Go to Making Light's front page.
Forward to next post: Wrong About Everything
Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)
The ides of april?
# Siege of Waco, 19 April 1993
# Oklahoma City Bombing, 19 April 1995
Correlation is not causation when causation is causation.
# Columbine School Shootings, 20 April 1999.
'Dolf's Birthday, don'cha know?
I believe suicide rates are highest in spring, too ...
Today is my best friend's birthday, so at least one good thing has happened on this date. Lists like this one and birthdays spent staring in horror at news reports have left her with a sense of unbearable doom about her birthday. She has been known to swear that the terrible events that occur around but not actually on her birthday are simply scheduling errors. That they were all intended to take place on the 19th. Poor girl. It makes me kind of glad nothing interesting ever happens on my birthday.
You left one out:
* My Birthday, 19 April 1957
If we're allowed to leave the US, there's more. 19 April 1943: Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. 19 April 1938: Franco declared victory in the Spanish Civil War. 19 April 2000: Air Philippines crash.
A dangerous time of the year indeed -- I've just finished expressing my accurate understanding of the local noise by-laws to the neighbours. With any luck, they'll get the hint, and I won't need to ... outsource ... a repeat of providing the same information.
Ken @2: Actually Columbine should also be on the "Waco list", and was postponed only because of logistical issues. At least this is what the Guardian is saying now.
Winter cabin fever gives way to spring folly. Trouble ensues.
One more: USS Worden struck by friendly missiles April 16, 1972
The first major air strike on Haiphong since 1968 took place on the 16th of April. During the strike, WORDEN was damaged by two anti-radiation missiles inadvertently fired by United States support aircraft. One crew member was killed, and nine others were seriously injured; they were airlifted by helicopter to amphibious assault ship TRIPOLI (LPH 10) for treatment. WORDEN proceeded to Subic Bay for a 10-day repair period. The frigate returned to the Gulf of Tonkin until 11 May and operated as an escort for carrier USS KITTY HAWK (CVA 63). She took a break from 8 to 11 May and assumed a search and rescue station off Thanh Hoa during the first mine-laying strikes on North Vietnam.
The sinking of the Titanic happened on the 15th, as did Lincoln's assassination (or so I'm told by a friend whose birthday is that day, Janice Murray).
16 April 2005: I got married.
Since I have a son with a birthday in April, and therefore must also throw a children's birthday party in said month, I'm just grateful to know that the month has been so thoroughly pre-disastered.
It is my birthday today as well, but that ist not purely coincidental: The caesarean had been planned for the 23rd, but then my parents learned that the most experienced doctor would go on vacation on the 21st. Since my mother explicitely wished to avoid saddling me with the date of Hitler's birthday, I was rescheduled for the 19th.
Which accidentally made be a born sceptic wrt astrology: Now I am an Aries, but without the doctor's vacation I would be an Taurus, apparently.
Happy birthday, Tim and Jörg, and many happy returns of the day!
xeger@1: Actually, the Ides of April is the 13th.
It's not for nothing that April 14th is known as Ruination Day.
On a slightly less violent note, the student protests at Columbia began on 23 April 1968.
April 19 - our wedding anniversary, 23 years and merrily counting. It's been a real drag to have recent horrific events overshadow it, but the darkness shall not prevail.
OK. so a few events are plausibly linked.
But the rest seem to be down to the unpredictable, the double zeroes on the encounter table of life.
Lincoln was shot on the 14th, but died on the 15th. The Titanic sank on the 15th.
My mom's birthday is the 15th, so we get to tease her about these things.
@20: I'm not so sure. Except for the earthquake, all the rest were caused by human agency or human error, and all happened in the Northern Hemisphere (and mostly in the temperate zone; the Bay of Pigs might have happened in the tropics, but the go-ahead decision was made in the temperate zone). This suggests that some kind of seasonal hormone effect could really be in play.
Does the Southern Hemisphere have a similar cluster in mid-October? (It might be hard to see because there's not much inhabited land in the southern hemisphere - Argentina, Uruguay, part of Chile, South Africa, half of Australia, New Zealand.)
Dave, #20: Yes. I'm hoping that this list was provided in the interest of showing that correlation != causation, because it sounds like something the Religious Right would come up with.
Jimmy Carter meets Killer Bunny: 20 April, 1979.
My sister's birthday is April 19. When we were in school, she wanted to move to Massachusetts so that she wouldn't have to go to school on her birthday.
My maternal grandparents got married on April 23. My grandfather was born on April 21. One of my grandmother's brothers was born on April 15. (yes, we used to have a big family gathering. Usually didn't have an Easter gathering, as the households had other obligations on Easter weekend.)
I was born just about the time Cuban exiles were hitting the Playa Giron.
April 19 is the day I passed my comparative politics comprehensive oral exam. So it isn't all bad. Or maybe it is.
April 16th -- the day Masada fell to the Romans. Also my parental units' wedding anniversary.
April 24th -- my brother's birthday.
April 26th -- Shakespeare's birthday.
Overall, not too bad by my reckoning.
April 21, 1986--Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone's vault on national TV. Now THAT was a disaster!
Washington Navy Yard bombing 1983 not 1984. But who's counting?
This is the first I've heard of it, although I lived in DC until 1982. At the time of the bombing I was focused on the happy event of Harold Washington's election as mayor of Chicago.
Oh, sorry; reading too quickly. The 1983 WNY bombing was in August, and another building was bombed in 1984 during 'danger week'.
Don't forget April 20--Hitler's birthday!
19 April 2009: J. G. Ballard departs for the great drained swimming pool in the sky.
(He will be missed.)
Not sure if my birthday (Dec 7th) is another dangerous date, or a counter-example:
Dec 6 Halifax Explosion, 1917
Dec 7 Pearl Harbour, 1941
Dec 8 Murder of John Lennon, 1980
Dec 6 Montreal Massacre, 1989
Lincoln was shot on the evening of the 14th, and the Titanic struck the iceburg at about 11:40 pm on the 14th.
I only know these auspicious details, as it is the date of my birth; 111 and 64 years after the aforementioned dates respectively of course.
It is also the date of the battle of Forum Gallorum (Mark Antony chasing Brutus to Mutina), the battle of Andrianople (Baldwin I was captured and the "Latin Empire" discovered that it takes more than a catchy name to take up the mantle of Byzantium), and of course it's the date of the battle of Barnet, famous even before immortalization in the fifth act of Shakespear's Henry VI - Part 3.
Sadly, it was also the day Donner Party set out for California; the day that Marshal Stoudenmire killed three in the "Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight" in El Paso; the day the Ottoman Forces entered and occupied Armenia in 1915, ten days prior to the "formal" onset of the Armenian genocide; the day that the "Black Sunday Storm" struck in the dust bowl in 1935; the day in 1986 that Regan ordered air strikes on Libya, killing 60; the day that a NATO bomber mistakenly hit a convoy of Albanian refugees in 1999; and the day in 2005 that the Oregon Supreme Court nullified the marriage licenses of Gay couples in Multnomah county.
You know those birthday cards that you get that say "on this day..." and relate some fun facts? Mine was always kind of a downer.
Suzanne @4: My birthday is July 7th, which I enjoyed because I found out it was Heinlein's Birthday and a Japanese holiday. The one didn't have anything to do with the other. I hadn't heard anything bad about my day, until terrorists blew up a bus and subway in London, so now my joy is dimmed.
I see I'm not the only one with a birthday in this season. No wonder people keep telling me I'm dangerous...
"at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them"
25th of April ANZAC day
Chris @ 22
Actually all of Australia is in the Southern Hemisphere. And almost all is inhabited, albeit sparsely in spots.
Australia's worst mass shooting occurred on 28 April 1996. It led to significant changes to gun laws in Australia and nothing like it has happened since.
Happy Birthday to my sister Lilith!
I saw this and thought immediately of T. S. Eliot:
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire, stirring
Dull roots with spring rain.
(About seven years ago, a friend and I memorized all of the first and second parts of The Waste Land, trading off at paragraph breaks. This is one of the few portions that I still remember.)
Not the 23rd? I was so sure it was... Which was why my stock contribution to celebrity birthday conversations tends to be "I share a birthday with Shakespeare and Shirley Temple!" followed by a mumble of "and Hitler, but that's no fun."
(Runs over to Google)
Well, looks like I can dispose of *that* little factoid like the monkey turd it is! Hooray! I don't share a birthday with Hitler! Er, sorry to everyone who does...
Happy birthdays and anniversaries to all who've mentioned 'em!
A little early, perhaps, but MLK Jr. was shot on 4 April, 1968.
And then there was the Easter Uprising of 1916, which was 24-30 April, although of course that didn't take place in the US. (I noticed a theme on your list.)
Elisabeth Anne @ 41: Eliot knew what he was talking about. I was thinking earlier this week that April, for me, is already not a great month, and now I see/remember all of this...
Sheesh! Let's hope we can make it through April 2009 then - or at last gain a glimpse of what 'Spring Offensive' is just around the corner before it hits. Here's to a happy spring getting to summer without incident for us all.
Yes, wallet spam. Two words I never thought I'd see together.
If you are a spammer, your fate is in the hands of Jim Macdonald, and your foot shall slide in due time.
Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.
You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.
(You must preview before posting.)