Publish date:
Updated on
Year
1990

Akihito enthroned as emperor of Japan

Crown Prince Akihito, the 125th Japanese monarch along an imperial line dating back to 660 B.C., is enthroned as emperor of Japan two years after the death of his father.

Akihito, the only son of the late Emperor Hirohito, was the first Japanese monarch to reign solely as an official figurehead. His father, Hirohito, began his reign in 1926 as theoretically absolute, though his powers were sharply limited in practice. After the Japanese defeat in World War II, Hirohito was formally stripped of his powers by the United States and forced to renounce his supposed divinity. With the signing by Japan of the amended constitution of 1946, the emperor became the official figurehead of Japan.

Akihito caused controversy in 1959, when as heir to the Japanese throne he broke a 1,500-year-old tradition and married a commoner, Shoda Michiko, the daughter of a wealthy businessman. Upon becoming emperor, Akihito, an amateur marine biologist and accomplished cellist, commenced a new Japanese era, known as Heisei, or “Achieving Peace.” The imperial couple have three children: Crown Prince Naruhito, born in 1960; Prince Akishino, born in 1965; and Princess Nori, born in 1969.

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us!

ALSO ON THIS DAY

First meteor shower on record

Andrew Ellicott, an early American astronomer, witnesses the Leonids meteor shower from a ship off the Florida Keys. Douglass, who later became an assistant to the famous astronomer Percival Lowell, wrote in his journal that the “whole heaven appeared as if illuminated with sky ...read more

Ellis Island closes

On this day in 1954, Ellis Island, the gateway to America, shuts it doors after processing more than 12 million immigrants since opening in 1892. Today, an estimated 40 percent of all Americans can trace their roots through Ellis Island, located in New York Harbor off the New ...read more

Seymour Hersh breaks My Lai story

Seymour Hersh, an independent investigative journalist, in a cable filed through Dispatch News Service and picked up by more than 30 newspapers, reveals the extent of the U.S. Army’s charges against 1st Lt. William L. Calley at My Lai. Hersh wrote: “The Army says he [Calley] ...read more

Carter shuts down oil imports from Iran

On this day in 1979, President Jimmy Carter responds to a potential threat to national security by stopping the importation of petroleum from Iran. Earlier that month, on November 4, 66 Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Tehran had been taken hostage by a radical Islamic group. The ...read more

Scott Peterson convicted

On this day in 2004, Scott Peterson is convicted of murdering his wife Laci and their unborn son. A jury of six men and six women delivered the verdict 23 months after Laci Peterson, who was pregnant, disappeared on Christmas Eve from Modesto, California. The case captivated ...read more

The destruction of Atlanta begins

On this day in 1864, Union General William T. Sherman orders the business district of Atlanta, Georgia,destroyed before he embarks on his famous March to the Sea. When Sherman captured Atlanta in early September 1864, he knew that he could not remain there for long. His tenuous ...read more