Southland Anniversary Day in New Zealand (Date for 2024. Holiday is actually the 17th of January but it is observed on Easter Tuesday. This was decided in December 2011 by the mayors of Invercargill, Southland, and Gore districts)
2006 – Over 60 tornadoes break out in the United States; Tennessee is hardest hit with 29 people killed.
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.
1980 – United States President Jimmy Carter signs the Crude Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act.
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.
1956 – As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiere on CBS-TV. The two soaps become the first daytime dramas to debut in the 30-minute format.
1917 – World War I: United States President Woodrow Wilson asks the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.
1911 – The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducts the country's first national census.
1902 – "Electric Theatre", the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opens in Los Angeles.
1900 – The United States Congress passes the Foraker Act, giving Puerto Rico limited self-rule.
1865 – American Civil War: Defeat at the Third Battle of Petersburg forces the Army of Northern Virginia and the Confederate government to abandon Richmond, Virginia.
1863 – American Civil War: The largest in a series of Southern bread riots occurs in Richmond, Virginia.
1800 – Ludwig van Beethoven leads the premiere of his First Symphony in Vienna.
1792 – The Coinage Act is passed establishing the United States Mint.
1513 – Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León first sights land in what is now the United States state of Florida.
1991 – Quavo, American rapper. Quavious Marshall (born April 2, 1991), known professionally as Quavo, is an American rapper, singer, composer and record producer.
1986 – Lee DeWyze, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Leon James "Lee" DeWyze Jr. (born April 2, 1986) is an American singer-songwriter from Mount Prospect, Illinois, and the winner of the ninth season of American Idol.
1983 – Yung Joc, American rapper. Jasiel Amon Tucker Robinson (born April 2, 1983), better known by his stage name Yung Joc, is an American rapper.
1982 – Jeremy Bloom, American football player and skier. As a skier, he is a three-time World Champion, two-time Olympian, and 11-time World Cup Gold Medalist.
1980 – Ricky Hendrick, American race car driver (d. 2004), was an American NASCAR stock car driver and partial owner at Hendrick Motorsports, a team that his father Rick Hendrick founded. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, on April 2, 1980, and began his career in racing at the age of fifteen.
1979 – Jesse Carmichael, American keyboard player. Carmichael also has a solo project called 1863.
1978 – Scott Lynch, American author. Scott Lynch (born April 2, 1978) is an American fantasy author who wrote the Gentleman Bastard series of novels.
1975 – Randy Livingston, American basketball player, was drafted as the 42nd overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by the Houston Rockets.
1973 – Roselyn Sánchez, Puerto Rican-American actress. In film, Sánchez has appeared in Rush Hour 2 (2001), Boat Trip (2002), The Game Plan (2007), and Act of Valor (2012).
1972 – Calvin Davis, American sprinter and hurdler. Calvin Davis (born April 2, 1972 in Eutaw, Alabama) is a former American athlete who competed mainly in the 400 meters, though his fame comes from his success in the 400 meter hurdles.
1972 – Zane Lamprey, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter. He grew up in Syracuse and attended SUNY Cortland in Cortland, New York where he majored in fine arts and minored in theatre.
1967 – Greg Camp, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. Camp is credited as the primary songwriter, whose songs catapulted the band to acclaim with hits, awards, and multi-platinum albums.
1967 – Phil Demmel, American guitarist and songwriter. Phil Demmel (born April 2, 1967) is a musician, who played lead guitar in American heavy metal band Machine Head between 2002 and 2018, making him their longest running member in that position.
1966 – Bill Romanowski, American football player and actor. He played in the National Football League (NFL) for the San Francisco 49ers, Philadelphia Eagles, Denver Broncos, and Oakland Raiders.
1965 – Rodney King, American victim of police brutality (d. 2012), was an American construction worker turned writer and activist after surviving an act of police brutality by the Los Angeles Police Department. On March 3, 1991, King was violently beaten by LAPD officers during his arrest for fleeing and evading on California State Route 210.
1964 – Jonathon Sharkey, American wrestler. Jonathon Tepes Sharkey (born John Albert Sharkey; April 2, 1964) is an American perennial candidate and former professional wrestler.
1964 – Pete Incaviglia, American baseball player and coach. Peter Joseph Incaviglia (born April 2, 1964), is an American former professional baseball left fielder, who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for 12 seasons (1986–1998), for six different big league teams, also spending one year in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB).
1962 – Billy Dean, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. William Harold Dean Jr. (born April 2, 1962) is an American country music singer and songwriter.
1962 – Clark Gregg, American actor. Robert Clark Gregg (born April 2, 1962) is an American actor, director, screenwriter, and voice actor.
1961 – Buddy Jewell, American singer-songwriter, was the first winner on the USA Network talent show Nashville Star. Signed to Columbia Records in 2003, Jewell made his debut on the American country music scene with the release of his self-titled album, which produced the singles "Help Pour Out the Rain (Lacey's Song)" and "Sweet Southern Comfort".
1961 – Christopher Meloni, American actor. In June 2012, he returned to HBO, as the vampire Roman on the main cast of True Blood for the series' fifth season.
1959 – David Frankel, American director, producer, and screenwriter. David Frankel (born April 2, 1959) is an American film director, screenwriter and producer.
1958 – Larry Drew, American basketball player and coach. Larry Donnell Drew (born April 2, 1958) is an American professional basketball coach and former player who most recently served as the head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers of the National Basketball Association (NBA).
1957 – Hank Steinbrenner, American businessman, co-owner of the New York Yankees. He is the older brother of principal owner and managing general partner Hal Steinbrenner.
1954 – Donald Petrie, American actor and director. Donald Mark Petrie (born April 2, 1954) is an American film director and actor.
1954 – Gregory Abbott, American singer-songwriter and producer. Although he continues to record to date, he is best known for his singles in the mid-1980s including his platinum single, "Shake You Down", from his 1986 debut album.
1952 – Leon Wilkeson, American bass player and songwriter (d. 2001), was the bassist of Southern rock Band Lynyrd Skynyrd from 1972 until his death in 2001.
1950 – Lynn Westmoreland, American politician, was the U.S. Representative for Georgia's 3rd congressional district from 2007 to 2017 and the 8th district from 2005 to 2007.
1949 – Pamela Reed, American actress. She appeared as Marlene Griggs-Knope on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation.
1949 – Paul Gambaccini, American-English radio and television host. He has dual United States and British nationality, having become a British citizen in 2005.
1948 – Daniel Okrent, American journalist and author. In November 2011, Last Call won the Albert J.
1948 – Joan D. Vinge, American author. Vinge (/ˈvɪndʒi/ (listen); born April 2, 1948 as Joan Carol Dennison) is an American science fiction author.
1947 – Camille Paglia, American author and critic. She is critical of many aspects of modern culture and is the author of Sexual Personae: Art and Decadence from Nefertiti to Emily Dickinson (1990) and other books.
1947 – Emmylou Harris, American singer-songwriter and guitarist. In 2018 she was presented the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
1945 – Anne Waldman, American poet. She has also been connected to the Beat poets.
1945 – Don Sutton, American baseball player and sportscaster. He played for 23 total major league seasons as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Houston Astros, Milwaukee Brewers, Oakland Athletics, and California Angels.
1945 – Linda Hunt, American actress. Oxheart in Popeye (1980), Hunt's breakthrough came playing the male character Billy Kwan in The Year of Living Dangerously (1982), for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first person to win an Oscar portraying a character of the opposite sex.
1945 – Reggie Smith, American baseball player and coach. He also played in the Nippon Professional Baseball league for two seasons at the end of his playing career.
1944 – Bill Malinchak, American football player. William John Malinchak (born April 2, 1944 in Charleroi, Pennsylvania) is a former American football wide receiver and special teams ace in the National Football League in the 1960s and 1970s.
1943 – Larry Coryell, American jazz guitarist (d. 2017), was an American jazz guitarist known as the "Godfather of Fusion".
1942 – Leon Russell, American singer-songwriter and pianist (d. 2016), was an American musician and songwriter who was involved with numerous bestselling pop music records during his 60-year career. His genres included pop, country, rock, folk, gospel, bluegrass, rhythm and blues, folk rock, blues rock, surf, standards, and Tulsa Sound.
1941 – Dr. Demento, American radio host. Barret Eugene "Barry" Hansen (born April 2, 1941), better known as Dr.
1941 – Sonny Throckmorton, American country singer-songwriter. He has also had minor success as a recording artist, having released two major-label albums: The Last Cheater's Waltz in 1978 on Mercury Records and Southern Train in 1986 on Warner Bros.
1939 – Anthony Lake, American academic and diplomat, 18th United States National Security Advisor, was the Executive Director of the United Nations International Children's Fund (UNICEF), author, academic, and former American diplomat, Foreign Service Officer, and political advisor. He has been a foreign policy advisor to many Democratic U.S. presidents and presidential candidates, and served as National Security Advisor under U.S.
1939 – Marvin Gaye, American singer-songwriter (d. 1984), was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. He helped to shape the sound of Motown in the 1960s, first as an in-house session player and later as a solo artist with a string of hits, earning him the nicknames "Prince of Motown" and "Prince of Soul".
1938 – Al Weis, American baseball player. He was a switch hitter until the end of the 1968 season, after which he batted exclusively right-handed.
1938 – Booker Little, American trumpet player and composer (d. 1961), was an American jazz trumpeter and composer. He appeared on recordings, both as a sideman and as a leader.
1937 – Dick Radatz, American baseball player (d. 2005), was an American relief pitcher in Major League Baseball. Nicknamed "The Monster", the 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m), 230 lb (100 kg) right-hander had a scorching but short-lived period of dominance for the Boston Red Sox in the early sixties.
1934 – Carl Kasell, American journalist and game show host, was an American radio personality. He was best known as a newscaster for National Public Radio, and later as the official judge and scorekeeper of the weekly news quiz show Wait Wait...
1934 – Paul Cohen, American mathematician and theorist (d. 2007). He is best known for his proofs that the continuum hypothesis and the axiom of choice are independent from Zermelo–Fraenkel set theory, for which he was awarded a Fields Medal.
1934 – Richard Portman, American sound engineer (d. 2017). He won an Academy Award for Best Sound and was nominated for ten more in the same category.
1932 – Edward Egan, American cardinal (d. 2015), was an American Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Bridgeport from 1988 to 2000, and as Archbishop of New York from 2000 to 2009.
1929 – Ed Dorn, American poet and educator (d. 1999), was an American poet and teacher often associated with the Black Mountain poets. His most famous work is Gunslinger.
1928 – Joseph Bernardin, American cardinal (d. 1996), was an American Cardinal of the Catholic Church. He served as Archbishop of Cincinnati from 1972 until 1982, and as Archbishop of Chicago from 1982 until his death in 1996 from pancreatic cancer.
1927 – Billy Pierce, American baseball player and sportscaster (d. 2015), was an American starting pitcher in Major League Baseball between 1945 and 1964 who played most of his career for the Chicago White Sox. He was the team's star pitcher in the decade from 1952 to 1961, when they posted the third best record in the major leagues, and received the Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award for the American League (AL) in 1956 and 1957 after being runner-up in both 1953 and 1955.
1927 – Carmen Basilio, American boxer and soldier (d. 2012), was an American professional boxer who was the world champion in both the welterweight and middleweight divisions. He is also famous for defeating Sugar Ray Robinson to win the middleweight title.
1927 – Howard Callaway, American soldier and politician, 11th United States Secretary of the Army (d. 2014), was an American politician and businessman from the state of Georgia. He worked with his family to develop what is now Callaway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia and owned Crested Butte ski resort in Colorado.
1927 – Rita Gam, American actress (d. 2016), was an American film and television actress and documentary filmmaker. She was nominated for a Golden Globe and won the Silver Bear for Best Actress.
1923 – Gloria Henry, American actress. Gloria Eileen McEniry (born April 2, 1923), known professionally as Gloria Henry, is an American actress, best known for her role as Alice Mitchell, Dennis’s mother, from 1959 to 1963 on the CBS family sitcom Dennis the Menace.
1922 – John C. Whitehead, American banker and politician, 9th United States Deputy Secretary of State (d. 2015), was an American banker and civil servant, a board member of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation (WTC Memorial Foundation), and, until his resignation in May 2006, chairman of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation.
1920 – Jack Webb, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter (d. 1982), was an American actor, television producer, director, and screenwriter, who is most famous for his role as Sgt. Joe Friday in the Dragnet franchise (which he created).
1908 – Buddy Ebsen, American actor and dancer (d. 2003), was an American actor and dancer whose career spanned seven decades. His most famous role was as Jed Clampett in the CBS television sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies (1962–1971); afterwards he starred as the title character in the television detective drama Barnaby Jones (1973–1980).
1907 – Harald Andersson, American-Swedish discus thrower (d. 1985). In 1934 he won a European title and held the world record for eight months.
1907 – Luke Appling, American baseball player and manager (d. 1991). Lucius Benjamin "Luke" Appling (April 2, 1907 – January 3, 1991), nicknamed "Old Aches and Pains" was an American shortstop in Major League Baseball who played his entire career for the Chicago White Sox (1930–1950).
1900 – Anis Fuleihan, Cypriot-American pianist, composer, and conductor (d. 1970), was a Cypriot-born American composer, conductor and pianist.
1896 – Johnny Golden, American golfer (d. 1936), was an American professional golfer.
1875 – Walter Chrysler, American businessman, founded Chrysler (d. 1940), was an American automotive industry executive and founder of Chrysler Corporation, now a part of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles.
1869 – Hughie Jennings, American baseball player and manager (d. 1928). During those three seasons, Jennings had 355 runs batted in and hit .335, .386, and .401.
1862 – Nicholas Murray Butler, American philosopher and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 1947), was an American philosopher, diplomat, and educator. Butler was president of Columbia University, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
1841 – Clément Ader, French engineer, designed the Ader Avion III (d. 1926), was a French inventor and engineer who was born in Muret, Haute-Garonne (a distant suburb of Toulouse), and died in Toulouse. He is remembered primarily for his pioneering work in aviation.
1835 – Jacob Nash Victor, American engineer (d. 1907), was a civil engineer who worked as General Manager of the California Southern Railroad, a subsidiary of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Victor oversaw the construction in the early 1880s of the California Southern between Colton and Barstow, California, including the section that is now one of the busiest rail freight routes in the United States, Cajon Pass.
1814 – Erastus Brigham Bigelow, American inventor (d. 1879), was an American inventor of weaving machines.
2015 – Robert H. Schuller, American pastor and author (b. 1926)
2013 – Milo O'Shea, Irish-American actor (b. 1926)
2012 – Elizabeth Catlett, American-Mexican sculptor and illustrator (b. 1915)
2012 – Mauricio Lasansky, American graphic designer and academic (b. 1914)
2011 – John C. Haas, American businessman and philanthropist (b. 1918)
2010 – Chris Kanyon, American wrestler (b. 1970)
2009 – Bud Shank, American saxophonist and flute player (b. 1926)
2007 – Henry L. Giclas, American astronomer and academic (b. 1910)
2003 – Edwin Starr, American singer-songwriter (b. 1942)
2002 – John R. Pierce, American engineer and author (b. 1910)
1998 – Rob Pilatus, American-German singer-songwriter (b. 1965)
1994 – Betty Furness, American actress, consumer advocate, game show panelist, television journalist and television personality (b. 1916)
1987 – Buddy Rich, American drummer, songwriter, and bandleader (b. 1917)
1928 – Theodore William Richards, American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1868)
1896 – Theodore Robinson, American painter and academic (b. 1852)
1891 – Albert Pike, American lawyer and general (b. 1809)
1872 – Samuel Morse, American painter and academic, invented the Morse code (b. 1791)
1865 – A. P. Hill, American general (b. 1825)
1657 – Jean-Jacques Olier, French priest, founded the Society of Saint-Sulpice (b. 1608)
1507 – Francis of Paola, Italian friar and saint, founded the Order of the Minims (b. 1416)