This Day In History: April 19

by Timothy Lane4/18/17

April 19 has a certain historical resonance, some of which may be unknown even to readers here. It’s especially important in terms of civil rights — such as the Second Amendment.

On April 19, 1775, a British column set off for the towns of Lexington AND Concord to seize guns and ammunition — and anti-British leaders such as John Hancock. They not only failed, but made it back alive only because they were reinforced on the way back to Boston.

On April 19, 1861, Baltimore secessionists rioted against Union troops (the Sixth Massachusetts) traveling from one railroad station to another on their way to Washington, DC. This led to the burning of bridges northeast of the city by local citizens, which led to a brief isolation of the nation’s capital.

On April 19, 1943, an SS officer named Jurgen Stroop decided to finish up the clearance and destruction of the Warsaw ghetto. Thanks to resistance by the Jews (who initially only had a few weapons), it took him nearly a month to complete the task.

On April 19, 1993, Janet Reno commemorated the 50h anniversary of that famous uprising by launching the final assault on the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, with results similar to those Stroop sought. This ended a siege that started with a BATF raid claiming that they had illegal weapons.

And in reprisal, on April 19, 1995, Timothy McVeight committed one o fthe worst mass murders in American history (prior to 2001) by blowing up the Alfred Murrah government building in Oklahoma City. 168 people, many of them children, were murdered in the terrorist attack.

Timothy Lane writes from Louisville, Kentucky and publishes the FOSFAX fanzine.
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33 Responses to This Day In History: April 19

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    What in the world were those New Englanders thinking? Didn’t they know to obey the rules and passively let the British take their guns? They never would have been welcome on a United Airlines plane.

    • pstmct says:

      Thank God that those British at the Lexington Green were not United Airlines thugs. we would still be drinking tea and eating crumpets. But I told Brad that I might write something up about supporting the efforts that make this site possible.
      Brad sent me a thank you for my donation and inthe exchange Brad gave everyone a pass with this final comment, they may not donate “And that’s fine”. Well since I have not had time to write much I will post my own reply to this comment.

      Well Brad,

      It is what it is, but fine it is not. I am sorry, but when we feed the homeless we are giving charity, but no matter the why’s, they have done nothing to work for our food, (an argument that we have all the time, I think they should have to do something, do dishes, serve the food, clean-up afterwards, anything, but I do not win that argument). But what you do and the effort that goes into this deserves support. It is not fine, if we are not willing to support those that try to make a difference then how can we expect to take back this nation. The leftist have funding for every destructive effort they come up with, but they are committed to destroying this nation; we however cannot even seem to care enough to send some little support to continue something we enjoy and that may make some difference in the end. I know I do not have the time or talent to be a strong contributor but, I am sorry but this crap really pisses me off.

      When I speak to crowds I use this message most of the time and unfortunately, to very little effect. I say the founders of this nation, where you enjoy the freedoms that you still have, signed on to their own death warrant ending with this sentence: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” I or we, do not need your Life, but we do need some of your time. We do not need all of your fortune, but most of those signers gave theirs for you to have the freedoms that you do, but we do need some of your fortune. And if you still have your honor, we need you to keep that. Is this country not worth those things? Are we to be responsible for the end of what the founders gave us? As Patrick Henry said, “The war is actually begun.… Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” Loud applause and then nothing, no effort, no time and no money.

      I may just have to write a post for you on this subject.

      I may expand on this topic in the future, but, is this site not worth 1 cup of coffee a month? $4 a month = $48 per year, round it up to $50 for a Christmas bonus. Heck $2 per month is $24. We are all facing an enemy that takes an amount from you every month, in the form of forced government union workers dues. These dues are the thing that is kicking our collective asses, we do not yet have a choice in the matter of funding our demise, but this site helps to strengthen our ability to fight the left’s crap, and giving a small amount to it, to help keep it going seems like a much better investment than supporting leftist schemes or Democrap politicians through your tax dollars. Brad does not ask for much, so I will, are we capitalist or not, will we support those things that we benefit from and enjoy, or will we just let them die due to our “righteous” apathy?

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Thanks, Pat. I’m speechless. As I told you when I got that email “Hell, now I feel like kicking in a few bucks.”

        Your reasoning is sound and your words are persuasive. Many in the past have already given generously and none of these words are meant for them. They’ve already bought into the concept of this site and I thank them again.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Brad sent me a thank you for my donation and inthe exchange Brad gave everyone a pass with this final comment, they may not donate “And that’s fine”.

        Pat, again, it was very kind of you to stump for donations for this site. For me, it’s not about the money. And it’s not about paying for access. To the chagrin of no one (these are particularly good people who have donated thus far and whose motives contain nothing but generosity), whether you donate or not has nothing to do with whether you are published here.

        I happened across this article from a guy who sounds a lot like me. The author of it, like me, seems convinced that the GOP is useless as a reform party. He’s started his own, the Federalist Party. I can’t vouch for this guy one way or another, but he sounds a lot like me.

        You, on the other hand, Pat, have not reached the point of giving up regarding the GOP. Nor do you seem even slightly delusional about the prospects of changing the party. But your motto is “Nothing ventured, nothing gained.” As you’ve told me, you have to at least try to do something.

        I’ve reached the intellectual/emotional point where JD Rucker is. To his (her?) credit, he’s not given up the fight, merely changed tactics. Not to my credit, I’ve taken a more realistic view: For quite some time now, conservatives and traditional Christians have not quite been who they said they were.

        I don’t know whether the entanglements of feminism, Big Government, or just our dumbed-down society has gotten to them. But something has gotten to the people. Not long ago I might have gotten all hot and bothered that the world hadn’t beaten a path to our terrific web site. Now I’m not. And it’s neither apathy nor a resigned realism that forms my worldview. It’s more like the idea of “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”

        I would be thrilled if people began taking steps to reignite freedom, cherish our American heritage, and give the Communists their walking papers. And I’ll be glad to do all I can to set the table. But they have to eat. This site is for use as anyone’s sandbox (in regards to the subject of politics) if they have something to say other than as a disguised substitute for doing nothing. And that is what the GOP and most of the conservative media has become. It’s a comforting echo-chamber (and book selling device) to make people feel better about doing nothing.

        I won’t be a part of it. So as I noted a few months ago, regarding political articles, they won’t be published unless they are regarding what you or someone else is materially doing to face down the Left and promote, instill, and ratchet-down conservative/American principles. If it’s not about that then it’s just pointless bitching.

        I want plenty of horses to come and enjoy this site. But I’m passed the point of begging, strong-arming, guilting, or trying to nag people into a state of surrender. If you like the way the country is going then go out and celebrate Bruce Jenner’s sex change operation (which he apparently just underwent…basically mutilation of his body).

        But if you want more out of life than what this vapid culture offers, come here. Share a good thought. Share a book. Share a movie. Share your life experiences and wisdom. Share a damned recipe for apple pie if you want. And if you care to support the expenses of this site with a contribution, more power to you. I would (and will) thank you profusely. But you’re not doing it for me. It’s not about me. I have for quite some time wanted to dump this site but some of you good people out there have convinced me to stay with it. So I will. And when Pat sends me a healthy contribution, it’s a sign to keep going. But it’s not about me. It’s about you. Get some skin in the game. And many thanks to those who already have.

        Now we take you back to the topic at hand….April 19.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I suspect that it’s easier to stay a Republican if you live in a state where they’re actually accomplishing something — such as passing a right-to-work a law in Kentucky. They also passed a law to protect county clerks like Kim Davis from the judicial inquisition over homosexual marriage. Obviously, people who live in states run by the Demagogues, or run by Republicans too scared to do anything, the situation is different.

          And, since I quoted the Emerson poem earlier, I’ll quote the first stanza of “Maryland, My Maryland” here. Some may say that it remains true today.

          The despot’s heel is on thy shore,
          Maryland, my Maryland.
          His torch is at thy temple door,
          Maryland, my Maryland.
          Avenge the patriotic gore
          That flecked the streets of Baltimore,
          And be the battle queen of yore,
          Maryland, my Maryland.

  2. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Makes you wonder why we don’t remember 4/19 like we do 9/11.

    • Steve Lancaster says:

      4/19 just doesn’t have the same numerical influence as 9/11.
      We remember Jan 19 for MLK, but forget that it is also the birthday of Robert Edward Lee. We forget that Feb 12 is Lincoln’s birthday and make a shopping day of President’s day. We are on the way to forgetting that at least 100,000,000 people died during the Cold War, almost all the victims of communism. For much of the current generation the 6,00,000 murdered Jews by the nazis is somehow the fault of Israel–go figure.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      On this day, April 19, 2017, several StubbornThings regulars contributed $100.00 to match the challenge (he said he was going to do so) by Mr. Tarzwell to put your money where your mouths are and to begin supporting causes pushing back (if only rhetorically) against the Left.

      Okay, that was a cheeky thing for me to say, Mr. Kung. But Pat will be pleased.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        Any time one can celebrate something positive, I say, “Go ahead and celebrate!”

        And thanks to Mr. Tarzwell and those other patriots.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Thanks, Mr. Kung. And I’m already aware that your contributions are already priceless. I was speaking to one and all.

          But in a way, rather than just sitting back and being a slave to the dates in history (although I think it’s cool how Timothy connected those), we can create our own date in history. So pony up out there. If you have not already contributed to keeping this small sliver of conservatism going, this is a good date to do it. (The PayPal button is at the very bottom right which accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover Card and, of course, PayPal.) For goodness sakes, let’s not let the Commie date of May 1 come upon us before making our own positive statement.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      A lot of people do remember. Patriots Day (when the Boston Marathon is held) is the Monday closest to April 19. “Maryland, My Maryland” (which I believe is still that state’s song) comes from a secessionist poet’s response to the Baltimore riot, and the despot it attacks (“The despot’s heel is on thy shore”) is Cousin Abe.

  3. pstmct says:

    Great post Timothy! I love reading the theories of who actually fired ” The Shot heard around the World”
    Some Tyrant that Lincoln, he was in office for less than 7 weeks and already and had already started a riot in Baltimore and a civil war all by himself.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      No way of knowing who fired first, particularly since Emerson was referring to Concord and there had already been an encounter at Lexington. Town Hall had a piece (which unfortunately I couldn’t locate just now to get a link) on an 80-year-old farmer, Samuel Whittenmore (a long-time British veteran) who got a musket, sword, and a brace of pistols and shot several lobsterbacks from behind a wall. They shot and bayonetted him and left him for dead — but he recovered, and lived another 18 years.

      It’s been 50 years since I read it in grade school, and my memory probably isn’t perfect, but this would be a good time to repeat Emerson’s lines:

      By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
      Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
      Here once the embattled farmers stood
      And fired the shot heard ’round the world.

  4. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    To go a bit off subject, it should be remembered that the Russian Revolution broke out in Feb/March one hundred years ago this year.

    The Bolsheviks were not, initially, in control. Only in October of that year did they take over and begin to consolidate their iron grip on power. It took them several years and a bloody civil war between the Reds and the Whites, before they finally reigned supreme. Then the killing really started.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    I would be remiss if I did not mention that today is San Jacinto Day!

    On this day in 1836, Sam Houston and his army of Texians defeated that scoundrel Santa Anna, who after defeat, tried to sneak away dressed as a woman. At least that’s what I heard.

    I have visited the battlefield, which is only second to the Alamo in the reverence in which it is held, by true Texans. Visiting the Alamo is an almost religious experience.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Here’s an online history of that battle. Perhaps a reminder that Mexicans have never had very honorable leaders. Perhaps the country has never been much more than a relative sewer. But then I speak out of turn. I’m just glad the Texans had the moxie to stand up for themselves and preserve that great plot of land for a more noble breed.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        A good history of Texas is T.R. Fehrenbach’s, “Lone Star.” It is just over 700 pages.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          Here is the Kindle version for those who are interested. Remember they offer a free sample which gives you perhaps the introduction and half a chapter. It can be a good way to judge a book by its sample.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      When Elizabeth and I attended the San Antonio Worldcon in 1997. among the places we visited were the Alamo and the San Jacinto monument (we also toured the Nimitiz Museum — and later, on the way back, we visited the Vicksburg and Chickamauga battlefields). Much of what I know of Texas history as a child came from a hardback comic-book-type history, Texas History Movies. They had a copy at the bookstore in the San Jacinto monument, but I didn’t get it.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Is this the book, Timothy?

        • Timothy Lane says:

          It could be. The edition we had had a green cover (not a dust cover — if we had one, it disappeared before I became familiar with the book). It was certainly very enjoyable, and reasonably informative. (How many people know that there really was a Republic of Fredonia? It only lasted a few months, so they had even worse leadership than Rufus T. Firefly.) As for KFZ’s recommendation for Fehrenbach’s Lone Star, I have that and have read it. He also did a history of Mexico.

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            If that book had been available for $4.00, I would have bought it. But it must be somewhat of a collector’s item.

      • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

        I have never been to Chickamauga, but have visited the Vicksburg battlefield, at least, three times.

        If you are interested in Texas history, you could do worse than “Lone Star”, which I mentioned above.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          Elizabeth and I visited a lot of battlefields back when we were able to do so. This includes Shiloh and Stone’s River (but we never got around to Perryville). In the eastern theater, we toured Antitetam, Fredericksburg area battlefields (I meant to wear my button with John Sedgwick’s famous last words — given there as “Why, they couldn’t hit an elephant at this dist-” — but forgot to). Richmond sites (including the Museum of the Confederacy, with sabers made by the Nashville Plow Company in accordance with the admonition from the book of Joel), and Petersburg.

          Incidentally, in visiting Petersburg we also came across the Quartermaster Museum nearby. One of their exhibist was unit badges, and I located that for the 39th Engineer Battalion, my father’s final command. We also were able to visit Valley Forge and Monmouth on one trip east. But we never did get to Fort McHenry, to our disappointment.

          • Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

            I would like to visit all of those sites.

            I think Monmouth would be particularly meaningful as it is the battlefield where Washington and his army proved they could stand up and match the British Army.

            I think that is also where he saved the day by riding to the front of the battle and rallying his men. And though the Brits kept shooting at him he came out unscathed, once more.

            Was it General Lee or Conway who he called a poltroon?

            • Timothy Lane says:

              Lee. I don’t think Conway ever had a field command. Both of them thought poorly of Washington, and both were grossly wrong.

  6. Timothy Lane says:

    As it happens, the lead-in article on wikipedia today was about the 6th Massachusetts — including the 4/19/1861 Baltimore riot. Following other trails led me to Gettysburg hero Alonzo Cushing. In the section on his legacy, it included a stanza from Stephen Vincent Benét’s John’s Brown Body, an epic history of the raid on Harper’s Ferry and the war it led to. A thin pamphlet on the Civil War that I read in childhood included the portion on the third day at Gettysburg, including this on why Cushing became a hero (and eventually a Medal of Honor):

    Cushing ran down the last of his guns to the battle-line.
    The rest had been smashed to scrap by Lee’s artillery fire.
    He held his guts in his hand as the charge came up to the wall,
    And his gun spoke out for him once before he fell to the ground.

    Actually, “with his hand” would have been more accurate, since he was holding them back from falling out after a shell fragment ripped his abdomen open.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Wow. A pretty graphic poem of some of the horrible realities of war. Well done, Alonzo Cushing.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        You can understand why I remembered the first 3 lines almost perfectly even after 50 years. I found a link to the whole book on gutenberg, and I read the whole Gettysburg 3rd day segment.

        • Steve Lancaster says:

          My g grandfather Ezekiel B. and g uncle Stephen was in Davis brigade, 42nd Miss and made the charge with Pickett and Pettigrew on 3 July 1863. On 3 July 2013 at 13:00, I stood in the same woods and made the walk across the field. The ground is terrible for an attacker. Longstreet was correct no 15,000 men could have made that charge successfully.

          Lee should have maneuvered around Mead and made his stand at Union Mill Maryland.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Davis was also heavily engaged on the first day, though I don’t recall if the 42nd Mississippi was one of the units caught in the railway cut. Most of Davis’s brigade didn’t make it all the way, as I recall, though they did better than Mayo, who didn’t get hit hard on the first day. The brigade had a large percentage of green units, but I suspect they were no longer green after Gettysburg.

            Newt Gingrich and William Forstchen did a trilogy on an alternate battle in which Lee does exactly what you suggest, and smashed Meade’s army. This led to the transfer of Grant and a lot of Western troops, so the results didn’t end up so good for Lee.

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