Bay of Pigs invaders captured.

This Year in History

Our Selections From April

All year, we've been highlighting historical news events—and Foreign Affairs articles about those events—as part of our "This Day in History" series. Here are our collected selections for April.

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1

1933: Nazi Germany Begins Its Perseuction of Jews

As the first discriminatory measure against the Jews, the Nazis call for a boycott of Jewish businesses. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

2

1917: Woodrow Wilson Delivers His War Message

He advised Congress to "declare the recent course of the Imperial German Government to be in fact nothing less than war against...the United States." Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

3

1948: Truman Signs the Marshall Plan

President Harry S. Truman signs the Economic Assistance Act, which sought to stabilize Europe and help it recover from the devastation of World War II. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

4

1968: Assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr.

The civil rights leaders is fatally shot outside his hotel room in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 39 years old. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

5

1992: Peruvian Constitutional Crisis

In what was known as an "auto-coup," Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori suspended the constitution and dissolved the judiciary and legislature, delegating those powers to himself. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

6

1924: First Flight Around the World Begins

Four planes took off from Seattle, Washington, but only two of them completed the journey, returning on September 28, 1924 after logging nearly 355 hours and 25,180 miles of flying. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

7

1953: Dag Hammarskjöld Appointed UN Secretary General

He is appointed unanimously by the UN General Assembly at the recommendation of the Security Council. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

8

1953: Jomo Kenyatta Jailed for Mau Mau Uprising

Kenya’s British rulers blame the independence leader for the Mau Mau attacks against white settlers, even though Kenyatta had little to do with the uprising. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

9

2003: The Fall of Baghdad

U.S.-led forces seize the Iraqi capital and put an end to Saddam Hussein's brutal 24-year-long rule. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

10

1972: Biological Weapons Convention Opens for Signature

It was the first multilateral disarmament treaty that prohibited the development, production, and stockpiling of biological weapons. It entered into force on March 26, 1975. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

11

1961: Trial of Adolf Eichmann Begins

The former Nazi lieutenant colonel, who oversaw Germany’s mass killing of Jews, is tried for war crimes. He is sentenced to death on December 15, 1961. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

12

1945: FDR Dies

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt passes away after four terms in office, leaving Vice President Harry S. Truman in charge. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

13

1941: Soviet–Japanese Neutrality Pact Signed

Two years after the Soviet–Japanese Border War in 1939, the two nations sought to ensure neutrality between them during World War II. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

14

1865: Lincoln Is Shot

John Wilkes Booth shoots U.S. President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Lincoln dies the next day. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

15

1959: Castro Visits the U.S.

Fidel Castro travels to the U.S. for the first time since his successful revolution in Cuba four months earlier. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

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16

1972: U.S.-China Panda Diplomacy

After President Richard Nixon's historic visit to China, Beijing gifts the United States with two pandas, Hsing-Hsing and female Ling-Ling. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

17

1961: The Bay of Pigs Invasion

The CIA launches a massive invasion of Cuba by 1,400 American-trained Cubans who had fled the Castro regime. But they were outnumbered and surrendered after less than 24 hours of fighting. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

18

1978: Panama Canal Treaty Ratified

U.S. Congress approves the treaty, which would transfer full control of the waterway to Panama on December 31, 1999. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

19

1995: Oklahoma City Bombing

A truck-bomb explodes outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, killing 168 people. Timothy McVeigh was later found to have orchestrated the attack. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

20

1980: Fidel Castro Announces Mariel Boatlift

He allows all Cubans wishing to emigrate to the United States to board boats at the port of Mariel west of Havana. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

21

1967: Greek Coup

Just weeks before scheduled elections, a group of right-wing colonels seizes power and arrests over 10,000 politicians, authority figures, and citizens suspected of supporting the left wing. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

22

1995: Kibeho Massacre

The Rwandan Patriotic Army, composed largely of ethnic Tutsis, opens fire at a refugee camp for Hutus. The army had accused the Hutus of killing Tutsis during the the Rwandan genocide. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

23

1910: Theodore Roosevelt Gives "Man in the Arena" Speech

In a speech at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, France, Roosevelt famously says, "It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood." Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

24

1955: Bandung Conference Concludes

The first large-scale Afro–Asian conference, which began on April 18, concludes. It was held in Bandung, Indonesia and included 29 countries, which sought to promote Afro-Asian economic and cultural cooperation and to oppose colonialism or neocolonialism. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

25

1846: Mexican-American War Begins

A skirmish along the Rio Grande border turns into a larger conflict. In the end, Mexico loses about one-third of its land, including nearly all of present-day Arizona, California, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

26

1922: U.S. Recognition of Egyptian Independence

U.S. President Warren G. Harding sends a letter to King Ahmed Fuad acknowledging Egypt's statehood, which it won from the United Kingdom a few months earlier in February. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

27

1992: IMF and World Bank Approve Russia's Membership

They also grant membership to 12 of the Soviet Union's former republics. Russia becomes a member on June 1 of that year. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

28

1945: Benito Mussolini Is Executed

During an attempt to flee to Switzerland, the Italian dictator is captured and killed by Italian communist partisans. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

29

1974: Richard Nixon Announces Release of Watergate Tapes

He promised to release the transcripts of 46 taped White House conversations, saying, “I want there to be no question remaining about the fact that the president has nothing to hide in this matter.” Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

30

1975: Saigon Falls

South Vietnam surrenders to northern Communist and Viet Cong forces after the capture of Saigon, and the war ends. Read more about it in the Foreign Affairs archive.

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