What Happened On This Day – April 2
2002 Israeli forces besiege the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem
The Israel Defense Force had occupied Bethlehem to capture wanted Palestinians. The 39-day siege ensued after some militants fled into the church, which is believed to stand on the birthplace of Jesus of Nazareth.
1982 Argentina occupies the Falkland Islands
The invasion escalated a long-standing conflict between Argentina and the United Kingdom over the archipelago in the South Atlantic. It triggered the Falklands War, which was won by the U.K.
1968 Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Oddyssey receives its world premiere
Upon release, the epic about human evolution, technology, and extraterrestrial life polarized audiences and critics alike. Today, it is considered a classic in its genre.
1800 Ludwig van Beethoven's First Symphony is premiered
The German composer conducted the orchestra himself. The premiere received exceptionally positive reviews.
1792 The U.S. dollar is introduced
The Mint Act of 1792 established the Dollar as U.S. currency. About two-thirds of global trade today is based on the U.S. Dollar.
Births On This Day – April 2
1939 Marvin Gaye
1891 Max Ernst
German painter, sculptor, poet
1840 Émile Zola
French author, critic
1805 Hans Christian Andersen
Danish author, poet
1725 Giacomo Casanova
Italian explorer, author
Deaths On This Day – April 2
2015 Manoel de Oliveira
Portuguese director, screenwriter
2005 Pope John Paul II
1974 Georges Pompidou
French politician, Prime Minister, President of France
1872 Samuel Morse
American painter, inventor, co-invented the Morse code