April 22 – On this Day in History

April 22 has been marked by a series of significant events throughout history, spanning from groundbreaking discoveries and political milestones to environmental movements and tragic disasters.

This article delves into the diverse array of events that have unfolded on this date, offering insight into their impact on society and the world at large.

From the discovery of Brazil by Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral to the signing of the Paris Agreement on climate change, April 22 serves as a reminder of the interconnectedness of past, present, and future.

April 22nd Events in History

1500 – Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral officially discovers Brazil

Pedro Álvares Cabral, a Portuguese navigator, officially discovered Brazil on April 22, 1500. Sailing under the command of King Manuel I of Portugal, Cabral’s fleet was en route to India when they were blown off course by a storm.

Also Read: April 21 – On this Day in History

They landed in what is now Porto Seguro in the state of Bahia, Brazil. This discovery eventually led to Portugal claiming the territory and initiating colonization efforts.

1529 – Treaty of Zaragoza divides the eastern hemisphere between Spain and Portugal along a line 297.5 leagues or 17° east of the Moluccas

The Treaty of Zaragoza was signed between Spain and Portugal on April 22, 1529. It was negotiated by representatives of Emperor Charles V of Spain and King John III of Portugal.

The treaty aimed to settle conflicts over newly discovered lands outside of Europe following the voyages of Christopher Columbus and others.

It established a line of demarcation in the eastern hemisphere, 17 degrees east of the Moluccas (part of present-day Indonesia), dividing Spanish and Portuguese spheres of influence.

George Washington

1793 – President George Washington issues the Neutrality Proclamation to keep the United States neutral in the European wars

On April 22, 1793, President George Washington issued the Neutrality Proclamation, declaring the United States’ neutrality in the ongoing conflict between France and Great Britain, which were at war during the French Revolutionary Wars.

Also Read: April 23rd Events in History

This proclamation was significant because it aimed to keep the United States out of European conflicts and to protect American interests, as the nation was still relatively young and fragile.

1836 – Texas Revolution: A day after the Battle of San Jacinto, Mexican General Santa Anna is captured by the Texans

The capture of Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna occurred on April 22, 1836, a day after the decisive Battle of San Jacinto in the Texas Revolution. Santa Anna, who had been leading Mexican forces against the Texian rebels, was found hiding in the marshes. His capture effectively ended the war and led to the independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico.

1864 – The U.S. Congress passes the Coinage Act of 1864 that mandates the inscription “In God We Trust” be placed on all coins minted as United States currency

The Coinage Act of 1864 was passed by the U.S. Congress on April 22, 1864. Among its provisions, the act mandated that the phrase “In God We Trust” be inscribed on all coins minted as United States currency.

This decision was influenced by Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, who believed that including a reference to God on coins would reflect the nation’s religious sentiment during the Civil War.

1876 – The first ever National League baseball game is played at the Jefferson Street Grounds in Philadelphia

On April 22, 1876, the first ever National League baseball game was played at the Jefferson Street Grounds in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The game was between the Boston Red Stockings (now known as the Atlanta Braves) and the Philadelphia Athletics.

This marked the beginning of what would become one of the most popular and enduring professional sports leagues in the United States, with the National League being the oldest currently active major professional sports league.

Oklahoma Land Rush

1889 – The Oklahoma Land Rush begins at noon as thousands of homesteaders stake claims

The Oklahoma Land Rush, also known as the Land Run of 1889, began on April 22, 1889. It was a significant event in the settlement of the American West. The U.S. government had recently opened up the “Unassigned Lands” in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) for settlement.

Thousands of eager settlers, known as “Boomers,” lined up at the borders of the territory and rushed in to claim free land as soon as the starting gun was fired. This event led to the rapid development and settlement of Oklahoma.

1915 – The use of poison gas in World War I escalates when chlorine gas is released as a chemical weapon in the Second Battle of Ypres

On April 22, 1915, during World War I, the German army unleashed a new and deadly weapon during the Second Battle of Ypres: chlorine gas. This marked the first large-scale use of chemical warfare on the Western Front.

The chlorine gas, released from canisters, drifted across no man’s land and into the trenches of the Allied forces, causing chaos and devastation. Its effects were horrific, leading to thousands of casualties and further escalating the brutality of trench warfare.

1930 – The United Kingdom, Japan, France, Italy, and the United States sign the London Naval Treaty regulating submarine warfare and limiting naval shipbuilding

On April 22, 1930, the United Kingdom, Japan, France, Italy, and the United States signed the London Naval Treaty. The treaty was aimed at regulating naval armaments and preventing an arms race among the major powers.

It established limits on the tonnage and number of warships each signatory could possess, with a focus on battleships, aircraft carriers, and cruisers. The treaty was one of several efforts during the interwar period to promote disarmament and prevent future conflicts.

1945 – World War II: Prisoners at the Jasenovac concentration camp revolt. 600 are killed and 80 escape

On April 22, 1945, during World War II, prisoners at the Jasenovac concentration camp in Croatia staged a revolt against their captors. Jasenovac was one of the largest and most notorious concentration camps operated by the Ustasa regime, a fascist puppet government aligned with Nazi Germany.

The prisoners, mostly ethnic Serbs, Jews, and Roma, rose up against their guards in a desperate attempt to escape the brutality and certain death they faced in the camp. The revolt was brutally suppressed, with many prisoners killed in the ensuing violence.

Jasenovac concentration camp

1954 – Red Scare: The Army-McCarthy hearings begin, investigating conflicting accusations between the United States Army and Senator Joseph McCarthy

The Army-McCarthy hearings commenced on April 22, 1954, as part of the larger investigation into allegations of Communist infiltration in the United States government and military. Senator Joseph McCarthy, known for his aggressive anti-communist crusade, had accused the U.S. Army of being soft on communism.

The hearings, televised nationally, provided a platform for McCarthy and the Army to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. The proceedings ultimately led to a public backlash against McCarthy and contributed to his downfall as his tactics were perceived as bullying and unethical.

1970 – The first Earth Day is celebrated, founded by Senator Gaylord Nelson to promote ecology and the respect for life on the planet

The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22, 1970. It was organized by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin as a nationwide event to raise awareness about environmental issues and promote conservation efforts.

Millions of people participated in rallies, demonstrations, and educational activities across the United States, calling attention to issues such as air and water pollution, deforestation, and habitat destruction. Earth Day is now observed annually around the world as a day of environmental activism and advocacy.

1978 – The One Love Peace Concert is held at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica, featuring Bob Marley, among other performers

The One Love Peace Concert took place on April 22, 1978, at The National Stadium in Kingston, Jamaica. The concert was organized by Jamaican reggae superstar Bob Marley in an effort to promote peace and unity amidst political tensions in Jamaica.

The event featured performances by Marley and other prominent reggae artists, as well as speeches by political leaders. One of the most memorable moments of the concert was when Marley invited political rivals Michael Manley and Edward Seaga to join him on stage, where they symbolically shook hands in a gesture of reconciliation.

1993 – The Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. is dedicated

On April 22, 1993, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was officially dedicated in Washington, D.C.

The museum serves as a national institution for the documentation, study, and commemoration of the Holocaust, the genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany during World War II that resulted in the murder of six million Jews, as well as millions of other victims, including Roma, disabled individuals, and political dissidents.

The museum’s exhibitions and educational programs aim to honor the memory of the Holocaust victims and educate visitors about the dangers of intolerance and hatred.

1994 – In the National Football League (NFL), the Houston Oilers announce they are moving to Nashville and becoming the Tennessee Titans

On April 22, 1994, the Houston Oilers, a professional American football team in the National Football League (NFL), announced that they would be relocating to Nashville, Tennessee, and would henceforth be known as the Tennessee Oilers.

The move followed years of disputes between the team’s ownership and the city of Houston over the construction of a new stadium. The team eventually changed its name to the Tennessee Titans in 1999 and moved into their new stadium, now known as Nissan Stadium, in Nashville.

1997 – Haouch Khemisti massacre in Algeria; 93 villagers are killed

On April 22, 1997, the Haouch Khemisti massacre occurred in Algeria during the Algerian Civil War. Armed militants attacked the village of Haouch Khemisti, located in the Blida Province, and killed 93 civilians, including women and children.

The massacre was part of the ongoing violence between Islamist insurgents and the Algerian government that plagued the country throughout the 1990s. The conflict resulted in widespread bloodshed and human rights abuses, with both sides committing atrocities against civilians.

2000 – Federal agents seize six-year old Elián González from his relatives’ home in Miami, Florida

On April 22, 2000, six-year-old Elián González was seized by federal agents from his relatives’ home in Miami, Florida. Elián had become the center of an international custody dispute after surviving a shipwreck off the coast of Florida that killed his mother and others who were attempting to reach the United States from Cuba.

Elián’s father, who was still in Cuba, sought his son’s return to Cuba, while his relatives in Miami wished to keep him in the United States. The seizure sparked controversy and legal battles over Elián’s custody and immigration status.

2004 – Two fuel trains collide in Ryongchon, North Korea, causing a massive explosion that results in about 150 deaths

On April 22, 2004, two fuel trains collided in Ryongchon, a town in North Korea near the Chinese border, resulting in a massive explosion. The explosion, which occurred in a densely populated area, caused widespread devastation and casualties.

Official reports stated that approximately 150 people were killed, and thousands were injured. The incident raised questions about the safety of North Korea’s infrastructure and transportation systems, as well as the government’s response to such emergencies.

2016 – The Paris Agreement is signed, an agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change dealing with greenhouse gases emissions mitigation, adaptation, and finance starting in the year 2020

On April 22, 2016, representatives from 175 countries gathered at the United Nations headquarters in New York City to sign the Paris Agreement on climate change.

The agreement, negotiated during the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in Paris in 2015, aims to address global warming by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and limiting the rise in global average temperature to well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, with efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The Paris Agreement represents a landmark international commitment to combating climate change and transitioning to a more sustainable future.