On this date, there were some contrasts. In 1794 the US establishes a permanent Navy and authorizes the building of six frigates. In 1977 on the Canary Island of Tenerife, two 747 jetliners collided on a foggy runway and 583 passengers were killed. Somehow 61 on one airliner survived.

In 1866 President Andrew Johnson vetoes the Civil Rights Act of 1866, but Congress overrode his veto and the bill became law on April 6th. In contrast, a mob in Cincinnati, Ohio, decided the jury verdict should have been murder instead of manslaughter and felt so strongly about it that they attacked and burned down the courthouse.

In 1976 the first section of the Washington (DC) Metro opened to the public, culminating in a reliable people mover that I rode over 30 years later. And in contrast on this date (though it was a Friday that year) the Good Friday Earthquake hit Anchorage Alaska in 1964 – the 9.2 magnitude was the biggest on the US West Coast ever.

German physicist and Nobel Prize winner Wilhelm Rontgen was born in 1845 and later discovered x-rays and his name was given to the measurement of their strength. There were also a director and two actors born on this date: director Quentin Tarantino (1963), actor David Janssen (1931), who I watched on TV as The Fugitive, and Nathan Fillion (1971) who I enjoyed on the crime drama Castle and in sci-fi Firefly.

Those we said goodbye to on this date include King James I of England (1625); Toyota Motors founder Kiichiro Toyoda (1952); Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin (1968) the first man in orbit; American comedian Milton Berle (2002); and American actor Dudley Moore(2002).

This day is also noted as World Theater Day.