DayBird - April 19th
1770 – Marie Antoinette marries Louis XVI by Proxy marriage.
1824 – Lord George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, dies in what is now Greece. He had traveled there to support the struggle for Greek independence from Turkey. He was friends with Shelley, had a club foot and was pretty scandalous. Shame about the poetry.
1943 – German troops enter the Warsaw ghetto to round up the remaining Jews, beginning the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. It was the largest single revolt by the Jews during the Holocaust. And so it begins. On the eve of Passover, Nazi leader Heinrich Himmler announced that the ghetto was to be liquidated of its residents in honor of Hitler's birthday the following day. Over 2,000 S.S. soldiers entered the confines with tanks and heavy artillery, they were met by resistance fighters with handguns, Molotov cocktails, homemade bombs and any other weapons that had be smuggled into the ghetto. Initially, the German withdrew but soon returned, and launched an all-out attack. The resistance fighters were able to fend off the German assault for 28 days.
Finally, SS General Jürgen Stroop ordered the ghetto burned to the ground building by building. He goes on to blow up the Great Synagogue (which was outside the ghetto) as a symbol of victory and of the fact that “the Jewish quarter of Warsaw no longer exists.”
1961 – The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba ends. More than 200 people been killed; another 1,197 were taken captive. On April 20, Kennedy told the American Society of Newspaper Editors that the episode was Cubans fighting Cubans and that the U.S. had not been involved. Wink, wink.
1971 – Charles Manson is sentenced to death for the Sharon Tate murders. He is still alive.
1995 –Oklahoma City bombing. A massive explosion at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, kills 168 people and injures hundreds more. The bomb, contained in a Ryder truck parked outside the front of the building, went off at 9:02 a.m. as people were starting their workday. Among the victims of America's worst incident of domestic terrorism were 19 children who were in the daycare center on the first floor of the building. McVeigh was executed by lethal injection on June 11, 2001, and Nichols was sentenced to life in prison.
1993 – David Koresh, leader of Branch Davidians dies, along with his flock of seagulls.