This Day In History, April 2nd

What happened on this day in history: Hans Christian Andersen is born, Argentina invades the Falkland Islands, and more.

1502: Arthur Prince Of Wales Dies

Arthur, Prince of Wales and heir to Henry VII, dies at the age of 15. Arthur’s death meant that his younger brother Henry would go on to become King Henry VIII and marry Arthur’s bride, Catherine of Aragon.

1513: Juan Ponce de León Claims Florida For Spain

After setting out from Puerto Rico in search of new land, Juan Ponce de León claims Florida for Spain. Though Native Americans had lived in the territory for thousands of years, de León marked it as Spanish territory and called it Florida because he’d “discovered” it during the Easter feast (Pascua Florida). De León later tried to colonize Florida but sustained a mortal wound in 1521 after being attacked by Native Americans.

1805: Hans Christian Andersen Is Born

April 2 In History

Corbis via Getty ImagesA portrait of writer Hans Christian Andersen.

Hans Christian Andersen is born in Odense, Denmark. A writer best known for his children’s books, Andersen penned classic stories like The Princess and the Pea (1835), Thumbelina (1835), The Little Mermaid (1837), and The Ugly Duckling (1843). Andersen achieved wide renown after many of his works were translated into English in the 1840s.

1917: Woodrow Wilson Asks Congress To Declare War On Germany

U.S. President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to declare war on Germany. The vote in the House of Representatives came out to 373 in favor, 50 against (with eight representatives abstaining). In the Senate, 82 senators voted in favor of war while six voted against (eight senators abstained). With this, the United States officially joined the First World War on the side of the Allies. The war would end in an Allied victory over a year later.

1932: Famed Cowboy Bill Pickett Dies

Bill Pickett

Public DomainBill Pickett traveled the world to show off his cattle-wrestling skills.

Bill Pickett dies in Ponca City, Oklahoma, at the age of 61, after being kicked in the head by an unbroken horse. The inventor of bulldogging, Pickett led an exciting life that took him across the world as he exhibited his sport (which involved wrestling a bull and biting its lip to take it down). He’s since claimed numerous honors, including being the first Black rodeo athlete voted into the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum’s Rodeo Hall of Fame.

1982: Argentina Invades The Falkland Islands

Falkland Island Invasion

Rafael WOLLMANN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty ImagesArgentinian soldiers during the invasion of the Falkland Islands.

Argentinian troops launch a full-scale invasion of the British-held Falkland Islands. Located off the coast of Argentina, the Falkland Islands had been claimed by both Argentina and the United Kingdom for years. The two nations fought over the islands after the Argentinian invasion for ten weeks without formally declaring war, but the U.K. emerged victorious in June.