As “this month in history” goes, April is an amazing month.
I am always a little in awe at how many major events in American history have taken place in the month of April.
Other months have their memorable dates: January is the month of inaugurations, February is famous for president’s birthdays, the lunch counter sit-in that launched the Civil Rights movement, the launch of the first U.S. astronaut and the explosion of the space shuttle, Columbia.
In March the Alamo fell and the Girl Scouts were founded; in May Mount St. Helens erupted and June brought the Magna Carta, D-Day and the assassination of Robert Kennedy. July is famous for Gettysburg and Independence Day while August saw the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the world front and the death of Wild Bill Hickok in Deadwood, S.D. in Wild West history in 1876.
The Revolutionary War ended in September and the most horrific terrorist attack in American history made 9-11 a household date.
October saw the first Model T, the landing of Christopher Columbus and the great Chicago fire. November has Thanksgiving and the assassination of John F. Kennedy while December brings Christmas for joy and anniversaries for the landing of the Pilgrims, the start of the Trail of Tears and the bombing of Pearl Harbor,
But April, ah, April cannot be topped for its list of America’s most memorable events:
On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King was assassinated.
April 6, 1917, the U. S. entered World War I.
On April 9, 1865, the Civil War ended.
On April 10, 1942, the Bataan Death March began.
On April 11, 1970, the Apollo 13 space mission developed inflight problems 56 hours after launch and its three astronauts boarded the lunar module and made a perilous trip back to Earth, splashing down safely on April 17.
On April 12, 1861, the Civil War began. In 1945 Franklin Roosevelt died and in 1961, Yuri Gagarin became the first human in space. In 1981, the first Shuttle flight took off.
On April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
On April 15, 1865, Lincoln died. And on that same day in 1912, the Titanic sank.
April 17, 1961 was the date of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs attempt to overthrow the Communist dictator Fidel Castro in Cuba.
On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes made their famous ride from Boston to warn the countryside the British were coming.
April 19, 1775 brought the shot heard ‘round the world at Lexington while that same day in 1989 was the one chosen by Timothy McVey to bomb the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the worst domestic terrorist attack in U.S. history, and the day in 1993 that an FBI raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, turned fatal when the compound burned to the ground and 82 people, including 17 children died.
On April 20, 1999, two students at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. opened fire on their classmates, killing 12 students and a teacher before turning their weapons on themselves,
On April 22, 1889, the Oklahoma land rush began.
On April 26, 1986, the nuclear power plant at Chernobyl in Ukraine went into meltdown.
April 27, 1865 saw the worst steamship disaster in history when a boat carrying 2,000 passengers, mostly Union soldiers who had been released from Prisoner of War camps and were on their way home.
And finally, on April 28, 1789, the Mutiny on the Bounty occurred.
You gotta wonder, why April?