The month of April has a list of memorable events throughout history. Here are some of these events.
- The Easter Triduum, starting on the evening of Holy Thursday (when the Last Supper took place) and concluding on the evening of Easter Sunday (when the Resurrection took place). It is sometimes celebrated in March, depending on when the first Sunday is after the first full moon, which in turn is on or after March 21. Thus, it is a moveable feast, i.e. not falling on a fixed date.
- April 9, 1865: Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders to Union General Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House, which brings the American Civil War to an end.
- April 12, 1861: Confederate forces open fire on Fort Sumter near Charleston, South Carolina, thus starting the American Civil War. The fort surrenders the following day.
- April 14, 1865: President Abraham Lincoln is shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater. He dies the following day.
- April 15, 2013: the Boston Marathon bombings are carried out by brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, resulting in three deaths and several hundred injuries. A few days later, the Tsarnaev brothers kill an MIT policeman in a shootout and then kidnapped a man in his car. A subsequent shootout with police resulted in one officer being killed, another officer wounded, and Tamerlan being shot several times before accidentally being run over by his brother who was attempting to escape, thus resulting in his death. Dzhokhar was later found, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death.
- April 18, 1775: Paul Revere (with the help of William Dawes and Dr. Samuel Prescott) carries out the Midnight Ride. He is captured by British soldiers, but his companions manage to continue on with their mission.
- April 18, 1942: Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle leads 16 B-25s in an air raid on Japan. Although the raid is thought to have only resulted in a morale booster for America, in actuality it convinced the Japanese that America’s aircraft carriers had to be destroyed. So the Doolittle raid was the first of three turning points in the Pacific Theater (the other two being the Battle of the Coral Sea and the Battle of Midway).
- April 19, 1775: the American Revolution begins with the battles of Lexington and Concord.
- April 19, 1861: a pro-secessionist mob attacks Union soldiers passing through Baltimore on their way to Washington, D.C. Several soldiers and rioters are killed while many others are wounded.
- April 19, 1993: the siege of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas comes to an end when a fire breaks out within the compound. Seventy-six members of the Branch Davidian cult perish, and the question of who was to blame for the fire emerges. Some say the FBI started the fire (albeit inadvertently after launching flammable tear gas into the building), while others claim the Branch Davidians started the fire (e.g. a repeat of Jonestown). It appears the Branch Davidians set the compound on fire due to an FBI surveillance tape recording a couple of Branch Davidians saying they planned to start a fire.
- April 19, 1995: Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols launch a truck bomb attack at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, resulting in 168 deaths and over 600 people injured. The attack was retaliation for the siege at Waco. Both McVeigh and Nichols were later apprehended. McVeigh would later be executed for his crime, while Nichols was sentenced to life in prison.
- April 20, 1999: disgruntled students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold carry out the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado, killing thirteen people and wounding twenty-four others before committing suicide. The massacre results in debates over bullying in schools as well as gun control. In addition, Harris and Klebold (who dallied with white supremacy) chose April 20 because it was Adolf Hitler’s birthday.
- April 30, 1945: Adolf Hitler and his wife Eva commit suicide one day after getting married in order to avoid being captured by the Soviets. One week later, Germany surrenders, thus ending the war in Europe.
Needless to say, there have been several memorable events in April, both good and bad.