9 April 1957

The Suez Canal in Egypt is cleared and opens to shipping following the Suez Crisis.

The Suez Crisis of 1956 was a major international conflict that occurred in Egypt and had far-reaching implications for global politics.


Egypt had been under British influence for decades, primarily due to its strategic importance as the location of the Suez Canal, a vital waterway connecting the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.
In 1952, a group of Egyptian military officers led by Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew King Farouk in a coup, establishing a new government.
Nasser emerged as a charismatic and nationalist leader, aiming to modernize Egypt and assert its independence from foreign influence.

Nationalization of the Suez Canal:

In July 1956, Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, a move that shocked Britain and France, the two major stakeholders in the canal company.
The canal’s nationalization was seen as a direct challenge to British and French interests, as they depended heavily on it for their trade routes to Asia and the Middle East.

International Response:

Britain and France, along with Israel, which was hostile to Egypt due to ongoing conflicts, saw Nasser’s actions as a threat to their interests and sought to regain control of the canal.
In secret coordination, Israel invaded Egypt on October 29, 1956, quickly capturing the Sinai Peninsula.
Britain and France issued an ultimatum for both sides to cease hostilities and withdraw from the canal zone, but their true intention was to intervene militarily.

Military Intervention:

Ignoring the ultimatum, British and French forces launched a joint military operation on October 31, 1956, with the aim of seizing control of the Suez Canal.
However, their actions were met with widespread international condemnation, including from the United States and the Soviet Union, who feared that the crisis could escalate into a larger conflict.
Under pressure from the United States and the Soviet Union, the United Nations passed a resolution calling for a ceasefire and the withdrawal of foreign troops from Egypt.


Facing international pressure and condemnation, Britain, France, and Israel agreed to withdraw their forces from Egypt.
The crisis ended with the withdrawal of British, French, and Israeli troops, and the Suez Canal remained under Egyptian control.
The crisis marked a significant shift in the balance of power in the Middle East, with Nasser emerging as a hero to many in the Arab world and demonstrating that former colonial powers could no longer impose their will on newly independent nations without consequences.

9 April 1957

The Suez Canal in Egypt is cleared and opens to shipping following the Suez Crisis.

The Suez Canal is an artificial waterway that connects the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea, allowing ships to sail directly between Europe and Asia without having to navigate around the southern tip of Africa. The idea of a canal across the Isthmus of Suez dates back to ancient times, but it wasn’t until the 19th century that the canal became a reality.

In 1854, a French diplomat named Ferdinand de Lesseps obtained a concession from the Egyptian government to build a canal across the isthmus. Construction of the canal began in 1859, and it was completed ten years later, in 1869. The canal was initially owned by a French company, but in 1875, the British government purchased a controlling stake in the canal to ensure its strategic importance to Britain.

The Suez Canal played a significant role in world trade, allowing for faster and more efficient transportation of goods between Europe and Asia. However, control of the canal was a source of tension between European powers, particularly Britain and France. In 1956, the Egyptian government nationalized the canal, prompting an invasion by Israel, Britain, and France. The Suez Crisis, as it became known, lasted for several months and ended with the withdrawal of the invading forces.

After the crisis, the canal was reopened to international traffic, and the Egyptian government retained control of the waterway. In the decades since, the canal has been widened and deepened to accommodate larger ships, and it remains an important conduit for global trade.

9 April 1413

Henry V is crowned King of England.

Henry V, 16 September 1386 – 31 August 1422, also called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his early death in 1422. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster. Despite his relatively short reign, Henry’s outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years’ War against France, most notably in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe. Immortalised in the plays of Shakespeare, Henry is known and celebrated as one of the great warrior kings of medieval England.

In his youth, during the reign of his father Henry IV, Henry gained military experience fighting the Welsh during the revolt of Owain Glynd?r and against the powerful aristocratic Percy family of Northumberland at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Henry acquired an increasing share in England’s government due to the king’s declining health, but disagreements between father and son led to political conflict between the two. After his father’s death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country and asserted the pending English claim to the French throne.

In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years’ War between the two nations. His military successes culminated in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt and saw him come close to conquering France. Taking advantage of political divisions within France, he conquered large portions of the kingdom and Normandy was occupied by the English for the first time since 1345–1360. After months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes recognised Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne and he was subsequently married to Charles’s daughter, Catherine of Valois.

Following this arrangement, everything seemed to point to the formation of a union between the kingdoms of France and England, in the person of King Henry. His sudden and unexpected death in France two years later condemned England to the long and difficult minority of his infant son and successor, who reigned as Henry VI in England and Henry II in France.

Henry was born in the tower above the gatehouse of Monmouth Castle in Wales, and for that reason was sometimes called Henry of Monmouth. He was the son of Henry of Bolingbroke and Mary de Bohun, and thus also the paternal grandson of the influential John of Gaunt, and great-grandson of Edward III of England. At the time of his birth, Richard II, his first cousin once removed, was king. Henry’s grandfather, John of Gaunt, was the king’s guardian. As he was not close to the line of succession to the throne, Henry’s date of birth was not officially documented; and for many years it was disputed whether he was born in 1386 or 1387. However, records indicate that his younger brother Thomas was born in the autumn of 1387 and that his parents were at Monmouth in 1386 but not in 1387. It is now accepted that he was born on 16 September 1386.

After Henry IV died on 20 March 1413, Henry V succeeded him and was crowned on 9 April 1413 at Westminster Abbey. The ceremony was marked by a terrible snowstorm, but the common people were undecided as to whether it was a good or bad omen. Henry was described as having been “very tall, slim, with dark hair cropped in a ring above the ears, and clean-shaven”. His complexion was ruddy, the face lean with a prominent and pointed nose. Depending on his mood, his eyes “flashed from the mildness of a dove’s to the brilliance of a lion’s”.

9 April 2003

Baghdad falls to American forces during the Iraq war.

The Battle of Baghdad, also known as the Fall of Baghdad, was a military invasion of Baghdad that took place in early April 2003, as part of the invasion of Iraq.

Three weeks into the invasion of Iraq, Coalition Forces Land Component Command elements, led by the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry Division moved into Baghdad. The United States declared victory on April 14, and President George W. Bush gave his Mission Accomplished Speech on May 1.

Baghdad suffered serious damage to its civilian infrastructure, economy, and cultural inheritance from the fighting, as well as looting and arson. During the invasion, the Al-Yarmouk Hospital in south Baghdad saw a steady rate of about 100 new patients an hour.

Several thousand Iraqi soldiers as well as a small number of coalition forces were killed in the battle. After the fall of Baghdad, Coalition forces entered the city of Kirkuk on April 10 and Tikrit on April 15, 2003.

Prior to the invasion, the US policy was that journalists reporting from the ground should be “embedded”, that is, be stationed within military units. Such reporters were required to sign contracts with the military and agree to rules that restricted what they could report on. Journalists found breaking those rules risked losing their embedded accreditation and being expelled from Iraq.

Black Hawk helicopters from 5th Battalion, 101st Combat Aviation Brigade, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) move into an Iraqi city during an operation to occupy the city, April 5.

Iraq, initially issued a statement contradicting western reporters’ accounts of the invasion. Muhammed Saeed al-Sahaf, head of the Information Ministry, told a press conference on April 7 that there were no U.S. troops in Baghdad, saying: “Their infidels are committing suicide by the hundreds on the gates of Baghdad. Be assured, Baghdad is safe, protected. Iraqis are heroes.”

9 April 1413

Henry V is crowned King of England.

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On this day 9th April, 1413,  Henry V was crowned King of England. Invading Normandy in 1415, he captured Harfleur and defeated the French at Agincourt. He invaded again in 1417–19, capturing Rouen. His military victory forced the French into the Treaty of Troyes in 1420, which gave Henry control of the French government. He married Catherine of Valois in 1420 and gained recognition as heir to the French throne by his father-in-law Charles VI, but died before him. He was succeeded by his son Henry VI.

Henry was knighted aged 12 by Richard II on his Irish expedition 1399, and experienced war early. He was wounded in the face by an arrow fighting against his military tutor Harry ‘Hotspur’ at Shrewsbury. Campaigns in Wales against Owen Glendywr taught him the realities of siege warfare. He was succeeded by his son Henry VI.

Henry was a cold and ruthless soldier, respected by contemporaries as a chivalric warrior. Determined to revive the war in France, his invasion of 1415 was impressively organized but his siege of Harfleur took too long, reducing his intended grand chevauchée to a reckless dash to Calais. Although his tiny, bedraggled army was cut off by a superior French force, it achieved a surprising victory at Agincourt. When Henry returned it was with serious intent to reduce Normandy, which he did, including a long, bitter siege of Rouen. Military pressure on Paris ensured the favourable Treaty of Troyes in 1420, making him heir to the French throne, but he contracted dysentery conducting the siege of Meaux.