April 2001 News and Events

Updated July 10, 2020 | Infoplease Staff


  • Serbs Arrest Slobodan Milosevic (April 1): Former Yugoslav president held at Belgrade's Central Prison. He surrenders after receiving a guarantee of a fair trial.
  • U.S. Plane and Chinese Jet Collide (April 2): Navy surveillance craft on routine mission near China coast hit by fighter craft that was closely trailing it. Damaged U.S. plane, with 24 crew members and secret equipment, makes emergency landing at military base on Chinese island of Hainan. Chinese pilot, Wang Wei, is missing and presumed dead. (April 3): Chinese government blames United States for midair collision and hints that release of crew depends on apology from Washington. (April 10): United States issues formal statement of regret to Beijing for collision with Chinese fighter. (April 12): China releases all 24 U.S. crew members after 11 days in custody. Crew later reports having destroyed much of the plane's secret equipment.
  • Mubarak Seeks Greater U.S. Role in Middle East (April 2): But President Bush, in a meeting with the Egyptian president, defends policy of allowing Israelis and Palestinians to seek peace independently.
  • Putin Pledges Major Shake up (April 3): Russian president promises government-wide moves to make business work, reverse capital flight, and sustain economic growth.
  • Russian TV Workers End Standoff (April 14): Cede control of popular NTV network to state-dominated gas monopoly, Gazprom.
  • Israel Strikes Deep into Lebanon (April 16): Air attack destroys Syrian radar installation. Move further unsettles Arab world.
  • Israel Occupies Part of Gaza (April 17): Plans to use area for border buffer zone. Troops withdraw after strong rebuke from U.S. secretary of state Colin L. Powell.
  • Peru Downs U.S. Missionary Plane (April 20): Peruvian Air Force, aided by CIA contract workers, shoots down private aircraft carrying American Baptists reportedly misidentified as drug traffickers. Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter are killed.
  • Hemisphere Summit Adjourns (April 22): Thirty-four leaders of Western nations close Quebec conference with pledge of equal support to democracy and free trade. Commit to Free Trade Treaty that will share benefits with all 800 million residents of area.
  • Bush Pledges Defense of Taiwan (April 25): Says U.S. would do “whatever it took” to protect island if attacked by China.
  • Ukraine Political Crisis Deepens (April 26): Parliament delivers blow to reform movement, voting to oust Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko and his government.
  • U.S. Scholar Convicted in Russia (April 27): John Tobin, Fulbright scholar, found guilty of minor marijuana violation and sentenced to 37 months in penal colony.
  • Germany Seeks Change to European Union (April 30): Proposes plan for more centralized federal system with increased power to European parliament.


  • U.S. Population Up Sharply (April 2): Census Bureau reports increase of 32.7 million people in 1990s, greater than in any other ten-year period in nation's history.
  • Senate Approves Campaign Finance Bill (April 2): Passes, 59–41, wide-ranging overhaul of law to ban “soft money”—unrestricted political contributions.
  • Senate Passes Budget Measure (April 6): GOP hails approval, 65–35, of bill allowing $1.2 trillion tax reduction over ten years, $85 billion this year.
  • Rioting Breaks Out in Cincinnati (April 7): Rioting breaks out in Cincinnati following the shooting death of an unarmed African-American man by a white police officer. Violence continues for several days.
  • Bush Offers First Budget (April 9): President proposes increased aid for education and cuts to farm subsidies.
  • Bush Accepts Medical Privacy Rules (April 12): Approves sweeping provisions on patients' records but hints at future revision.
  • No Court-Martial Urged for Sub's Captain (April 14): Navy court of inquiry recommends that Commander Scott D. Waddle not be tried for February's deadly collision between U.S. submarine and Japanese fishing vessel. (April 23): Waddle reprimanded and resigns from Navy. Will receive full pension and retain his rank.
  • Defibrillators Ordered on Airlines (April 14): FAA moves to have emergency equipment available to help passengers who suffer heart attacks.
  • EPA Supports Wetlands Ruling (April 16): Leaves standing Clinton administration order to expand protection to tens of thousands of acres.
  • House Approves Fetus Protection (April 26): Bill calls for charging a criminal with murder or manslaughter if a fetus dies after an attack on a pregnant woman.
  • Naval Bombing in Puerto Rico Approved (April 26): U.S. judge permits resumption on island of Vieques, but offers encouragement to opponents.
  • Census Finds Big-City Whites in Minority (April 29): Reports nearly half of 100 largest cities have more blacks, Hispanics, and other minorities than whites.
  • U.S. Asks Limit on Painkiller (April 30): DEA calls on maker to curb distribution of Oxy-Contin, drug blamed for more than 100 fatal overdoses.


  • Helicopter Crash Kills 16 in Vietnam (April 8): Bodies recovered from wreckage. Victims were seven Americans and nine Vietnamese in group seeking remains of American soldiers missing in the Vietnam War.
  • Fed Cuts Interest Rate Again (April 18): Reduces benchmark by half a percentage point to spur flagging economy. Wall Street rally follows.
  • Robot Arm Linked to Space Station (April 22): Canadian device joined to International Space Station by two Canadian spacewalking astronauts.
  • Ill Man Rescued from Antarctica (April 24): Dr. Ronald Shemenski, suffering from pancreatitis, evacuated by plane from South Pole research station.
  • Space Tourist Lifts Off (April 28): Dennis Tito, taking off aboard a Russian booster from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, to visit the International Space Station in an eight-day trip that cost him $20 million.

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