Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Each year when my birthday rolls around, my mind always wanders to the terrible things that seem to happen on that day or close to it. Some that stick out in my mind are Hitler’s birth, the Branch Dividian meldown (April 19th), Kurt Cobain's suicide (April 8th), the Columbine High School tragedy, and of course the recent tragedy at Virginia Tech.

But birthdays are heavy enough without all that baggage, so I did a quick check on Wikipedia to see what other things might have happened on the momentous day of April 20. The list shows some good things, some bad things. Despite my mind's propensity to focus on the negative, this year I'm going to stop thinking about Hitler and Columbine, and start thinking about the "rabbit incident" and the unofficial international holiday that is my birthday's namesake.

Here are just a few that caught my interest . . .

Dates in history:
1653 - Cromwell dissolves parliament
1861 - Robert E. Lee resigns from the US Army
1961 - U.S. Bay of Pigs invasion fails
1972 - Apollo 16 lands on the moon
1979 - Jimmy Carter's rabbit incident (please read this)
1999 – Columbine High School tragedy

Other birthdays:
570 - Muhammed (yes, the prophet)
1889 - Adolf Hitler
1893 - Joan Miro (painter)
1920 - John Paul Stevens
1923 - Tito Puente
1937 - George Takei
1941 - Ryan O'Neal
1943 - John Eliot Gardiner
1948 - Adolf Lu Hitler Marak
1949 - Jessica Lange
1964 - Crispin Glover
1972 - Carmen Electra
1972 - Stephen Marley

1314 - Pope Clement V
1912 - Bram Stoker
1982 - Archibald MacLeish

And, of course, for holidays there is