April 18, 1775: Paul Revere and William Dawes embark on the Midnight Ride in Boston, MA, to warn American patriots of approaching British soldiers.

April 19, 1775: The “shot heard round the world” sparks the American Revolution at the Old North Bridge in Concord, MA.

April 30, 1789: George Washington becomes the first president of the United States.

April 12, 1861: The American Civil War begins at Fort Sumter in Charleston, SC. It comes to an end four years later on April 9 when General Robert E. Lee surrenders to General Ulysses S. Grant.

April 14, 1865: President Abraham Lincoln is shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.

April 3, 1948: President Harry Truman signs the Marshall Plan, intending to stop the spread of communism.

April 4, 1949: NATO is created.

April 17, 1961: The Bay of Pigs, a U.S.-backed attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro, fails, heightening Cold War tensions between the U.S. and Soviet Russia.

April 9, 1866: Congress passes a bill granting the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship to “all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power, excluding Indians.”

April 4, 1968: Civil Rights Movement leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is shot and killed in Memphis, TN. A week later, President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1968 into law.


What else went down in April?

These are the big events we just couldn’t leave out!

  • April 2, 1513: Ponce de Leon claims Florida for the Spanish Crown after landing at present-day St. Augustine, now the oldest city in the continental U.S.
  • April 3, 1860: The first Pony Express rider departs from Joseph, MO.
  • April 6, 1917: The U.S. officially enters World War I.
  • April 8, 1906: The San Francisco Earthquake results in a massive fire and the loss of 4,000 lives.
  • April 11, 1970: Apollo 13 launches from Cape Kennedy, FL. Fifty-six hours into the flight, an oxygen tank explodes: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” The astronauts avert crisis and return safely to earth.
  • April 15, 1912: The Titanic hits an iceberg just before midnight and sinks at 2:27 a.m., drowning 1,500 of the 2,224 people on board.
  • April 24, 1800: The Library of Congress is established in Washington, D.C. It is America’s oldest federal cultural institution, and the world’s largest library, with 10,000 new items added every day.
  • April 26, 1986: A meltdown at a nuclear power plant in Chernobyl, Ukraine, forces the evacuation of a 300-mile zone. Thirty-one people die, and many others suffer the effects of the radiation. Ukrainian officials claim the area will not be safe for human life for another 20,000 years.

– April Featured Product –

“This is a war to end all wars.”
—Woodrow Wilson, 1917 

World War I Timeline Poster
38 x 13-inch poster. Laminated. 3P2443.

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