On This Day in History: April 1

Happy April Fools’ Day! This does have a history to it, but it is not the only thing that happened today in history. Here is a look at today’s events.

1621: First Treaty Between Colonists and Native Americans

The first ever treaty between the Native Americans and British colonists took place on this day, between the Wampanoags chief, Massasoit and the Plymouth colonists. The two parties agreed not to hurt each other and had Pilgrim-Wampanoag peace treatyinclusions of punishments should the peace be broken–each being sent to one another’s side for their punishment. The Plymouth colonists from the Mayflower had had a disastrous start to their journey, but the treaty stood for more than 50 years to secure a home for all.


1700: April Fools’ Day Becomes Popular

Nobody really knows the origins of the day of pranks, but today in 1700 it started to become popular. Friends in England would play pranks on each other, and it has some become a worldwide event. Even the media gets involved with a prank story or two. There is the belief that it actually started in France in 1582 when the Julian calendar changed to the Gregorian calendar. Some people had not received the news and still believed the new year was celebrated during the last week of March and into April 1.

1816: Jane Austen Declines Advice from the Prince Regent

Jane Austen and the Prince Regent, King George IV of Great Britain, regularly corresponded after the success of numerous Jane Austennovels, including Sense and Sensibility and Emma. She had received some literary advice, as he wanted her to write a historic romance rather than keep her novels set in her own time period. Austen declined this, saying that she “could not sit down to write a serious romance under any other motive than to save my life.”

1918: Founding of the British RAF

On this day in history, the Royal Air Force (RAF) was founded by joining the Royal Naval Air Service and the Royal Flying Corps. It became its own military service and remains so today. It all came about due to the First World War, when both previous services were needed to hold off German air raids. A female branch was even formed, called the Women’s Royal Air Force.

Famous Birthdays on April 1

Ludwig IV of Baveria–1283

Biologist and physician William Harvey—1578

Poet, John Wilmot, 2nd Earl of Rochester–1647

Mathematician Sophie Germain–1776

German chancellor Otto Von Bismarck—1815

Fairy tale writer, Marie Jungius–1864

Actor Lon Chaney—1883

Blues singer Alberta Hunter—1895

The Farewell Party writer Milan Kundera—1929

Britain’s Got Talent contestant Susan Boyle—1961

S Club 7 Singer Hannah Spearritt—1981

Olympic gymnast Beth Tweddle—1985


Birthdays from HistoryNet.com, OnThisDay.com and FamousBirthdays.com

Featured image from Deposit Photos

Peace treaty: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massasoit#/media/File:Wampanoag2.jpg

Image of Jane Austen by Cassandra Austen (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_Austen#/media/File:CassandraAusten-JaneAusten(c.1810)_hires.jpg) Used under the CC-3.0 License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)

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