April 1st: In 1865, Confederate troops of General George Pickett were defeated and cut off at Five Forks, Virginia.
April 2nd: In 1513, Spanish explorer Ponce De Leon sighted Florida and claimed it for the Spanish Crown.
April 3rd: In 1865, the Confederate capital of Richmond surrendered to Union forces after the withdrawal of General Robert E. Lee’s troops.
April 4th: In 1887, the first female mayor was elected in the U.S. as Susanna M. Salter became mayor of Argonia, Kansas.
April 5th: In 1242, Alexander Nevsky of Novgorod defeats Teutonic Knights in the Battle of the Ice, maintaining the independence of Novgorod.
April 6th: In 1896, the first Olympics of the modern era was held in Athens, Greece.
April 7th: In 1963, Tito was named as the president for life of the newly named Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.
April 8th: In 1913, the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified requiring direct popular election of U.S. senators. Previously, they had been chosen by state legislatures.
April 9th: In 1866, despite a veto by President Andrew Johnson, the Civil Rights Bill of 1866 was passed by Congress granting blacks the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship.
April 10th: In 1998, politicians in Northern Ireland reached an agreement aimed at ending 30 years of violence which had claimed over 3,400 lives.
April 11th: In 1970, Apollo 13 was launched from Cape Kennedy at 2:13 p.m.
April 12th: In 1861, the American Civil War began as Confederate troops under the command of General Pierre Beauregard opened fire at 4:30 a.m. on Fort Sumter.
April 13th: In 1923, one of the worst storms in many years hit the Japanese and Korean coastline and is believed to have claimed over 100 lives.
April 14th: In 1775, the first abolitionist society in American was founded in Philadelphia as the “Society for the relief of free Negroes unlawfully held in bondage.”‘
April 15th: In 1817, the first American school for the deaf was founded by Thomas H. Gallaudet and Laurent Clerc in Hartford, Connecticut.
April 16th: In 1862, Congress abolished slavery in the District of Columbia and appropriated $1 million to compensate owners of freed slaves.
April 17th: In 1961, a U.S.-backed attempt to overthrow Premier Fidel Castro of Cuba failed disastrously in what became known as the Bay of Pigs fiasco.
April 18th: In 1775, the Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and William Dawes occurred.
April 19th: In 1943, Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto staged an armed revolt against Nazi SS troops attempting to forcibly deport them to death camps.
April 20th: In 1999, the deadliest school shooting in U.S. history occurred in Littleton, Colorado.
April 21st: In 1918, the Red Baron (Manfred von Richtofen) was shot down and killed during the Battle of the Somme. He is credited as being one of the deadliest pilots of WWI.
April 22nd: In 1864, “In God We Trust” was included on all newly minted U.S. coins by an Act of Congress.
April 23rd: In 1564, William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon, England.
April 24th: In 1800, the Library of Congress was established in Washington, D.C.
April 25th: In 1967, the first law legalizing abortion was signed by Colorado Governor John Love, allowing abortions in cases in which a panel of three doctors unanimously agreed.
April 26th: In 1937, the ancient town of Guernica was attacked by German warplanes in the Spanish Civil War.
April 27th: In 1865, on the Mississippi River, the worst steamship disaster in U.S. history occurred as an explosion aboard the Sultana killed nearly 2,000 passengers
April 28th: In 1945, Twenty-three years of Fascist rule in Italy ended abruptly as Italian partisans shot former Dictator Benito Mussolini.
April 29th: In 1901, Japan’s Emperor Hirohito was born in Tokyo.
April 30th: In 1948, Palestinian Jews declared their independence from British rule and established the new state of Israel.