Fossil Fools Day in United States and Canada (For those environmentally-minded pranksters out there, Fossil Fools Day is a strange mix of April Fools' day and Earth Day and it takes place each year on April 1. It began in 2004 in the United States and Canada to hold coordinated action against the not-so-funny use of fossil fuels to derive energy)
2001 – An EP-3E United States Navy surveillance aircraft collides with a Chinese People's Liberation Army Shenyang J-8 fighter jet. The Navy crew makes an emergency landing in Hainan, China and is detained.
2001 – Same-sex marriage becomes legal in the Netherlands, the first contemporary country to allow it.
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 advertising on television and radio in the United States, effective 1 January 1971.
1960 – The TIROS-1 satellite transmits the first television picture from space.
1954 – United States President Dwight D. Eisenhower authorizes the creation of the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado.
1945 – World War II: The Tenth United States Army attacks the Thirty-Second Japanese Army on Okinawa.
1944 – Navigation errors lead to an accidental American bombing of the Swiss city of Schaffhausen.
1893 – The rank of Chief Petty Officer in the United States Navy is established.
1891 – The Wrigley Company is founded in Chicago, Illinois.
1865 – American Civil War: Union troops led by Philip Sheridan decisively defeat Confederate troops led by George Pickett, cutting the Army of Northern Virginia's last supply line.
1826 – Samuel Morey received a patent for a compressionless "Gas or Vapor 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 Speaker.
1572 – In the Eighty Years' War, the Watergeuzen capture Brielle from the Seventeen Provinces, gaining the first foothold on land for what would become the Dutch Republic.
1545 – Potosí is founded after the discovery of huge silver deposits in the area.
528 – The daughter of Emperor Xiaoming of Northern Wei was made the "Emperor" as a male heir of the late emperor by Empress Dowager Hu, deposed and replaced by Yuan Zhao the next day; she was the first female monarch in the History of China, but not widely recognised.
1988 – Brook Lopez, American basketball player. Brook Robert Lopez (born April 1, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1988 – Robin Lopez, American basketball player. Robin Byron Lopez (born April 1, 1988) is an American professional basketball player for the Milwaukee Bucks of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1986 – Hillary Scott, American country singer-songwriter. With her family, she released the top 10 album, Love Remains, in 2016.
1983 – Sean Taylor, American football player (d. 2007), was an American football free safety for the Washington Redskins of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Redskins with the fifth overall pick of the 2004 NFL Draft where he played for four seasons until his death in 2007.
1982 – Taran Killam, American actor, voice artist, comedian, and writer. Killam is also known for his portrayal of a teen pop star in the 2004 Disney Channel Original Movie Stuck in the Suburbs.
1980 – Bijou Phillips, American actress and model. Phillips made her singing debut with I'd Rather Eat Glass (1999), and since her first major film appearance in Black and White (1999), she has acted in Almost Famous (2000), Bully (2001), The Door in the Floor (2004), Hostel: Part II (2007), and Choke (2008).
1980 – Randy Orton, American wrestler. He is currently signed to WWE, where he performs on the Raw brand.
1978 – Etan Thomas, American basketball player. Co-host of Centers of Attention a sports talk show on ESPN Radio Syracuse in Syracuse, New York with retired American professional basketball player Danny Schayes.
1977 – Vitor Belfort, Brazilian-American boxer and mixed martial artist. He is the UFC 12 Heavyweight Tournament Champion, as well as the former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion and Cage Rage World Light Heavyweight Champion.
1976 – David Gilliland, American race car driver. Born in Riverside, California, he is the son of former Cup and Winston West driver Butch Gilliland, and the father of NASCAR Gander Outdoors Truck Series driver Todd Gilliland.
1973 – Christian Finnegan, American comedian and actor. Fletcher Christian Finnegan (born April 1, 1973), better known as Christian Finnegan, is an American stand-up comedian, writer and actor based in New York City.
1973 – Rachel Maddow, American journalist and author. Rachel Anne Maddow (/ˈmædoʊ/ (listen), MAD-oh; born April 1, 1973) is an American television news program host and liberal political commentator.
1972 – Jesse Tobias, American guitarist and songwriter. Before he joined the Chili Peppers, he briefly played with L.A.-based band Mother Tongue.
1970 – Brad Meltzer, American author, screenwriter, and producer. Brad Meltzer (born April 1, 1970) is an American political thriller novelist, non-fiction writer, TV show creator and comic book author.
1965 – Jane Adams, American film, television, and stage actress. Jane Adams is the name of:
1965 – Mark Jackson, American basketball player and coach. John's University, he played for the New York Knicks, Los Angeles Clippers, Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets, Toronto Raptors, Utah Jazz and Houston Rockets in the NBA in a career spanning from 1987 to 2004.
1964 – Kevin Duckworth, American basketball player (d. 2008), was an American professional basketball player at center in the National Basketball Association (NBA). A native of Illinois, he played college basketball at Eastern Illinois University before being drafted in 1986 in the second round by the San Antonio Spurs.
1963 – Aprille Ericsson-Jackson, American aerospace engineer. Aprille Ericsson is the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Howard University and the first African-American woman to receive a Ph.D. in Engineering at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC).
1955 – Don Hasselbeck, American football player and sportscaster. Donald William "Don" Hasselbeck (born April 1, 1955) is a former professional football player, a tight end in the National Football League for the New England Patriots, Los Angeles Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, and the New York Giants.
1955 – Terry Nichols, American criminal, was convicted of being an accomplice in the Oklahoma City bombing. Prior to his incarceration, he held a variety of short-term jobs, working as a farmer, grain elevator manager, real estate salesman and ranch hand.
1954 – Jeff Porcaro, American drummer, songwriter, and producer (d. 1992), was an American drummer, songwriter, and record producer. In a career that spanned more than 20 years, Porcaro was best known for his work with the rock band Toto.
1953 – Barry Sonnenfeld, American cinematographer, director, and producer. Sonnenfeld has collaborated with actor and singer Will Smith four times.
1952 – Annette O'Toole, American actress. She is probably best known for portraying Lisa Bridges in the TV series Nash Bridges, Beverly Marsh in the It miniseries, Lana Lang in Superman III, Elaine, the girlfriend of Nick Nolte's character in 48 Hrs., the leading role, Kathy, in the romantic-comedy Cross My Heart; and for portraying Martha Kent, the mother of Clark Kent, on the television series Smallville.
1951 – Frederic Schwartz, American architect, co-designed Empty Sky (d. 2014), was an American architect, author, and city planner whose work includes Empty Sky, the New Jersey 9-11 Memorial, which was dedicated in Liberty State Park on September 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
1951 – John Abizaid, American general. John Philip Abizaid (born April 1, 1951) is a United States Army general and former U.S.
1950 – Samuel Alito, American lawyer and jurist. Samuel Anthony Alito Jr. (/əˈliːtoʊ/; born April 1, 1950) is an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
1949 – Gil Scott-Heron, American singer-songwriter and author (d. 2011), was an American soul and jazz poet, musician, and author, known primarily for his work as a spoken-word performer in the 1970s and 1980s. His collaborative efforts with musician Brian Jackson featured a musical fusion of jazz, blues, and soul, as well as lyrical content concerning social and political issues of the time, delivered in both rapping and melismatic vocal styles by Scott-Heron.
1947 – Francine Prose, American novelist, short story writer, and critic. She is a Visiting Professor of Literature at Bard College, and was formerly president of PEN American Center.
1947 – Norm Van Lier, American basketball player, coach, and sportscaster (d. 2009), was an NBA basketball player and television broadcaster who spent the majority of his career with the Chicago Bulls.
1942 – Richard D. Wolff, American economist and academic. Anti-war and civil rights movements
1942 – Samuel R. Delany, American author and critic. His work includes fiction (especially science fiction), memoir, criticism and essays on science fiction, literature, sexuality, and society.
1939 – Ali MacGraw, American model and actress. Elizabeth Alice "Ali" MacGraw (born April 1, 1939) is an American actress, model, author, and animal rights activist.
1939 – Phil Niekro, American baseball player and manager. Philip Henry Niekro (pronounced NEE-kro) (born April 1, 1939), nicknamed "Knucksie", is an American former baseball pitcher who played 24 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB), 20 of them with the Milwaukee / Atlanta Braves.
1935 – Larry McDonald, American physician and politician (d. 1983), was an American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Georgia's 7th congressional district as a Democrat from 1975 until he was killed while a passenger on board Korean Air Lines Flight 007 when it was shot down by Soviet interceptors.
1934 – Vladimir Posner, French-American journalist and radio host. Vladimir Vladimirovich Pozner (Russian: Влади́мир Влади́мирович По́знер; born 1 April 1934) is a French-born Russian-American journalist and broadcaster best known in the West for his television appearances representing and explaining the views of the Soviet Union during the Cold War.
1933 – Dan Flavin, American sculptor and educator (d. 1996), was an American minimalist artist famous for creating sculptural objects and installations from commercially available fluorescent light fixtures.
1932 – Debbie Reynolds, Scottish-Irish American actress, singer, and dancer (d. 2016), was an American actress, singer and businesswoman. Her career spanned almost 70 years.
1930 – Grace Lee Whitney, American actress and singer (d. 2015). She was known for her role as Janice Rand on the original Star Trek television series and subsequent Star Trek films.
1929 – Jane Powell, American actress, singer, and dancer. Jane Powell (born Suzanne Lorraine Burce; April 1, 1929) is an American singer, dancer and actress who rose to fame in the mid-1940s with roles in various Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musicals.
1929 – Jonathan Haze, American actor, producer, screenwriter, and production manager. He is best known for his work in Roger Corman films, especially the 1960 black comedy cult classic, The Little Shop of Horrors, in which he played florist's assistant Seymour Krelboyne.
1927 – Walter Bahr, American soccer player, coach, and manager, was an American professional soccer player, considered one of the greatest ever in his country. He was the long-time captain of the U.S. national team and played in the 1950 FIFA World Cup when the U.S. defeated England 1–0.
1926 – Anne McCaffrey, American-Irish author (d. 2011), was an American-born writer who emigrated to Ireland and was best known for the Dragonriders of Pern science fiction series. Early in McCaffrey's 46-year career as a writer, she became the first woman to win a Hugo Award for fiction and the first to win a Nebula Award.
1924 – Brendan Byrne, American lieutenant, judge, and politician, 47th Governor of New Jersey, was an American politician, statesman, and prosecutor, serving as the 47th Governor of New Jersey from 1974 to 1982.
1922 – Duke Jordan, American pianist and composer (d. 2006), was an American jazz pianist.
1922 – William Manchester, American historian and author (d. 2004), was an American author, biographer, and historian. He was the author of 18 books which have been translated into over 20 languages.
1921 – Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith, American guitarist, fiddler, and composer (d. 2014), was an American musician, songwriter, and producer of records, as well as a radio and TV host. Smith produced radio and TV shows; The Arthur Smith Show was the first nationally syndicated country music show on television.
1921 – William Bergsma, American composer and educator (d. 1994). Bergsma was born in Oakland, California.
1919 – Joseph Murray, American surgeon and soldier, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2012), was an American plastic surgeon who performed the first successful human kidney transplant on identical twins Richard and Ronald Herrick on December 23, 1954.
1917 – Melville Shavelson, American director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 2007), was an American film director, producer, screenwriter, and author. He was President of the Writers Guild of America, West (WGAw) from 1969 to 1971, 1979 to 1981, and 1985 to 1987.
1910 – Bob Van Osdel, American high jumper and soldier (d. 1987), was an American athlete who competed mainly in the high jump.
1910 – Harry Carney, American saxophonist and clarinet player (d. 1974), was a jazz saxophonist and clarinettist who spent over four decades as a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He played a variety of instruments but primarily used the baritone saxophone, being a critical influence on the instrument in jazz.
1909 – Abner Biberman, American actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 1977). Biberman was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, later moving to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1909 – Eddy Duchin, American pianist and bandleader (d. 1951), was an American jazz pianist and bandleader during the 1930s and 1940s.
1908 – Abraham Maslow, American psychologist and academic (d. 1970), was an American psychologist who was best known for creating Maslow's hierarchy of needs, a theory of psychological health predicated on fulfilling innate human needs in priority, culminating in self-actualization. Maslow was a psychology professor at Alliant International University, Brandeis University, Brooklyn College, New School for Social Research, and Columbia University.
1908 – Harlow Rothert, American shot putter, lawyer, and academic (d. 1997), was an American athlete who competed mainly in the shot put.
1906 – Alexander Sergeyevich Yakovlev, Russian engineer, founded the Yakovlev Design Bureau (d. 1989), was a Soviet aeronautical engineer. He designed the Yakovlev military aircraft and founded the Yakovlev Design Bureau.
1901 – Whittaker Chambers, American journalist and spy (d. 1961), was an American writer-editor and former Communist spy who in 1948 testified about Communist espionage, thereafter earning respect from the American Conservative movement. After early years as a Communist Party member (1925) and Soviet spy (1932–1938), he defected from the Soviet underground (1938) and joined Time magazine (1939–1948).
1898 – William James Sidis, Ukrainian-Russian Jewish American mathematician, anthropologist, and historian (d. 1944), was an American child prodigy with exceptional mathematical and linguistic skills. He is notable for his 1920 book The Animate and the Inanimate, in which he postulates the existence of dark matter, entropy and the origin of life in the context of thermodynamics.
1895 – Alberta Hunter, African-American singer-songwriter and nurse (d. 1984), was an American jazz singer and songwriter who had a successful career from the early 1920s to the late 1950s, and then stopped performing. After twenty years of working as a nurse, in 1977 Hunter successfully resumed her popular singing career until her death.
1885 – Wallace Beery, American actor (d. 1949), was an American film and stage actor. He is best known for his portrayal of Bill in Min and Bill (1930) opposite Marie Dressler, as Long John Silver in Treasure Island (1934), as Pancho Villa in Viva Villa! (1934), and his titular role in The Champ (1931), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Actor.
1883 – Laurette Taylor, Irish-American actress (d. 1946), was an American stage and silent film star who is particularly well-known for originating the role of Amanda Wingfield in the first production of Tennessee Williams's play The Glass Menagerie.
1883 – Lon Chaney, American actor, director, and screenwriter (d. 1930), was an American stage and film actor, make-up artist, director and screenwriter. He is regarded as one of the most versatile and powerful actors of early cinema, renowned for his characterizations of tortured, often grotesque and afflicted characters, and his groundbreaking artistry with makeup.
1871 – F. Melius Christiansen, Norwegian-American violinist and conductor (d. 1955), was a Norwegian-born violinist and choral conductor in the Lutheran choral tradition.
1852 – Edwin Austin Abbey, American painter and illustrator (d. 1911), was an American muralist, illustrator, and painter. He flourished at the beginning of what is now referred to as the "golden age" of illustration, and is best known for his drawings and paintings of Shakespearean and Victorian subjects, as well as for his painting of Edward VII's coronation.
1823 – Simon Bolivar Buckner, American general and politician, 30th Governor of Kentucky (d. 1891), was an American soldier and politician who fought in the United States Army in the Mexican–American War and in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He later served as the 30th governor of Kentucky.
2014 – King Fleming, American pianist and bandleader (b. 1922)
2012 – Giorgio Chinaglia, Italian-American soccer player and radio host (b. 1947)
2010 – John Forsythe, American actor (b. 1918)
2005 – Robert Coldwell Wood, American political scientist and academic (b. 1923)
2004 – Carrie Snodgress, American actress (b. 1945)
1999 – Jesse Stone, American pianist, songwriter, and producer (b. 1901)
1998 – Rozz Williams, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (b. 1963)
1995 – H. Adams Carter, American mountaineer, journalist, and educator (b. 1914)
1993 – Alan Kulwicki, American race car driver (b. 1954)
1991 – Martha Graham, American dancer and choreographer (b. 1894)
1984 – Marvin Gaye, American singer-songwriter (b. 1939)
1965 – Helena Rubinstein, Polish-American businesswoman (b. 1870)
1950 – Charles R. Drew, American physician and surgeon (b. 1904)
1946 – Noah Beery, Sr., American actor (b. 1882)
1924 – Jacob Bolotin, American physician (b. 1888)
1917 – Scott Joplin, American pianist and composer (b. 1868)
1914 – Rube Waddell, American baseball player (b. 1876)
1890 – David Wilber, American politician (b. 1820)