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Facts about APRIL
"April showers bring May flowers"

April was the second month in an early Roman calendar, but became the fourth when the ancient Romans started using January as the first month. The Romans called the month Aprilis. It may come from a word meanting 'to open', or it may come from Aphrodite, the Greek name for the goddess of love.

Small animals that hibernate are usually coming out of their burrows in April. The birds fly back northward or they settle down to have their families. The bees and butterflies begin to gather nectar from the first flowers of the season.

In some parts of the world, it's planting time. In other parts, it's the harvest season. Professional baseball begins in April. Then the amateur athletes begin to go outside in the warm weather. Spring cleaning starts and people start mowing their yards again.

Special days celebrated in April begin with the first day of April, when children and grown-ups play jokes on one another. Arbor Day is a day for planting trees, and it is observed on various April days. The Jewish festival of Pescah (Passover) is celebrated early in April. Easter is almost always in April, and, with it comes other Christian celebrations such as Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday,and Good Friday.

April Fools' Day, or All Fools' Day, is the first day of April. No one knows where the custom began, but some historians believe it started in France. They had a New Year's festival that was celebrated from March 25 to April 1, and they would then exchange gifts. But, later, King James IV changed the holiday to January 1 for New Years. The people that still celebrated it April 1 were called 'April fish' and sent mock presents.

April Fools' Day may also be related to the ancient Roman spring festival Hilaria, which celebrates the resurrection of the god Attis.

Arbor Day is set aside for planting trees and is mostly celebrated by school children. Most states celebrate the holiday as does most provinces in Canada. Southern States and Hawaii celebrate it somewhere between December and March, while most Northern states celebrate it in April or May.

The holiday began in Nebraska. Through the efforts of Julius Sterling Morton, a newspaper publisher, April 10, 1872 was set aside as Nebraska's first Arbor Day. After his death, the legislature made April 22, the legal holiday for Arbor Day.

The story of the Passover, also called Pesah, is told in the Bible in the book of Exodus, Chapter 12. It begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month Nisan, which usually begins in March or April.

The word Passover comes from the Biblical story of the 10th plague, which God brought on Egypt for keeping the Israelites in bondage. The story says that the blood of a lamb was put on the lintel and two side posts of each Israelites' home. When God saw the blood, this would save the people in that house.

Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ, thus making it the most important Christian festival of the year. On the third day, Christ' tomb was empty, he arose, and people talked with him. Christians believe his resurrection means that they too will some day receive a new life after death.

The holiday can fall on any Sunday between March 22 and April 25, since it is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon in the Northern Hemisphere.

The new plant life that comes in the spring is associated with the new life that Christians gain because of the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. The word Easter may have come from the English word, Eastre. Some believe Eastre was the name of a pagan goddess of spring, a spring festival, or the name of a season.

Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week on the Christian calendar, and is the Sunday before Easter. People spread palms and clothing in front of Jesus as he entered Jerusalem, several days before his crucifixion. Today, many carry on the traditions and observe Palm Sunday by passing out palms.

daisyDAISY and the sweet pea are the flowers of the month.

  • Diamond is the birthstone for April

  • The Revolutionary War in America began on April 19, 1775, when British soldiers and

  • American revolutionaries clashed in Massachusetts.

  • William Shakespeare, the playright, was born on April 23, 1564. He also died in England in 1616.

  • Feast day of the Patron Saint of England is April 23.

  • The Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975, when South Vietnam surrendered.

Events in April

  • April 1
  • William Harvey, English physician who discovered the circulation of the blood, born 1578.
    Prussian statesman Otto von Bismarck born 1815.
    Edmond Rostand, French dramatist, born 1868.
    Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff born 1873.
  • April 2
  • Charlemagne, medieval European ruler, born 742.
    First federal U.S. mint established, 1792.
    Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer of fairy tales, born 1805.
    Emile Zola, French novelist, born 1840.
    Automaker Walter P. Chrysler born 1875.
  • April 3
  • Washington Irving, American author, born 1783.
    John Burroughs, American naturalist, born 1837.
    First pony express service began, 1860.
  • April 4
  • Dorothea Lynde Dix, American prison and asylum reformer, born 1802.
    Congress adopted the flag with 13 stripes and with 1 star for each state, 1818.
    Playwright Robert E. Sherwood born 1896.
    North Atlantic Treaty signed, 1949.
  • April 5
  • Pocahontas married John Rolfe, 1614.
    Elihu Yale, benefactor of Yale University, born 1649.
    Sir Joseph Lister, English surgeon, born 1827.
    Poet Algernon Swinburne born 1837.
    American educator Booker T. Washington born 1856.
  • April 6
  • Joseph Smith founded the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Fayette, N.Y., 1830.
    Robert Peary reached what he claimed to be the North Pole, 1909.
    The United States declared war on Germany in World War I, 1917.
  • April 7
  • William Wordsworth, English poet, born 1770.
    Robert Marcel Casadesus, French pianist and composer, born 1899.
  • April 8
  • Sonja Henie, Norwegian-American figure-skater and motion-picture actress, born 1912.
    Henry Aaron broke Babe Ruth's career major-league home run record, 1974.
  • April 9
  • General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in the Civil War, 1865.
    Charles P. Steinmetz, American physicist and electrical engineer, born in Germany, 1865.
    Bataan Peninsula in the Philippines fell to Japan, 1942.
  • April 10
  • King James I chartered the Virginia companies of London and Plymouth, 1606.
    United States patent system established, 1790.
    Matthew C. Perry, American officer who opened Japan to world trade, born 1794.
    William Booth, English reformer and founder of the Salvation Army, born 1829.
    Newspaperman Joseph Pulitzer born 1847.
    Clare Boothe Luce, American diplomat and writer, born 1903.
  • April 11
  • Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated the first time, 1814.
    Charles Evans Hughes, chief justice of the United States, born 1862.
  • April 12
  • Henry Clay, American statesman, born 1777.
    The Civil War began at Fort Sumter, 1861.
    President Franklin D. Roosevelt died, 1945.
    Yuri Gagarin, Soviet astronaut, became first person to orbit the earth, 1961.
  • April 13
  • The Edict of Nantes gave religious toleration to Huguenots in France, 1598.
    Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, born in Goochland (now Albemarle) County, Va., 1743.
    F. W. Woolworth, American merchant, born 1852.
  • April 14
  • Christiaan Huygens, Dutch physicist, born 1629.
    Noah Webster copyrighted the first edition of his dictionary, 1828.
    John Wilkes Booth shot President Abraham Lincoln, 1865.
  • April 15
  • Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor, and scientist, born 1452.
    The Revolutionary War declared ended, 1783.
    Henry James, American novelist, born 1843.
    Painter Thomas Hart Benton born 1889.
    Liner Titanic struck an iceberg and sank, 1912.
  • April 16
  • Anatole France, French novelist, born 1844.
    Inventor Wilbur Wright born 1867.
  • April 17
  • Samuel Chase, American jurist, born 1741.
    J. P. Morgan, American financier, born 1837.
    Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev born 1894.
    Queen Elizabeth II signed the Constitution Act, making Canada completely independent of Britain, 1982.
  • April 18
  • Paul Revere made his famous ride, 1775.
    San Francisco earthquake and fire began, 1906.
    Lieutenant Colonel James Doolittle led carrier-based planes in a raid on Tokyo, in World War II, 1942.
  • April 19
  • The Revolutionary War began in Lexington, 1775.
  • April 20
  • Adolf Hitler, dictator of Germany, born 1889.
  • April 21
  • Rome founded, according to tradition, 753 B.C.
    Friedrich Frobel, German founder of the kindergarten system, born 1782.
    Novelist Charlotte Bronte born 1816.
    Hippolyte Taine, French historian and critic, born 1828.
    Texans routed the Mexicans in the Battle of San Jacinto, 1836.
    The Spanish-American War began, 1898.
    Queen Elizabeth II of Britain, born 1926.
  • April 22
  • Isabella I, patron of Columbus, born 1451.
    Henry Fielding, English novelist, born 1707.
    German philosopher Immanuel Kant born 1724.
    V. I. Lenin, first dictator of the Soviet Union, born 1870 (April 10 on the Russian calendar then in use).
  • April 23
  • Traditional birth date of William Shakespeare, 1564.
    James Buchanan, 15th President of the United States, born in Stony Batter, near Mercersburg, Pa., 1791.
    Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer, born 1891.
    The first public showing of a motion picture, in New York City, 1896.
    Canadian Prime Minister Lester Pearson born 1897.
  • April 24
  • Library of Congress established, 1800.
    English statesmanSir Stafford Cripps born 1889.
    April 25
  • William I, Prince of Orange, born 1533.
    Oliver Cromwell, English general, born 1599.
    Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of wireless telegraphy, born 1874.
    San Francisco Conference to establish the United Nations began, 1945.
  • April 26
  • John James Audubon, American ornithologist and painter, born 1785.
    Alfred Krupp, German industrialist, born 1812.
  • April 27
  • Historian Edward Gibbon born 1737.
    Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, born 1791.
    Ulysses S. Grant, 18th President of the United States, born in Point Pleasant, Ohio, 1822.
  • April 28
  • James Monroe, fifth President of the United States, born in Westmoreland County, Virginia, 1758.
    Maryland ratified the Constitution, 1788.
    Mutiny on the British ship Bounty, 1789.
    April 29
  • Lorado Taft, American sculptor, born 1860.
    William Randolph Hearst, publisher, born 1863.
    Conductor Sir Thomas Beecham born 1879.
  • April 30
  • Washington inaugurated as the first President of the United States, 1789.
    Louisiana Territory purchased from France by U.S., 1803 (treaty was signed May 2, but dated April 30).
    Louisiana became the 18th state, 1812.
    Television first publicly broadcast, from the Empire State Building, 1939.
    Vietnam War ended with South Vietnam's surrender to North Vietnam, 1975.

April Quotation

April cold with dropping rain
Willows and lilacs brings again,
The whistle of returning birds
And trumpet-lowing of the herds.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


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