Dr. Hurlbutt's Highly Peculiar Online Calendar

April 2011

(National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Month)

April 1: April Fool's Day. Also the feastday of St. Dodolinus, a regrettably named seventh century French bishop.

April 2: Congress passed the Coinage Act of 1792, which authorized the U.S. Mint, created the U.S. dollar, and established that the latter would be a decimal currency.

April 5: Feast of the Martyrs of Lesbos, "five holy virgins, who were slain by the sword," (The Roman Martyrology, published by order of Gregory XIII, revised by the authority of Urban VIII and Clement X, augmented and corrected in 1749 by Benedict XII).

April 7: Motherhood and Beauty Day (Armenia). On this day in 1939, Mussolini's Italy attacked Albania, overthrowing King Zog I.

April 9: Fiftieth anniversary of the death in exile of King Zog I of Albania in 1961.

April 10: The first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska in 1872, with the planting of thousands of trees all over the state. Across the nation, Arbor Day is now most often celebrated on the last Friday of the month, but some states favor other days, based on the suitability of the climate for tree-planting. Alaska, for example, postpones it until the third Monday in May.

He that plants a tree loves others than himself. - Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia (1732).

April 12: Big Wind Day (unofficial). During a fierce storm in 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire recorded the highest natural surface wind velocity ever officially measured on the surface of this planet, when at 1:21 p.m. a gust reached 231 miles (372 kilometers) per hour. While it is undoubted that stronger winds have occurred during extreme tropical storms, and particularly during tornadoes, the instruments needed to record them have not survived these events.

April 15: In the early hours of the morning, the RMS Titanic went down in the North Atlantic in 1912, after striking an iceberg late the night before. In an unrelated but coincident disaster, future North Korean dictator Kim Il Sung (1912-94) was born.

April 16: President Abraham Lincoln signed legislation outlawing slavery in the District of Columbia in 1862. For many years thereafter, African Americans in the capital celebrated the anniversary as Emancipation Day.

April 18: Jewish Passover (Hebrew: Pesach) begins after sundown on the 14th day of Nisan, the first month of the Jewish Ecclesiastical Year. The holiday, which lasts for seven days within historic Palestine but eight throughout the Diaspora, commemorates the deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, as described in the Book of Exodus.

April 19: The battles of Lexington and Concord began the American Revolutionary War in 1775.

April 21: The German ace Manfred von Richthofen, better known as the Red Baron, was killed in a dogfight over Vaux sur Somme, France, in 1918.

April 22: Jelly Bean Day (unofficial). The ultimate origin of the jelly bean is unclear, but the first known advertisement for this traditional American treat dates to the American Civil War, when the candymaker William Schraft of Boston promoted sending the sweets to Union soldiers. Jelly beans became popularly associated with Easter during the 1930s, owing to their egg-like shape.

April 23: St. George's Day (Western Church). Best known for slaying the dragon, St. George is the patron saint of England, among many other countries, and Moscow, among many other cities. although St. George's Day is considered England's National Day, the occasion is not widely observed there. It is, however, an official government holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland. St. George is also the patron saint of the Scouting movement. In the Eastern Church, St. George's Day is observed according to the Julian calendar on May 6.

April 24: Easter. The annual celebration of Christ's resurrection, Easter is a movable feast, its timing dependant upon the phases of the moon. The Western and Eastern churches use different systems to determine the date, but this year the result happens to be the same. Although Easter is the sacred highpoint of the Christian year, it has come to be eclipsed, to some extent, in the United States by the popularity and commercialism of Christmas. Non-religious manifestations such as Easter eggs and the Easter Bunny reflect the holiday's approximate coincidence with the vernal equinox and the pagan fertility rites of spring.

April 25: The Hubble Space Telescope was first deployed in 1990.

April 26: Twenty-fifth anniversary of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986.

April 28: The famous mutiny on the HMS Bounty took place in 1789.

April 30: Saigon fell to the North Vietnamese in 1975. The former South Vietnamese capital was renamed Ho Chi Minh City the following day.

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While Archelaus reasonably believes the contents of this calendar to be accurate, it disclaims
all liability for the consequences of any action undertaken in reliance upon said contents.