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4 April: On this day in history

What events happened on 4 April in history? We round up the events, births and deaths…

Published: April 4, 2022 at 6:06 am
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4 April 1732

French rococo painter and printmaker Jean-Honoré Fragonard was born in Grasse. His playful, gently erotic style is epitomised by his 1767 oil painting The Swing, which is displayed in London's Wallace Collection.


4 April 1873

The Kennel Club was founded following a meeting – at no 2, Albert Mansions, London – of 12 gentlemen seeking to promote the “general improvement of dogs”.

4 April 1887

Susanna Salter becomes the United States's first woman mayor when she is elected mayor of Argonia, Kansas.

4 April 1911

The foundation stone of Castle Drogo was laid near Drewsteignton in Devon. It was the 55th birthday of businessman and retailer Julius Drewe who had commissioned architect Edwin Lutyens to design Castle Drogo as his family home. The building was to take more than 20 years to complete as construction was delayed by a shortage of worked granite and the outbreak of the First World War, which saw three-quarters of the workforce leave to join the forces. It was the first 20th-century property to be acquired by the National Trust.

4 April 1949

Creation of Nato, the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, as ten West European countries plus the United States and Canada sign the Treaty of Washington, a mutual defence pact against possible Soviet aggression.

4 April 1660

The exiled Charles II issued the Declaration of Breda, his manifesto for the Restoration of the monarchy. In it he offered an amnesty for offences committed during the Civil Wars and Interregnum, "excepting only such persons as shall hereafter be excepted by parliament". He also hinted at some form of religious liberty, stated that land disputes that had arisen as a result of the Civil Wars should be settled in parliament and promised to pay off the army.


4 April 1968

American civil rights leader Martin Luther King is assassinated while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee.

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