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

April 11 1945 – The United States Army Liberates Buchenwald Concentration CampRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons 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 one of the largest and oldest labor prisons under German control. As the horrors of Adolf Hitler’s “Final Solution” came to light after World War II, Buchenwald would be revealed to be among the worst locations in all of Nazi Germany. For centuries, the Weimar region served as a cultural center […]

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

April 12 1955 – The Polio Vaccine is Declared Safe and Effective5 (100%) 3 votes *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons 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 received approval for a vaccine on April 12, 1955. In the decades since, worldwide cases have been to reduced to a microscopic percentage compared to the numbers experienced in the first half of the 20th century. Polio is a highly infectious disease that, for the most part, results in no symptoms whatsoever — […]

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

April 13 1870 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art is Founded in New York CityRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons 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 that is a must-see for visitors of New York City — and second only to the Louvre Museum in Paris for the number of annual guests among art museums. Jay, who grew up in New York City and received his law degree from Columbia College, was living in Paris during the […]

April 14 2003 – The Human Genome Project is Completed

April 14 2003 – The Human Genome Project is CompletedRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons 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. For the first time in history, a picture of the DNA sequence necessary to create a person was available — with 99.99 per cent accuracy. During the mid-1980s, the United States Department of Energy held a pair of conferences with respected scientists to discuss genetics. By reviewing available technology and […]

April 15 1989 – Protests Begin in Tiananmen Square

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April 15 1989 – Protests Begin in Tiananmen SquareRate this post 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 in Tiananmen Square to mourn the loss of the influential politician — and, eventually, launched a series of protests which grabbed the attention of the world. Hu joined the Communist Party in his teens, working his way up through […]

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

April 16 73 – The Jewish Revolt Ends When Roman Soldiers Capture the Fortress at MasadaRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons 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 controversial reminder of the Jewish Revolt, which came to an end on April 16, 73 when Roman soldiers broke through the gate at Masada. What they allegedly found within made the site the stuff of legend. The history of Masada begins, according to the Jewish historian Flavius Josephus, […]

April 17 1961 – The Bay of Pigs Invasion Begins

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April 17 1961 – The Bay of Pigs Invasion BeginsRate this post 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 on April 17, 1961, when a group of rebels funded by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) led the Bay of Pigs Invasion. For the Republic of Cuba, the first half of the 20th century was dominated by the […]

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

April 18 1942 – The Doolittle Raid is Launched from the USS HornetRate this post Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons 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 April 18, 1942. The audacious raid — launched from an aircraft carrier with land-based bombers — proved to be a tremendous psychological victory despite causing limited damage. Two weeks after the Imperial Japanese Navy surprised American forces stationed on Hawaii at Pearl Harbor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt met with […]

April 19 1824 – English Romantic Poet Lord Byron Dies

April 19 1824 – English Romantic Poet Lord Byron Dies5 (100%) 1 vote *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons 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 succumbed to a fever while off fighting in the Greek War of Independence. At once revered as a hero and prolific lover, Byron’s legacy continues to make a splash with each new generation. Of all the families into which a future poet could be born, it might be said Byron […]

April 20 1862 – Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard Begin Tests of Pasteurization

April 20 1862 – Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard Begin Tests of PasteurizationRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Medical science has experienced countless breakthroughs over the centuries, yet the work of Louis Pasteur and Claude Bernard may have some of the widest effects beyond the discipline: as the result of experiments began on April 20, 1862, the two men came up with a process to prevent the spoilage of milk, wine and beer. Known today as pasteurization, the technique proved a means for redefining how the world looked at germs and their effects. More than 750 years before Pasteur and Bernard, Chinese records laid out a process for bringing […]