By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April's breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world.
|-- Ralph Waldo Emerson, from "Concord Hymn"|
Patriots Day commemorates the events of April 19, 1775, that marked the start of the American Revolutionary War, especially the midnight rides of Paul Revere and others to warn of the approach of British troops, and the battles of Lexington and Concord. Today, Massachusetts and Maine celebrate Patriots Day as a legal holiday on the third Monday in April, with reenactments and other events.
Learn more about the first shots fired on Lexington Green to "the shot heard round the world" at Concord's North Bridge by visiting the Minute Man National Park in Concord. The annual running of the Boston Marathon also takes place on this day. You may want to do your patriotic duty and check out the official Web site of the Boston Marathon, sponsored by the Boston Athletic Association.
Born 1452: Leonardo da Vinci (artist)
1817: American School for the Deaf founded in Hartford, Connecticut
1854: First state entomologist position approved, New York
1861: President Lincoln called for 75,000 Union militia volunteers
Died 1865: Abraham Lincoln (16th U.S. president)
1870: Last day U.S. silver coins allowed to circulate in Canada
Born 1894: Bessie Smith (legendary blues singer)
1912: R.M.S. Titanic sank in early morning after striking iceberg on April 14th in late evening
1923: Insulin became available for general use
Born 1933: Elizabeth Montgomery (actress)
1955: After acquiring franchising rights from the McDonald brothers, Dick and Maurice, Ray Kroc opened his first McDonald's chain restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois
Born 1959: Emma Thompson (actress)
1964: Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel opened, Virginia-Delmarva Peninsula
1974: First national lottery drawing in Canada
Died 1980: Jean-Paul Sartre (writer & philosopher)
Born 1990: Emma Watson (actress; plays Hermione in the Harry Potter films)
Died 1990: Greta Garbo (actress)
Died 1994: John Curry (figure skater)
Died 2002: Byron White (Supreme Court justice)
2014: Total Eclipse of the Moon.