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On This Day in
American History:
 
April 18

On April 18, 1689, the Governor of the Dominion of New England, Sir Edmund Andros, was arrested and imprisoned by an angry mob of Bostonians when they became aware that King James II was deposed in England.

Interestingly Andros was the royal governor of New England who lifted the
Puritanical ban on Christmas eight years earlier. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

American author and Spanish-American War correspondent Richard Harding Davis was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on April 18, 1864. 
Davis was a good friend of Theodore Roosevelt and he became an honorary member of the Rough Riders. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

Bent streetcar rails and lifted stone blocks on a street in San Francisco, California after the earthquake occurred on April 18, 1906

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

“Listen my children and you shall hear:
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.

He said to his friend, "If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,—
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm."

Then he said "Good-night!" and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.

Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.

Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,—
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.

Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel's tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, "All is well!"
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,—
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.

Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse's side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry's height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.

A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.

He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.

It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer's dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.

It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.

It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.

You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.

So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.”

“Paul Revere's Ride” poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Image from “Paul Revere, the torch bearer of the revolution”, published in 1916
https://archive.org/details/paulreveretorchb00mos/page/n15

Howard Ehmke of the Boston Red Sox and Bob Shawkey of the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium, Bronx, New York City, on Opening Day, April 18, 1923
It was the first game played at the original Yankee Stadium. 

Ehmke pitched a no-hitter later that season and Shawkey and his New York Yankees would go on to win their first World Series that year. 

Image from LOC, no known restrictions 

"U.S. Army Air Force B-25B Mitchell medium bomber, one of 16 involved in the Doolittle Raid, takes off from the flight deck of the USS Hornet for an air raid on Japan”

 April 18, 1942

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain

U.S. Custom House (Federal Hall) with statue of George Washington, Wall Street, New York City 

 Image dated April 18, 1937

via LOC, no known restrictions 

On today's date April 18, 1813, James McCune Smith, the first African American physician to receive a medical degree was born in Manhattan, New York.  

Smith graduated from the University of Glasgow in Scotland where he received multiple degrees between 1835-1837.

Photo: Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Photographs and Prints Division, The New York Public Library. "James McCune Smith, physician and abolitionist." New York Public Library Digital Collections.

The first dance ever held in Elmore City, Oklahoma took place on April 18, 1980. The ban on dancing had existed since the 1890s and ended when the school board approved a high school prom. The ban and the events that ended it inspired the 1984 film “Footloose.”

Shown is a stage production of the film. Image by meetmeatthemuny , CCA-SA 4.0 International

Barbara Hale, born April 18, 1922, made a string of films for RKO and Columbia in the 1940s and ‘50’s. She was considering leaving show business when she accepted her most famous role, that of Della Street, legal secretary to television attorney Perry Mason. She’s shown here with co-star Raymond Burr.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, no known copyright, public domain in the US.

“Wahoo” Sam Crawford, the pro baseball player who has more triples than any other player in major league history, was born on April 18, 1880 in Wahoo, Nebraska. 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain in the US.

April 18, 1938 is an important date for many super hero fans as it marks the first time that Superman appeared in a comic book. Issue #1 may have been issued on 4/18 but its cover is dated June.

You can see most of the famous cover in this collage (on the right) with Superman lifting the green car.

Image via Shutterstock 

April 18, 1847

“All is ready. The night-watch is past. Twiggs' division, which has rested on its arms, is rousing itself at the first light. The gallant artillerymen and engineers on the hill cut away the light brush in front of their guns, and now the heavy cannon begin their fire on the hill batteries. Their thunder tones are echoed from the mountain sides, and returned from the pieces of the enemy. The division of Twiggs is marching. The volunteers of Shields are hurrying on to seize the Jalapa road in rear of Santa Anna. Cerro Gordo now opens its plunging fire on Twiggs, and the issue has come. Cerro Gordo must be stormed. The storm is led by the gallant Harney. They fight under the eye of Scott. Here march the rifles, the 1st artillery, the 7th infantry; and near them, and with them storming the heights, are the 2d and the 3d infantry, and the 4th artillery. These are the regulars of Twiggs, and here they march up the rocky ascent, so steep that they must climb as they go, and with no covering but the very steepness of the hill. They receive a plunging fire in front and a rolling fire on the flanks — but, on they go. On — on, Harney leads his men. The front rank melts away before the shot ; but they stop not till the hill is gained, and then a long and loud shout echoes from the mountain sides — Cerro Gordo is gained!”

From: Life and services of General Winfield Scott, including the siege of Vera Cruz, the battle of Cerro Gordo, and the battles in the valley of Mexico, to the conclusion of peace, and his return to the United States by Edward Deering Mansfield, published in 1852 https://archive.org/details/lifeservicesofge02mans/page/384/mode/1up?q=Cerro+Gordo&view=theater 
Source says no known restrictions 

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