April 19th in American History: What Happened?

April 19th in American History: What Happened?

Apr 19, 2024

So many interesting and historical events took place in our United States on April 19th.

From tragedy to a statement on cultural norms, April 19th marks important memories we need to keep alive IMO. Let's get started.

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Quote from President Abraham Lincoln about feeling well again after tragedy.

Historical summary of April 19th.

  • 1775- The American Revolutionary War kicked off with shots fired and a battle at Lexington and Concord in the Massachusetts Bay colony. (and yes, it was a victory for America!)
  • 1865- President Abraham Lincoln's funeral took place at the White House. So torn up with grief, wife Mary did not attend.
  • 1897- For running fans, something to celebrate... the first Boston Marathon is held.
  • 1927- Actress Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for corrupting young minds. Oh what a statement on cultural norms!
  • 1948- ABC debuts! The American Broadcasting Company appears on TV screens. Happy Days, the Flintstones, Charlie's Angels... the best of the best when we only had limited channels growing up. Ah the good old days of waiting a week to see the "next episode" - NOT. This article is from 2023 but a goodie!
  • 1956- The "wedding of the century" takes place! American actress Grace Kelly of Rear Window fame becomes a princess as she marries Prince Rainier of Monaco.
  • 1987- Hugh Brannum, known as "Mr. Green Jeans" on the iconic Captain Kangaroo lost his battle with cancer. Also paying their debts to nature (as our George Wythe of Jefferson's Triumvirate in Colonial Williamsburg would call it!): 1684 the famous Theologian and credited founder of our Rhode Island colony, Roger Williams; in 1882 English naturalist Charles Darwin.
  • 1979- Kate Hudson - who just announced a debut album! - is born to Bill Hudson and actress Goldie Hawn. Also born on this day: 1721 founding father, New Englander, and signer of the Declaration of Independence Roger Sherman and in1903 famous federal agent Eliot Ness who was immortalized in "The Untouchables." Both in TV history and by Kevin Costner on film.
  • 1980- After a 51-day standoff, the Branch Davidians' compound in Waco Texas burns and in 1995 more tragedy: the Oklahoma City bombing, an act of domestic terror, is forever stamped into the memories of those of us who were around.

Declaration of Independence signed by Roger Sherman of New England

Signatures on Declaration of Independence, reprint

Closing it out.

You can use the links above to get more information on any of the events I listed. And please share any of your April 19th events with us!

As always, words from history. Hopeful words submitted to George Washington about the militia and being adequately armed. A note on where they've come since the beginning at Lexington.

To George Washington from the New York Committee of Safety, 25 April 1776

From the New York Committee of Safety

In Committee of Safety New York April 25th 1776


The polite sensibility with which You have been pleased to treat our Attention to Your requisition of the 17th instant affords us singular pleasure.1

Convinced with You that there can be little Doubt that Things will go well under an harmonious co-operation of the Civil and Military Powers, permit us once more Sir to assure You of our most vigorous Exertions in seconding your Efforts in the common Cause.

(letter continues)

When the Affair of Lexington proclaimed the War this Colony was extreamly destitute of Arms. Our brethren of New England who were first called on for the defence of American Liberty, had purchased many Arms from our Inhabitants. Our Colony Troops were supplied last Year with Arms at our provincial Expence; most of these still remain in the Canada Service. These considerations together with our ineffectual Attempts to obtain foreign Supplies, increase the difficulty of Arming our Battalions. We are not however without hopes of succeeding.

(letter continues)

You can read the full letter and citations by clicking here.

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There is a huge practical disclaimer to the content on this blog, which is my way of sharing my excitement and basically journaling online.

1) I am not a historian nor an expert. I will let you know I’m relaying the information as I understand and interpret it. The employees of Colonial Williamsburg base their presentations, work, and responses on historical documents and mainly primary sources.

2) I will update for accuracy as history is constant learning. If you have a question about accuracy, please ask me! I will get the answer from the best source I can find.

3) Photo credit to me, Daphne Reznik, for all photos in this post, unless otherwise credited! All photos are personal photos taken in public access locations or with specific permission.