April 1912

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April 14-15, 1912: RMS Titanic sinks, killing 1,521 people
Animation (in minutes) of the Titanic sinking

The following events occurred in April 1912:

April 1, 1912 (Monday)[edit]

  • British hopes, that Robert Falcon Scott had reached the South Pole before Roald Amundsen of Norway, were ended when the Terra Nova arrived in New Zealand without Captain Scott on board, and the news that the Scott team had still been 150 miles from the Pole as of January 3. Amundsen's party had reached the Pole on December 14. Scott's party had arrived on January 17 then died in March while on the way back.[1]
  • The largest province in British India, the Bengal Province, was broken up as the new province of Bihar and Orissa, now part of India, was separated from the region.
  • The city of Branson, Missouri, which would become a major American tourist attraction and entertainment center in the 1980s, was chartered. [2]
  • Born: Donald Nyrop, American businessman best known for being President and CEO of Northwest Airlines from 1954–1976; in Cedar Creek, Nebraska (d. 2010)

April 2, 1912 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • The number of U.S. Senators increased from 92 to 96 with the swearing in of the legislators from Arizona and New Mexico.[3]
  • In the Wisconsin presidential primary, Governor Woodrow Wilson of New Jersey finished ahead of former House Speaker Champ Clark among Democrats, and Senator La Follette bested President Taft in Republican voting.[4]
  • The RMS Titanic begins sea trials.
  • Born: Herbert Mills, a tenor in the four-man "Mills Brothers" band (d. 1989)
  • Died: Ishimoto Shinroku, 59, Japanese Minister of War

April 3, 1912 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • Calbraith P. Rodgers, the 33-year-old American aviator who had flown, with multiple stops, from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific Coast in the autumn of 1911, was killed while flying his plane in an airshow. One author would later write that "the first person to fly across the continental US was also the first to die as a result of a bird strike. Rodgers' Wright Pusher airplane collided with a seagull, the engine failed, and he crashed into the ocean near Long Beach, California.[5][6]

April 4, 1912 (Thursday)[edit]

  • Classes began at Aurora College in Aurora, Illinois, after the students and faculty of Mendota College relocated in mid-semester from Mendota, Illinois, 50 miles to the west.[7]
  • Died: Charles B. Aycock, 50, former Governor of North Carolina who advanced education and the opening of schools in that state, while making a speech to the Alabama Education Association.[8]

April 5, 1912 (Friday)[edit]

  • After more than 200 members of the Industrial Workers of the World had been put in the city's jail, the police chief in San Diego, California had the prisoners released into the hands of vigilantes. The mob escorted the "Wobblies" to the county line, beat them, and warned them never to return. An investigator sent by Governor Hiram Johnson described the city's police as so brutal that he thought he was "sojourning in Russia".[9]
  • Born:

April 6, 1912 (Saturday)[edit]

  • The Miners' Federation of Great Britain ordered its striking members to return to work after passage of the Minimum Wage bill.[10]
  • The First Symphony of Franco Alfano premiered, at the Casino Municipal at Sanremo.[11]
  • Died: Giovanni Pascoli, 56, Italian poet and scholar

April 7, 1912 (Sunday)[edit]

April 8, 1912 (Monday)[edit]

  • The British coal miners' strike ended with the return of thousands of workers to the coal pits in England, Scotland and Wales. The approval of a guaranteed minimum wage ended the three-week-old strike, which had halted not only the production of coal, but the output from factories dependent on coal as a fuel.[13]
  • Born:
  • Died: Andrew Saks, 65, New York clothing magnate and founder of Saks & Company, now Saks Fifth Avenue

April 9, 1912 (Tuesday)[edit]

April 10, 1912 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • RMS Titanic, the largest ship ever constructed up to that time, began its maiden voyage from Southampton, England at noon, with a final destination of New York City.[16] On its exit, the ship caused the American liner New York to break free of its moorings.[17] It arrived in Cherbourg, France that evening at 7:00 pm, took on more passengers, then departed two hours later.[18]
  • The French liner Niagara, sailing from Le Havre to New York, struck ice while sailing near Newfoundland. The ship's bow plates were dented, the ship began to leak, and an S.O.S. was sent. The steamer Carmonia rushed to the rescue, but the crew of the Niagara was able to make repairs.[19]

April 11, 1912 (Thursday)[edit]

  • `Abdu'l-Bahá, leader of the Baha'i Faith, arrived in New York City to continue his journey to spread the new religion to the Western world. The spiritual leader had been brought over by the steamer S.S. Cedric, which had left Naples on March 24. Reportedly, American and Canadian Baha'is had offered to pay extra for him to sail to New York on a much faster ship, the R.M.S. Titanic, but Abdul-Baha had declined.[20] The religious leader would spend the rest of the year in the U.S., giving 200 speeches on "The Oneness of Religion", and visiting 32 cities.[21]
  • Crosley Field, which would be the home of baseball's Cincinnati Reds for the next 58 seasons, opened to a record crowd of 26,336. The Reds beat the Chicago Cubs 10-6 in the opener, and would beat the San Francisco Giants, 5-4 in their final game there on June 24, 1970, before moving to Riverfront Park.[22]
  • In a minor league American Association baseball game between the Kansas City Blues and the Columbus Senators, there were no home runs nor foul balls that went into the stands. Hence, only one baseball was used for the entire nine innings, a feat that has never happened since in American professional baseball.[23]
  • The Titanic arrived at Queenstown (now Cobh) in Ireland at 12:30pm, picked up the last of her passengers, then departed for New York City with 2,227 people on board.[18]
  • Born: Gusti Wolf, Austrian actress (d. 2007)
  • Died:

April 12, 1912 (Friday)[edit]

  • The legendary combination of shortstop Joe Tinker, second baseman Johnny Evers and first baseman Frank Chance appeared together in a baseball game for the last time, as their Chicago Cubs team lost at Cincinnati, 3-2. The next day, Chance, now manager of the Chicago Cubs, replaced himself at first base with Vic Saier. The trio had begun working together on September 13, 1902, and was memorialized in the poem "Baseball's Sad Lexicon".[25]
  • The French liner SS La Touraine sent a radio message to Captain Smith of the Titanic, giving the ship the first warnings of an ice field as far south as 42°S (roughly the latitude of Chicago).[18][26]
  • Born: Walt Gorney, American actor (d. 2004)
  • Died: Clara Barton, 90, American nurse who founded the American Red Cross

April 13, 1912 (Saturday)[edit]

April 14, 1912 (Sunday)[edit]

  • At 11:40 pm ship time, RMS Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean. Only thirty seven seconds earlier, crewman Frederick Fleet spotted the iceberg straight ahead, but the ship was running at almost top speed, 25 mph, and tore the side after attempting to steer around. The collision occurred roughly 400 miles east of Newfoundland. The ship would stay afloat for two hours and forty minutes. The ship closest to the Titanic, SS Californian was only a few miles away, and had transmitted warnings about the ice field, but its radio operator had turned off his equipment at 11:30 pm, ten minutes before the collision.[28] During the day, Titanic received warnings from the Caronia, the Noordam, the Baltic, the Amerika, the Californian, the Mesaba.[18]
  • Santos FC, winner of 8 national championships in Brazil's major soccer football league, was founded in Santos.[29] It would play its first game on June 23.[30]
  • The silent film Paul J. Rainey's African Hunt was released by Carl Laemmle, who would found Universal Pictures two years later. The film was a national hit, and would gross $500,000 in revenues.[31]
  • China's President Yuan Shih-kai issued a manifesto asking the five separate race groups in the nation to unite through intermarriage.[10]
  • Died: Henri Brisson, 77, former President of French Chamber of Deputies

April 15, 1912 (Monday)[edit]

Musicians of the RMS Titanic

April 16, 1912 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel, less than three years after Louis Bleriot had become the first man to make the crossing. Quimby departed Dover at 5:30 am in a fog, and landed at Neufchâtel-Hardelot, 25 miles south of her intended destination of Calais. She would be killed in a plane crash less than three months later.[33]
  • Born:
    • Edmond Jabès Jewish Egyptian French-language author, in Cairo (d. 1991)
    • David Langton, British actor, (d. 1994)
    • John Halas, Hungarian-British filmmaker and animator (Animal Farm), as János Halász, in Budapest (d. 1995)
    • Garth Williams, American book illustrator (Charlotte's Web, Stuart Little, and Little House on the Prairie series); in New York City (p. 1996)
    • Catherine Scorsese, Italian-American actress (d. 1997)

April 17, 1912 (Wednesday)[edit]

April 18, 1912 (Thursday)[edit]

  • The Carpathia arrived in New York City with 710 survivors from the Titanic.[10]
  • Italy attacked Ottoman Turkey directly, as 27 warships sailed into the Dardanelles and began bombardment of Fort Kilid-ul-Bahr and Fort Sedd-ul-Bahr for two and a half hours.[39] A Turkish gunboat was sunk after its crew escaped, and one of the yachts of the Ottoman Sultan was captured by Italian forces.[40] There were 300 Turkish soldiers killed and more wounded in the destruction of the Kunkaleh Fort.[41]
  • Muslim soldiers in the Moroccan city of Fez mutinied, killing fifty French officers and soldiers and almost 100 Jewish residents, before being suppressed[10]
  • Died:

April 19, 1912 (Friday)[edit]

  • The Russian Empire agreed to recognize Italian sovereignty over Libya in return for Italy's support of Russian influence in the Balkans.[10]
  • At a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing, Titanic Second Officer Charles Lightoller testified that they loaded as few as 25 people in boats intended to hold 65, only as much as they thought the ropes would hold.[42]
  • The U.S. Hydrographic Office and representatives of the steamship lines agreed that the winter time course of ships would be 270 miles south of the course taken by the Titanic, adding between 9 and 14 hours to the trip. The new route would be 3,080 miles rather than 2,858 miles[43]
  • Born: Glenn T. Seaborg, American chemist, Nobel Prize laureate, in Ishpeming (d. 1999)

April 20, 1912 (Saturday)[edit]

  • Boston's Fenway Park and Detroit's Tiger Stadium (at that time known as Navin Field) both officially opened on the same day. At Fenway, which would still be the Red Sox home a century later, the Red Sox beat the New York Highlanders (now the Yankees) 7–6.[44] The same afternoon, the Tigers beat the Cleveland Indians, 6–5, at the park that they would remain in for 87 seasons; after which Tiger Stadium would be replaced by Comerica Park on April 11, 2000, the only other occasion when two major league stadiums would open on the same day (the San Francisco Giants' Pacific Bell Park being the other field).[45]
  • The luxury ocean liner SS France began its maiden voyage, from Le Havre, ten days after the Titanic had started its first trip. The ship would remain in service until 1935.[46] Carrying 1,273 passengers (with room for 2,026 and enough lifeboats for all), the France arrived safely in New York six days later.[47]
  • Immediate reforms were ordered by the International Mercantile Marine, requiring all steamers to carry sufficient lifeboats and rafts for all passengers and crew.[10]
  • Died:
    • Bram Stoker, 64, Irish writer best known as the creator of Dracula (b. 1847)
    • Benito Juárez Maza, Governor of Mexico's Oaxaca state since 1911. His death, apparently of a heart attack, triggered six months of battles between Mexico's national government and Juárez Maza's followers, who believed he had been poisoned.[48]

April 21, 1912 (Sunday)[edit]

  • At Munich, Walter Friedrich and Paul Knipping confirmed the theory, made by German physicist Max von Laue, that the x-rays aimed at a crystal would be diffracted, and that the patterns left on a photographic plate would effectively show the location of individual atoms. Friedrich and Knippe aimed x-rays at a crystal of copper sulfate, and produced photographs, later misplaced, of the structure of the crystal. Von Laue would be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1914.[49]
  • Aleister Crowley was appointed by Ordo Templi Orientis leader Theodor Reuss as the "National Grand Master General for Great Britain and Ireland" to spread the Reuss's variety of the occult in the British Isles. Crowley would later be designated by Reuss as "Supreme and Holy King of Ireland, Iona and all the Britons within the sanctuary of the Gnosis".[50]
  • Tornadoes that swept through Illinois and Indiana killed 72, with the hardest hit regions being Bush, Marion and Kankakee, Illinois, and Morocco, Indiana. Another 35 were killed in Oklahoma and Texas, with Rogers, Texas and Lugert, Oklahoma being destroyed.[51]
  • László Lukács formed a new cabinet as Prime Minister of Hungary. "New Hungarian Cabinet", New York Times, April 22, 1912
  • The New York Highlanders (later the Yankees) and the New York Giants played an exhibition baseball game at the Polo Grounds to raise money for destitute survivors of the Titanic. The Giants won, 11-2, before a crowd of 14,083 and the game raised $9,425.25[52]
  • Born: Phillip Law, Australian scientist who directed that nation's Antarctic expeditions from 1949 to 1986; in Tallangatta, Victoria (d. 2010)

April 22, 1912 (Monday)[edit]

  • The date of the first issue of Pravda, the official newspaper of the Communist Party, and the leading newspaper for the Soviet Union between 1922 and 1991, was 22 April 1912. Russia was using the Julian Calendar at the time, 13 days behind the Gregorian calendar.[53] In later years, Pravda would carry on its front page the slogan "Founded by V. I. Lenin on May 5, 1912".[54]
  • Born:
  • Died: Heinrich Unverricht, 58, German physician and internist, pioneer in research on pneumonia and epilepsy

April 23, 1912 (Tuesday)[edit]

April 24, 1912 (Wednesday)[edit]

  • The RMS Olympic, sister ship of the White Star liner Titanic was barred from departing Southampton with its 1,400 passengers because of a strike by shipworkers, over insufficient lifeboats. The White Star Line had added 16 "collapsible" boats which could be deployed in a hurry.[10][56]
  • Portuguese troops killed striking textile workers at Vila Nova de Gaia, a suburb of Oporto[57]
  • Died: Justin McCarthy, 81, Irish historian, novelist and former MP

April 25, 1912 (Thursday)[edit]

April 26, 1912 (Friday)[edit]

  • The bazaar, shopping quarter for Syrians in Damascus, caught on fire, causing $10,000,000 in damages and killing several persons.[58]
  • Sergei Mironovich Kostrikov, an early leader in Russia's Bolshevik movement, first took on the pen name "Kirov". Although he would be assassinated in 1934 while serving as the Communist Party chief in Leningrad, the Russian city of Kirov, the Russian Kirov Oblast, and the Ukrainian city of Kirovohrad are all named in his honor.[59]
  • The Colorado Mountain Club, which was instrumental in the creation of the Rocky Mountain National Park, was founded.[60]
  • Born: A. E. van Vogt, Canadian-born science fiction writer (d. 2000)

April 27, 1912 (Saturday)[edit]

  • Civil war broke out again in Paraguay, with former President Jara commanding rebels at Villa Encarnacion. Four Paraguayan warships bombarded the rebels, who returned fire with cannons and forced the troops to withdraw.[61]
  • China cancelled a $50,000,000 munitions contract with a Belgian firm after protests by the four powers (the U.S., U.K., France and Germany)[62]
  • Born: Zohra Sehgal, Indian stage and film actress, in Saharanpur (d. 2014)

April 28, 1912 (Sunday)[edit]

April 29, 1912 (Monday)[edit]

April 30, 1912 (Tuesday)[edit]

  • The cable ship Mackay-Bennett and (1911) ship RMS Olympic arrived at Halifax, bringing the bodies of 200 people who had drowned or frozen to death after escaping the RMS Titanic. Although the ship had recovered 306 bodies, 116 of those were buried at sea because of a lack of sufficient embalming fluid,[65] including 54 that had been identified. Located were the remains of John Jacob Astor and Isidor Straus, while Mrs. Straus and former presidential adviser Archibald Butt were never located.[66]


  1. ^ Edward J. Larson, An Empire of Ice: Scott, Shackleton, and the Heroic Age of Antarctic Science (Yale University Press, 2011) p. 22
  2. ^ Anita L. Roberts, Images of America: Branson (Arcadia Publishing, 2014) p56
  3. ^ "Senate Now Numbers 96", New York Times, April 2, 1912
  4. ^ "Wisconsin for La Follette", New York Times, April 3, 1912
  5. ^ Jerry LeMieux, One Bird Strike and You're Out!: Solutions to Prevent Bird Strikes (Trafford Publishing, 2009) p278
  6. ^ "Aviator Rodgers Plunges to Death", New York Times, April 4, 1912, p1
  7. ^ "AU celebrates 100 years in Aurora", Beacon-News (Aurora, Illinois), March 27, 2012
  8. ^ Theresa Lacey, Amazing North Carolina (Thomas Nelson, 2003)
  9. ^ Robert Justin Goldstein, Political Repression in Modern America (University of Illinois Press, 1978, 2001) p.87.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Record of Current Events", The American Monthly Review of Reviews (April 1912), pp540-543
  11. ^ Konrad Dryden, Franco Alfano: Transcending Turandot (Scarecrow Press, 2010) p36
  12. ^ Kevin J. Middlebrook, Conservative Parties, the Right, and Democracy in Latin America (JHU Press, 2000) pp150-151
  13. ^ "British Miners Resume", Pittsburgh Gazette Times, April 9, 1912, p1
  14. ^ "President Signs Child Labor Bill", New York Times, April 10, 1912; James Alner Tobey, The National Government and Public Health (Ayer Publishing, 1926) p232
  15. ^ "Roosevelt Wins in Illinois by 2 to 1 over Taft", New York Times, April 10, 1912
  16. ^ "The Titanic Sails To-Day", New York Times, April 10, 1912;
  17. ^ "Titanic in Peril on Leaving Port", New York Times, April 11, 1912
  18. ^ a b c d e Royal Mail Steamer Titanic Memorial Site Archived May 6, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
  19. ^ "Liner with Leaks from Blows of Ice", New York Times, April 17, 1912
  20. ^ Will C. van den Hoonaard, The Origins of the Bahá'í Community of Canada, 1898–1948 (Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 1996) p44
  21. ^ William Garlington, The Baha'i Faith in America (Greenwood Publishing, 2005) p93
  22. ^ Greg Rhodes and John Erardi, Cincinnati's Crosley Field: The Illustrated History of a Classic Ballpark (Clerisy Press, April 28, 2009) p44, p196
  23. ^ "Big Doings in the Minor Leagues", by Ed Bell, Baseball Digest (August 1976); "Never Changed Ball", Toledo (OH) News-Bee, April 12, 1912, p26
  24. ^ Duchesne 1897, Antagonism between molds and bacteria. An English translation by Michael Witty. Fort Myers, 2013. ASIN B00E0KRZ0E and B00DZVXPIK.
  25. ^ Art Ahrens, Chicago Cubs: Tinker to Evers to Chance (Arcadia Publishing, 2007) p95
  26. ^ "Told Titanic of Icebergs", New York Times, April 17, 1912
  27. ^ Walter J. Boyne, The Influence of Air Power upon History (Pelican Publishing, 2003) p45
  28. ^ United States Naval Institute Proceedings (Volume 41, Issue 2) (United States Naval Institute, 1915) p1214
  29. ^ "History SantosFC". SantosFC.com.br (in Portuguese). Retrieved March 21, 2012. [dead link]
  30. ^ Santos timeline
  31. ^ Pascal James Imperato and Eleanor M. Imperato, They Married Adventure: The Wandering Lives of Martin and Osa Johnson (Rutgers University Press, 1999) p. 97
  32. ^ "Loss of S.S. Titanic; Greatest of Marine Disasters", The Brooklyn Daily Eagle Almanac 1913, p513
  33. ^ Mark C. Carnes, ed., American National Biography: Supplement (Oxford University Press, 2005) p456
  34. ^ Nikita S. Khrushchev and Sergei Khrushchev, Memoirs of Nikita Khrushchev: Statesman, 1953–1964 (Penn State Press, 2007) p639
  35. ^ e.g., Léopold H. Haimson, et al., The Making of Three Russian Revolutionaries (Cambridge University Press, 1987) p. 502
  36. ^ Don Lincoln, Understanding the Universe: From Quarks to the Cosmos (World Scientific, 2004) p. 82
  37. ^ F. E. Close, et al., The Particle Odyssey: a Journey to the Heart of the Matter (Oxford University Press, 2004) p. 6
  38. ^ "Makes Woman Bureau Chief – Miss Lathrop, Named by Taft, is First to Head Federal Department", The New York Times, April 18, 1912
  39. ^ "Italian Warships Shell Dardanelles", New York Times, April 19, 1912
  40. ^ "Italian Shells Sunk Warship of Sultan", New York Times, April 20, 1912
  41. ^ "Shelling Killed 300 Turks", New York Times, April 26, 1912
  42. ^ "Many Needlessly Died on Titanic; Lifeboats Launched Only Half Full", New York Times, April 20, 1912
  43. ^ "All Ships to Take New Long Course", New York Times, April 20, 1912
  44. ^ Robert Redmount, The Red Sox Encyclopedia (Sports Publishing LLC, 2002) p237
  45. ^ Bob Mackin, The Unofficial Guide to Baseball's Most Unusual Records (Greystone Books, 2004) p 83
  46. ^ William H. Miller, Picture History of the French Line (Courier Dover Publications, 1997) p 7
  47. ^ "Passengers Praise New French Liner", New York Times, April 27, 1912
  48. ^ Jürgen Buchenau and William H. Beezley, State Governors in the Mexican Revolution, 1910–1952: Portraits in Conflict, Courage, and Corruption (Rowman & Littlefield, 2009) pp 34–35
  49. ^ John Jenkin, William and Lawrence Bragg, Father and Son: The Most Extraordinary Collaboration in Science (Oxford University Press, 2008) p328
  50. ^ Tobias Churton, Aleister Crowley: The Biography: Spiritual Revolutionary, Romantic Explorer, Occult Master and Spy (Duncan Baird Publishers, 2011)
  51. ^ "97 Dead in Storms, Hundreds Homeless", New York Times, April 23, 1912
  52. ^ "14,083 Fans See Game for Charity", New York Times, April 22, 1912
  53. ^ Tony Cliff, Building the Party: Lenin 1893–1914 (Volume 1) (Haymarket Books, 2002) p397
  54. ^ Joseph Gibbs, Gorbachev's Glasnost: The Soviet Media in the First Phase of Perestroika (Texas A&M University Press, 1999) p95
  55. ^ "Taft Wins New Hampshire", New York Times, April 24, 1912
  56. ^ "Firemen Strike; Olympic Held", New York Times, April 25, 1912
  57. ^ "Many Slain in Portugal", New York Times, April 25, 1912
  58. ^ "Damascus Bazar Burned", New York Times, April 29, 1912
  59. ^ Matthew E. Lenoe, The Kirov Murder and Soviet History (Yale University Press, 2010)
  60. ^ Mountain Club website Colorado at the Wayback Machine (archived March 10, 2013)
  61. ^ "Rebels Repel Warships", New York Times, April 28, 1912
  62. ^ "Knox Note on China Stops Belgian Loan", New York Times, April 28, 1912
  63. ^ William A. Hoisington, Lyautey and the French Conquest of Morocco (Palgrave Macmillan, 1995)
  64. ^ "World Weather/Climate Extremes Archive", Arizona State University
  65. ^ William H. Flayhart, Perils of the Atlantic: Steamship Disasters, 1850 to the Present (W. W. Norton & Company, 2003) p254
  66. ^ "Funeral Ship in with 190 Dead; Waiting Relatives Stunned by News That 116 Titanic Victims Were Buried at Sea", New York Times, May 1, 1912