The month of April seems to have a significant share of dates and events (e.g. Fort Sumter being fired upon and the surrender at Appomattox) when it comes to American history, and this week is no exception. So here is a list of events:
April 14, 1865: On this day in American history, John Wilkes Booth shot
Abraham Lincoln, who was watching the play Our American Cousin at
Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died the next day, and Booth was later tracked
down and killed by Union soldiers.
April 14, 1912: The Titanic hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic. It sank the following day.
April 15, 2013: the Boston Marathon Bombings are carried out by brothers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Tamerlan was killed a few days later following a shootout with the authorities, and Dzhokhar was apprehended at a Watertown residence on April 19. Dzhokhar would later be convicted and sentenced to death.
April 16, 2007: Seung-Hui Cho carried out a massacre at Virginia Tech, killing 32 people and wounding 17 others before committing suicide.
April 18, 1775: Paul Revere and several others carry out their midnight rides.
April 18, 1906: a 7.9 earthquake occurred in San Francisco, resulting in a series of fires throughout the city and the deaths of 3,000 people.
April 18, 1942: the Doolittle Raid is launched against Japan, during which Tokyo and several other cities are bombed. The air raid gives a boost to American morale but also convinces the Japanese that they would have to destroy America’s aircraft carriers (which were absent during the attack on Pearl Harbor), thus setting the stage for the Battle of Midway.
April 19, 1775: the Battles of Lexington and Concord take place, thus starting the American Revolution.
April 19, 1861: pro-secession mobs in Baltimore attack Union soldiers who are on their way to Washington, D.C., resulting in 16 deaths and over thirty people wounded.
April 19, 1993: the siege on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco,
Texas ends when a fire broke out, killing 76 people. Among the dead is the cult’s leader David Koresh.
April 19, 1995: in retaliation for Waco, right-wing extremists TimothynMcVeigh and Terry Nichols carried out the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. McVeigh and Nichols were later apprehended and convicted for their crimes. McVeigh would be executed, while Nichols was sentenced to life in prison.
April 20, 1898: America declared war on Spain, thus starting the Spanish-American War.
April 20, 1999: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold carried out the Columbine High School shooting, killing 13 people and wounding 24 others before committing suicide. Harris and Klebold chose April 20 because it was Adolf Hitler’s birthday, whom they supposedly admired.
April 20, 2010: the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, resulting in a six-month oil spill, as well as the deaths of eleven workers.
Needless to say, there were quite a few tragedies during this week in American history, but there were also a few admirable events.