Today is the anniversary of the worst day in American history.
Yes, I know that it’s the traditional income tax due day, although that has been moved this year to April 18, because of a Civil War-related holiday: Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia. Traditionally that’s celebrated on April 16, but since that falls on a Saturday this year, DC employees have Friday off, which in turn moves tax day to the following Monday. And yes, the RMS Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg late the previous night. That tragic event led in turn to an equally tragic movie starring that kid from Growing Pains. Historical note: Henry Adams, the American historian who accompanied his father to London in 1861, had booked return passage on the ill-fated vessel.
Moreover, good things have happened on April 15. Today Major League Baseball celebrates Jackie Robinson Day.
Oh, I’m sure some people will point to what happened 150 years ago today, when Abraham Lincoln made his initial call for troops to quell a certain rebellion. But we all know that mobilizing state militia for ninety days was not going to be enough, although the call did have ramifications down the line as the clock was ticking on the expiration of this call as opposing forces converged at Bull Run.
And no, sad as it may have been, April 15 is not the worst day in American history because it’s the day that Lincoln died. Yes, that was a tragedy, at least to many people, although apparently not to all, then and now.
No, April 15 is the worst day in American history because Continue reading