This Week in History: April 16th - April 22nd

April 16, 2018
by Graham Pierrepoint -

History is fascinating – and while we seem to be in the middle of what will likely be a historic few weeks for generations to look back on in history class, there’s plenty for us to be dipping into to see just how far we’ve come. Let’s take another look back at what happened, this week, decades and centuries ago – and who knows – there might be something you never knew about hidden along the way!

April 16th, 1900 – The US Introduces Books of Postage Stamps
Yes – believe it or not, the US has only been really using postage stamps in bulk for just over a century – and who’s to say quite what will happen to stamps in future? You can thank the US Post Office for this one, at least!

April 17rd, 1875 – Snooker Invented
Perhaps more interesting to play than to watch (but who am I to judge?) – the ball-potting game was first invented this week back in the 19th century by Sir Neville Chamberlain while in India – it’s a sport which, while yet to achieve Olympic status, is immensely popular and watched by millions at home and on location.

April 18th, 1902 – Criminal Fingerprinting Begins
You can thank the Danes for the art of spotting a criminal by their fingerprints – and while DNA research has long since helped to make crime-fighting tighter than ever before, we’re still dusting for prints some 116 years later.

April 19th, 2011 – Fidel Castro Resigns
After an incredible 45 years in charge of Cuba, Fidel Castro resigned from the country’s Communist Party following ill health 7 years ago this week. The former leader has since passed on – but he’d been in power long enough to see US presidents change hands again and again and again.

April 20th, 1611 – ‘Macbeth’ Debuts
Don’t mention The Scottish Play behind the curtain at a theatre – it’s immensely bad luck! The first-ever performance of William Shakespeare’s supposedly ‘cursed’ play took to the stage at the Globe Theatre in London 407 years ago this week. It’s still getting the crowds in to this day – with caution!

April 21st, 1956 – Elvis Hits #1
Legendary rock n’ roll hit maker Elvis Presley – widely regarded still as the most successful solo act in Western pop music – grabbed his first #1 hit this week in the US, as ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ climbed its way to the top of the charts.

April 22nd, 1994 – The World’s Biggest Lollipop Created
Fancy giving this one a lick? Once again, we’re heading back to Denmark – not content with having spent this historical week offering us fingerprinting technology, but they’re also responsible for having created the world’s biggest lollipop ever made – if you’re interested, it weighed 3011 lbs – how many licks would it take to get to the center of that?!

Join us again for more trips through time next week!

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