History: April 19

April 19

1012 Death: Aelfheah, the 29th Archbishop of Canterbury, murdered by Danes who had been ravaging the south of England, including Canterbury, since 1011.

1529 Diet of Spires: (or Speyer) Lutheran leaders in fourteen cities lodge a 'protest' which demands freedom of conscience and the right of minorities. Henceforth, the German Lutheran Reformers will be known as 'Protestants'.

1539 Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, signs the Truce of Frankfurt with rebellious Protestant princes who demand a permanent settlement of the religious situation.

1587 English admiral Sir Francis Drake enters Cadiz harbor and sinks the Spanish fleet, an action he refers to 'as singeing the king of Spain's beard.'

1713 Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI issues the Pragmatic Sanction, giving women the rights of succession to Hapsburg possessions.

1775 US Revolutionary War: At about 5am, 700 British troops, on a mission to capture Patriot leaders and seize a Patriot arsenal, march into Lexington. They find 77 armed minutemen under Captain John Parker waiting for them on the town's common green. British Major John Pitcairn orders the outnumbered Patriots to disperse, and after a moment's hesitation the Americans begin to drift off the green. Suddenly, the 'shot heard around the world' is fired from an undetermined gun, and a cloud of musket smoke soon covers the green. When the brief Battle of Lexington ends, eight Americans lay dead or dying and 10 others are wounded.

1775 US Revolutionary War: Following the Battle of Lexington, British troops reach Concord at about 7am to find themselves encircled by hundreds of armed Patriots. They manage to destroy the military supplies the Americans had collected but are soon advanced against by a gang of minutemen, who inflict numerous casualties. Lieutenant Colonel Frances Smith, the overall commander of the British force, orders his men to return to Boston without directly engaging the Americans. As the British retrace their 16-mile journey, their lines are constantly beset by Patriot marksmen firing at them Indian-style from behind trees, rocks, and stone walls. At Lexington, Captain Parker's militia has its revenge, killing several British soldiers as the Red Coats hastily march through his town. By the time the British finally reach the safety of Boston, nearly 300 British soldiers have been killed, wounded, or are missing in action. The Patriots suffer fewer than 100 casualties. The battles of Lexington and Concord are the first battles of the American Revolution, a conflict that will escalate from a colonial uprising into a world war that, seven years later, will give birth to the independent United States of America.

1782 The Netherlands recognizes the United States of America.

1824 Death: George Gordon, better known as Lord Byron, the talented English romantic poet who penned the satirical masterpiece Don Juan, at age 36 in Missolonghi, Greece. Byron's writings included long romances and stories in verse. His many love affairs before and after his ill-fated marriage to Anne Isabella Milbanke made him all the more celebrated.

1839 The Treaty of London is signed, establishing recognition of the Kingdom of Belgium by all the states of Europe.

1843 The infamous gas meter is patented by Carl Ludwig Farwig.

1848 The Associated Press, the worldwide news-gathering agency said to be dedicated to the ideals of objectivity and 'truth in news,' is established.

1850 Clayton-Bulwer Agreement: Britain and the US agree not to obtain exclusive control of a proposed Panama canal.

1853 Russia claims protectorate over Turkey in a prelude to the Crimean War.

1877 Birth: Ole Evinrude, inventor, outboard marine engine.

1881 The isolation of Nation City, South Dakota ends as rail contact is finally made with the outside world, bringing to a close a 79-day snow blockade.

1882 Death: Charles Darwin, naturalist, pioneering evolutionary theorist.

1892 Charles Duryea takes the first American-made auto, The Duryea gasoline buggy, out for a spin.

1898 Congress passes a resolution recognizing Cuban independence and demands that Spain relinquish authority over Cuba.

1903 Birth: Eliot Ness, famous Chicago FBI agent.

1906 Death: Pierre Curie, run over and killed in Paris, Nobel Prize-winning French physicist; did pioneering work with his wife Marie on magnetism and radioactivity; discovered radium.

1910 After weeks of being viewed through telescopes, Halley's Comet is reported visible to the naked eye in Curacao.

1915 Volkishness: List convenes an HAO meeting in Vienna. A number of well-known, Austrian public figures gather to hear Guido von List's Easter address. (Roots)

1922 Birth: Erich Hartmann, Germany's top "Ace" in World War II. Hartmann will be credited by the Luftwaffe with 352 kills, an impossible record that has been seriously disputed by British and American airmen. Hartmann will be captured by the Russians in 1944 and not released until 1955.

1933 President Franklin D. Roosevelt issues a proclamation removing the US from the gold standard.

1934 The Czech government prohibits The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and other anti-Semitic works from circulation.

1938 Holocaust: All remaining Jewish banks in Austria are "Aryanized."

1939 Hitler tells Gregoire Gafencu he cannot understand why the English cannot see that he only wishes to reach an agreement with them...."But if England wants war she can have it."

1941 WW2: British and Greek troops are outflanked in Greece and retreat towards Athens.

1943 Holocaust: The remaining population of the Warsaw ghetto rises up against the Germans when the ghetto is attacked by a heavily armed force of more than 2,000 German soldiers, Lithuanian militia members, Polish policemen and fire fighters. The Jews, numbering about 60,000, armed only with a few pistols, rifles, machine-guns, and homemade weapons, put up a heroic fight, and temporarily force the Germans out of the ghetto altogether. Within a few hours the Germans return, and begin systematically burning down the Warsaw ghetto, street by street, while at the same time killing or driving out with smoke and hand grenades the Jews who continue to fight from the bunkers and sewers. (Atlas)

1943 Holocaust: US and British delegates at the Bermuda Conference fail to produce plans for saving victims of the Nazis.

1945 WW2: Himmler plots to establish a new German government and negotiate an "honorable" peace with the Western Allies.

1951 Old Soldiers Never Die: General Douglas MacArthur, recently relieved of his command, defends his conduct in Korea during his farewell address to Congress. "...While I was not consulted prior to the President's decision to intervene in support of the Republic of Korea, that decision, from a military standpoint, proved a sound one. As I say, it proved a sound one, as we hurled back the invader and decimated his forces. Our victory was complete, and our objectives within reach, when Red China intervened with numerically superior ground forces. This created a new war and an entirely new situation, a situation not contemplated when our forces were committed against the North Korean invaders; a situation which called for new decisions in the diplomatic sphere to permit the realistic adjustment of military strategy. Such decisions have not been forthcoming. While no man in his right mind would advocate sending our ground forces into continental China, and such was never given a thought, the new situation did urgently demand a drastic revision of strategic planning if our political aim was to defeat this new enemy as we had defeated the old. Apart from the military need, as I saw it, to neutralize the sanctuary protection given the enemy north of the Yalu, I felt that military necessity in the conduct of the war made necessary: (1) The intensification of our economic blockade against China. (2) The imposition of a naval blockade against the China coast. (3) Removal of restrictions on air reconnaissance of China's coastal area and of Manchuria. (4) Removal of restrictions on the forces of the republic of China on Formosa, with logistical support to contribute to their effective operations against the Chinese mainland. For entertaining these views, all professionally designed to support our forces committed to Korea and to bring hostilities to an end with the least possible delay and at a saving of countless American and Allied lives, I have been severely criticized..."

1951 Shigeki Tanaka, almost six years after surviving the atomic blast at Hiroshima, wins the Boston Marathon.

1957 Death: Charles Funk, of Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedias, at 76.

1960 A student uprising topples the authoritarian government of South Korean President Syngman Rhee.

1966 The Nam: Australian troops leave Sydney to join American forces in Vietnam.

1967 The unmanned US spacecraft Surveyor 3 lands on the moon.

1971 Russia launches its space station Salyut into earth's orbit.

1975 India's first satellite is launched by a Soviet rocket.

1977 Chinese Education Minister Tsiang Yien-si resigns to take responsibility for an incident in which 32 college students and teachers were killed when their boat capsized near Suao Port in eastern Taiwan. Tsiang is succeeded by Li Yuan-zu.

1989 47 sailors are killed when a gun turret explodes aboard the USS Iowa.

1990 Nicaragua's nine-year-old civil war appears near an end as Contra guerrillas, leftist Sandinistas and the incoming government agree to a truce and a deadline for disarmament.

1993 A total of 87 Branch Davidian cult members, including their leader David Koresh, are killed when US federal agents storm the Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, after a 51-day standoff. Nine members are taken alive.

1995 The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma is destroyed by a car-bombing estimated at 5,000 pounds, the worst bombing on US soil. Timothy McVeigh, who will later claim the bombing was in retaliation for the government attack on the Branch Davidian compound in Texas exactly two year earlier, will be charged with the terroristic murder of 169 people including 19 children and a nurse injured in rescue efforts. On 2 June 1997, McVeigh will be found guilty on 11 different counts, including several first degree murder convictions for the deaths of federal officers. Terry L. Nicholls, an Army friend of McVeigh, is also charged.

1997 The SS Sheng Da, a mainland China container freighter, steams into Kaohsiung Port on its maiden voyage, becoming the first ship to sail directly to Taiwan from the mainland in 48 years; a historic crossing of one of the world's great political divides.




2003 Two more members of Saddam Hussein's regime are in allied custody as the hunt for his henchmen continues.







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