As I became more aware of history, I started to notice a pattern: bad things happen in the month of April. Considering the meaning of the word means "opening" in reference to spring and nature, it is an odd occurrence that such great tragedies have happened. Titanic, anyone? Thanks to wikipedia, I can a list of all the wonderful and not-so-wondrous events that took place specifically on April 13th (aka my birthday).
1111 – Henry V is crowned Holy Roman Emperor.
1796 – The first elephant ever seen in the United States arrives from India.
1829 – The British Parliament grants freedom of religion to Roman Catholics.
1849 – Hungary becomes a republic.
1861 – American Civil War: Fort Sumter surrenders to Confederate forces.
1870 – The Metropolitan Museum of Art founded.
1902 – James C. Penney opens his first store in Kemmerer, Wyoming.
1919 – Eugene V. Debs enters prison at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia for speaking out against the draft during World War I.
1943 – World War II: The discovery of a mass grave of Polish prisoners of war executed by Soviet forces in the Katyń Forest Massacre is announced, alienating the Western Allies, the Polish government in exile in London, from the Soviet Union.
1943 – James Boarman, Fred Hunter, Harold Brest and Floyd G. Hamilton take part in an attempt to escape from Alcatraz .
1943 – The Jefferson Memorial is dedicated in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of Thomas Jefferson's birth.
1953 – CIA director Allen Dulles launches the mind-control program MKULTRA.
1964 – At the Academy Awards, Sidney Poitier becomes the first African-American male to win the Best Actor award for Lilies of the Field.
1970 – An oxygen tank aboard Apollo 13 explodes, putting the crew in great danger and causing major damage to the spacecraft while en route to the Moon.
1976 – The United States Treasury Department reintroduced the two-dollar bill as a Federal Reserve Note on Thomas Jefferson's 233rd birthday as part of the United States Bicentennial celebration.
1992 – The Great Chicago Flood.
1997 – Tiger Woods becomes the youngest golfer to win The Masters Tournament.
1519 – Catherine de' Medici, wife of Henry II of France (d. 1589)
1743 – Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States (d. 1826)
1866 – Butch Cassidy, American outlaw (d. 1908)
1899 – Alfred Mosher Butts, American architect and Scrabble inventor (d. 1993)
1906 – Samuel Beckett, Irish writer, Nobel laureate (d. 1989)
1931 – Jon Stone, co-creator of Sesame Street (d. 1997)
1951 – Max Weinberg, American drummer
1964 – Caroline Rhea, Canadian actress
1976 – Jonathan Brandis, American actor (d. 2003)
Holidays and observances
Earliest possible date for Vaisakhi (Sikh Calendar)
First day of Cambodian New Year
First day of Lao New Year
First day of Thai New Year
I have to say, there were a lot of sporty and political people on this list that I cut out. Perhaps I should have explored my interests in being the first woman president or the first woman on a men's soccer team? Um, I think not.