by Linda Chuvala
Most of us look forward to the month of April as spring returns with warm temperatures, blooming flowers, and many outdoor festivals. There are a lot of fun facts and celebrations in April– let’s start it off with a laugh!
- Did you ever wonder how April Fool’s Day started? It is speculated that the custom of April Fools began in France during the 16th century, after the New year calendar was moved from April 1st to January 1st. Those who continued to celebrate the April new year were considered fools, and often the victims of practical jokes. Today we just like to have a little fun with our friends!
- Many festivals occur in April. In Washington DC, there is the beautiful cherry blossom festival. New Orleans hosts its Jazz and Heritage Festival and Atlanta celebrates its annual Dogwood Festival. Here in St. Louis, thousands come out to participate in the annual Earth Day festival. Make sure you mark your calendars for the 27th or 28th.
- April has two birth flowers. Both the daisy and the sweet pea are considered birth flowers for the month of April. The sweet pea signifies blissful pleasure, while daisies represent childhood innocence, loyalty, and purity.
- The month celebrates the birth of Queen Elizabeth II, Leonardo da Vinci, William Shakespeare and Thomas Jefferson.
- The first shots of the American Revolution started April 19, 1775. The Civil War, Spanish War and World War II all started in April.
- On 15 April 1912 the Titanic, believed to be unsinkable, hit an iceberg and sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later. Unfortunately, there we too few lifeboats to save everyone and only about 700 of the 2,224 passengers were rescued.
- “Houston, we’ve had a problem”! April 11, 1970 Apollo 13 launched from Cape Kennedy. Fifty-six hours later, she suffered a catastrophic explosion that crippled the ship. Fortunately, the astronauts were able to return home unharmed.
- April celebrates Arab American heritage, child abuse prevention, and Autism Awareness. It is also Keep America Beautiful month, Jazz Appreciation Month and Poetry Writing Month.
- Some “just for fun” April celebrations include: National Pillow Fight Day (6th), National Library Worker Day (9th), national siblings day (10th) and World Penguin Day (25th).
Whether you are young or old, April has something for you. So does Educate.Today. Explore our vast library of history videos and see what else the month of April has to offer.