April 3, 1860 – Pony Express service began as the first rider, Johnny Fry departed St. Joseph, Missouri. For $5 an ounce, letters were delivered 2,000 miles to California within ten days.
April 4, 1887 – Susanna M. Salter of Argonia, Kansas became the first woman mayor elected in the U.S.
April 4, 1968 – Civil Rights leader Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King was shot and killed in Memphis, Tennessee.
April 8, 1913 – The 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified requiring public election of U.S. senators. Previously, they had been chosen by state legislatures.
April 9, 1865 – The Civil War effectively ended as General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in the village of Appomattox Court House. After over 500,000 American deaths the surrender occurred in the home of Wilmer McLean.
April 14, 1828 – Noah Webster published the first dictionary of American-style English called the “American Dictionary of the English Language”.
April 17, 1961 – A U.S.-backed attempt to overthrow Premier Fidel Castro of Cuba failed disastrously in what is known as the Bay of Pigs.
April 19, 1775 – Dawn in Massachusetts, about 70 armed militiamen stood at Lexington Green against a British advance guard unit. An unordered ‘shot heard around the world’ began the American Revolution.
April 26, 1944 – U.S. Army troops seized the Chicago offices of Montgomery Ward & Company after a four month strike by the company’s 12,000 workers. Because the president refused to settle the strike, as President Roosevelt requested. The president of Montgomery Ward refused to comply with a War Labor Board order to recognize the unions and institute terms of a collective bargaining agreement. For eight months Montgomery Ward continued to refuse recognizing the unions. President Roosevelt issued an Executive Order seizing all of Montgomery Ward’s property nationwide, citing the War Labor Disputes Act as well as his power under the Constitution as Commander in Chief. In 1945, Truman ended the seizure.