• On April 12, 1861, the bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. Four years later, the Confederacy was defeated at a cost of 620,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead.
• On April 15, 1912, the British ocean liner Titanic sinks into the North Atlantic Ocean about 400 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada, two hours after hitting an iceberg. With 16 watertight compartments, the Titanic was considered unsinkable.
• On April 16, 1947, multimillionaire Bernard Baruch coins the term “Cold War” to describe relations between the U.S. and the Soviet Union, a war without fighting or bloodshed, but a battle nonetheless. The phrase became a mainstay in the language of American diplomacy.
• On April 17, 1964, the Ford Mustang is officially unveiled at the World’s Fair in New York. Named for a World War II fighter plane, the Mustang was the first “pony car,” an affordable, compact sporty vehicle.
• On April 14, 1975, the U.S. airlift of Vietnamese orphans ends after 2,600 children are transported to America for adoption. Operation Baby Lift lasted 10 days and was carried out during the final, desperate phase of the war, only 16 days before the fall of Saigon.
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