• On April 13, 1360, a hailstorm kills an estimated 1,000 of King Edward’s III’s English soldiers in France. The heavy losses were seen as a sign from God, convincing King Edward to negotiate peace with the French.
• On April 10, 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is founded in New York by philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh after he witnessed and later wrote about work horses beaten by their peasant drivers in Russia.
• On April 12, 1914, the Mark Strand Theatre opens to the public in New York City, the first of the “dream palaces,” known for their impressive size and luxuriously appointed interiors. The Strand seated some 3,000 people.
• On April 11, 1945, the American Third Army liberates the Buchenwald concentration camp, near Weimar, Germany. Among those saved by the Americans was Elie Wiesel, who would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986.
• On April 9, 1962, President John F. Kennedy throws out the ceremonial first pitch in Washington D.C.’s new stadium, called simply “D.C. Stadium.” He continued a tradition that began in 1910 when President William Taft threw out Major League Baseball’s first opening-day pitch in old Griffith Stadium.
• On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th career home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s legendary record of 714 homers. Aaron would hit 40 more home runs for a career total of 755.
• On April 14, 1986, the U.S. launches airstrikes against Libya in retaliation for its sponsorship of terrorism against American troops and citizens. The attacks were mounted by Navy attack jets in the Mediterranean and Air Force bombers from bases in England. France refused to allow the bombers to fly over its territory, forcing them to make a 3,000-mile detour.
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