Dulce Rodrigues, writer
IT HAPPENED IN APRIL
- 2, 1805 -
Hans Christian Andersen was born in the Danish town of Odense as the only child
of a socially poor family. At the age of 13 he went to Copenhagen to follow his
school education, and at 16 he wrote his first literary work. A life career
almost totally devoted to writing was thus initiated. Hans Christian Andersen
is the author of a large number of novels, plays and poems, not to mention his
tales and other children stories, which may as well enchant grown-up people.
- 3, 1811 - Battle of Sabugal: After his defeat at Bussaco on September 27, 1810, the French general Massena turned the position
of the allied army (Portuguese and English) on the Serra do Bussaco and caused Wellington to fall back upon the
fortified lines that he had constructed at Torres Vedras. On March 5, 1811, after a winter of terrible sufferings,
the retreat of the Napoleonic army began; they were harassed by the allied troops all the way to Sabugal,
where the last defensive action in Portugal took place on April 3.
- 4, 1814 - Napoleon's abdication: Following the heavy defeat of his armies during the invasion of Portugal
and Spain (1807-1811) and also the tragedy of the Russian campaign (1812), Napoleon
Bonaparte is compelled to abdicate.
- 7, 1498: During his sea route trip to India and after having passed Mozambique, Vasco da
Gama came across
the island of Mombaza. Due to its strategic location, which aroused other nation's envy, several
strong fortifications were constructed in the island by the Portuguese in the XVI and XVII centuries.
- 14, 1759 - The German composer George Friedrich Haendel. dies in London where he had already been living for years.
He had taken British nationality in 1726.
- 14, 1995 - The Portuguese film producer António Lopes Ribeiro dies in Lisbon. He was 87 years old.
- 14, 1912 - On her first trip, the British transatlantic ship "Titanic", hit an iceberg and sank in the night
from April 14 to 15, thereby causing the death of 1.515 people.
- 15, 1865 - Abraham Lincoln, sixteenth president of the USA, dies in Washington that morning.
He had been shot the day before by the actor John Wilkes Booth when attending a performance at the Ford Theatre.
- 21, 1500 - At the same site where three years earlier Vasco da Gama had began his sea route to India, the Portuguese king Manuel
ordered the construction in Lisbon of the
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. The monastery is a real jewel of Manueline style, a combination of Gothic and Renaissance architectural elements
taking in unique symbolic elements, which is exclusively Portuguese; it’s an impressive monument worthy of admiration.
It was declared National Monument in 1907 and classified as a World Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO in 1984.
It is the resting place of king Manuel and his descendants; also the burial place of
Luís de Camões, the great Portuguese poet of the Renaissance,
and of the Portuguese navigator Vasco da Gama.
Its structure hardly suffered damage by the 1755 earthquake due to being constructed on the sandy banks of river Tejo.
- 22, 1500 - Discovery of Brazil: About two years after the glorious Sea Route trip
to India by Vasco da Gama, king Manuel I decides to send another fleet to these far away land, this time under the command of
Pedro Álvares Cabral,
whose official mission is to impose Portuguese domination to Calicut.
The fleet - the most powerful fleet ever prepared for sea expedition to distant lands - comprises
Cabral leaves Lisbon on March 19, passes off the Canary islands, continues along the Cape Verde islands - where a
vessel got lost without any apparent reason - and then turns west. On April 22nd, Cabral and his
crew see in the distance a blue round-shaped mount which they call "Monte Pascoal" for reason of
the date of discovery - Wednesday before Easter. The vessels move along the blond
and the Portuguese discover with joy a rich and luxuriant land that would later be world-known as Brazil.
- 23 - Saint George's Day, national celebration in the United Kingdom.
- 25, 1974 -
Pink Carnations Revolution in Portugal: celebration of this key
event of April 25, 1974 which put the country again on the map - after half a century
of dictatorship under Antonio Salazar and his successor, Marcelo Caetano, democracy
had at last returned in the wake of this virtually bloodless revolution.
- 29, 1901 - National celebration in Japan: emperor Hirohito's birthday.
- 30, 1938 - National celebration in The Netherlands: queen Beatrice's birthday.
One of the most important dates in a person's life is our own birthday.
Would you like to know how much time has passed since that day?
Enjoy yourself making the calculation