This Day in History — April 19

Thursday, April 19, 2018

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Today is the 109th day of 2018. There are 256 days left in the year.


1921: Government of Ireland Act goes into effect, separating the island into the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland, both with limited self-rule within Great Britain.


1775: War of American Independence opens with defeat of British at Lexington and Concord in what is now the state of Massachusetts.

1783: US Congress announces end of War of American Independence.

1892: The prototype of the first commercially successful American automobile is completed in Springfield, Massachusetts, by Charles E Duryea and his brother Frank.

1897: The first Boston Marathon is run from Ashland, Massachusetts, to Boston.

1911: Church and State are separated in Portugal.

1921: Government of Ireland Act goes into effect, separating the island into the Irish Free State and Northern Ireland, both with limited self-rule within Great Britain.

1928: Japan occupies Shantung in China.

1933: The US goes off the gold standard.

1943: The Warsaw ghetto rises against the Nazis when they try to liquidate it. Most of the 60,000 people in the ghetto are killed in the three-month rebellion.

1956: Actress Grace Kelly marries Prince Rainier of Monaco.

1960: South Korea's founding president Syngman Rhee is toppled in a nationwide pro-democracy student uprising protesting election fraud.

1964: Coalition government in Laos is deposed by right-wing military group.

1982: Astronauts Sally Ride and Guion Bluford Jr become the first woman and African-American, respectively, selected for the NASA programme.

1994: A Los Angeles jury awards $3.8 million to motorist Rodney King, who was beaten by a group of policemen.

1998: The leaders of 34 countries in the Western Hemisphere, gathered at the Summit of the Americas in Santiago, Chile, agree to take steps to create the world's largest free trade zone.

1999: German parliament gathers for first time in renovated Reichstag, symbolising government's return to Berlin.

2000: In the country's worst aviation disaster, an Air Philippines plane crashes in the southern Philippines, killing all 131 people aboard.

2003: About 100 striking Nigerian oil workers seize four offshore rigs and hold hostage 97 expatriate workers as well as more than 150 Nigerian nationals who refused to join the strike.

2005: Joseph Ratzinger of Germany appears on a Vatican balcony as the 265th pontiff, Benedict XVI. Tens of thousands gather in St Peter's Square to cheer him.

2006: Japan pushes ahead with a maritime survey near disputed islands over South Korea's strenuous objections, risking a showdown with Seoul and further damaging relations between the tense neighbours.

2007: After six years of wrangling, European Union members agree to watered-down rules for combatting racism and hate crimes across the 27-nation bloc, including setting jail sentences for those who deny or trivialise the Holocaust.

2008: Pakistan's ambassador to Afghanistan appears on a video aired by an Arab satellite channel, saying he was kidnapped by Taliban militants more than two months ago. Ambassador Tariq Azizuddin is released May 17.

2009: Jamaican Stephen Fray attempts to hijack CanJet 918 at Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. Turkish Cypriot nationalists win a parliamentary election that could stifle a promising effort to reunite Cyprus, an ethnically divided Mediterranean island.

2010: Toyota hurriedly orders recalls of nearly 10,000 Lexus SUVs for possible rollover dangers and agrees to a record $16.4 million fine for a slow response in its broader earlier recall, scrambling to fix safety worries that threaten the Japanese auto giant's reputation.

2012: India's successful test of a powerful new missile that can carry nuclear weapons to Beijing causes barely a ripple — even in China — just days after North Korea was globally vilified for a failed rocket launch.

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