• On April 28, 1789, the HMS Bounty is seized in a mutiny led by Fletcher Christian, the master’s mate. Captain William Bligh and 18 of his loyal supporters were set adrift in a small, open boat. Bligh and his men reached the East Indies in June after a voyage of some 3,600 miles.
• On April 30, 1888, orangesized hail devastates the farming town in India, killing 230 people. The area’s many farmers were out working their fields when the storm began, and most of the victims died instantly.
• On May 1, 1923, Joseph Heller, author of the classic satirical novel “Catch-22,” is born in Brooklyn, N.Y. “Catch-22” explores a paradox in Army regulations: A pilot could be grounded if found insane, but if the pilot requested to be grounded because of insanity, the Army considered him perfectly sane for wanting to avoid danger – and wouldn’t ground him.
• On May 4, 1948, Norman Mailer’s first novel, “The Naked and the Dead,” is published. After leaving the Army in 1946, he wrote the best-seller while studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, basing it on his own military experiences.
(c) 2008 King Features Synd., Inc.