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This Day in U.S. History: April 19


1775 – American Revolutionary War: The war begins with an American victory in Concord during the battles of Lexington and Concord.

1782 – John Adams secures the Dutch Republic's recognition of the United States as an independent government. The house which he had purchased in The Hague, Netherlands becomes the first American embassy.

1861 – American Civil War: Baltimore riot of 1861: A pro-Secession mob in Baltimore, attacks United States Army troops marching through the city.

1865 – Funeral service for Abraham Lincoln is held in the East Room of the White House.

1892 – Charles Duryea claims to have driven the first automobile in the United States, in Springfield, Massachusetts.

1919 – Leslie Irvin of the United States makes the first successful voluntary free-fall parachute jump using a new kind of self-contained parachute.

1927 – Mae West is sentenced to ten days in jail for obscenity for her play Sex.

1928 – The 125th and final fascicle of the Oxford English Dictionary is published.

1942 – World War II: In Poland, the Majdan-Tatarski ghetto is established, situated between the Lublin Ghetto and a Majdanek subcamp.

1943 – World War II: In Poland, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins, after German troops enter the Warsaw Ghetto to round up the remaining Jews.

1951 – General Douglas MacArthur retires from the military.

1956 – Actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco.

1971 – Vietnam War: Vietnam Veterans Against the War begin "Operation Dewey Canyon III", a five-day demonstration in Washington, D.C.

1971 – Charles Manson is sentenced to death (later commuted life imprisonment) for conspiracy to commit the Tate–LaBianca murders.

1985 – Two hundred ATF and FBI agents lay siege to the compound of the white supremacist survivalist group The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord in Arkansas. The CSA surrenders two days later.

1987 – The Simpsons premieres as a short cartoon on The Tracey Ullman Show.

1989 – A gun turret explodes on the USS Iowa, killing 47 sailors.

1993 – The 51-day FBI siege of the Branch Davidian building outside Waco, Texas, USA, ends when a fire breaks out. Eighty-one people die.

1993 – South Dakota governor George Mickelson and seven others are killed when a state-owned aircraft crashes in Iowa.

1995 – Oklahoma City bombing: The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, USA, is bombed, killing 168.

1997 – The 1997 Red River flood overwhelms the city of Grand Forks, North Dakota. Fire breaks out and spreads in downtown Grand Forks, but high water levels hamper efforts to reach the fire, leading to the destruction of 11 buildings.

2011 – Fidel Castro resigns as First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba after holding the title since July 1961.

2013 – Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev is killed in a shootout with police. His brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is captured while hiding in a boat inside a backyard in Watertown, Massachusetts.


1721 – Roger Sherman, American lawyer and politician (d. 1793)

1877 – Ole Evinrude, Norwegian-American engineer, invented the outboard motor (d. 1934)

1894 – Elizabeth Dilling, American author and activist (d. 1966)

1903 – Eliot Ness, American law enforcement agent (d. 1957)

1933 – Jayne Mansfield, American model and actress (d. 1967)

1965 – Suge Knight, American record producer, co-founded Death Row Records

1983 – Joe Mauer, American baseball player


1813 – Benjamin Rush, American physician and educator (b. 1745)

1993 – David Koresh, American religious leader (b. 1959)

2015 – Freddie Gray, American victim of police brutality (b. 1989)