On this date in 1598, King Henry IV of France signed the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to the Protestant Huguenots. Opponents called him a Nantes-ee boy.

In 1742, Handel's "Messiah" was performed publicly for the very first time, at the New Music Hall in Dublin, Ireland. When it finally over, all Handel could say was, "Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah- Hallelujah, Hall Lay Loo yaw."

It's Thomas Jefferson's birthday today (1743). Hey, he was a great leader and we don't have a holiday off in April: what gives? Here's some Jefferson tidbits:

He was credited with introducing the handshake in the White House (up until his time, the leaders bowed to greet someone).

He appears on the nickel and the $2 bill (gee, thanks guys, don't do me any favors) and invented the idea of the dumbwaiter.

Jefferson's epitaph (he wrote himself): "Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, of the statute of Virginia for religious freedom and the father of the University of Virginia." He didn't even bring up being U.S. president.

On this date in 1776, George Washington arrived in New York City to help defend a group of colonists as they prepared to walk through Central Park.

In 1796, the very first elephant arrived in the United States went on exhibition.
  • It was a few days late because, during shipping, his trunk was accidentally sent on to Kansas City. 
  • I think it was here for a ceramics show. 
  • Unfortunately, his trunk went on to Canada. 
  • Ironically, no one remembers why. 
  • It was kinda tricky getting him through the museum without breaking things, but what could you do: he had a ticket. 

On this date in 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art is founded in New York. To this day, we still don't know "Art who?"

In 1964, Sidney Potier (paw-tee-AY) became the first black actor to win an Oscar. Boy, the show must have run really long that year if he didn't win until April 13th.

It was on this date in 1970, the 13th day of April, that an oxygen tank blew up on Apollo 13 and a very young Ron Howard said, "Hey, I've got a great idea for a movie!"

On this date in 1976, the $2 was reintroduced in America. It caught on as well the second time as it did the first.

In 1997, Tiger Woods became the youngest person to ever win the Masters Tournament. That was one wife and several girlfriends ago.


Allison Williams, an actress and daughter of MSNBC news anchor Brian Williams, turns the big 3-0 today... if Brian can be believed.

Lou Bega, the singer who gave us "Mambo #5" turns 43 today. Some would consider hearing that song bad luck. He probably should be singing "Mambo #13."

Rick Schroder turns 48 today. He was once a child actor named Ricky but then, one day, he had his "y" clinically removed.

Tony Dow, Beaver's older brother Wally in "Leave it to Beaver" turns 73 today. Dad's probably going to holler at him... but that's just so he can hear. Just for old time's sake, Eddie Haskel is going to come and help him get into a pickle.

Lyle Waggoner, the good-looking hunk from the old "Carol Burnett Show" is 83 today.

National Scrabble Day -- There are 225 squares on a Scrabble board. The highest scoring word in the English language game of Scrabble is "Quartzy." This will score 164 points if played across a red triple-word square with the Z on a light blue double-letter square. This does not include the points it makes off it's adjoining word. 


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