Happy Patriot’s Day! (April 19) A day to remember.
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Today is the REAL Patriot's Day.
On April 19, 1775 Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith led a British column of 800 British regulars from Boston (where there were more than 3000 British soldiers under Major General Thomas Gage) to seize the arms and munitions of t he patriot militia at Concord and Lexington, Massachusetts. On the morning of April 19th, Smith’s redcoats engaged a company of local Minutemen at Lexington, killing several and scattering them. At Concord, 19 miles northwest of Boston, Smith found only part of the gunpowder he expected to find, the remaining part having been secreted when militiamen got word the night before from Samuel Prescott, an associate of Paul Revere who, among others, brought advance word of the British approaching. The Massachusetts Minutemen harried the royal troops as they retreated to Boston, inflicting 273 casualties. Soon afterward militia contingents from all over New England took up positions outside Boston, putting the city under siege. Forts Ticonderoga and Crown Point in upstate New York fell to other rebel parties.
Paul Revere never made it to Concord on the night of April 18, 1775. He had ridden from Charlestown to Lexington spreading word of the British advance but there was not adequate time for the Lexington patriots to muster a sizable opposition. An official courier for the Massachusetts Committee of Correspondence, Revere arrived in Lexington shortly before another rider, William Dawes. He warned John Hancock and Samuel Adams of the need to escape. Revere then set out for Concord along with Dawes and Samuel Prescott, only to be stopped by a British patrol. Only Sam Prescott reached Concord. Revere’s ride was nonetheless celebrated in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous, though largely inaccurate poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.” A leader of the Sons of Liberty, Paul Revere had previously engaged in numerous rebellious activities including the Boston Tea Party in 1773.
During World War II, Warsaw, the capital of Poland, was the location of a Ghetto established by the invading Germans for the confinement of Jews. By 1940 there were more than 400,000 Jews in the crowded Warsaw Ghetto. Over time, many Ghetto Jews died from starvation and disease and some 300,000 more were sent to concentration camps. Having reduced the number of Jews to about 60,000, German troops subsequently reduced the area of the ghetto drastically. In the spring of 1943, occupants of the Warsaw Ghetto rebelled against their German tormentors.
On April 19, 1943, the ghetto was attacked by a heavily armed force consisting of more than 2,000 German soldiers in addition to Lithuanians and Polish police and fire fighters. The Jews, armed with only a few pistols, rifles, and machine guns taken from the Germans, plus a few homemade weapons, put up a heroic resistance against impossible odds for nearly 30 days. The Nazis countered by setting the ghetto afire block by block. When Jews tried to use the sewers as a means of escape, the Germans flooded and smoke-bombed the sewers. By mid-May about 20,000 of the Jewish resisters had been killed in the streets of the Warsaw Ghetto and another 36,000 had been taken to the gas chambers.
On April 19, 1993, U.S. government forces launched their final assault on the Branch Davidian religious community at Waco Texas resulting in the deaths of 76 men, women and children.
On April 19, 1996, Islamic and Nazi elements combined in Oklahoma City to bomb the Alfred P. Murray building, killing 168 Americans.
Most of this message was originally distributed by Paul Nixon on Fidonet, message date 4-21-97