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On this Day in History

April 19 1824 - English Romantic Poet Lord Byron Dies

Throughout the history of British literature, there are a litany of world-renowned authors of poetry and prose. On April 19, 1824, George Gordon Byron - famously called Lord Byron - joined the ranks of those artists who have tragically died young when he… Read More →

April 18 1942 - The Doolittle Raid is Launched from the USS Hornet

Six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States needed a morale boost. Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle and his crew of pilots from the US Army Air Force provided just that with a strike on the heart of Japan on… Read More →

April 17 1961 - The Bay of Pigs Invasion Begins

Throughout the Cold War, a sharply-divided Europe always seemed the likeliest place for a full-scale conflict. During the late 1950s and early 1960s though, the Americas saw a rapid increase in pro-Communist sentiment -- and most troubling for officials in the United States -- nowhere more than in Cuba, just 90 miles from the American coast. Tension only got worse… Read More →

April 16 73 - The Jewish Revolt Ends When Roman Soldiers Capture the Fortress at Masada

Situated on steep cliffs some 1,300 feet above the Judean Desert about 2.5 miles southwest of the Dead Sea, Masada is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with stunning panoramic views of eastern Israel. Historically, the isolated fortress serves as a… Read More →

April 15 1989 - Protests Begin in Tiananmen Square

With the death of Hu Yaobang on April 15, 1989, the People’s Republic of China was sent into an emotional tailspin. A former General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and popular member of the National People’s Congress, Hu represented the way of reform for many younger Chinese. Just hours after his passing was announced, students gathered… Read More →

April 14 2003 - The Human Genome Project is Completed

In the history of science, there have been dozens of discoveries which have changed the nature of the field going forward. On April 14, 2003, following more than twelve years of research by geneticists on four continents, the Human Genome Project was declared complete.… Read More →

April 13 1870 - The Metropolitan Museum of Art is Founded in New York City

After a four-year fundraising effort, a group of influential businessmen and artists led by diplomat John Jay incorporated the Metropolitan Museum of Art on April 13, 1870. Literally built from nothing, “the Met” has become a 2-million-piece collection… Read More →

April 12 1955 - The Polio Vaccine is Declared Safe and Effective

In the history of mankind, few diseases have caused more damage in the lives of young children than poliomyelitis. The crippling condition, caused by a virus entering the central nervous system, finally met its match when Jonas Salk… Read More →

April 11 1945 - The United States Army Liberates Buchenwald Concentration Camp

While chasing Nazi units in full retreat through central Germany, the United States came across a grisly discovery on April 11, 1945: Buchenwald. The concentration camp, a sprawling site carved into the forests five miles outside the town of Weimar, was… Read More →

April 10 1815 - Mount Tambora in Indonesia Begins Erupting

Six hundred miles east of Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, Mount Tambora stretches nearly 9,000 feet above the Java Sea on the island of Sumbawa. On April 10, 1815, the towering peak exploded violently, killing more than 70,000 people as it spewed… Read More →