History of 19 April
1927 – In China, Hankow communists declared war on Chaing Kai-shek.
1933 – U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation that removed the U.S. from the gold standard.
1938 – General Francisco Franco declared victory in the Spanish Civil War.
1939 – Connecticut approved the Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution after 148 years.
1943 – The Warsaw Ghetto uprising against Nazi rule began. The Jews were able to fight off the Germans for 28 days.
1951 – General Douglas MacArthur gave his “Old Soldiers” speech before the U.S. Congress after being relieved by U.S. President Truman. In the address General MacArthur said that “Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”
1951 – Shigeki Tanaka won the Boston Marathon. Tanaka had survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima, Japan during World War II.
1956 – Actress Grace Kelly became Princess Grace of Monaco when she married Prince Rainier III of Monaco. The civil ceremony took place on April 18.
1958 – The San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers played the first major league baseball game on the West Coast.
1960 – Baseball uniforms began displaying player’s names on their backs.
1967 – Surveyor 3 landed on the moon and began sending photos back to the U.S.
1971 – Russia launched the Salyut into orbit around Earth. It was the first space station.
1975 – India launched its first satellite with aid from the USSR.
1977 – Alex Haley received a special Pulitzer Prize for his book “Roots.”
1981 – In Davao, Philippines, thirteen people were killed when members of the New People’s Army threw hand grenades into the Roman Catholic cathedral during Easter services.
1982 – NASA named Sally Ride to be first woman astronaut.
1982 – NASA named Guion S. Bluford Jr. as the first African-American astronaut.
1982 – The U.S. announced a ban on U.S. tourist and business travel to Cuba. The U.S. charged the Cuban government with subversion in Central America.
1987 – In Phoenix, AZ, skydiver Gregory Robertson went into a 200-mph free-fall to save an unconscious colleague 3,500 feet from the ground.
1987 – The last California condor known to be in the wild was captured and placed in a breeding program at the San Diego Wild Animal Park.
1989 – A gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa. 47 sailors were killed.
1989 – In El Salvador, Attorney General Alvadora was killed by a car bomb.
1993 – The Branch-Davidian’s compound in Waco, TX, burned to the ground. It was the end of a 51-day standoff between the cult and U.S. federal agents. 86 people were killed including 17 children. Nine of the Branch Davidians escaped the fire.
1994 – A Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million to Rodney King for violation of his civil rights.
1995 – The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, was destroyed by a bomb. It was the worst bombing on U.S. territory. 168 people were killed including 19 children, and 500 were injured. Timothy McVeigh was found guilty of the bombing on June 2, 1997.
1998 – Wang Dan, a leader of 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, was freed by the Chinese government.
2000 – The Oklahoma City National Memorial was dedicated on the fifth anniversary of the bombing in Oklahoma that killed 168 people.
2000 – Letters written by Greta Garbo were put on exhibit. The letters were made public ten years after Garbo’s death.
2000 – In the Philippines, Air Philippines GAP 541 crashed while preparing to land. 131 people were killed.
2002 – The USS Cole was relaunched. In Yemen, 17 sailors were killed when the ship was attacked by terrorists on October 12, 2000. The attack was blamed on Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network.
2005 – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger is elected to the papacy and becomes Pope Benedict XVI.
2011 – Fidel Castro resigns as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba after holding the title since July 1961.
2013 – Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is killed in a shootout with police. His brother Dzhokhar is later captured hiding in a boat inside a backyard in the suburb of Watertown.
Celebrating Birthday Today
- 1981 – Hayden Christensen, Canadian actor, and producer
- 1981 – Ryuta Hara, Japanese footballer
- 1981 – Martin Havlát, Czech ice hockey player
- 1981 – James Hibberd, English cricketer
- 1981 – Troy Polamalu, American football player
- 1981 – Catalina Sandino Moreno, Colombian actress
- 1982 – Joseph Hagerty, American gymnast
- 1982 – Filip Jícha, Czech handball player
- 1982 – Samuel C. Morrison, Jr., Liberian-American journalist, producer, and screenwriter
- 1982 – Rocco Sabato, Italian footballer
- 1982 – Ignacio Serricchio, Argentinian-American actor
- 1982 – Sitiveni Sivivatu, New Zealand rugby player
- 1983 – Alberto Callaspo, Venezuelan-American baseball player
- 1983 – Zach Duke, American baseball player
- 1983 – Joe Mauer, American baseball player
- 1983 – Patrick Plains, German footballer
- 1983 – Curtis Thigpen, American baseball player
- 1984 – Christopher Pearce, English cricketer
- 1985 – Valon Behrami, Swiss footballer
- 1985 – David Cavazos, Mexican singer-songwriter
- 1985 – Sabrina Jalees, Canadian comedian, dancer, actress, presenter, and writer
- 1985 – Jan Zimmermann, German footballer
- 1986 – Pascal Angan, Beninese footballer
- 1986 – Candace Parker, American basketball player
- 1986 – Gabe Pruitt, American basketball player
- 1986 – Will Thursfield, English-Australian footballer
- 1987 – Luigi Giorgi, Italian footballer
- 1987 – Joe Hart, English footballer
- 1987 – Daniel Schuhmacher, German singer-songwriter
- 1987 – Maria Sharapova, a Russian tennis player
- 1987 – Lauren Wilson, Canadian figure skater
- 1988 – Enrique Esqueda, Mexican footballer
- 1989 – Dominik Mader, German footballer
- 1989 – Sam Tordoff, English racing driver
- 1989 – Daisuke Watanabe, Japanese footballer
- 1989 – Genoveva Añonma, Equatoguinean footballer
- 1990 – Jackie Bradley, Jr., American baseball player
- 1990 – Kim Chiu, Filipino actress, singer, and dancer
- 1990 – Héctor Herrera, Mexican footballer
- 1990 – Kim Him-chan, South Korean singer and dancer
- 1990 – Ayaka Takahashi, Japanese badminton player
- 1990 – Damien Le Tallec, French footballer
- 1990 – Patrick Wiegers, German footballer
- 1991 – Steve Cook, English footballer
- 1993 – Lia Wälti, Swiss footballer