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History's Happenings for April 18

"The British Are Coming!"
1775

The "Spirit of Seventy-Six"

It was on this night in 1775 that patriots William Dawes and Paul Revere, a silversmith in Boston, made their famous ride through the Massachusetts countryside to warn of the British advance.

Reacting to intelligence that the colonists were collecting arms in nearby Concord, British Major General Sir Thomas Gage ordered a force to march from Boston and destroy any weapons found in the village. Although his plans were made in utmost secrecy, watchful colonists nonetheless learned of them and spread the alarm. History variously records that a signal of one lamp from Boston's Old North Church tower alerted the patriots to an overland movement of British troops.

Whether completely factual or not, what is known is that, as 700 British regulars quietly moved out this night, Paul Revere and William Dawes rode ahead of their line of march to warn the American farmers and villagers to be prepared to defend themselves.

As a result, when the Redcoats arrived in Lexington, midway to Concord the next day, the town militia was assembled to meet them.

That meeting resulted in the "shot heard 'round the world" and opened the American Revolution.

San Francisco Rocked By Earthquake
1906

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First Game Played in Yankee Stadium
1923

Babe Ruth, the power behind Yankee Stadium

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Doolittle Bombs Tokyo
1942

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Ernie Pyle Killed By Sniper
1945

Combat correspondent Ernie Pyle

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League of Nations Goes Out of Business
1946

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Senate Votes to Surrender Panama Canal
1978

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