THIS WEEK IN HISTORY: APRIL 18TH 2016 TO THE 22ND 2016:
Monday – April 18, 2016 – Today in History:
1775 – American revolutionaries Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott rode though the towns of Massachusetts giving the warning that the Regulars were coming out. Later, the phrase “the British are coming” was attributed to Revere even though it is unlikely he used that wording.
1818 – A regiment of Indians and blacks were defeated at the Battle of Suwann, in Florida, ending the first Seminole War.
1838 – The Wilkes’ expedition to the South Pole set sail.
1847 – U.S. troops defeated almost 17,000 Mexican soldiers commanded by Santa Anna at Cerro Gordo. (Mexican-American War)
1861 – Colonel Robert E. Lee turned down an offer to command the Union armies during the U.S. Civil War.
1938 – Superman made his debut when he appeared in the first issue of Action Comics. (Cover date June 1938)
1942 – James H. Doolittle and his squadron, from the USS Hornet, raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
1943 – Traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, was shot down by American P-38 fighters.
1945 – American war correspondent Ernie Pyle (44) was killed by Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima, off Okinawa.
1946 – The League of Nations was dissolved.
1949 – The Republic of Ireland was established.
1978 – The U.S. Senate approved the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama on December 31, 1999.
1983 – The U.S. Embassy in Beirut was blown up by a suicide car-bomber. 63 people were killed including 17 Americans.
1985 – Ted Turner filed for a hostile takeover of CBS.
1985 – Tulane University abolished its 72-year-old basketball program because charges of fixed games, drug abuse, and payments to players.
2002 – The city legislature of Berlin decided to make Marlene Dietrich an honorary citizen. Dietrich had gone to the United States in 1930. She refused to return to Germany after Adolf Hitler came to power.
2007 – The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 ruling, upheld a federal ban on a medical procedure that opponents calls partial-birth abortion.
2011 – Standard & Poor’s lowered its long-term outlook for the U.S. government’s fiscal health from “stable” to “negative.
Tuesday – April 19, 2016 – Today in History:
1764 – The English Parliament banned the American colonies from printing paper money.
1775 – The American Revolution began as fighting broke out at Lexington, MA.
1802 – The Spanish reopened the New Orleans port to American merchants.
1861 – Thaddeus S. C. Lowe sailed 900 miles in nine hours in a hot air balloon from Cincinnati, OH, to Unionville, SC.
1861 – The Baltimore riots resulted in four Union soldiers and nine civilians killed.
1861 – U.S. President Lincoln ordered a blockade of Confederate ports.
1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation that removed the U.S. from the gold standard.
1938 – General Francisco Franco declared victory in the Spanish Civil War.
1939 – Connecticut approved the Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution after 148 years.
1943 – The Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazi rule began. The Jews were able to fight off the Germans for 28 days.
1951 – General Douglas MacArthur gave his “Old Soldiers” speech before the U.S. Congress after being relieved by U.S. President Truman. In the address General MacArthur said that “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
1982 – NASA named Sally Ride to be first woman astronaut.
1982 – The U.S. announced a ban on U.S. tourist and business travel to Cuba. The U.S. charged the Cuban government with subversion in Central America.
1989 – A gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa. 47 sailors were killed.
1993 – The Branch-Davidian’s compound in Waco, TX, burned to the ground. It was the end of a 51-day standoff between the cult and U.S. federal agents. 86 people were killed including 17 children. Nine of the Branch Davidians escaped the fire.
1994 – A Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million to Rodney King for violation of his civil rights.
1995 – The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, was destroyed by a bomb. It was the worst bombing on U.S. territory. 168 people were killed including 19 children, and 500 were injured. Timothy McVeigh was found guilty of the bombing on June 2, 1997.
2000 – The Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on the fifth anniversary of the bombing in Oklahoma that killed 168 people.
2002 – The USS Cole was relaunched. In Yemen, 17 sailors were killed when the ship was attacked by terrorists on October 12, 2000. The attack was blamed on Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network.
2005 – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope and took the name Benedict XVI.
2011 – Cuba’s Communist Party picked 79-year-old Raul Castro to replace his ailing brother Fidel as first secretary during a key Party Congress.
Wednesday – April 20, 2016 – Today in History:
1775 – American troops began the siege of British-held Boston.
1792 – France declared war on Austria, Prussia, and Sardinia. It was the start of the French Revolutionary wars.
1832 – Hot Springs National Park was established by an act of the U.S. Congress. It was the first national park in the U.S.
1836 – The U.S. territory of Wisconsin was created by the U.S. Congress.
1841 – In Philadelphia, PA, Edgar Allen Poe’s first detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” was published in Graham’s Magazine.
1861 – Robert E. Lee resigned from U.S. Army.
1902 – Scientists Marie and Pierre Curie isolated the radioactive element radium.
1912 – Fenway Park opened as the home of the Boston Red Sox.
1916 – Chicago’s Wrigley Field held its 1st Cubs game with the 1st National League. The Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings.
1940 – The First electron microscope was demonstrated by RCA.
1945 – Soviet troops began their attack on Berlin.
1945 – During World War II, Allied forces took control of the German cities of Nuremberg and Stuttgart.
1953 – Operation Little Switch began in Korea. It was the exchange of sick and wounded prisoners of war. Thirty Americans were freed.
1961 – FM stereo broadcasting was approved by the FCC.
1962 – The New Orleans Citizens’ Council offered a free one-way ride for blacks to move to northern states.
1967 – U.S. planes bombed Haiphong for first time during the Vietnam War.
1971 – The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the use of busing to achieve racial desegregation in schools.
1988 – The U.S. Air Forces’ Stealth (B-2 bomber) was officially unveiled.
1991 – Mikhail Gorbachev became the first Soviet head of state to visit South Korea.
1992 – The worlds largest fair, Expo ’92, opened in Seville, Spain.
2010 – An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, leased by BP, killed 11 workers and began spewing an estimated 200 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months.
Thursday – April 21, 2016 – Today in History:
1789 – John Adams was sworn in as the first U.S. Vice President.
1836 – General Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. This battle decided the independence of Texas.
1856 – The Mississippi River was crossed by a rail train for the first time (between Davenport, IA, and Rock Island, IL).
1862 – The U.S. Congress established the U.S. Mint in Denver, CO.
1865 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train left Washington.
1892 – The first Buffalo was born in Golden Gate Park.
1898 – The Spanish-American War began.
1914 – U.S. Marines occupied Vera Cruz, Mexico. The troops stayed for six months.
1918 – German fighter ace Manfred von Richthofen, “The Red Baron,” was shot down and killed during World War I.
1943 – U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt announced that several Doolittle pilots had been executed by the Japanese.
1967 – Svetlana Alliluyeva (Svetlana Stalina) defected in New York City. She was the daughter of Joseph Stalin.
1972 – Apollo 16 astronauts John Young and Charles Duke explored the surface of the moon.
1975 – South Vietnam president, Nguyen Van Thieu, resigned, condemning the United States.
1984 – In France, it was announced that doctors had found virus believed to cause AIDS.
1986 – Geraldo Rivera opened a vault that belonged to Al Capone at the Lexington Hotel in Chicago. Nothing of interest was found inside.
1994 – Jackie Parker became the first woman to qualify to fly an F-16 combat plane.
1998 – Astronomers announced in Washington that they had discovered possible signs of a new family of planets orbiting a star 220 light-years away.
2003 – North and South Korea agreed to hold Cabinet-level talks the following week.
2009 – UNESCO launched The World Digital Library. The World Digital Library (WDL) is an international digital library operated by UNESCO and the United States Library of Congress.
Friday – April 22, 2016 – Today in History:
1792 – U.S. President George Washington proclaimed American neutrality in the war in Europe.
1861 – Robert E. Lee was named commander of Virginia forces.
1864 – The U.S. Congress passed legislation that allowed the inscription “In God We Trust” to be included on one-cent and two-cent coins.
1889 – At noon, the Oklahoma land rush officially started as thousands of Americans raced for new, unclaimed land.
1898 – The first shot of the Spanish-American war occurred when the USS Nashville captured a Spanish merchant ship.
1915 – At the Second Battle Ypres the Germans became the first country to use poison gas.
1930 – The U.S., Britain and Japan signed the London Naval Treaty, which regulated submarine warfare and limited shipbuilding.
1931 – Egypt signed the treaty of friendship with Iraq.
1944 – During World War II, the Allies launched a major attack against the Japanese in Hollandia, New Guinea.
1952 – An atomic test conducted in Nevada was the first nuclear explosion shown on live network television.
1970 – The first “Earth Day” was observed by millions of Americans.
1993 – The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington, DC.
1997 – In Lima, Peru government commandos storm and capture the residence of the Japanese ambassador ending a 126-day hostage crisis. In the rescue 71 hostages were saved. Those killed: one hostage (of a heart attack), two soldiers, and all 14 rebels.
2000 – Elian Gonzalez was reunited with his father. He had to be taken from his Miami relatives by U.S. agents in a predawn raid.
2010 – The Boeing X-37 began its first orbital mission. It successfully returned to Earth on December 3, 2010.