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Notable Historic Events

April 21st

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The Red Baron

The Red Baron

1918...The German flying ace Baron Manfred von Richthofen, known as the Red Baron, is shot down. The Red Baron is a name that was given to Germany’s ace fighter pilot after the war. Manfred von Richthofen is a Prussian aristocrat. He serves in the Prussian army at both the Eastern and the Western fronts and earns the Iron Cross for courage under fire. When his unit is assigned to supply duty he protests and asks for a transfer to Germany’s Air Forces. Manfred von Richthofen becomes Germany’s best flying ace. In 19 months he shoots down 80 Allied planes, which is large in comparison to other ace pilots who average 15-20. Richthofen’s career comes to an end when he is killed over France while in a dogfight with another plane. The legend lives on for the both feared and respected fighter ace. The Red Baron, and his red plane, will be featured for years in the Peanuts comic strip battling cartoon character Snoopy.

1967...General Motors, the world's largest automaker, celebrates the manufacture of it's one millionth car.


The Oklahoma Land Run of 1889

The Oklahoma Land Run

1778...John Paul Jones, United States Naval Commander of the USS Rangers, leads a detachment from his ship to raid the port at White Haven, England.

1889...Settlers race into the newly opened Oklahoma territory. The start of the race is at 12:00 PM (noon). They are racing to find free land to homestead.

2004...Pat Tillman is killed while serving in Afghanistan. Pat gave up his pro football career to enlist in the army after 9-11.

April 23rd

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

1564...William Shakespeare, the great English writer, is born in Stratford-on-Avon, England. Shakespeare will go on to be thought of as one of the best British writers of all times. He will be credited with writing 37 plays. His works will be quoted for years. His most famous plays will be Macbeth, Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet.

1985...The Coca Cola Company changes the formula of Coca Cola, one of the world's most popular soft drinks. Consumers are extremely upset. Six months later they will return Coca Cola to the original formula.

1987...Lamborghini, the Italian based maker of performance cars, is purchased by the Chrysler Corporation of America.

April 24th

Benny Goodman and his Orchestra

Benny Goodman

1800...President John Adams signs an Act of Congress to establish the Library of Congress in Washington DC.

1936..."King of Swing" Benny Goodman and his trio record China Boy. Benny Goodman is the most prominent Big Band Leader of his day.

1990...The Hubel Space Telescope is launched into orbit by the space shuttle Discovery.


Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

1933...School children and preschoolers around the world are inoculated for diphtheria.

1953..Scientists James Watson and Francis Crick, of Cambridge University, publish an explanation of the structure of DNA.

1956...Elvis Presley has his first #1 hit on the Billboard Pop Singles Chart with Heartbreak Hotel. It will stay there for two months.

April 26th

Woolworth Store


1954...The new polio vaccine is given for the first time in a nationwide test.

1986...There is an explosion and fire at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. Radiation spreads throughout Europe. This is the biggest nuclear accident in history.

1997...The Woolworth Discount Chain announces continued financial losses. They are forced to close their remaining stores after 130 years of operation.

April 27th

John Milton

John Milton

1521...Portugese navigator Magellan Ferdinand is killed in the Philippines after traveling 3/4 of the way around the globe.

1667...The blind poet John Milton sells the copyright to his masterpiece Paradise Lost. John Milton is serving as the secretary of Oliver Cromwell’s commonwealth. When the commonwealth is overturned, Milton is thrown in jail. By this time he is blind. Now he loses his position and his property. After he is released he dictates his poem Paradise Lost to his family. Then he sells it for 10 pounds. The poem is printed and immediately is recognized as a masterpiece of the English language.

1956...Rocky Marciano, the world heavyweight boxing champion, retires at the age of 31. He is the only heavyweight champion to have a perfect record (49-0).

April 28th

Benito Mussolini

Benito Mussolini

1789...The HMS Bounty is seized in a mutiny led by first mate Fletcher Christian. The ship is on a voyage from Tahiti to the West Indies.

1945...Benito Mussolini, the dictator of Italy, and his mistress are captured and shot while trying to flee to Switzerland.

1965...President Lyndon B. Johnson sends 22,000 troops to the Dominican Republic to forestall a Communist dictatorship.

April 29th

Kate Middleton and Prince William

William and Kate

2004...The final Oldsmobile is made at the Lansing car assembly plant in Michigan. It is the end of the 106-year-old automotive brand.

2011...Catherine (Kate) Middleton marries Great Britain's Prince William at Westminster Abbey in London, England.

1939 World's Fair

1803... France and the United States complete The Louisiana Purchase. This doubles the size of the United States.

1939...The New York World's Fair opens. At the opening ceremonies President Roosevelt (FDR) gives a speech to welcome everyone to the fair. The speech is televised. This speech is the first television broadcast in the United States.

1948...Twenty Latin American nations and the United States establish the Organization of American States (OAS). The purpose of the organization is to improve the relationship of the United States with its closest neighbors, and to prevent the spread of Communism in the Western Hemisphere.

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