April 1 1826 – Samuel Morey Patents the Internal Combustion Engine

April 1 1826 – Samuel Morey Patents the Internal Combustion Engine3.8 (76%) 5 votes *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons The 19th century produced a series of revolutions in transportation, yet it could be argued none have had a wider reach than the internal combustion engine. Patented by American Samuel Morey on April 1, 1826, the means for propelling the modern automobile would cause a dramatic shift in a variety of industries — not to mention individual lifestyles — that continues to this day. The pathway to technological advancement began more than three centuries before, when Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci scribbled down the details of an engine that featured an encapsulated […]

April 2 1805 – Danish Writer Hans Christian Andersen is Born

April 2 1805 – Danish Writer Hans Christian Andersen is BornRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Fairy tales have captivated the imagination of children for generations, leaving them spellbound with tales of heroes and villains in fanciful lands. Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen, who produced more timeless tales to fill the genre than perhaps any other author, was born on April 2, 1805 in Odense. With his work adapted widely for the stage and screen, he is regarded as one of the most influential children’s writers ever. Born to a father of the same name, much of Andersen’s childhood has vanished into the mists of history. Watching his shoemaker […]

April 3 1933 – The Marquis of Clydesdale Leads the First Flight Over Mount Everest

April 3 1933 – The Marquis of Clydesdale Leads the First Flight Over Mount Everest3 (60%) 2 votes *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons At the height of an era when pilots of all kinds pushed their aircraft to the limits, Douglas Douglas-Hamilton, the Marquis of Clydesdale, took his Westland PV-3 to a whole new altitude — he led a formation of Royal Auxiliary Air Force planes over the summit of Mount Everest. With the successful completion of his objective on April 3, 1933, “Lord Clydesdale” pipped a pair of German and French teams but, more importantly, made a crucial discovery for the future of aviation: the need for cabin pressurization. In […]

April 4 1968 – Martin Luther King, Jr. is Assassinated in Memphis

April 4 1968 – Martin Luther King, Jr. is Assassinated in MemphisRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons At 6:01pm on April 4, 1968, a gunshot cracked through the air. Within moments, civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. was bleeding profusely on the walkway in front of his room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. An hour later, the influential African-American preacher was dead and the United States was thrown into turmoil. For more than a decade, King grew in stature as the face of the Civil Rights Movement in the US. With each advance further into the public eye, first with the Montgomery Bus Boycott to support […]

April 5 1242 – Alexander Nevsky Defeats the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of the Ice

April 5 1242 – Alexander Nevsky Defeats the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of the IceRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Frustrated with the slow eastward advance of the Teutonic Order, Alexander Nevsky stood on the shores of Lake Peipus determined to halt the German knights’ encroachment on April 5, 1242. Marching his army out onto the frozen water, the 20-year-old Nevsky scored a major victory at the Battle of the Ice — one that prevented the Germans from entering Russia, hardening the dividing line between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. In 1193, Pope Celestine III declared the Northern Crusades, encouraging the Holy Roman Empire and Kingdom […]

April 6 1483 – Italian Painter and Architect Raphael is Born in Urbino

April 6 1483 – Italian Painter and Architect Raphael is Born in UrbinoRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons The town of Urbino, a small hamlet 20 miles from the northeastern coast of Italy, is a charming locale in the heart of Tuscany. Nestled among rolling hills, the picturesque landscape would provide even a novice artist with plenty of inspiration, but on April 6, 1483, one of the most famous painters in history — Raphael Sanzio — was born into this sun-drenched masterpiece of classic Italian architecture. Over the next 37 years, he would grow to be a Renaissance master. Despite the size of his hometown, Raphael could not have […]

April 7 1994 – The Rwandan Genocide Begins in Kigali

April 7 1994 – The Rwandan Genocide Begins in KigaliRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons Since the end of the European colonial era in the middle of the 20th century, portions of the African continent have been in near-constant turmoil. In the early 1990s, the nation of Rwanda was a center of conflict, notably for 100 days following April 7, 1994, when Hutu government officials organized the killing of as many as 1 million Tutsi rivals. With as much as one-fifth of the population dead, the Rwandan genocide is regarded as arguably the worst human rights failure by the United Nations in modern history. In the late 19th century, […]

April 8 1935 – The Works Progress Administration is Formed

April 8 1935 – The Works Progress Administration is FormedRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons In the midst of the Great Depression, President of the United States Franklin Delano Roosevelt launched an ambitious program to put Americans to work on behalf of the nation. As part of the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act (ERAA), the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was formed on April 8, 1935. Over the next eight years, the program provided nearly eight million jobs and left a mark on the US seen all over the country today. When the stock market crashed late in 1929, the world economy collapsed within days. In the US, the effects were […]

April 9 1945 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer is Hanged at Flossenburg

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April 9 1945 – Dietrich Bonhoeffer is Hanged at Flossenburg4 (80%) 1 vote Among the reams of history written during World War II, few people could be said to provide a more intriguing character study than Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Hanged at the Flossenburg concentration camp on April 9, 1945, the former Lutheran theologian and committed pacifist was executed for his role in the plot to kill Adolph Hitler. Bonhoeffer’s road to the gallows that day is unlikely as they come. Growing up, he could not help but understand the value of an education: his father was a successful professor of neurology and psychiatry at the University of Berlin and his mother […]

April 10 1815 – Mount Tambora in Indonesia Begins Erupting

April 10 1815 – Mount Tambora in Indonesia Begins EruptingRate this post *Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons 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 rock and ash high into the atmosphere. The eruption, lasting more than three months, is the largest in recorded history and, arguably, the most influential on a global scale. Jutting from the northwestern corner of Sumbawa Island, Mount Tambora is just one of several volcanoes along the archipelago that makes up Indonesia. […]