Stories of the Month

April 2018

1
Easter Story - In Medieval and Renaissance Art
During the Middle Ages, and the Renaissance, some of Europe's greatest artists told the Easter story in their paintings. Take a look.
National Poetry Month - Hear 'The Raven'
It's 'National Poetry Month,' so let's listen to some great poems, such as ... 'The Raven,' by Edgar Allen Poe.
Operation Iceberg: Assault on Okinawa
'Operation Iceberg' was the code name for an assault on the island of Okinawa, during WWII, which began on April 1, 1945. This video portrays actual scenes of war
Poetry - Hear 'Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep'
Hear a powerful poem inspired by a young girl mourning the death of her mother. Written by Mary Elizabeth Frye in 1932.
2
Poetry - Hear 'I Taught Myself to Live Simply'
Celebrating 'National Poetry Month,' we venture outside America to hear a poem by one of Russia's most-loved poets: Anna Akhmatova.
Falkland (Malvina) Islands - Argentina Invaded
On the 2nd of April, 1982, Argentina attempted to seize the Falkland islands from Great Britain. A short, but deadly, war followed.
America Joined World War I 1917
European countries had been at war nearly 3 yrs before President Woodrow Wilson asked the U.S. Congress to enter the conflict on April 2, 1917.
3
Dr. King's 'Mountaintop Speech' 1968
This video clip contains the most famous part of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 'Mountaintop Speech,' delivered in Memphis on the 3rd of April, 1968.
Jesse James - Assassinated 1882
April 3, 1882 Jesse James was fatally shot by one of his own men, Robert Ford. Learn the story of Jesse James within the context of the American Civil War.
Lenin Returns to Russia 1917
Vladimir Lenin, a Marxist revolutionary, returned to Russia on April 3, 1917. He changed the focus of the Russian Revolution. This video clip provides historical background.
4
Poetry - Hear 'O Captain! My Captain!'
It's National Poetry Month, and in this poem we hear the words of Walt Whitman in 'O Captain! My Captain.'
Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
While visiting Memphis, Tennessee - on the 4th of April, 1968 - Dr. King was assassinated at the motel in which he was staying. His death sent shock waves throughout America.
Robert F. Kennedy - On the Death of Dr. King 1968
Robert F. Kennedy's moving speech was given without notes and kept the crowd calm despite telling them the terrible news of Dr. King's assassination.
5
Helen Keller - At the Water Pump 1887
Helen Keller first realized the meaning of words when her teacher (Annie Sullivan) spelled 'water' (w-a-t-e-r) in her hand on the 5th of April, 1887.
Howard Hughes Died at 72
Howard Hughes was a reclusive billionaire when he died on the 5th of April, 1976, at the age of 72. Who was he, what made him famous, how did he get wealthy?
Poetry - Hear 'Ozymandias' and Ponder...
Scholars believe the poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley (1792-1822) - called 'Ozymandias' - was inspired by a statue of the young Ramesses II found in the British Museum.
6
Mahatma Gandhi-Broke the Salt Laws 1930
April 6, 1930, Mahatma Gandhi & his colleagues completed their 241 mile walk, to protest the salt tax which Britain had levied on India. Learn more about his life in this video.
Peter the Great - Ended Tax on Men with Beards 1722
Peter the Great was a Russian tsar who had absolute power. He used the power to end a tax imposed on bearded men! That order was issued by Peter the Great on April 6, 1722.
U.S. Joined World War I - 1917
On the 6th of April, 1917, the U.S. Congress granted President Wilson's request to declare war on Germany. That act propelled America into World War One.
7
Poetry - Hear 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night'
Dylan Thomas was distraught, in 1951, as his father - David John Thomas - was gravely ill. It was in that year he wrote this poem urging his father to resist death as long as he could.
Attila the Hun Sacked Cities
Attila the Hun - a fearsome warrior - led his men on a world-changing expedition. On the 7th of April, in 451, Attila sacked the town of Metz and other cities in Gaul. Who was he?
8
Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Nazi Resistor 1945
This story highlights the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a man whom Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. greatly admired, and the plot to bomb the bunker at Wolf's Lair.
Pablo Picasso Died
Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) was a Spanish artist, born in Màlaga, who spent most of his working life in France. Learn more about him via videos and pictures.
Bonhoeffer - Hanged for Opposing Hitler 1945
This video clip examines what caused Bonhoeffer to resist Hitler ultimately paying the price of his life on this day in 1945.
Holocaust Remembrance Day
A poem to remember those who died in the Holocaust.
9
Lee Surrenders - End of U.S. Civil War 1865
Did you know ... America's civil war essentially started where it ended - in the backyard of Wilmer McLean. Take a look at this piece of American (and Virginian) history.
Bataan ''Death March'' 1942
April 9, 1942, Filipinos and Americans could no longer defend Bataan during WWII. The following day, the 'Bataan Death March' began. This story is not for children.
Germany Invades Norway 1940
German ships are moving in the waters around Denmark. Erling Storrusten—on whom ''Shadow on the Mountain'' is based—and his friends believe Germany is about to invade their country. Their fears materialize on April 9, 1940.
10
Poetry - Hear 'so you want to be a writer?'
Living in South Central Los Angeles, Charles Bukowski had a difficult childhood. When he became a writer, Bukowski focused on the tough parts of life. Listen to one of his poems.
Good Friday Agreement - Northern Ireland - 1998
After a thirty-year period known as ''The Troubles,'' in Northern Ireland, peace talks lead to the ''Good Friday Agreement'' which gives opposing parties in Northern Ireland the right to govern together. Northern Ireland remains part of the U.K.
Poetry - Hear 'Daffodils'
Poetry - Hear 'so you want to be a writer?'
11
Poetry - Hear 'Television'
Roald Dahl (1916-1990) was born in Wales to Norwegian parents. He made his negative feelings about TV known in a poem called 'Television.' Have a listen to this audio clip.
Apollo 13 - Mission Launches 1970
On April 13, 1970 astronauts radioed Houston control with the now-famous words: 'Houston, we have a problem.' Learn about the 'problem' via primary sources.
President Truman Fires General MacArthur 1951
When General Douglas MacArthur publicly disagreed with President Truman, on a key issue during the Korean War, Truman asked his Joint Chiefs of Staff for their opinions. When they disagreed with MacArthur, Truman relieved MacArthur of his command.
12
Salk Polio Vaccine Declared Safe/Effective
April 12, 1955 - after a year of test trials - the Salk vaccine against polio was declared 'safe and effective.' What is polio? How did it impact children and adults before the vaccine?
Death of President Franklin Roosevelt 1945
On the 12th of April, 1945, FDR died at his 'Little White House' in Warm Springs, Georgia. This video clip takes us back to the day FDR died.
Poetry - Hear 'All the World's a Stage'
In William Shakespeare's opinion, the life of a person - who lives to old age - consists of seven stages. Listen to his words in this audio clip.
Yuri Gagarin - First Person to Orbit Earth 1961
The Soviet Union won the 'first-person-to-orbit-Earth' leg of the 'space race' in 1961. The cosmonaut was Yuri Gagarin. This video incorporates historic footage.
13
Apollo 13 - 'Houston, we've had a problem'
Fifty-six hours into its mission to the Moon, Apollo 13 had an on board explosion. With only a 10% chance to make it back to Earth, how did they get back safely?
Poetry - Hear Yeats' 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree'
William Butler (W.B.) Yeats wrote the poem which consistently tops the list of Ireland's favorite poems. It is called ''The Lake Isle of Innisfree.'' Hear a reading of it by Yeats himself.
Poetry - A Collection
Explore a collection of poems by Carole Bos and Jeannine Proulx.
14
President Lincoln's Assassination 1865
April 14, 1865, Abraham Lincoln attended a play, ''Our American Cousin',\" at Ford's Theater. An actor, John Wilkes Booth, came to the theater to perform a different, deadly role.
Diary of John Wilkes Booth 1865
Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth, kept a diary about the shooting. Many pages of that diary are missing, leading to ongoing debate about what they might have said.
President Lincoln's Last Day 1865
By all accounts, Abraham Lincoln had a relaxing day on the 14th of April, 1865. Nothing foreshadowed his death the next morning.
President Lincoln - Music Lover
President Lincoln was a passionate music lover. In this video clip, Paul Anderson - a Scot - performs one of the President's favorite songs.
Assassination of President Lincoln - Video Bio
This video clip helps us to learn more about Abraham Lincoln, the man, and what happened the night he was killed.
The Masters Golf Tournament
Meet the people who designed the Augusta National Golf Club and learn about its very interesting history.
15
Jackie Robinson - Breaking the Color Barrier 1947
On the 15th of April, 1947, Jackie Robinson made history when he broke the color-barrier in major league baseball.
Death of Abraham Lincoln - Trailer from Film
'Lincoln'' - a film directed by Steven Spielberg - is based, in part, on ''Team of Rivals'' by Doris Kearns Goodwin. It tells the story of Abraham Lincoln's final months of his life
Sinking of the Titanic 1912
Why did Titanic sink so quickly after it struck a North-Atlantic iceberg? What does the great ship look like now, over 100 years after it sank on April 15, 1912?
16
Poetry - Hear 'We Real Cool'
Listen to this poem the way the poet - Gwendolyn Brooks - intended it to be read. Then ask yourself some questions...
Battle of Berlin
April 16, 1945, the Soviet Army began its final assault of World War II. Their objective was to attack Berlin, forcing the city to surrender. What happened?
Massacre at Virginia Tech 2007
On the 16th of April, 2007, a catastrophe enveloped the campus of Virginia Tech. This story is a tribute to the victims of the massacre.
17
Bay of Pigs - 'A Perfect Failure' 1961
This video clip helps to answer these questions about the US invasion of Cuba: What was the Bay of Pigs - and - what is its lasting impact?
Battle of Berlin 1945
In April 1945, the Soviet Army began its final assault to end the war in Europe. Photos, from Russian State Archives, tell the story of the days leading up to Hitler's death.
Mary Surratt - Accused Conspirator 1865
The U.S. National Archives assessed evidence against Mary Surratt, who was hanged as a Lincoln-assassination co-conspirator. Take a look, then judge for yourself.
18
Midnight Ride of Paul Revere 1775
In the beginning of the American Revolutionary War, three men, not just Revere, attempted to warn the colonists. And ... only one - Dr. Samuel Prescott - made it to Concord.
San Francisco Earthquake of 1906
On April 18, 1906, San Francisco was rocked by an epic earthquake. Historic footage, depicted in this video, reveals the chaos and the damage.
Poetry - Hear 'Paul Revere's Ride'
During America's Civil War, on April 18, 1775 Paul Revere tried to warn colonials that the Redcoats were on the march. Listen to Longfellow's famous poem, 'Paul Revere's Ride.'
Doolittle Raid over Tokyo 1942
Before April 18, 1942, Americans were despondent that Japan would win the war it had started against the U.S. Then Lt. Col. Doolittle & his men flew an impossible mission.
Death of Albert Einstein 1955
At the age of 76, Albert Einstein died on the 18th of April, 1955. What was he like at the end of his life? What were the issues he was still pondering?
19
Poetry - Hear 'She Walks in Beauty'
On the 19th of April, 1824 - while a violent electrical storm was raging outside his room - Lord Byron died. Listen to one of his poems in this audio clip.
American Revolution - The First Shots 1775
By the time a guard of British soldiers arrived at the town of Lexington - on April 19, 1775 - most of the minutemen under Captain John Parker's command had gone home.
20
Death of the 'Red Baron' 1918
Manfred von Richthofen - Germany's WW I ace - flew a red Fokker DR1. He was credited with shooting down victims 79 and 80 on the 20th of April, 1918.
Marie and Pierre Curie - Radioactive Discovery 1902
Marie & Pierre Curie were married scientists who first isolated radioactive radium salts on the 20th of April, 1902. Learn more about their world-changing efforts in this video clip.
Hitler Last Seen in Public 1945
April 20, 1945 Adolf Hitler left his Berlin bunker to greet members of the Hitler Youth. Historic film of that meeting is believed to be the last-known moving images of Hitler.
The Underground Railroad 1853
It is believed that on the 20th of April, 1853, Harriet Tubman began the 'underground railroad.' What was it - and - how did it work?
21
Mark Twain - Historic Footage 1910
Mark Twain - the famous American author died on April 21, 1910. This video clip is the only-known historic film footage of the author.
Henry VIII Becomes King of England 1509
Henry Tudor never expected to become Henry VIII when his father died in April of 1509. Famously known for his six wives, what was he like as a young man?
22
Deepwater Horizon - Masive Oil Spill in the Gulf 2010
On the 22nd of April, 2010, an oil rig known as ''Deepwater Horizon'' dramatically sank in four minutes, causing the worst oil-spill in American history.
Earth Day - Now and Then
People around the world celebrate Earth Day every April 22nd. How did it start? What does it mean? Enjoy some great videos as you learn the story of this important annual event.
Crab Nebula - As a Supernova 1054
April 22, 1054, Chinese astronomers saw an amazing event in the night sky, an exploding supernova known today as the Crab Nebula. It is one of the most-studied objects in the sky.
23
Poetry - Hear 'The Highwayman'
Alfred Noyes, a British poet born in 1880. In 1995, when the BBC conducted a poll of the nation's favorite poems, the British people included 'The Highwayman' at number 15.
England's National Day - St. George and the Dragon
April 23 is the day when people remember St. George, a legendary hero who killed a dragon to save a princess. It's also England's national day. Why April 23? It's the day when George reportedly died in 303 AD.
Shakespeare at 400 - His Best Insults
Shakespeare not only had a way with words, he had a way with insults. Celebrate his life and death (which likely occurred on the same day, 52 years apart) with his words voiced by members of the Royal Shakespeare Company.
First U.S. Public School - Boston Latin 1635
Five years after a group of 'Puritans' left England for America, a new school opened where they settled in Massachusetts. Take a look at the school 'then' and 'now.'
24
Trojan Horse - Is It True?
Look at the Greek vase which depicts a horse on wheels with Greeks inside from 675-650 BC. Learn the story (which some sources claim occurred on the 24th of April, 1184 BC).
Hubble Space Telescope - 1990 Launch 1990
On the 24th of April, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery left Cape Canaveral with a very special payload - the Hubble Space Telescope.
Easter Rising - Ireland's Freedom Fight
April 24, 1916, Irish nationalists staged an uprising in Dublin. See the haunting statue, in the memorial garden, and learn the story of the Easter Rising.
Shackleton and the Endurance 1916
April 24, 1916, Ernest Shackleton realized his ship was dangerously stuck in Antarctic ice! This video clip recreates some of those dramatic moments.
Hubble - Orbiting Telescope 1990
Hubble - an amazing, orbiting space telescope, was launched on the 24th of April, 1990. This video animation depicts how the famous telescope works.
25
Guillotine First Used in France
On the 25th of April, 1792 - before the start of the French Revolution's ''Reign of Terror'' Charles Henri Sanson, official executioner of the revolution, said this of the guillotine...
Poetry - Hear 'Digging,' by Seamus Heaney
Seamus Heaney has long been known as ''Famous Seamus'' in his homeland of Ireland. Listen to Seamus read his own poem, then compare it to a different interpretation.
26
Chernobyl - A Man-Made Disaster 1986
Something went terribly wrong at the Chernobyl nuclear plant on April 26, 1986. These videos reveal what happened the night the reactor failed.
Wedding of the Century 1923
When ''Bertie'', the Duke of York married Elizabeth, then Lady Bowes-Lyon, people called it the ''Wedding of the Century.' This historic footage highlights the events of April 26, 1923.
27
Poetry - Hear 'How Do I Love Thee?'
Elizabeth Barrett (1806-1861) was already a famous writer when she met, then married, Robert Browning. Consider some issues and questions while listening to the poem.
Voyage of Discovery - Magellan's Fate
On April 27, 1521 Magellan - although grossly outnumbered - thought he and his men would prevail in a battle between local chiefs. Learn more about his fate.
28
Mutiny on the Bounty'
This radio play tells the story of a mutiny on HMS ''Bounty'' which occurred on the 28th of April, 1789 and was led by Fletcher Christian.
Poetry - Hear 'If-' By Rudyard Kipling
'If-' is one of Rudyard Kipling's most-famous poems. In a BBC poll - conducted in 1995 - people living in the U.K. voted it their most-favorite poem. Listen to it in this audio clip.
29
Fleeing Saigon - 1975
By the end of April, in 1975, it was clear that Saigon would fall to North Vietnamese troops. On the 29th, Hubert van Es took an iconic photo depicting people trying to leave via a Huey which had landed on the roof of the Pittman apartment building.
Poetry - Hear 'Annabel Lee'
'Annabel Lee'' is one of Edgar Allan Poe's most-famous poems. Was it autobiographical? Listen to Poe's famous words in this audio clip.
The War is Lost' - Ending WWII
By the 29th of April, 1945, even Hitler realized that the war was lost. He married Eva Braun that day and committed suicide the next. Watch a clip from the film 'The Bunker.'
30
Diary of Anne Frank - English Publication, 1952
The ''Diary of Anne Frank'' was published, in English, on April 30, 1952. Listen to an excerpt and consider a list of ''issues and questions to ponder.''
Diary of Anne Frank - Impact on Nelson Mandela
In this video clip, Nelson Mandela relates how significant Anne Frank's writing was for him, during his years of imprisonment.
Hear 'A Tale of Two Cities,' by Charles Dickens
On April 30, 1859, Charles Dickens first published ''A Tale of Two Cities'' in serial format in a magazine. Listen to a dramatization of the first part of Dickens' famous story.
Cromwell Disbands Parliament 1653
After Charles I was beheaded, Oliver Cromwell became Lord Protector. He disbanded Parliament in April of 1653. Who was this man who declined to be King?
World Wide Web - Born at Cern 1993
On the 30th of April, 1993, a stunning announcement was made at CERN: the World Wide Web would be freely available to anyone wishing to use it! Happy birthday WWW!

Apr 1: Easter Story - In Medieval and Renaissance Art

Apr 1: National Poetry Month - Hear 'The Raven'

Apr 1: Operation Iceberg: Assault on Okinawa

Apr 1: Poetry - Hear 'Do Not Stand at My Grave and Weep'

Apr 2: Poetry - Hear 'I Taught Myself to Live Simply'

Apr 2: Falkland (Malvina) Islands - Argentina Invaded

Apr 2: America Joined World War I 1917

Apr 3: Dr. King's 'Mountaintop Speech' 1968

Apr 3: Jesse James - Assassinated 1882

Apr 3: Lenin Returns to Russia 1917

Apr 4: Poetry - Hear 'O Captain! My Captain!'

Apr 4: Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Apr 4: Robert F. Kennedy - On the Death of Dr. King 1968

Apr 5: Helen Keller - At the Water Pump 1887

Apr 5: Howard Hughes Died at 72

Apr 5: Poetry - Hear 'Ozymandias' and Ponder...

Apr 6: Mahatma Gandhi-Broke the Salt Laws 1930

Apr 6: Peter the Great - Ended Tax on Men with Beards 1722

Apr 6: U.S. Joined World War I - 1917

Apr 7: Poetry - Hear 'Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night'

Apr 7: Attila the Hun Sacked Cities

Apr 8: Dietrich Bonhoeffer - Nazi Resistor 1945

Apr 8: Pablo Picasso Died

Apr 8: Bonhoeffer - Hanged for Opposing Hitler 1945

Apr 8: Holocaust Remembrance Day

Apr 9: Lee Surrenders - End of U.S. Civil War 1865

Apr 9: Bataan ''Death March'' 1942

Apr 9: Germany Invades Norway 1940

Apr 10: Poetry - Hear 'so you want to be a writer?'

Apr 10: Good Friday Agreement - Northern Ireland - 1998

Apr 10: Poetry - Hear 'Daffodils'

Apr 11: Poetry - Hear 'Television'

Apr 11: Apollo 13 - Mission Launches 1970

Apr 11: President Truman Fires General MacArthur 1951

Apr 12: Salk Polio Vaccine Declared Safe/Effective

Apr 12: Death of President Franklin Roosevelt 1945

Apr 12: Poetry - Hear 'All the World's a Stage'

Apr 12: Yuri Gagarin - First Person to Orbit Earth 1961

Apr 13: Apollo 13 - 'Houston, we've had a problem'

Apr 13: Poetry - Hear Yeats' 'The Lake Isle of Innisfree'

Apr 13: Poetry - A Collection

Apr 14: President Lincoln's Assassination 1865

Apr 14: Diary of John Wilkes Booth 1865

Apr 14: President Lincoln's Last Day 1865

Apr 14: President Lincoln - Music Lover

Apr 14: Assassination of President Lincoln - Video Bio

Apr 14: The Masters Golf Tournament

Apr 15: Jackie Robinson - Breaking the Color Barrier 1947

Apr 15: Death of Abraham Lincoln - Trailer from Film

Apr 15: Sinking of the Titanic 1912

Apr 16: Poetry - Hear 'We Real Cool'

Apr 16: Battle of Berlin

Apr 16: Massacre at Virginia Tech 2007

Apr 17: Bay of Pigs - 'A Perfect Failure' 1961

Apr 17: Battle of Berlin 1945

Apr 17: Mary Surratt - Accused Conspirator 1865

Apr 18: Midnight Ride of Paul Revere 1775

Apr 18: San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

Apr 18: Poetry - Hear 'Paul Revere's Ride'

Apr 18: Doolittle Raid over Tokyo 1942

Apr 18: Death of Albert Einstein 1955

Apr 19: Poetry - Hear 'She Walks in Beauty'

Apr 19: American Revolution - The First Shots 1775

Apr 20: Death of the 'Red Baron' 1918

Apr 20: Marie and Pierre Curie - Radioactive Discovery 1902

Apr 20: Hitler Last Seen in Public 1945

Apr 20: The Underground Railroad 1853

Apr 21: Mark Twain - Historic Footage 1910

Apr 21: Henry VIII Becomes King of England 1509

Apr 22: Deepwater Horizon - Masive Oil Spill in the Gulf 2010

Apr 22: Earth Day - Now and Then

Apr 22: Crab Nebula - As a Supernova 1054

Apr 23: Poetry - Hear 'The Highwayman'

Apr 23: England's National Day - St. George and the Dragon

Apr 23: Shakespeare at 400 - His Best Insults

Apr 23: First U.S. Public School - Boston Latin 1635

Apr 24: Trojan Horse - Is It True?

Apr 24: Hubble Space Telescope - 1990 Launch 1990

Apr 24: Easter Rising - Ireland's Freedom Fight

Apr 24: Shackleton and the Endurance 1916

Apr 24: Hubble - Orbiting Telescope 1990

Apr 25: Guillotine First Used in France

Apr 25: Poetry - Hear 'Digging,' by Seamus Heaney

Apr 26: Chernobyl - A Man-Made Disaster 1986

Apr 26: Wedding of the Century 1923

Apr 27: Poetry - Hear 'How Do I Love Thee?'

Apr 27: Voyage of Discovery - Magellan's Fate

Apr 28: Mutiny on the Bounty'

Apr 28: Poetry - Hear 'If-' By Rudyard Kipling

Apr 29: Fleeing Saigon - 1975

Apr 29: Poetry - Hear 'Annabel Lee'

Apr 29: The War is Lost' - Ending WWII

Apr 30: Diary of Anne Frank - English Publication, 1952

Apr 30: Diary of Anne Frank - Impact on Nelson Mandela

Apr 30: Hear 'A Tale of Two Cities,' by Charles Dickens

Apr 30: Cromwell Disbands Parliament 1653

Apr 30: World Wide Web - Born at Cern 1993

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