April 1, 1984 American entertainer Marvin Gaye was shot and killed by his father in Los Angeles.
Movie: What's Going On: The Marvin Gaye Story (2006) - Documentary
Book: Ben Edmonds, Marvin Gaye: What's Going On and the Last Days of the Motown Sound
April 2, 1513
Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon comes ashore on the Florida coast, and claims
the territory for the Spanish crown.
Movie: Biography: Ponce de Leon: The First Conquistador (1995) – Documentary
Book: Robert H. Fuson, Juan Ponce De Leon and the Spanish Discovery of Puerto Rico and Florida
April 3, 1882
Jesse James, one of America's most notorious outlaws, is shot to death by Robert
Ford, a member of his gang who hoped to collect the bounty on Jesse's head.
Movie: The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007)
Book: T.J. Stiles, Jesse James: Last Rebel of the Civil War
April 4, 1968
Martin Luther King, Jr. is shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee.
Movie: Citizen King (2004) - Documentary
Book: David L. Chappell, A Stone of Hope: Prophetic Religion and the Death of Jim Crow
April 5, 1614
Powhatan Indian Pocahontas married Virginia planter and colonial official John
Movie: Pocahontas: Her True Story (1987) - Documentary
Book: Paula Gunn Allen, Pocahontas: Medicine Woman, Spy, Entrepreneur, Diplomat
April 6, 1348
Laura, the beloved muse of the Italian poet Petrarch, died.
Audio: The Poet Who Lost His Head (2004) – BBC Radio3
Book: Victoria Kirkham, Petrarch: A Critical Guide to the Complete Works
April 7, 1943
Japanese Admiral Yamamoto launches offensive against Guadalcanal Island
during World War II.
Movie: The Pacific (2010)
Book: Robert Leckie, Helmet for My Pillow
April 8, 1974
American baseball player Hank Aaron (Henry Louis Aaron) hit his 715th career
home run breaking Babe Ruth’s record, which had stood since 1935.
Movie: Hank Aaron: Chasing the Dream (1995) - Documentary
Book: Howard Bryant, The Last Hero: A Life of Henry Aaron
April 9, 1865
General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia of the Confederate
States of America, signed a treaty of surrender at Appomattox Court House, effectively
ending the American Civil War.
Movie: American Experience: Robert E. Lee (2010) - Documentary
Book: Peter S. Carmichael, Audacity Personified: The Generalship of Robert E. Lee
April 10, 1919
Emiliano Zapata, a leader of peasants and indigenous people during
the Mexican Revolution, is ambushed and shot to death in Morelos by government
Movie: Los Ultimos Zapatistas: Heroes Olvidados (2006) - Documentary
Book: Samuel Brunk, The Posthumous Career of Emiliano Zapata: Myth, Memory, and Mexico's Twentieth Century
April 11, 1970
Apollo 13, the third lunar landing mission, is successfully launched from Cape
Movie: Apollo 13 (1995) – Tom Hanks
Book: Jeffrey Kluger and James Lovell, Apollo 13
April 12, 1864
Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest's Confederate raiders attack the
isolated Union garrison at Fort Pillow, Tennessee and controversy over the battle
Movie: The Forgotten Battle of Fort Pillow and the Birth of the KKK (2000) - Documentary
Book: John Cimprich, Fort Pillow: A Civil War Massacre and Public Memory
April 13, 1830
President Andrew Jackson proposes in the face of growing dissent a
toast: “Our Federal Union - It must be preserved.”
Movie: Andrew Jackson: Good, Evil and the Presidency (2008) - Documentary
Book: Robert V. Remini, Andrew Jackson
April 14, 1866
Anne Sullivan Macy, Helen Keller’s teacher, was born.
Movie: The Unconquered (1954)
Book: Kim E. Nielsen, Beyond the Miracle Worker: The Remarkable Life of Anne Sullivan Macy and Her Extraordinary Friendship with Helen Keller
April 15, 1912
1571 die when the “unsinkable” R.M.S. Titanic hits an iceberg
Movie: Titanic: Case Closed (2012)
Book: Stephanie Barczewski, Titanic: A Night Remembered
April 16, 1917
Vladimir Lenin arrives at the Finland station in St. Petersburg, Russia, to
take over leadership of the revolution.
Movie: Communism: The Promise and the Reality: Red Flag (2000) - Documentary
Book: Helen Rappaport, Conspirator: Lenin in Exile
April 17, 1521
Charles V and assembled courtiers and churchmen gather to hear Martin
Luther’s speech depicting his views. Luther concludes “Here I take
Movie: Luther (2003)
Book: Roland Herbert, Here I Stand: A Life of Martin Luther
April 18, 1906
San Francisco was rocked by an earthquake caused by slippage along
the San Andreas Fault.
Movie: San Francisco's Great Quake (2009) - Documentary
Book: Philip L. Fradkin, The Great Earthquake and Firestorms of 1906: How San Francisco Nearly Destroyed Itself
April 19, 1956
Film star Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier III of Monaco.
Movie: The Hollywood Collection: Grace Kelly-The American Princess (1987) - Documentary
Book: J. Randy Taraborrelli, Once Upon a Time: Behind the Fairy Tale of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier
April 20, 1902
Marie and Pierre Curie successfully isolate radioactive radium salts.
Movie: Marie Curie: The Woman Behind the Mind (2002)
Book: Lauren Redniss, Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A Tale of Love and Fallout
April 21, 1838
John Muir, a dedicated advocate for the protection of American wild lands, is
Movie: John Muir in the New World (2011) - Documentary
Book: William Cronon, ed., John Muir: Nature Writings: The Story of My Boyhood and Youth; My First Summer in the Sierra; The Mountains of California; Stickeen; Essays
April 22, 1889
Oklahoma land rush offers nearly two million acres to homesteaders.
Movie: Far and Away (1992) Tom Cruise
Book: Murray R. Wickett, Contested Territory: Whites, Native Americans, and African Americans in Oklahoma 1865-1907
April 23, 1616
Miguel De Cervantes author of Don Quixote dies.
Movie: Man of La Mancha (1972) Peter O’Toole
Book: Miguel De Cervantes, Adventures of Don Quixote
April 24, 1916
Members of the Irish Volunteers and the Irish Citizen Army seize strategic
points in Dublin during the Easter Rising.
Movie: FRONTLINE: Behind the Mask- The IRA & Sinn Fein (1997) - Documentary
Book: Max Caulfield, The Easter Rebellion
April 25, 1985
Amadeus wins Best Picture Academy Award.
Movie: Amadeus (1984) F. Murray Abraham
Book: Hermann Abert, W.A. Mozart
April 26, 1986
The world's worst nuclear accident to date occurs at the Chernobyl
nuclear plant near Kiev in Ukraine.
Movie: Chernobyl Heart (2002) - Documentary
Book: Svetlana Alexievich and Keith Gessen, Voices from Chernobyl: The Oral History of a Nuclear Disaster
April 27, 1773
Parliament passes the Tea Act.
Movie: LIBERTY!: The Reluctant Revolutionaries (1997) - Documentary
Book: Benjamin L. Carp, Defiance of the Patriots: The Boston Tea Party and the Making of America
April 28, 1945
Benito Mussolini is executed by Italian partisans.
Movie: Mussolini: Italy’s Nightmare (1996) - Documentary
Book: Ray Moseley, Mussolini: The Last 600 Days of Il Duce
April 29, 1429
French national heroine Joan of Arc and her troops entered the besieged city
of Orléans during the Hundred Years’ War.
Movie: The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
Book: Deborah A. Fraioli, Joan of Arc: The Early Debate
April 30, 1492
Columbus is appointed Admiral by Spanish monarchs.
Movie: America Before Columbus (2009)
Book: John Noble Wilford, Mysterious History of Columbus: An Exploration of the Man, the Myth, the Legacy