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April 19, 2009

A Dangerous Time of Year
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 12:13 AM * 45 comments

Comments on A Dangerous Time of Year:
#1 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 12:24 AM:

The ides of april?

#2 ::: Ken Houghton ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 12:32 AM:

# 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?

#3 ::: Janni ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 12:42 AM:

I believe suicide rates are highest in spring, too ...

#4 ::: Suzanne M ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 01:06 AM:

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.

#5 ::: Tim in Albion ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 01:16 AM:

You left one out:
* My Birthday, 19 April 1957

#6 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 01:30 AM:

'Dolf's Birthday, don'cha know?

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.

#7 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 01:53 AM:

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.

#8 ::: Giacomo ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 02:00 AM:

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.

#9 ::: Teresa Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 02:09 AM:

Winter cabin fever gives way to spring folly. Trouble ensues.

#10 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 02:18 AM:

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.

A friend and fraternity brother was an ET on board at the time.

#11 ::: Tom Whitmore ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 04:09 AM:

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).

#12 ::: JDC ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 04:19 AM:

16 April 2005: I got married.

#13 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 05:27 AM:

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.

#14 ::: Jörg Raddatz ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 05:29 AM:

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.

#15 ::: abi ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 05:36 AM:

Happy birthday, Tim and Jörg, and many happy returns of the day!

#16 ::: David Goldfarb ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 06:28 AM:

xeger@1: Actually, the Ides of April is the 13th.

#17 ::: ronbailey ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 07:25 AM:

It's not for nothing that April 14th is known as Ruination Day.

#18 ::: Jon Baker ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 08:06 AM:

On a slightly less violent note, the student protests at Columbia began on 23 April 1968.

#19 ::: Mark D. ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 08:24 AM:

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.

#20 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 08:37 AM:

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.

#21 ::: Nancy C. Mittens ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 09:52 AM:

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.

#22 ::: chris ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 09:57 AM:

@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.)

#23 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 10:21 AM:

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.

#24 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 10:29 AM:

Jimmy Carter meets Killer Bunny: 20 April, 1979.

#25 ::: JennR ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 12:30 PM:

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.)

#26 ::: pat greene ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 01:01 PM:

I was born just about the time Cuban exiles were hitting the Playa Giron.

#27 ::: Fragano Ledgister ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 01:37 PM:

April 19 is the day I passed my comparative politics comprehensive oral exam. So it isn't all bad. Or maybe it is.

#28 ::: Ginger ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 01:43 PM:

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.

#29 ::: MichaelC ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 02:19 PM:

April 21, 1986--Geraldo Rivera opened Al Capone's vault on national TV. Now THAT was a disaster!

#30 ::: Nell ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 02:27 PM:

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.

#31 ::: Nell ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 02:29 PM:

Oh, sorry; reading too quickly. The 1983 WNY bombing was in August, and another building was bombed in 1984 during 'danger week'.

#32 ::: Elizabeth Coleman ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 04:24 PM:

Don't forget April 20--Hitler's birthday!

#33 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 04:47 PM:

19 April 2009: J. G. Ballard departs for the great drained swimming pool in the sky.

(He will be missed.)

#34 ::: Sarah ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 06:00 PM:

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

#35 ::: Dead Charming ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 06:07 PM:

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.

#36 ::: Wyman Cooke ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 06:45 PM:

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.

#37 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 07:10 PM:

I see I'm not the only one with a birthday in this season. No wonder people keep telling me I'm dangerous...

#38 ::: Em ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 08:35 PM:

"at the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them"
25th of April ANZAC day

#39 ::: Emma ::: (view all by) ::: April 19, 2009, 09:22 PM:

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.

#40 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2009, 12:37 AM:

Happy Birthday to my sister Lilith!

#41 ::: Elizabeth Anne ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2009, 10:28 AM:

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.)

#42 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: April 20, 2009, 11:25 PM:

Don't forget April 20--Hitler's birthday!

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!

#43 ::: cap ::: (view all by) ::: April 21, 2009, 10:29 PM:

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...

#44 ::: History buff ::: (view all by) ::: April 22, 2009, 09:30 AM:

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.


#45 ::: Niall McAuley sees wallet spam at #45 ::: (view all by) ::: November 07, 2011, 06:23 AM:

Yes, wallet spam. Two words I never thought I'd see together.

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