained relations.
1991 – Rita Johnston becomes the first female Premier of a Canadian province when she succeeds William Vander Zalm (who had resigned) as Premier of British Columbia.
1992 – In New York, Mafia boss John Gotti is convicted of murder and racketeering and is later sentenced to life in prison.
1992 – 42 civilians were massacred in the town of Bijeljina.
2002 – Israeli forces surround the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem into which armed Palestinians had retreated; a siege ensues.
2004 – Islamist terrorists involved in the 11 March 2004 Madrid attacks attempt to bomb the Spanish high-speed train AVE near Madrid; the attack is thwarted.
2006 – Over 60 tornadoes break out in the United States; Tennessee is hardest hit with 29 people killed.
2012 – A mass shooting at Oikos University at Oakland, California, leaves seven people dead and three injured.
2014 – A spree shooting occurs at the Fort Hood Army Base near the town of Killeen, Texas, with four people dead, including the gunman, and 16 others sustaining injuries.
2015 – Islamist gunmen attack Garissa University College in Kenya, killing at least 148 people and wounding 79 others.
2016 – Macedonian painter and sculptor Gligor Cemerski has died.