• On April 2, 1513, near present-day St. Augustine, Florida, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon comes ashore and claims the territory for the Spanish crown. Ponce de Leon is credited with the first recorded landing and the first detailed exploration of the Florida coast.
• On April 1, 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of playing April Fool’s jokes. In keeping with the fun, in 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees.
• On March 31, 1776, future first lady Abigail Adams writes to her husband urging him to “remember the ladies” when drafting a new code of laws for the fledgling nation. Abigail pondered if and how the rights of women would be addressed in an American constitution.
• On April 4, 1841, only 31 days after assuming office, William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, dies at the White House. At his inauguration, Harrison declined to wear a jacket or hat and made a two-hour speech. Soon afterward, he developed pneumonia.
• On April 3, 1936, Richard Bruno Hauptmann, convicted in the kidnapping and murder of the 20-month-old son of Charles Lindbergh, is executed by electrocution. In 1932, Charles Lindbergh Jr. was kidnapped from the nursery of the Lindbergh home.
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