On This Day April 1
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1582 – This date marks the first known celebration of April Fool’s Day, also known in some circles as All Fools’ Day. In 1700, English pranksters begin to popularize the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on one other.
1918 – Britain’s Royal Air Force (RAF) is founded through a merger of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) and the Royal Naval Air Service (RNAS). It takes its place beside the British navy and army as a separate military branch with its own ministry.
1963 – Two daytime dramas with a medical theme are launched by competing networks. ABC’s longest-running soap, “General Hospital,” premieres as the brainchild of the husband and wife writing team of Frank and Doris Hursley. And NBC broadcasts the first episode of “The Doctors,” which enjoys a nearly 30-year run until the network pulls the plug in 1982.
1970 – President Richard Nixon signs legislation banning cigarette commercials on radio and TV. The ban takes effect in January 1971. However, Big Tobacco soon realizes that the move would free funds to advertise in other media.
1972 – The first strike in Major League Baseball (MLB) history is triggered by the expiration of the league’s three-year pension agreement. The strike lasts 12 days and causes the cancellation of 86 games, throwing the season into flux.
1976 – Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne form Apple Computer, That July, they begin to sell the Apple I personal computer kits that were hand-built by Wozniak. Apple is incorporated in January 1977, but without Wayne, who sells his share of the company back to Jobs and Wozniak for $800.
1966 – The Troggs record “Wild Thing” at Regent Sound Studio in London. The track, recorded in one complete take (Take 2), climbs to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 that July and holds there for two weeks.
1972 – The band America gallops to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 chart with “A Horse with No Name,” the single that gave us such unique lyrics as “the heat was hot” and “there ain’t no one for to give you no pain.”
1984 – One day before his 45th birthday, Marvin Gaye — considered one of Motown’s renaissance men — is fatally shot by his father after a violent argument. Gaye’s biggest hits include “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You),” “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),” “What’s Going On,” “Let’s Get It On” and “Sexual Healing.”
1989 – “Eternal Flame,” by The Bangles, is the No. 1 single. The track, off the girl group’s “Everything” album, also goes on to reach No. 1 on pop charts in eight other countries, including Australia and the U.K.
1995 – With the release of “Me Against the World,” Tupac Shakur becomes the first male solo artist to have a No. 1 album on the Billboard chart while in prison. The album goes on to become a hip-hop classic.