22 April 1998

Disney’s Animal Kingdom opens at Walt Disney World.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park opened its doors on Earth Day April 22, 1998, giving families a whole new way to appreciate, enjoy and interact with animals.

This park was the fourth to be built at the Walt Disney World Resort. It’s also the largest, spreading out over 500 acres, which gives the theme park’s 1,000 residents plenty of room to roam, run, crawl, slither and swim.

In 1998, an elaborate grand-opening ceremony was attended by a crowd of 2,000, with primatologist Jane Goodall, Ph.D., playing a special role in the festivities. Then-CEO Michael Eisner introduced the theme park to the world, calling it “a kingdom we enter to share in the wonder, gaze at the beauty, thrill at the drama and learn.”

Although the park opened in 1998, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park actually has a lot of ties to Walt Disney, and the passion and respect he displayed for animals and nature throughout his life. Growing up on a farm in Marceline, Mo., the subject of some of Walt’s earliest sketches were local animals. Later on in his career, Walt cast many animals in important roles in his animated films, and took a more serious look at life in the animal kingdom in his “True-Life Adventure Series” documentaries, which were considered to be groundbreaking at the time of their release.

Today, Walt’s legacy continues at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park in the form of attractions that take guests up close with some of the most beautiful and interesting animals from around the world, such as Kilimanjaro Safaris, and the newly launched behind-the-scenes Wild Africa Trek tour.

22 April 2005

The Prime Minister of Japan, Junichiro Koizumi apologizes for Japan’s war record.

This is a list of war apology statements issued by the state of Japan with regard to the war crimes and atrocities committed by the Empire of Japan during World War II. The statements were made on and after the end of World War II in Asia, from the 1950s to the 2010s. There is an ongoing controversy regarding the way these statements are categorized, that being the question whether they are formal apologies or general statements of remorse, each of which carry a different level of responsibility and recognition.

April 22, 2005: Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said: “Japan squarely faces these facts of history in a spirit of humility. And with feelings of deep remorse and heartfelt apology always engraved in mind, Japan has resolutely maintained, consistently since the end of World War II, never turning into a military power but an economic power, its principle of resolving all matters by peaceful means, without recourse to use of force. Japan once again states its resolve to contribute to the peace and prosperity of the world in the future as well, prizing the relationship of trust it enjoys with the nations of the world.” Address by the Prime Minister of Japan at the Asia-African Summit 2005.

22 April 1809

The Austrian army is defeated by the First French Empire army led by Napoleon and driven over the Danube in Regensburg.

The Battle of Ratisbon, also called the Battle of Regensburg, was fought on the 22 April 1809, during the Napoleonic Wars, between the army of the First French Empire, led by Napoleon I, and that of the Austrian Empire, led by Archduke Charles. Scene of the last engagement of the Bavaria phase of the campaign of 1809, the brief defense of the city and installation of a pontoon bridge to the east enabled the retreating Austrian army to escape into Bohemia. During the assault, Marshal Jean Lannes led his troops up ladders onto the walls, and Napoleon was wounded in his ankle by a small artillery round. The shot had been fired at great distance and did not severely hurt the Emperor, but caused a contusion.

At dawn on 23 April the French advance continued in a pincer movement toward Ratisbon, with General Louis-Pierre Montbrun coming from the southwest and Napoleon moving up from the south. Around 9:00 A.M. 10,000 French cavalry, led by General Étienne Nansouty’s two cuirassier divisions, began to engage the Austrian cavalry, who despite poorly coordinated charges were able to hold them for almost three hours to facilitate the army’s escape, before they slipped away. Only then did the French discover the pontoon bridge, but its last defenders were able to hold on and cut the securing ropes to prevent the French from using it.

French casualties, including a wounded-in-the-ankle Bonaparte, were between 1,500 and 2,000 while the Austrians lost at least 6,000 men killed, injured or captured. Sending Marshal Louis Davout to guard the north bank across the Danube, Bonaparte was now free to move on Vienna.