General Sir Henry Clinton is born - HISTORY
Year
1738

General Sir Henry Clinton is born

On this day in 1738, Henry Clinton, the future commander in chief of British forces charged with suppressing the rebellion in North America, is born in Newfoundland, Canada.

Henry Clinton’s father, George, was the royal governor of Newfoundland at the time of his birth. He was made the royal governor of New York in 1743, and Henry spent eight years in that colony before moving to England and taking a military commission in the Coldstream Guards in 1751. By 1758, Henry Clinton had earned the rank of lieutenant colonel in the Grenadier Guards. He continued to distinguish himself as a soldier during the Seven Years’ War and, in 1772, achieved two significant feats for a man born in the colonies–the rank of major general in the British army and a seat in Parliament.

Clinton’s part in the War of American Independence began auspiciously. He arrived with Major General William Howe and, after the draw at Bunker Hill, served in the successful capture of New York City and the Battle of Long Island, which earned him the rank of lieutenant general and membership in the Most Honourable Order of Bath as a KCB, or Knight Commander of the British Empire, which conferred to him the title of Sir.

After Howe performed poorly at Saratoga and was demoted, Clinton was promoted to commander in chief of Britain’s North American forces in 1778. Clinton oversaw the concentration of British troops in his former home state of New York and went on to successfully capture Charleston, South Carolina, in 1779. However, the persistent ineptitude of General Cornwallis, his second in command, caused him consternation and, ultimately, defeat at Yorktown in 1781.

As commander in chief, Clinton was blamed for the loss of the 13 colonies and was replaced by Sir Guy Carleton after the defeat at Yorktown. Afterward, Clinton attempted to rebuild his reputation by publishing his own account of the war. By the time of his death in 1795, he had managed to gain a seat in parliament, the title of general and an appointment as the governor of Gibraltar.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

Virginia Tech shooting leaves 32 dead

In one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history, 32 people died after being gunned down on the campus of Virginia Tech by Seung Hui Cho, a student at the college who later committed suicide.The Virginia Tech shooting began around 7:15 a.m., when Cho, a 23-year-old senior ...read more

Lenin returns

On April 16, 1917, Vladimir Lenin, leader of the revolutionary Bolshevik Party, returns to Petrograd after a decade of exile to take the reins of the Russian Revolution. One month before, Czar Nicholas II had been forced from power when Russian army troops joined a workers’ ...read more

Texas City explodes

At 9:12 a.m. in Texas City’s port on Galveston Bay, a fire aboard the French freighter Grandcamp ignites ammonium nitrate and other explosive materials in the ship’s hold, causing a massive blast that destroys much of the city and takes nearly 600 lives.The port of Texas City, a ...read more

Apollo 16 departs for moon

From Cape Canaveral, Florida, Apollo 16, the fifth of six U.S. lunar landing missions, is successfully launched on its 238,000-mile journey to the moon. On April 20, astronauts John W. Young and Charles M. Duke descended to the lunar surface from Apollo 16, which remained in ...read more

Hallucinogenic effects of LSD discovered

In Basel, Switzerland, Albert Hofmann, a Swiss chemist working at the Sandoz pharmaceutical research laboratory, accidentally consumes LSD-25, a synthetic drug he had created in 1938 as part of his research into the medicinal value of lysergic acid compounds. After taking the ...read more

Johnson arrives in Honolulu

At a series of meetings in Honolulu, President Johnson discusses recent Allied and enemy troop deployments with U.S. military leaders. He also conferred with South Korean President Park Chung Hee to reaffirm U.S. military commitments to Seoul and assure Park that his country’s ...read more

Bob Feller throws no-hitter

On April 16, 1940, the Cleveland Indians’ Bob Feller pitches his first no-hitter. He went on to throw two more no-hitters in his career; only two other pitchers in baseball history have recorded more no-hitters.Feller, who grew up playing catch with his father on his family’s ...read more

Bat Masterson’s last shootout

On the streets of Dodge City, famous western lawman and gunfighter Bat Masterson fights the last gun battle of his life.Bartholomew “Bat” Masterson had made a living with his gun from a young age. In his early 20s, Masterson worked as a buffalo hunter, operating out of the wild ...read more

Kingsley Amis is born

British author Kingsley Amis is born to a lower-middle-class clerk and his wife.Amis’ mother encouraged him to write at an early age, and he later attended Oxford, where he was known as an outspoken radical. In World War II, he served with the Royal Corps of Signals and later ...read more

Charlie Chaplin born

On April 16, 1889, future Hollywood legend Charlie Chaplin is born Charles Spencer Chaplin in London, England.Chaplin, one of the most financially successful stars of early Hollywood, was introduced to the stage when he was five. The son of London music hall entertainers, young ...read more

Fertilizer explosion kills 581 in Texas

A giant explosion occurs during the loading of fertilizer onto the freighter Grandcamp at a pier in Texas City, Texas, on this day in 1947. Nearly 600 people lost their lives and thousands were injured when the ship was literally blown to bits. Ammonium nitrate was used as an ...read more

Bernard Baruch coins the term “Cold War”

Multimillionaire and financier Bernard Baruch, in a speech given during the unveiling of his portrait in the South CarolinaHouse of Representatives, coins the term “Cold War” to describe relations between the United States and the Soviet Union. The phrase stuck, and for over 40 ...read more

Union ships pass Vicksburg

Union Admiral David Dixon Porter leads 12 ships past the heavy barrage of Confederate artillery at Vicksburg, Mississippi. He lost only one ship, and the operation speeded General Ulysses S. Grant’s movement against Vicksburg.Grant had been trying to capture Vicksburg for six ...read more

Arthur Chevrolet commits suicide

On this day in 1946, Arthur Chevrolet, an auto racer and the brother of Chevrolet auto namesake Louis Chevrolet, commits suicide in Slidell, Louisiana.Louis Chevrolet was born in Switzerland in 1878, while Arthur’s birth year has been listed as 1884 and 1886. By the early 1900s, ...read more

Lenin returns to Russia from exile

On April 16, 1917, Vladimir Lenin, leader of the revolutionary Bolshevik Party, returns to Petrograd after a decade of exile to take the reins of the Russian Revolution. Born Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov in 1870, Lenin was drawn to the revolutionary cause after his brother was ...read more