• On April 27, 4977 B.C., the universe is created, according to 17th-century German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler. Scientists in the 20th century developed the Big Bang theory, which showed that Kepler’s calculations were off by about 13.7 billion years.
• On April 23, 1564, according to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare is born in Stratfordon Avon. It is impossible to be certain the exact day on which he was born, but church records show that he was baptized on April 26, and three days was a customary amount of time to wait before baptizing a newborn.
• On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth is killed when Union soldiers track him down to a Virginia farm 12 days after he assassinated President Abraham Lincoln. The original plan involved a simultaneous assassination of Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward.
• On April 24, 1936, a group of firemen responding to an alarm in Camden, N.J., is televised. It was the first time an unplanned event was broadcast on television, anticipating the development of live TV news coverage.
• On April 25, 1947, President Harry Truman officially opens the first White House bowling alley. Eisenhower closed the two-lane alley in 1955 and turned it into a mimeograph room. Nixon had a one-lane alley installed underground directly beneath the North Portico entrance of the White House.
• On April 28, 1958, “The Witch Doctor,” by singer/ songwriter David Seville, hits the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s pop charts. The song used the unusual technique of recording the singer’s voice at a speed different than the music.
• On April 29, 1974, President Richard Nixon announces to the public that he will release transcripts of 46 taped White House conversations in response to a Watergate trial subpoena. On Aug. 8, 1974, Nixon avoided a Senate impeachment trial by becoming the first American president to resign from office.
(c) 2012 King Features Synd.