April 1

2349 B.C. – The Flood Waters were Dried.

Genesis 8:13

1490 B.C. – The Gifts and Offerings were Brought in Dedication of the Tabernacle.

1490 B.C. – The Tabernacle was Set Up.

Exodus 40:17

1490 B.C. – The Date That the Cloud Came Upon the Tabernacle and the Glory of God Filled the House of God.

Exodus 40:34

726 B.C. – Hezekiah Cleansed the Temple.

II Chronicles 29:17

574 B.C. – God Told Ezekiel to Cleanse the Sanctuary.

Ezekiel 45:18

515 B.C. – Ezra Started to Jerusalem to Rebuild the Wall.

457 B.C. – The Israelites Put Away Strange Wives Before the Temple.

Ezra 10:17

7 B.C. – The Traditional Date for the Conception of John the Baptist.

Luke 1:24-26

1700 – April Fools tradition popularized

On this day in 1700, English pranksters begin popularizing the annual tradition of April Fools’ Day by playing practical jokes on each other.

Although the day, also called All Fools’ Day, has been celebrated for several centuries by different cultures, its exact origins remain a mystery. Some historians speculate that April Fools’ Day dates back to 1582, when France switched from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, as called for by the Council of Trent in 1563. People who were slow to get the news or failed to recognize that the start of the new year had moved to January 1 and continued to celebrate it during the last week of March through April 1 became the butt of jokes and hoaxes. These included having paper fish placed on their backs and being referred to as “poisson d’avril” (April fish), said to symbolize a young, easily caught fish and a gullible person.

Historians have also linked April Fools’ Day to ancient festivals such as Hilaria, which was celebrated in Rome at the end of March and involved people dressing up in disguises. There’s also speculation that April Fools’ Day was tied to the vernal equinox, or first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere, when Mother Nature fooled people with changing, unpredictable weather.

April Fools’ Day spread throughout Britain during the 18th century. In Scotland, the tradition became a two-day event, starting with “hunting the gowk,” in which people were sent on phony errands (gowk is a word for cuckoo bird, a symbol for fool) and followed by Tailie Day, which involved pranks played on people’s derrieres, such as pinning fake tails or “kick me” signs on them.

In modern times, people have gone to great lengths to create elaborate April Fools’ Day hoaxes. Newspapers, radio and TV stations and Web sites have participated in the April 1 tradition of reporting outrageous fictional claims that have fooled their audiences. In 1957, the BBC reported that Swiss farmers were experiencing a record spaghetti crop and showed footage of people harvesting noodles from trees; numerous viewers were fooled. In 1985, Sports Illustrated tricked many of its readers when it ran a made-up article about a rookie pitcher named Sidd Finch who could throw a fastball over 168 miles per hour. In 1996, Taco Bell, the fast-food restaurant chain, duped people when it announced it had agreed to purchase Philadelphia’s Liberty Bell and intended to rename it the Taco Liberty Bell. In 1998, after Burger King advertised a “Left-Handed Whopper,” scores of clueless customers requested the fake sandwich. – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/april-fools-tradition-popularized (Apr 1, 2014)

1910 – The Approximate Date of the Conversion of Dr. G. B. Vick.

Dr. Vick is pastor of the Temple Baptist Church, Detroit, Michigan, and president of the great Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri. Dr. Vick is one of the giants. How I thank God for his personal friendship as well as the contribution he has made for the cause of Christ in this generation. Pray for his work today and for the members of the Baptist Bible Fellowship everywhere that proclaim the Gospel of the Grace of God.

The Approximate Date of the Jewish New Year.

This is the first month of their year.

April 2

1792 – The United States Mint was Established in Pennsylvania.

1877 – The Birthday of Mordecai Ham.

Here was a great evangelist. He would go to a town, preach in different areas of the city, and conclude that stay in the city by having a big, city-wide revival. He would stay in one location for many months, and would make a tremendous impact for the cause of Christ. His life’s motto was “Love all men, fear no man.” It was under his preaching that evangelist Billy Graham was converted.

1934 – The Approximate Day of the Ordination of Dr. Bill Dowell to the Ministry.

Dr. Dowell had a miraculous ministry for many years at the High Street Baptist Church in Springfield, Missouri. He is a steadying influence in the Baptist Bible Fellowship. He has been chairman of the faculty at the Baptist Bible College in Springfield, Missouri, and is considered as one of the best preachers in America. He certainly is worthy of our prayers. Let us go beyond this, however, and pray for all of the preachers in the Baptist Bible Fellowship, and for that matter, all the faithful preachers everywhere who proclaim the message of Jesus Christ. 

April 3

The Traditional Date of the Birth of Cain.

The Traditional Date of the Slaying of Abel.

If both of these be true, then Abel was killed on Cain’s birthday. As we think of Cain, we should pause to ask God to keep hatred, malice, and jealousy from our own hearts. How damaging to our Christian testimony it is when these enemies of spirituality oversway in our lives.

33 A.D. – The Farmer’s Almanac Gives This as the Date of the Crucifixion.

Of course, there is no way to know this for sure. We do know, however, it was on the fourteenth day of the first month, which would not exactly correspond with our month of April but would be close to it. Whether this could be the date or not, certainly we can thank God for the Cross of Calvary, and thank Him for the price that Jesus paid for our sins.

1783 – Washington Irving was Born.

1860 – The First Pony Express Operated.

On this day in 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Ten days later, on April 13, the westbound rider and mail packet completed the approximately 1,800-mile journey and arrived in Sacramento, beating the eastbound packet’s arrival in St. Joseph by two days and setting a new standard for speedy mail delivery. Although ultimately short-lived and unprofitable, the Pony Express captivated America’s imagination and helped win federal aid for a more economical overland postal system. It also contributed to the economy of the towns on its route and served the mail-service needs of the American West in the days before the telegraph or an efficient transcontinental railroad.The Pony Express debuted at a time before radios and telephones, when California, which achieved statehood in 1850, was still largely cut off from the eastern part of the country. Letters sent from New York to the West Coast traveled by ship, which typically took at least a month, or by stagecoach on the recently established Butterfield Express overland route, which could take from three weeks to many months to arrive. Compared to the snail’s pace of the existing delivery methods, the Pony Express’ average delivery time of 10 days seemed like lightning speed.

The Pony Express Company, the brainchild of William H. Russell, William Bradford Waddell and Alexander Majors, owners of a freight business, was set up over 150 relay stations along a pioneer trail across the present-day states of Missouri, Kansas,Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Nevada and California. Riders, who were paid approximately $25 per week and carried loads estimated at up to 20 pounds of mail, were changed every 75 to 100 miles, with horses switched out every 10 to 15 miles. Among the riders was the legendary frontiersman and showman William “Buffalo Bill” Cody (1846-1917), who reportedly signed on with the Pony Express at age 14. The company’s riders set their fastest time with Lincoln’s inaugural address, which was delivered in just less than eight days.

The initial cost of Pony Express delivery was $5 for every half-ounce of mail. The company began as a private enterprise and its owners hoped to gain a profitable delivery contract from the U.S. government, but that never happened. With the advent of the first transcontinental telegraph line in October 1861, the Pony Express ceased operations. However, the legend of the lone Pony Express rider galloping across the Old West frontier to deliver the mail lives on today – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pony-express-debuts (Apr 3, 2014).

1882 – Jesse James was Killed.

A New Month has Begun.

Yes, a new month has begun, the month of showers, the month of spring, the month of flowers, the month of new beginning, the month of beauty. Let us make it a month of service for Jesus Christ.

April 4

The Days of the Dedication of the Tabernacle were Still in Progress.

Although the tabernacle was a sanctuary, a dwelling place for God among His people, and the church building of today is not this, but as Spurgeon said, “a meeting house,” this does call to our attention that we should thank God for our church buildings. The physical plant is what we have in mind today. Thank God for a place to preach, a place to worship, a place to teach, a place to fellowship, and a place to serve the Lord.

1704 – The First United States Paper was Printed.

It was printed in Boston, Massachusetts. Thank God for the newspaper today. It is probably the best bargain of our generation.

1818 – The United States Flag was Adopted by Congress.

We have been shocked recently by the burning of flags by unpatriotic citizens. Personally, I thank God for “Old Glory,” and I’ll pause now to pray a prayer of thanksgiving for my country.

1841 – William Henry Harrison Died.

He had been in office thirty-two days upon his death. This is the briefest term of any President in History. Pray for our President today.

1949 – The Starting of NATO.

1968 – Martin Luther King Assassinated.

Just after 6 p.m. on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. is fatally shot while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis,Tennessee. The civil rights leader was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike and was on his way to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. King was pronounced dead after his arrival at a Memphis hospital. He was 39 years old.

In the months before his assassination, Martin Luther King became increasingly concerned with the problem of economic inequality in America. He organized a Poor People’s Campaign to focus on the issue, including an interracial poor people’s march on Washington, and in March 1968 traveled to Memphis in support of poorly treated African-American sanitation workers. On March 28, a workers’ protest march led by King ended in violence and the death of an African-American teenager. King left the city but vowed to return in early April to lead another demonstration.

On April 3, back in Memphis, King gave his last sermon, saying, “We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop…And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over, and I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.”

One day after speaking those words, Dr. King was shot and killed by a sniper. As word of the assassination spread, riots broke out in cities all across the United States and National Guard troops were deployed in Memphis and Washington, D.C. On April 9, King was laid to rest in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia. Tens of thousands of people lined the streets to pay tribute to King’s casket as it passed by in a wooden farm cart drawn by two mules.

The evening of King’s murder, a Remington .30-06 hunting rifle was found on the sidewalk beside a rooming house one block from the Lorraine Motel. During the next several weeks, the rifle, eyewitness reports, and fingerprints on the weapon all implicated a single suspect: escaped convict James Earl Ray. A two-bit criminal, Ray escaped a Missouri prison in April 1967 while serving a sentence for a holdup. In May 1968, a massive manhunt for Ray began. The FBI eventually determined that he had obtained a Canadian passport under a false identity, which at the time was relatively easy.

On June 8, Scotland Yard investigators arrested Ray at a London airport. He was trying to fly to Belgium, with the eventual goal, he later admitted, of reaching Rhodesia. Rhodesia, now called Zimbabwe, was at the time ruled by an oppressive and internationally condemned white minority government. Extradited to the United States, Ray stood before a Memphis judge in March 1969 and pleaded guilty to King’s murder in order to avoid the electric chair. He was sentenced to 99 years in prison.

Three days later, he attempted to withdraw his guilty plea, claiming he was innocent of King’s assassination and had been set up as a patsy in a larger conspiracy. He claimed that in 1967, a mysterious man named “Raoul” had approached him and recruited him into a gunrunning enterprise. On April 4, 1968, he said, he realized that he was to be the fall guy for the King assassination and fled to Canada. Ray’s motion was denied, as were his dozens of other requests for a trial during the next 29 years.

During the 1990s, the widow and children of Martin Luther King Jr. spoke publicly in support of Ray and his claims, calling him innocent and speculating about an assassination conspiracy involving the U.S. government and military. U.S. authorities were, in conspiracists’ minds, implicated circumstantially. FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover obsessed over King, who he thought was under communist influence. For the last six years of his life, King underwent constant wiretapping and harassment by the FBI. Before his death, Dr. King was also monitored by U.S. military intelligence, which may have been asked to watch King after he publicly denounced the Vietnam War in 1967. Furthermore, by calling for radical economic reforms in 1968, including guaranteed annual incomes for all, King was making few new friends in the Cold War-era U.S. government.

Over the years, the assassination has been reexamined by the House Select Committee on Assassinations, the Shelby County, Tennessee, district attorney’s office, and three times by the U.S. Justice Department. The investigations all ended with the same conclusion: James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King. The House committee acknowledged that a low-level conspiracy might have existed, involving one or more accomplices to Ray, but uncovered no evidence to definitively prove this theory. In addition to the mountain of evidence against him–such as his fingerprints on the murder weapon and his admitted presence at the rooming house on April 4–Ray had a definite motive in assassinating King: hatred. According to his family and friends, he was an outspoken racist who informed them of his intent to kill Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He died in 1998 – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/dr-king-is-assassinated.

April 5

2348 B.C. – The Approximate Date that the Ark Rested on Mt. Ararat.

1614 – Pocahontas marries John Rolfe

Pocahontas, daughter of the chief of the Powhatan Indian confederacy, marries English tobacco planter John Rolfe in Jamestown, Virginia. The marriage ensured peace between the Jamestown settlers and the Powhatan Indians for several years.

In May 1607, about 100 English colonists settled along the James River in Virginia to found Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America. The settlers fared badly because of famine, disease, and Indian attacks, but were aided by 27-year-old English adventurer John Smith, who directed survival efforts and mapped the area. While exploring the Chickahominy River in December 1607, Smith and two colonists were captured by Powhatan warriors. At the time, the Powhatan confederacy consisted of around 30 Tidewater-area tribes led by Chief Wahunsonacock, known as Chief Powhatan to the English. Smith’s companions were killed, but he was spared and released, (according to a 1624 account by Smith) because of the dramatic intercession of Pocahontas, Chief Powhatan’s 13-year-old daughter. Her real name was Matoaka, and Pocahontas was a pet name that has been translated variously as “playful one” and “my favorite daughter.”

In 1608, Smith became president of the Jamestown colony, but the settlement continued to suffer. An accidental fire destroyed much of the town, and hunger, disease, and Indian attacks continued. During this time, Pocahontas often came to Jamestown as an emissary of her father, sometimes bearing gifts of food to help the hard-pressed settlers. She befriended the settlers and became acquainted with English ways. In 1609, Smith was injured from a fire in his gunpowder bag and was forced to return to England.

After Smith’s departure, relations with the Powhatan deteriorated and many settlers died from famine and disease in the winter of 1609-10. Jamestown was about to be abandoned by its inhabitants when Baron De La Warr (also known as Delaware) arrived in June 1610 with new supplies and rebuilt the settlement–the Delaware River and the colony of Delaware were later named after him. John Rolfe also arrived in Jamestown in 1610 and two years later cultivated the first tobacco there, introducing a successful source of livelihood that would have far-reaching importance for Virginia.

In the spring of 1613, English Captain Samuel Argall took Pocahontas hostage, hoping to use her to negotiate a permanent peace with her father. Brought to Jamestown, she was put under the custody of Sir Thomas Gates, the marshal of Virginia. Gates treated her as a guest rather than a prisoner and encouraged her to learn English customs. She converted to Christianity and was baptized Lady Rebecca. Powhatan eventually agreed to the terms for her release, but by then she had fallen in love with John Rolfe, who was about 10 years her senior. On April 5, 1614, Pocahontas and John Rolfe married with the blessing of Chief Powhatan and the governor of Virginia.

Their marriage brought a peace between the English colonists and the Powhatans, and in 1615 Pocahontas gave birth to their first child, Thomas. In 1616, the couple sailed to England. The so-called Indian Princess proved popular with the English gentry, and she was presented at the court of King James I. In March 1617, Pocahontas and Rolfe prepared to sail back to Virginia. However, the day before they were to leave, Pocahontas died, probably of smallpox, and was buried at the parish church of St. George in Gravesend, England.

John Rolfe returned to Virginia and was killed in an Indian massacre in 1622. After an education in England, their son Thomas Rolfe returned to Virginia and became a prominent citizen. John Smith returned to the New World in 1614 to explore the New England coast. On another voyage of exploration in 1614, he was captured by pirates but escaped after three months of captivity. He then returned to England, where he died in 1631 – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/pocahontas-marries-john-rolfe

1648 – Eli Yale was Born.

Some think his birthday to be April 5, 1645. At any rate, he was the founder of Yale University. Pray today for our universities, especially breathe a special prayer for our Christian colleges and universities.

1856 – The Birthday of Booker T. Washington.

Once again our attention is directed toward our black brethren. Pray today for black people everywhere. Some of the greatest Christians that I’ve ever met are on the island of Jamaica, where I preached several years ago. What a joy to hear them sing and hear them pray. Pray for our black friends. Promise to witness to them.

1955 – Winston Churchill Resigned as Prime Minister of England.

Those of us who lived through World War II will never forget Mr. Churchill, his leadership, his dynamic, his faith, and his courage which inspired the entire free world. Let us thank God for his life and pray for those in authority over us presently.

The Birthday of Willis Athey Hyles, My Father.

Each year on this day, I ask God to make me a better soul winner and a better preacher. Though my father was not overly pleased when he heard I was going to be a preacher, he did say these words, “Son, if you’re going to be a preacher, be a good one.” I hope to fulfill his advice.

April 6

1830 – Mormonism was Founded by Joseph Smith.

My mind wanders back to the time I won a little Mormon lady to Jesus Christ one night in Garland, Texas. Her husband was manager of a shoe store in our area. Both of them were sweetly converted in their home. Then, I think of that fine soul winner in the city of Garland, Texas whom I led to Christ. The first year after he was saved he won 167 people to Jesus. He, too, had been a Mormon.

1837 – George Mueller Opened His Famous Orphanage.

George Mueller opened his orphanage in two rented houses on Wilson Street in Bristol. Each house housed thirty children. From this humble beginning, George Mueller built an orphanage of 1,677 children, and fed them all with prayer and faith in God. How long has it been since you have prayed for an orphanage? How long has it been since you sent an offering to one? James reminds us in his epistle pure religion and undefiled before God, the Father, is to visit the fatherless. In other words, pure religion has a concern in it for orphans.

1892 – The Birthday of Lowell Thomas.

1896 – First Modern Olympics

On April 6, 1896, the Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, are reborn in Athens 1,500 years after being banned by Roman Emperor Theodosius I. At the opening of the Athens Games, King Georgios I of Greece and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed athletes from 13 nations to the international competition.

The first recorded Olympic Games were held at Olympia in the Greek city-state of Elis in 776 B.C., but it is generally accepted that the Olympics were at least 500 years old at that time. The ancient Olympics, held every four years, occurred during a religious festival honoring the Greek god Zeus. In the eighth century B.C., contestants came from a dozen or more Greek cities, and by the fifth century B.C. from as many as 100 cities from throughout the Greek empire. Initially, Olympic competition was limited to foot races, but later a number of other events were added, including wrestling, boxing, horse and chariot racing, and military competitions. The pentathlon, introduced in 708 B.C., consisted of a foot race, the long jump, discus and javelin throws, and wrestling. With the rise of Rome, the Olympics declined, and in 393 A.D. the Roman Emperor Theodosius I, a Christian, abolished the Games as part of his efforts to suppress paganism in the Roman Empire.

With the Renaissance, Europe began a long fascination with ancient Greek culture, and in the 18th and 19th centuries some nations staged informal sporting and folkloric festivals bearing the name “Olympic Games.” However, it was not until 1892 that a young French baron, Pierre de Coubertin, seriously proposed reviving the Olympics as a major international competition that would occur every four years. At a conference on international sport in Paris in June 1894, Coubertin again raised the idea, and the 79 delegates from nine countries unanimously approved his proposal. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) was formed, and the first Games were planned for 1896 in Athens, the capital of Greece.

In Athens, 280 participants from 13 nations competed in 43 events, covering track-and-field, swimming, gymnastics, cycling, wrestling, weightlifting, fencing, shooting, and tennis. All the competitors were men, and a few of the entrants were tourists who stumbled upon the Games and were allowed to sign up. The track-and-field events were held at the Panathenaic Stadium, which was originally built in 330 B.C. and restored for the 1896 Games. Americans won nine out of 12 of these events. The 1896 Olympics also featured the first marathon competition, which followed the 25-mile route run by a Greek soldier who brought news of a victory over the Persians from Marathon to Athens in 490 B.C. In 1924, the marathon was standardized at 26 miles and 385 yards. Appropriately, a Greek, Spyridon Louis, won the first marathon at the 1896 Athens Games.

Pierre de Coubertin became IOC president in 1896 and guided the Olympic Games through its difficult early years, when it lacked much popular support and was overshadowed by world’s fairs. In 1924, the first truly successful Olympic Games were held in Paris, involving more than 3,000 athletes, including more than 100 women, from 44 nations. The first Winter Olympic Games were also held that year. In 1925, Coubertin retired. The Olympic Games have come to be regarded as the foremost international sports competition. At the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, more than 10,000 athletes from 200 countries competed, including nearly 4,000 women. In 2004, the Summer Olympics returned to Athens, with more than 11,000 athletes competing from 202 countries. In a proud moment for Greeks and an exciting one for spectators, the shotput competition was held at the site of the classical Games in Olympia – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-modern-olympic-games

1909 – Admiral Peary Discovered the North Pole.

1914 – The United States Entered World War I.

This, of course, was war with Germany. Pray for peace today. Pray for Germany and God’s people there. Oh, that men might dwell together in peace. Oh, that nations could work harmoniously one with the other. Thank God, the day will come when men shall beat swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks, and nation will not lift up war against nation, nor kingdom against kingdom; but Jesus will rule and reign over all the earth. And we shall rule with Him on the earth for a thousand years. “Even so come, Lord Jesus.” “Thy Kingdom come.”

April 7

572 B.C. – The Approximate Date when Jehovah Revealed His Anger to Pharaoh.

Ezekiel 30:20

1770 – The Birthday of William Wordsworth.

1778 – The First American Baseball Game was Played.

It was played at Valley Forge.

1897 – Walter Winchell was Born.

1933 – Beer and Wine became Legal in the United States.

Beer and wine became legal in the United States after thirteen “dry years.” God forbid. What a tragedy that poison should be turned loose across America and made legal. Let us pledge to fight the liquor traffic as long as we have breath. In these days, when major denominations are accepting the social drink, may we, as fundamental believers, stand against this menace – a menace to our safety on the highways, a menace to family security, a menace to the health of our children, a menace to our relationship with God Almighty. Take a few moments today to teach your children the evils of liquor. Don’t just tell them it’s bad; beat your fists, stomp your foot, and let them know how awful it is!

1947 – Henry Ford Died.

His net worth was said to have been from five hundred million to seven hundred million dollars.

1954-The Birthday of David Jack Hyles, My Son.

As a boy, I would dream of the day when I would be a father. Because my father had little time for me as a boy, I dreamed of having a son some day. God has given me one. What pals we have been! We have worked together and played together. We have fought together and wrestled together. At this writing, he is fifteen. Oh, may God make him a mighty preacher! May God keep him pure and dedicated. Pray for your son today as I pray for mine.

1994 – Civil War Erupts in Rwanda

On this day in 1994, Rwandan armed forces kill 10 Belgian peacekeeping officers in a successful effort to discourage international intervention in the genocide that had begun only hours earlier. In approximately three months, the Hutu extremists who controlled Rwanda brutally murdered an estimated 500,000 to 1 million innocent civilian Tutsis and moderate Hutus in the worst episode of ethnic genocide since World War II.

The immediate roots of the 1994 genocide dated back to the early 1990s, when President Juvenal Habyarimana, a Hutu, began using anti-Tutsi rhetoric to consolidate his power among the Hutus. Beginning in October 1990, there were several massacres of hundreds of Tutsis. Although the two ethnic groups were very similar, sharing the same language and culture for centuries, the law required registration based on ethnicity. The government and army began to assemble the Interahamwe (meaning “those who attack together”) and prepared for the elimination of the Tutsis by arming Hutus with guns and machetes. In January 1994, the United Nations forces in Rwanda warned that larger massacres were imminent.

On April 6, 1994, President Habyarimana was killed when his plane was shot down. It is not known if the attack was carried out by the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), a Tutsi military organization stationed outside the country at the time, or by Hutu extremists trying to instigate a mass killing. In any event, Hutu extremists in the military, led by Colonel Theoneste Bagosora, immediately went into action, murdering Tutsis and moderate Hutus within hours of the crash.

The Belgian peacekeepers were killed the next day, a key factor in the withdrawal of U.N. forces from Rwanda. Soon afterward, the radio stations in Rwanda were broadcasting appeals to the Hutu majority to kill all Tutsis in the country. The army and the national police directed the slaughter, sometimes threatening Hutu civilians when persuasion didn’t work. Thousands of innocent people were hacked to death with machetes by their neighbors. Despite the horrific crimes, the international community, including the United States, hesitated to take any action. They wrongly ascribed the genocide to chaos amid tribal war. President Bill Clinton later called America’s failure to do anything to stop the genocide “the biggest regret” of his administration.

It was left to the RPF, led by Paul Kagame, to begin an ultimately successful military campaign for control of Rwanda. By the summer, the RPF had defeated the Hutu forces and driven them out of the country and into several neighboring nations. However, by that time, an estimated 75 percent of the Tutsis living in Rwanda had been murdered – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/civil-war-erupts-in-rwanda.

April 8

726 B.C. – Hezekiah Cleansed the Porch of the Temple.

II Chronicles 29:17

1513 – Ponce de Leon Took Possession of Florida in the Name of the King of Spain.

Pray for God’s people in Florida.

1812 – Louisiana was Admitted to the Union.

Some of the first preaching I did was in the state of Louisiana. The college I attended was only nineteen miles from the state line. In the early days of my ministry, in my early twenties, I preached some revivals that were anointed and blessed of God in the western part of this great state. Not many months before this writing, I preached in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where I met some wonderful, godly, Christian people. Pray for them today, and pray for the cause of Christ in Louisiana.

1847 – The Birthday of F. B. Meyer.

1854 – The Registered Letter System was Introduced.

Probably one of the few things we take for granted is our Postal System, and probably there are few that mean as much to us as does this great system. Let us thank God today for enjoyment it brings to our lives as well as the convenience in many ways that can be derived from this system. Speak to your mail carrier today. Tell him you appreciate him. Witness to him. See if he is saved. If he is not, try to win him to Jesus.

1974 – Aaron Sets New Home Run Record

On this day in 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hits his 715th career home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s legendary record of 714 homers. A crowd of 53,775 people, the largest in the history of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, was with Aaron that night to cheer when he hit a 4th inning pitch off the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Al Downing. However, as Aaron was an African American who had received death threats and racist hate mail during his pursuit of one of baseball’s most distinguished records, the achievement was bittersweet.

Henry Louis Aaron Jr., born in Mobile, Alabama, on February 5, 1934, made his Major League debut in 1954 with the Milwaukee Braves, just eight years after Jackie Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier and became the first African American to play in the majors. Aaron, known as hard working and quiet, was the last Negro league player to also compete in the Major Leagues. In 1957, with characteristically little fanfare, Aaron, who primarily played right field, was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player as the Milwaukee Braves won the pennant. A few weeks later, his three home runs in the World Series helped his team triumph over the heavily favored New York Yankees. Although “Hammerin’ Hank” specialized in home runs, he was also an extremely dependable batter, and by the end of his career he held baseball’s career record for most runs batted in: 2,297.

Aaron’s playing career spanned three teams and 23 years. He was with the Milwaukee Braves from 1954 to 1965, the Atlanta Braves from 1966 to 1974 and the Milwaukee Brewers from 1975 to 1976. He hung up his cleats in 1976 with 755 career home runs and went on to become one of baseball’s first African-American executives, with the Atlanta Braves, and a leading spokesperson for minority hiring. Hank Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982 – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/aaron-sets-new-home-run-record.

April 9

The Traditional Date of the March into Egypt.

1865 – The Surrender of Robert E. Lee to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.

At Appomattox, Virginia, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrenders his 28,000 troops to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the American Civil War. Forced to abandon the Confederate capital of Richmond, blocked from joining the surviving Confederate force in North Carolina, and harassed constantly by Union cavalry, Lee had no other option.

In retreating from the Union army’s Appomattox Campaign, the Army of Northern Virginia had stumbled through the Virginia countryside stripped of food and supplies. At one point, Union cavalry forces under General Philip Sheridan had actually outrun Lee’s army, blocking their retreat and taking 6,000 prisoners at Sayler’s Creek. Desertions were mounting daily, and by April 8 the Confederates were surrounded with no possibility of escape. On April 9, Lee sent a message to Grant announcing his willingness to surrender. The two generals met in the parlor of the Wilmer McLean home at one o’clock in the afternoon.

Lee and Grant, both holding the highest rank in their respective armies, had known each other slightly during the Mexican War and exchanged awkward personal inquiries. Characteristically, Grant arrived in his muddy field uniform while Lee had turned out in full dress attire, complete with sash and sword. Lee asked for the terms, and Grant hurriedly wrote them out. All officers and men were to be pardoned, and they would be sent home with their private property–most important, the horses, which could be used for a late spring planting. Officers would keep their side arms, and Lee’s starving men would be given Union rations.

Shushing a band that had begun to play in celebration, General Grant told his officers, “The war is over. The Rebels are our countrymen again.” Although scattered resistance continued for several weeks, for all practical purposes the Civil War had come to an end.This ended the Civil War – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/robert-e-lee-surrenders.

Someone once said that the condition of our world is only a reflection of the condition of the hearts of its people. No doubt this is true. We are at war in our hearts. There is unrest and lack of peace within us. This is revealed in the condition of the world. Let those in the North pray for those in the South today. Let the southerner pray for the northerner. Let the southern Christian pray for the work of Christ in the North. Let the northern Christians pray for the work of Christ in the South. Let us pray for God to give us the spirit of love and brotherly kindness to each other.

1870 – The Birthday of Nicholas Lenin.

Lenin furthered the cause of communism which is the great menace of our day. People from everywhere still line the streets in Red Square to see his body. Young people still chant in the schools of Russia “Lenin lives.” Let us in rebuttal shout to the whole world that Jesus lives!


I serve a risen Savior. He’s in the world today. 
I know that He is living, whatever men may say. 
I see His hand of mercy, I hear His voice of cheer. 
And just the time I need Him, He’s always near.

He Lives, He Lives, Christ Jesus lives today. 
He walks with me and talks with me, along life’s narrow way. 
He Lives, He Lives, salvation to impart! 
You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart.

April 10

1491 B.C. – The Approximate Date of the Taking of the Lamb to the Passover.

Exodus 12:3

1451 B.C. – The Approximate Date of the Crossing of Jordan by the Israelites.

Joshua 4:19

587 B.C. – The Approximate Date of the Vision of the Future Temple.

Ezekiel 40:1

787 A.D. – The Date of the Use of the First Church Organ in France.

All of us should thank God for the musical instruments with which we can praise the Lord. Read the 150th Psalm. Write a note of appreciation to your church organist.

1790 – The National Patent Law was Enacted.

1829 – General William Booth was Born.

General Booth was the founder of the Salvation Army. Once he sent a telegram to the Salvation Army convention when he could not attend because of old age and ill health. On the telegram, he simply wrote, “Others.” His life was lived in service for others. May ours be likewise.

1830 – The Birthday of Charles Truett.

Charles Truett was the father of the famous George W. Truett.

1802 – Christmas Evans Made a Written Covenant with God.

On this date Christmas Evans made a written covenant with God. Christmas Evans was a one-eyed, circuit riding preacher. Anointed with the Holy Spirit while riding on his horse one day, his last words were, “Preach the blood in the basin.” He lost his eyesight the day of his conversion, as he was stoned by his old crowd.

1841 – On This Day in History, the First New York Tribune was Published.

1903 – The Birthday of Clare Boothe Luce.

1946 – President Truman Announced that there would be No Egg Rolling Contest on the White House Lawn because of a Food Shortage.

April 11

1814 – Napoleon Abdicated and Exiled to Elba.

On this day in 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte, emperor of France and one of the greatest military leaders in history, abdicates the throne, and, in the Treaty of Fontainebleau, is banished to the Mediterranean island of Elba.

The future emperor was born in Ajaccio, Corsica, on August 15, 1769. After attending military school, he fought during the French Revolution of 1789 and rapidly rose through the military ranks, leading French troops in a number of successful campaigns throughout Europe in the late 1700s. By 1799, he had established himself at the top of a military dictatorship. In 1804, he became emperor of France and continued to consolidate power through his military campaigns, so that by 1810 much of Europe came under his rule. Although Napoleon developed a reputation for being power-hungry and insecure, he is also credited with enacting a series of important political and social reforms that had a lasting impact on European society, including judiciary systems, constitutions, voting rights for all men and the end of feudalism. Additionally, he supported education, science and literature. His Code Napoleon, which codified key freedoms gained during the French Revolution, such as religious tolerance, remains the foundation of French civil law.

In 1812, thinking that Russia was plotting an alliance with England, Napoleon launched an invasion against the Russians that eventually ended with his troops retreating from Moscow and much of Europe uniting against him. In 1814, Napoleon’s broken forces gave up and Napoleon offered to step down in favor of his son. When this offer was rejected, he abdicated and was sent to Elba. In March 1815, he escaped his island exile and returned to Paris, where he regained supporters and reclaimed his emperor title, Napoleon I, in a period known as the Hundred Days. However, in June 1815, he was defeated at the bloody Battle of Waterloo. Napoleon’s defeat ultimately signaled the end of France’s domination of Europe. He abdicated for a second time and was exiled to the remote island of Saint Helena, in the southern Atlantic Ocean, where he lived out the rest of his days. He died at age 52 on May 5, 1821, possibly from stomach cancer, although some theories contend he was poisoned – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/napoleon-exiled-to-elba

1861- The Civil War Began.

Pray for peace today.

1862 – The Birthday of Charles Evans Hughes.

It is said that one day Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes was joining a church in Washington, D. C. New members were lined up across the front. On one end of the line was Mr. Hughes, and on the other end of the line was a poor man of a minority race. The pastor, of course, read Charles Evans Hughes’ name first, whereupon, Mr. Hughes said, “Pastor, read the name of the man at the other end of the line first. The ground is level at the foot of the Cross.”

1893 – Dean Acheson was Born.

1951 – President Truman Relieved MacArthur of All Commands.

There are many who think that this was one of the greatest mistakes of history.

April 12

457 B.C. – The Approximate Date the Israelites Returned to Jerusalem from Babylon and Crossed the Ahava River.

Ezra 8:31

1777 – The Birthday of Henry Clay.

1850 – Adoniram Judson Died.

From an humble beginning, this great missionary had grown to having a staff of 163 millionaries and helpers. Pray for missionaries everywhere today. Pray for those of whom you can think. Pray for those by name whom you know personally.

1861- The Date of the Attack on Fort Sumpter. The Civil War Begins.

The bloodiest four years in American history begin when Confederate shore batteries under General P.G.T. Beauregard open fire on Union-held Fort Sumter in South Carolina’s Charleston Bay. During the next 34 hours, 50 Confederate guns and mortars launched more than 4,000 rounds at the poorly supplied fort. On April 13, U.S. Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Two days later, U.S. President Abraham Lincolnissued a proclamation calling for 75,000 volunteer soldiers to quell the Southern “insurrection.”

As early as 1858, the ongoing conflict between North and South over the issue of slavery had led Southern leadership to discuss a unified separation from the United States. By 1860, the majority of the slave states were publicly threatening secession if the Republicans, the anti-slavery party, won the presidency. Following Republican Abraham Lincoln’s victory over the divided Democratic Party in November 1860, South Carolina immediately initiated secession proceedings. On December 20, the South Carolina legislature passed the “Ordinance of Secession,” which declared that “the Union now subsisting between South Carolina and other states, under the name of the United States of America, is hereby dissolved.” After the declaration, South Carolina set about seizing forts, arsenals, and other strategic locations within the state. Within six weeks, five more Southern states–Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana–had followed South Carolina’s lead.

In February 1861, delegates from those states convened to establish a unified government. Jefferson Davis of Mississippi was subsequently elected the first president of the Confederate States of America. When Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, a total of seven states (Texas had joined the pack) had seceded from the Union, and federal troops held only Fort Sumter in South Carolina, Fort Pickens off the Florida coast, and a handful of minor outposts in the South. Four years after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, the Confederacy was defeated at the total cost of 620,000 Union and Confederate soldiers dead – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-civil-war-begins.

1945 – Franklin Delano Roosevelt Died.

I remember this day. I was in the service in World War II. I was on maneuvers at the time. The message came throughout our company of the death of our commanding officer.

1945 – Harry S. Truman became President of the United States.

Certainly, he needed the prayers of all the people in America as he assumed an unbelievable responsibility. Our President today needs our prayers. May we see that he has them.

1955 -The Salk Vaccine was Announced a Success.

For many years, those of us who lived in Texas had lived in constant horror and fear of polio. When our children got a high fever, the word “polio” was the first thought that came to our minds. We should bless the Lord today for this step toward the elimination of this dread disease.

1961 – Gregarin Became the First Spaceman.

Gregarin became the first spaceman (as far as this world is concerned). Of course, you and I, as God’s people, know that Enoch was a spaceman, Elijah was a spaceman, and Jesus was an astronaut. We, too, shall be spacemen some day when Jesus comes and we shall all be raptured. Praise the Lord! Gregarin orbitted the earth in one hour and forty-eight minutes.

April 13

1510 B.C. – The Approximate Date of the Decree of Death of the Jews by Haman and Ahasuerus.

Esther 3:13

There is no story in all the Bible that reminds us that God will vindicate right as does the story of Esther, Mordecai, Haman, and Ahasuerus. God sees to it that right is vindicated. One time a man said to a preacher, “Preacher, I plowed my field on Sunday. I planted my crop on Sunday. I hoed my crop on Sunday. I harvested my crop on Sunday, and I sowed my crop on Sunday. This October I had the greatest harvest ever. Now what do you think of that?” “Sir,” replied the preacher, “God doesn’t always payoff in October.”

1743 – The Birthday of the Great Thomas Jefferson.

Thank God for him and his contributions to our nation. Pray for the leaders of our nation today.

1836 – A. J. Gordon was Born.

Here was a great pastor. Why not pray for your pastor today. Do something nice for him. Make him a pie. Take a cake by his house. Pick some green beans out of the garden and share them with him. Write him a letter of appreciation. Remember, your pastor is the only person in the church that has no pastor.

1907 – The Birthday of Harold Stassen.

1997 – Tiger Woods Wins First Master.

On this day in 1997, 21-year-old Tiger Woods wins the prestigious Masters Tournament by a record 12 strokes in Augusta, Georgia. It was Woods’ first victory in one of golf’s four major championships–the U.S. Open, the British Open, the PGA Championship, and the Masters–and the greatest performance by a professional golfer in more than a century.

Eldrick “Tiger” Woods was born in a suburb of Los Angeles, California, on December 30, 1975. The only child of an African-American father and a Thai mother, Woods was encouraged from infancy by his father for a career in golf. At the age of two, he teed off against comedian Bob Hope on television’s Mike Douglas Show. At five years old, he was featured on the television show That’s Incredible. At age eight, Tiger won his first junior world championship, and in 1991, at age 15, he became the youngest player ever to win the U.S. Junior Amateur Championship. He also captured the 1992 and 1993 Junior Amateur titles, and in 1994 accepted a scholarship to attend Stanford University. That year, he came from six holes behind to win the first of his three consecutive U.S. Amateur championships. He was 18 years old and the youngest Amateur champion in history.

In 1995, Tiger played the Masters, his first professional major championship. The Augusta National Golf Club, which runs the Masters, had not let an African-American join its ranks until 1991. Woods finished 41st in his first Masters appearance. In 1996, he won the collegiate title. By this time, he was already attracting considerable media attention and attracting throngs of new fans to the sport. After claiming his third U.S. Amateur title, Woods left college and turned professional in August 1996. Playing as a pro in eight Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA) events in 1996, he won a title and was named the PGA Tour’s outstanding rookie. In December 1996, he was celebrated by the magazine Sports Illustrated as its “Sportsman of the Year.”

In professional play, most of Woods’ opponents were in their late 30s or early 40s. At 6’2″ and 155 pounds, he was slender and athletic, and had developed a devastating swing that routinely allowed him to hit drives of more than 300 yards. He also had a reputation for mental toughness and was a superb putter and chipper. In April 1997, all these attributes came together for the most decisive victory in the Masters’ 44-year history.

His margin of victory–12 strokes–was the largest in the 20th century, and second only to Old Tom Morris’ 13-shot margin at the 1862 British Open. His score of 18-under-par 270 broke Jack Nicklaus’ 32-year-old Masters record of 17-under-par 271. He was the youngest golfer by two years to win the Masters and the first person of Asian or African heritage to win a major. Never before had so many spectators come to Augusta National, and never before had so many people watched it on television.

By June 1997, Tiger was ranked number one in the world. In 1999, he won eight PGA tournaments, earned a record $6 million, and began a winning streak that eventually tied Ben Hogan’s 1948 streak, the second longest in PGA history. In June 2000, he won his first U.S. Open title, shooting a record 12-under-par 272 to finish 15 strokes ahead of his nearest competitors. It was the greatest professional golf performance in history, surpassing even his 1997 Masters’ triumph and Old Tom Morris’ 1862 showing. In July 2000, he captured the British Open, and in August the PGA championship. At the age of 24, he was the youngest player ever to win all four major golf titles and just the second to win three majors in a year. On April 10, 2005, he earned his fourth green sport coat at Augusta National, becoming the first person to win four Masters before age 30.

Tiger’s winning pace slowed around 2004, when he devoted time to reworking his swing and rehabilitating his surgically repaired knee. It was also during this period that he married Elin Nordegren, a Swedish former model who would become the mother of his two children. Tiger was back in top form by 2005, winning his 10th major. His performance fluctuated throughout the rest of the decade as he struggled with a torn ACL and personal problems that garnered substantial media attention: In late 2009, in the wake of events surrounding a car accident outside Tiger’s Florida home, several women came forward claiming to have had affairs with the famous golfer. Nordegren divorced him in August 2010, just as Tiger began his first winless season in his career – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/tiger-woods-wins-first-major.

April 14

1491 B.C. – The Approximate Date of the Passover.

The Passover was the day on which the Jews offered a substitute or a sacrifice. You recall the first Passover when the death angel passed through the land taking the life of the first born if the blood was not applied to the door post.

The Traditional Date for the Jews’ Departure from Egypt.

The Approximate Date of Calvary.

At least, it was on the fourteenth day of the first month, and April corresponds with the first month of the Jewish calendar. Whether or not this is the exact date of the death of Christ, we should praise God for his death. In March of 1965, I stood at Calvary. With tears streaming down my face, I paused to thank God for the Cross and for the price that Jesus paid for my sins. Read the story of Calvary in one of the four Gospels. Sing a song of the Cross today: “At Calvary,” “The Old Rugged Cross,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” “At the Cross, At the Cross, Where I First Saw the Light.” Then lift your heart in holy thanksgiving to God for Calvary.

1865 – Abraham Lincoln was Assassinated by a Group Led by John Wilkes Booth.

On this day in 1865, John Wilkes Booth, an actor and Confederate sympathizer, fatally shoots President Abraham Lincoln at a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.  The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War.

Booth, a Maryland native born in 1838, who remained in the North during the war despite his Confederate sympathies, initially plotted to capture President Lincoln and take him to Richmond, the Confederate capital. However, on March 20, 1865, the day of the planned kidnapping, the president failed to appear at the spot where Booth and his six fellow conspirators lay in wait. Two weeks later, Richmond fell to Union forces.

In April, with Confederate armies near collapse across the South, Booth hatched a desperate plan to save the Confederacy. Learning that Lincoln was to attend a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater on April 14, Booth masterminded the simultaneous assassination of Lincoln, Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William H. Seward. By murdering the president and two of his possible successors, Booth and his conspirators hoped to throw the U.S. government into disarray.

On the evening of April 14, conspirator Lewis T. Powell burst into Secretary of State Seward’s home, seriously wounding him and three others, while George A. Atzerodt, assigned to Vice President Johnson, lost his nerve and fled. Meanwhile, just after 10 p.m., Booth entered Lincoln’s private theater box unnoticed and shot the president with a single bullet in the back of his head. Slashing an army officer who rushed at him, Booth leapt to the stage and shouted “Sic semper tyrannis! [Thus always to tyrants]–the South is avenged!” Although Booth broke his leg jumping from Lincoln’s box, he managed to escape Washington on horseback.

The president, mortally wounded, was carried to a lodging house opposite Ford’s Theater. About 7:22 a.m. the next morning, Lincoln, age 56, died–the first U.S. president to be assassinated. Booth, pursued by the army and other secret forces, was finally cornered in a barn near Bowling Green, Virginia, and died from a possibly self-inflicted bullet wound as the barn was burned to the ground. Of the eight other people eventually charged with the conspiracy, four were hanged and four were jailed. Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president, was buried on May 4, 1865, in Springfield, Illinois – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/lincoln-shot.

Pan-American Day.

Pray for our friends and missionaries in this part of the country.

April 15

The Approximate Date of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Leviticus 23:6

The unleavened bread symbolized the perfect body of Jesus Christ. Leaven in the Bible is a symbol of sin. Jesus’ body had no sin, hence, the unleavened bread. This is why we use unleavened bread for the Lord’s Supper. The bread represents the broken body of Jesus. His body knew no sin.

1861 – Lincoln Declared Officially a State of War in the Civil War.

People oftentimes ask me the difference in serving God in the North and in the South. My answer is that I see no difference at all. The South has God’s people, and the North has God’s people. There are hungry hearts in the South, and there are hungry hearts in the North. I think there is one Lord, one Devil, one salvation. All of us have broken hearts, needs, burdens, heartaches. Whether from the North or the South, let us continue to mend our differences and pray for each other even though we come from different backgrounds and walks of life.

1865 – Lincoln Died at 7:22 a.m.

He had been shot the day before and died on April 15. Again our thoughts turn to the office of the Presidency. Pray for the President today as he faces many important decisions that will affect your life and mine.

We should thank God for President Lincoln in whose honor there is a memorial in Washington, D. C. into which one could hardly pass with dry eyes.

1912 – The Titanic was Sunk.

1947 – Jackie Robinson Breaks Color Barrier

On this day in 1947, Jackie Robinson, age 28, becomes the first African-American player in Major League Baseball when he steps onto Ebbets Field in Brooklyn to compete for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson broke the color barrier in a sport that had been segregated for more than 50 years. Exactly 50 years later, on April 15, 1997, Robinson’s groundbreaking career was honored and his uniform number, 42, was retired from Major League Baseball by Commissioner Bud Selig in a ceremony attended by over 50,000 fans at New York City’s Shea Stadium. Robinson’s was the first-ever number retired by all teams in the league.

Jack Roosevelt Robinson was born January 31, 1919, in Cairo, Georgia, to a family of sharecroppers. Growing up, he excelled at sports and attended the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was the first athlete to letter in four varsity sports: baseball, basketball, football and track. After financial difficulties forced Robinson to drop out of UCLA, he joined the army in 1942 and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. After protesting instances of racial discrimination during his military service, Robinson was court-martialed in 1944. Ultimately, though, he was honorably discharged.

After the army, Robinson played for a season in the Negro American League. In 1945, Branch Rickey, general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, recruited Robinson, who was known for his integrity and intelligence as well as his talent, to join one of the club’s farm teams. In 1947, Robinson was called up to the Majors and soon became a star infielder and outfielder for the Dodgers, as well as the National League’s Rookie of the Year. In 1949, the right-hander was named the National League’s Most Valuable Player and league batting champ. Robinson played on the National League All-Star team from 1949 through 1954 and led the Dodgers to six National League pennants and one World Series, in 1955. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, his first year of eligibility.

Despite his talent and success as a player, Robinson faced tremendous racial discrimination throughout his career, from baseball fans and some fellow players. Additionally, Jim Crow laws prevented Robinson from using the same hotels and restaurants as his teammates while playing in the South.

After retiring from baseball in 1957, Robinson became a businessman and civil rights activist. He died October 24, 1972, at age 53, in Stamford, Connecticut – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/jackie-robinson-breaks-color-barrier

April 16

726 B.C. – The Approximate Date That Hezekiah Finished Cleaning the Porch of the Temple.

Under Hezekiah there was a great revival. This revival was centered around the Word of God and the House of God. The cleansing of the Temple was one of the outstanding parts of this. Oh, how the temple needs cleansing today. Oh, how we need churches that are soul-winning institutions. How we need to cleanse our churches from the gambling, the drinking, carnivals, bingo parties, cakewalks, and other things that rob us of our power. God never intended for the church to be a style show, an amusement park, or a gambling hall. We need to clean out our style shows, milinery exhibits, museum antics, and get back to the main business of preaching the Gospel and saving the souls of men.

1862 – Slavery was Abolished in Washington D. C.

Pray for black friends today. Pray for the black preachers and Christian workers everywhere.

1867 – Wilbur Wright was Born.

I could hardly pass his birthday without thanking God for the airplane. The airplane is such a vital part of my life. Almost every week, I travel somewhere and most of these weeks by air. Next week, for example, I will be flying to West Virginia, and I will preach for one day. I’ve often wondered what Dwight Moody could have done if he had lived in the day of the airplane. Oh, God help us and breathe upon us that we might use the advantages we have to the acceleration of the Work of God.

April 17

The Approximate Date of the Crossing of the Red Sea.

The Approximate Date of the Resurrection of Our Lord.

Oh, what a thrill it was for me to see the empty tomb, and to sing “Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes. He arose the victor from the dark domain. And He lives forever with his saints to reign. He arose. He arose. Hallelujah! Christ arose.” What a thrill to see the place where He lay and realize that death could not keep Him, the grave could not hold Him, and Satan could not defeat Him. Jesus rose from the dead. Praise the Lord! Let us thank Him for His resurrection today and for the fact that we serve the only God that has an empty tomb.

1739-John Wesley Had What He Said Was an Experience With the Holy Spirit.

How we need to have an experience with the Holy Spirit to claim the power of God by faith for soul winning, power in preaching and working for Christ. Read Luke 11:13Acts 1:8Luke 24:49Acts 2:4; and Ephesians 5:18. Pray for God to give us the power of the Holy Spirit today.

1790 – The Date of the Death of Benjamin Franklin.

1894 – The Birthday of Nikita Krushchev.

1970 – Apollo 13 Returns to Earth

With the world anxiously watching, Apollo 13, a U.S. lunar spacecraft that suffered a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon, safely returns to Earth.

On April 11, the third manned lunar landing mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise. The mission was headed for a landing on the Fra Mauro highlands of the moon. However, two days into the mission, disaster struck 200,000 miles from Earth when oxygen tank No. 2 blew up in the spacecraft. Swigert reported to mission control on Earth, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here,” and it was discovered that the normal supply of oxygen, electricity, light, and water had been disrupted. The landing mission was aborted, and the astronauts and controllers on Earth scrambled to come up with emergency procedures. The crippled spacecraft continued to the moon, circled it, and began a long, cold journey back to Earth.

The astronauts and mission control were faced with enormous logistical problems in stabilizing the spacecraft and its air supply, as well as providing enough energy to the damaged fuel cells to allow successful reentry into Earth’s atmosphere. Navigation was another problem, and Apollo 13‘s course was repeatedly corrected with dramatic and untested maneuvers. On April 17, tragedy turned to triumph as the Apollo 13 astronauts touched down safely in the Pacific Ocean – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/apollo-13-returns-to-earth.

April 18

1775 – The Date of Paul Revere’s Midnight Ride.

1874 – David Livingstone was Buried.

On this date David Livingstone was buried and to him went the affection of millions of people who would have died as heathen had they not heard the story of Christ from this great missionary. Could it be that we could pray down some David Livingstones today? In my travels, what need I have seen! England could use a David Livingstone. France needs a David Livingstone. Italy needs a David Livingstone. Switzerland needs a David Livingstone. Greece needs a David Livingstone. Egypt needs a David Livingstone. Even Jerusalem and Palestine need a David Livingstone. Pray for missionaries today. Pray for God to raise up some giants of the Faith. Oh, to have another Spurgeon in England, another Savonarola in France, another Luther in Germany, another Calvin in Switzerland, another Judson in India, another Paul in Athens, and another Peter in Jerusalem. Hold missionaries before the Lord today and, for that matter, every day.

1906 – The Date of the Great San Francisco Earthquake.

At 5:13 a.m., an earthquake estimated at close to 8.0 on the Richter scale strikes San Francisco, California, killing hundreds of people as it topples numerous buildings. The quake was caused by a slip of the San Andreas Fault over a segment about 275 miles long, and shock waves could be felt from southern Oregon down to Los Angeles.

San Francisco’s brick buildings and wooden Victorian structures were especially devastated. Fires immediately broke out and–because broken water mains prevented firefighters from stopping them–firestorms soon developed citywide. At 7 a.m., U.S. Army troops from Fort Mason reported to the Hall of Justice, and San Francisco Mayor E.E. Schmitz called for the enforcement of a dusk-to-dawn curfew and authorized soldiers to shoot-to-kill anyone found looting. Meanwhile, in the face of significant aftershocks, firefighters and U.S. troops fought desperately to control the ongoing fire, often dynamiting whole city blocks to create firewalls. On April 20, 20,000 refugees trapped by the massive fire were evacuated from the foot of Van Ness Avenue onto the USS Chicago.

By April 23, most fires were extinguished, and authorities commenced the task of rebuilding the devastated metropolis. It was estimated that some 3,000 people died as a result of the Great San Francisco Earthquake and the devastating fires it inflicted upon the city. Almost 30,000 buildings were destroyed, including most of the city’s homes and nearly all the central business district – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/the-great-san-francisco-earthquake.

1923 – The Opening of Yankee Stadium.

1949 – Ireland Became a Republic.

Pray for the Irish today, for Christians, Christian workers, preachers, and missionaries in this part of our world.

April 19

1775 – The Battle of Lexington.

1854 – Spurgeon was Called to Pastor the New Park Chapel in London.

The New Park Chapel in London was one of the three largest of the 113 Baptist churches in the city. Spurgeon was only nineteen years of age, and when he was contacted, he did not think that they meant him. He wrote them, “Remember my youth and inexperience, and pray and forgive the mistakes I may make and the unguarded words I may utter.” What words of wisdom for a young preacher. Pray for young preachers today. They are the hope of our nation and the hope of our world. I give much of my life in preaching to them and counseling with them. Pray for the young preachers gone out from your church that God may bless them and use them in His service.

In 1945, when I was licensed to preach the Gospel, the chairman of the board of deacons at my church, the Hillcrest Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas, rose to speak. Dear old Brother Ford said, “Friends, before we license this young man to preach, let us promise him our prayers as he goes forth.” Praise God for this memory. Because of this, I am indebted to pray for young preacher boys today.

1893 – The First Gasoline Buggy, Tested Car.

Now here is something that ought to draw our attention and is worthy of our prayers today. Think of the convenience brought to our lives by the automobile, and thank God for it. As I write this, I am traveling by car to a preaching engagement. Think of the many ways we use our automobiles, and thank God for them.

1897 – First Boston Marathon Held.

On April 19, 1897, John J. McDermott of New York won the first Boston Marathon with a time of 2:55:10.

The Boston Marathon was the brainchild of Boston Athletic Association member and inaugural U.S. Olympic team manager John Graham, who was inspired by the marathon at the first modern Olympic Games in Athens in 1896. With the assistance of Boston businessman Herbert H. Holton, various routes were considered, before a measured distance of 24.5 miles from the Irvington Oval in Boston to Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland was eventually selected.

Fifteen runners started the race but only 10 made it to the finish line. John J. McDermott, representing the Pastime Athletic Club of New York City, took the lead from Harvard athlete Dick Grant over the hills in Newton. Although he walked several times during the final miles, McDermott still won by a comfortable six-minute, fifty-two-seconds. McDermott had won the only other marathon on U.S. soil the previous October in New York.

The marathon’s distance was changed in 1908 in accordance with Olympic standards to its current length of 26 miles 385 yards.

The Boston Marathon was originally held on Patriot’s Day, April 19, a regional holiday that commemorates the beginning of the Revolutionary War. In years when the 19th fell on a Sunday, the race was held the following Monday. In 1969, Patriots Day was officially moved to the third Monday in April and the race has been held on that Monday ever since.

Women were not allowed to enter the Boston race officially until 1972, but Roberta “Bobbi” Gibb couldn’t wait: In 1966, she became the first woman to run the entire Boston Marathon, but had to hide in the bushes near the start until the race began. In 1967, Kathrine Switzer, who had registered as “K. V. Switzer”, was the first woman to run with a race number. Switzer finished even though officials tried to physically remove her from the race after she was identified as a woman.

In the fall of 1971, the Amateur Athletics Union permitted its sanctioned marathons (including Boston) to allow female entry. Nina Kuscsik became the first official female participant to win the Boston Marathon in 1972. Seven other women started and finished that race.

In 1975, the Boston Marathon became the first major marathon to include a wheelchair division competition. Bob Hall won it in two hours, 58 minutes – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/first-boston-marathon-held.

Patriot’s Day.

Certainly, we should pause to thank God for our nation.

April 20

1718 – David Brainerd was Born.

David Brainerd was the son-in-law of Jonathan Edwards and one of the great men of prayer in the history of the church. His work was with the Indians of the North. It is said he left his kneeprints in the snow. He prayed for their salvation. David Brainerd, it is said, often prayed all day. He would begin praying in the morning, and after twelve hours of prayer the light of Heaven would be shining through. Read everything you can on this great man and other great men in history, and pledge God today a greater prayer life.

1889 – Adolph Hitler was Born.

1898 – Congress Recognized the Independence of Cuba.

Perhaps no small or little nation in recent years has drawn as much attention and unfavorable comment as has Cuba. Yet, while this is being written, missionaries lie in prison in Cuba. Christians are still loving and serving God. Pray for Cuba. Pray for her freedom. Pray for Christians there. Pray for pastors, and missionaries, and others who seek to serve God in the face of persecution, opposition, and yea, even death.

1910 – The Birthday of Ex-Mayor Wagner of New York City.

1980 – Castro Announces Mariel Boatlift.

On April 20, 1980, the Castro regime announces that all Cubans wishing to emigrate to the U.S. are free to board boats at the port of Mariel west of Havana, launching the Mariel Boatlift. The first of 125,000 Cuban refugees from Mariel reached Florida the next day.

The boatlift was precipitated by housing and job shortages caused by the ailing Cuban economy, leading to simmering internal tensions on the island. On April 1, Hector Sanyustiz and four others drove a bus through a fence at the Peruvian embassy and were granted political asylum. Cuban guards on the street opened fire. One guard was killed in the crossfire.

The Cuban government demanded the five be returned for trial in the dead guard’s death. But when the Peruvian government refused, Castro withdrew his guards from the embassy on Good Friday, April 4. By Easter Sunday, April 6, some 10,000 Cubans crowded into the lushly landscaped gardens at the embassy requesting asylum. Other embassies, including those of Spain and Costa Rica, agreed to take a small number of people. But suddenly, two weeks later, Castro proclaimed that the port of Mariel would be opened to anyone wishing to leave, as long as they had someone to pick them up. Cuban exiles in the United States rushed to hire boats in Miami and Key West and rescue their relatives.

In all, 125,000 Cubans fled to U.S. shores in about 1,700 boats, creating large waves of people that overwhelmed the U.S. Coast guard. Cuban guards had packed boat after boat, without considering safety, making some of the overcrowded boats barely seaworthy. Twenty-seven migrants died, including 14 on an overloaded boat that capsized on May 17.

The boatlift also began to have negative political implications for U.S. President Jimmy Carter. When it was discovered that a number of the exiles had been released from Cuban jails and mental health facilities, many were placed in refugee camps while others were held in federal prisons to undergo deportation hearings. Of the 125,000 “Marielitos,” as the refugees came to be known, who landed in Florida, more than 1,700 were jailed and another 587 were detained until they could find sponsors.

The exodus was finally ended by mutual agreement between the U.S. and Cuban governments in October 1980 – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/castro-announces-mariel-boatlift.

April 21

The Approximate Date of the Ending of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Exodus 12:18

753 B.C. – Rome Founded

According to tradition, on April 21, 753 B.C., Romulus and his twin brother, Remus, found Rome on the site where they were suckled by a she-wolf as orphaned infants. Actually, the Romulus and Remus myth originated sometime in the fourth century B.C., and the exact date of Rome’s founding was set by the Roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro in the first century B.C.

According to the legend, Romulus and Remus were the sons of Rhea Silvia, the daughter of King Numitor of Alba Longa. Alba Longa was a mythical city located in the Alban Hills southeast of what would become Rome. Before the birth of the twins, Numitor was deposed by his younger brother Amulius, who forced Rhea to become a vestal virgin so that she would not give birth to rival claimants to his title. However, Rhea was impregnated by the war god Mars and gave birth to Romulus and Remus. Amulius ordered the infants drowned in the Tiber, but they survived and washed ashore at the foot of the Palatine hill, where they were suckled by a she-wolf until they were found by the shepherd Faustulus.

Reared by Faustulus and his wife, the twins later became leaders of a band of young shepherd warriors. After learning their true identity, they attacked Alba Longa, killed the wicked Amulius, and restored their grandfather to the throne. The twins then decided to found a town on the site where they had been saved as infants. They soon became involved in a petty quarrel, however, and Remus was slain by his brother. Romulus then became ruler of the settlement, which was named “Rome” after him.

To populate his town, Romulus offered asylum to fugitives and exiles. Rome lacked women, however, so Romulus invited the neighboring Sabines to a festival and abducted their women. A war then ensued, but the Sabine women intervened to prevent the Sabine men from seizing Rome. A peace treaty was drawn up, and the communities merged under the joint rule of Romulus and the Sabine king, Titus Tatius. Tatius’ early death, perhaps perpetrated by Romulus, left the Roman as the sole king again. After a long and successful rule, Romulus died under obscure circumstances. Many Romans believed he was changed into a god and worshipped him as the deity Quirinus. After Romulus, there were six more kings of Rome, the last three believed to be Etruscans. Around 509 B.C., the Roman republic was established.

Another Roman foundation legend, which has its origins in ancient Greece, tells of how the mythical Trojan Aeneas founded Lavinium and started a dynasty that would lead to the birth of Romulus and Remus several centuries later. In the Iliad, an epic Greek poem probably composed by Homer in the eighth century B.C., Aeneas was the only major Trojan hero to survive the Greek destruction of Troy. A passage told of how he and his descendants would rule the Trojans, but since there was no record of any such dynasty in Troy, Greek scholars proposed that Aeneas and his followers relocated.

In the fifth century B.C., a few Greek historians speculated that Aeneas settled at Rome, which was then still a small city-state. In the fourth century B.C., Rome began to expand within the Italian peninsula, and Romans, coming into greater contact with the Greeks, embraced the suggestion that Aeneas had a role in the foundation of their great city. In the first century B.C., the Roman poet Virgil developed the Aeneas myth in his epic poem the Aeneid, which told of Aeneas’ journey to Rome. Augustus, the first Roman emperor and emperor during Virgil’s time, and Julius Caesar, his great-uncle and predecessor as Roman ruler, were said to be descended from Aeneas – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/rome-founded.

1836 – The Battle of San Jacinto.

1855 – Dwight L. Moody was Converted.

A Sunday school teacher, Edward Kimball won Dwight Moody to Jesus at the Holton Shoe Store in Boston. Young Moody was in the back of the store wrapping shoes. The Sunday school teacher nervously paced in front of the store, asking God for strength and courage with which to witness to this young clerk. He entered, and Dwight Moody was saved. Little did Mr. Kimball know that day what he was doing for the cause of Christ, but Dwight Moody became one of the greatest evangelists of history. He said he wanted to be a man completely dedicated to God.

Blessed be God for faithful Sunday school teachers. As I think back over mine, I think of Mrs. Bethel, Mr. Bethel, Mrs. Smith, Mr. Atwood, Mr. Squires, Mrs. Hazelwood, Mrs. Prewitt, Mr. Boyd, Mr. Skeeter, Dr. Rutherford, and countless others who have influenced my life in the service of Jesus Christ. Thank God today for the teachers in the Sunday school who teach your children. Write them a letter of appreciation. Perhaps there are teachers who are still living who once taught you. Why not write them, call them, or go to them and thank them for the contribution they have made in your life. Oh, may God forgive us for the awful sin of ingratitude.

1898 – The Spanish-American War Began.

1926 – Queen Elizabeth II was Born.

Pray for England today. Pray for the Queen.

April 22

1451 – The Birthday of Queen Isabella.

1913 – The Birthday of Jack Wyrtzen.

Jack Wyrtzen is an evangelist who is well respected and loved across America and especially in the northeastern part of our country. He has a wonderful influence for Christ in New York, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, and other north-eastern states. This influence, of course, has spread across America, especially since he is instrumental in working with young people.

Since we are thinking about an evangelist, perhaps we should once again pause and pray for evangelists everywhere. There are those for whom you could pray whom you know by name. These faithful men leave the comforts of love of home, and travel. They are certainly to be commended, and are deserving of our prayers. The names of several cross my mind today. I think of John R. Rice, Bill Rice, Jim Lyons, and many others for whom I thank God and who are doing such a wonderful job of spreading the Gospel of Christ around the nation and, yea, around the world. Do you know an evangelist personally? Write him today. Send him an offering. Express your love and appreciation to him. He needs your prayers and your love.

April 23

1564 – William Shakespeare was Born.

According to tradition, the great English dramatist and poet William Shakespeare is born in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564. It is impossible to be certain the exact day on which he was born, but church records show that he was baptized on April 26, and three days was a customary amount of time to wait before baptizing a newborn. Shakespeare’s date of death is conclusively known, however: it was April 23, 1616. He was 52 years old and had retired to Stratford three years before.

Although few plays have been performed or analyzed as extensively as the 38 plays ascribed to William Shakespeare, there are few surviving details about the playwright’s life. This dearth of biographical information is due primarily to his station in life; he was not a noble, but the son of John Shakespeare, a leather trader and the town bailiff. The events of William Shakespeare’s early life can only be gleaned from official records, such as baptism and marriage records.

He probably attended the grammar school in Stratford, where he would have studied Latin and read classical literature. He did not go to university but at age 18 married Anne Hathaway, who was eight years his senior and pregnant at the time of the marriage. Their first daughter, Susanna, was born six months later, and in 1585 William and Anne had twins, Hamnet and Judith. Hamnet, Shakespeare’s only son, died 11 years later, and Anne Shakespeare outlived her husband, dying in 1623. Nothing is known of the period between the birth of the twins and Shakespeare’s emergence as a playwright in London in the early 1590s, but unfounded stories have him stealing deer, joining a group of traveling players, becoming a schoolteacher, or serving as a soldier in the Low Countries.

The first reference to Shakespeare as a London playwright came in 1592, when a fellow dramatist, Robert Greene, wrote derogatorily of him on his deathbed. It is believed that Shakespeare had written the three parts of Henry VI by that point. In 1593, Venus and Adonis was Shakespeare’s first published poem, and he dedicated it to the young Henry Wriothesley, the 3rd earl of Southampton. In 1594, having probably composed, among other plays, Richard III, The Comedy of Errors, and The Taming of the Shrew, he became an actor and playwright for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, which became the King’s Men after James I’s ascension in 1603. The company grew into England’s finest, in no small part because of Shakespeare, who was its principal dramatist. It also had the finest actor of the day, Richard Burbage, and the best theater, the Globe, which was located on the Thames’ south bank. Shakespeare stayed with the King’s Men until his retirement and often acted in small parts.

By 1596, the company had performed the classic Shakespeare plays Romeo and Juliet, Richard II, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. That year, John Shakespeare was granted a coat of arms, a testament to his son’s growing wealth and fame. In 1597, William Shakespeare bought a large house in Stratford. In 1599, after producing his great historical series, the first and second part of Henry IV and Henry V, he became a partner in the ownership of the Globe Theatre.

The beginning of the 17th century saw the performance of the first of his great tragedies, Hamlet. The next play, The Merry Wives of Windsor, was written at the request of Queen Elizabeth I, who wanted to see another play that included the popular character Falstaff. During the next decade, Shakespeare produced such masterpieces as Othello, King Lear, Macbeth, and The Tempest. In 1609, his sonnets, probably written during the 1590s, were published. The 154 sonnets are marked by the recurring themes of the mutability of beauty and the transcendent power of love and art.

Shakespeare died in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1616. Today, nearly 400 years later, his plays are performed and read more often and in more nations than ever before. In a million words written over 20 years, he captured the full range of human emotions and conflicts with a precision that remains sharp today. As his great contemporary the poet and dramatist Ben Jonson said, “He was not of an age, but for all time.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/william-shakespeare-born.

1616 – William Shakespeare Died.

This, I think, is most interesting. This great writer died on the same day he was born at the somewhat premature age of fifty-two, but, oh, what treasures he left for us!

1791 – The Birthday of James Buchanan

James Buchanan was the fifteenth president. Pray for our President today and for those in authority over us.

1800 – The Library of Congress was Established.

1850 – William Wordsworth Died.

1850 – Alfred Lord Tennyson was Named the Fourth Laureate of England.

1896 – The First Public Showing of a Motion Picture.

Probably one of the greatest evils of our day is the misuse of the motion picture. God forgive us for being so unwise in our usage of this invention. Dr. John Rice tells the story of a young man who read his book, “What’s Wrong with the Movies?” The young man took, I think, an axe and went down to the local picture show and began to chop away at the projector. He received a two-year jail sentence. Perhaps, this is not the way to do it, but oh, how we need to use modern inventions and conveniences to the glory of God.

Do Three Things Today:

   1. Spend some time in prayer. 
   2. Read the Bible some. 
   3. Talk to someone about Jesus Christ.

Have you witnessed to your grocer? Have you witnessed to your druggist, your newsboy, your barber, and others with whom you come in contact? Just a few days ago, while getting a haircut, I witnessed to the barber. Before I left the shop, he was on his knees asking God to save him. Two weeks later he came forward in the Sunday service of our church.

April 24

534 B.C. – Daniel Saw a Vision of the Lord in His Coming Glory.

Daniel 10:1-10

In conjunction with this, read Revelation 22:20 and pray for the coming of the Lord. Also, read the glorious truth in I Thessalonians 4:13-17, concerning the Rapture of the Church. Then, pause to thank God that at any moment Jesus could come.

It was Bishop Steed who looked out of his window every morning and said, “Jesus, are you coming this morning?” In the evening he would look out of his window and say, “Jesus, are you coming this evening?” Let us live with the constant expectancy of the coming of our Lord.

1704 – The First Newspaper.

1800 – The United States Government Moved to Washington.

Let us pray for the Lord’s work in Washington. I am afraid we too often forget that politicians have souls, and the presidents, congressmen, senators, and Supreme Court justices must die. Let us pray for the souls of men everywhere, but especially for those in Washington D. C.

1814 – The British Burned Washington.

1846 – The Beginning of the War with Mexico.

As I think of Mexico, I think of Seth Duffey and others who serve the Lord on the mission fields there. Pray for the souls of Mexican people and for the work of missionaries who are giving their lives in this part of our world.

1916 – Easter Rebellion Begins

On this day in 1916, on Easter Monday in Dublin, the Irish Republican Brotherhood, a secret organization of Irish nationalists led by Patrick Pearse, launches the so-called Easter Rebellion, an armed uprising against British rule. Assisted by militant Irish socialists under James Connolly, Pearse and his fellow Republicans rioted and attacked British provincial government headquarters across Dublin and seized the Irish capital’s General Post Office. Following these successes, they proclaimed the independence of Ireland, which had been under the repressive thumb of the United Kingdom for centuries, and by the next morning were in control of much of the city. Later that day, however, British authorities launched a counteroffensive, and by April 29 the uprising had been crushed. Nevertheless, the Easter Rebellion is considered a significant marker on the road to establishing an independent Irish republic.

Following the uprising, Pearse and 14 other nationalist leaders were executed for their participation and held up as martyrs by many in Ireland. There was little love lost among most Irish people for the British, who had enacted a series of harsh anti-Catholic restrictions, the Penal Laws, in the 18th century, and then let 1.5 million Irish starve during the Potato Famine of 1845-1848. Armed protest continued after the Easter Rebellion and in 1921, 26 of Ireland’s 32 counties won independence with the declaration of the Irish Free State. The Free State became an independent republic in 1949. However, six northeastern counties of the Emerald Isle remained part of the United Kingdom, prompting some nationalists to reorganize themselves into the Irish Republican Army (IRA) to continue their struggle for full Irish independence.

In the late 1960s, influenced in part by the U.S. civil rights movement, Catholics in Northern Ireland, long discriminated against by British policies that favored Irish Protestants, advocated for justice. Civil unrest broke out between Catholics and Protestants in the region and the violence escalated as the pro-Catholic IRA battled British troops. An ongoing series of terrorist bombings and attacks ensued in a drawn-out conflict that came to be known as “The Troubles.” Peace talks eventually took place throughout the mid- to late 1990s, but a permanent end to the violence remained elusive. Finally, in July 2005, the IRA announced its members would give up all their weapons and pursue the group’s objectives solely through peaceful means. By the fall of 2006, the Independent Monitoring Commission reported that the IRA’s military campaign to end British rule was over.

April 25

The Latest Date on Which Easter can Fall.

1865 – John Wilkes Booth was Shot.

1887 – The Birthday of the Noted Radio Preacher Charles E. Fuller.

As a little boy, I would listen to the “Old-Fashioned Revival Hour.” It is miraculous that even yesterday, the day before this was dictated, I listened to Charles E. Fuller and “The Old-Fashioned Revival Hour.” For many years this broadcast has proclaimed the Gospel of Christ around the world. Dr. Fuller’s favorite Scripture is Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”

1898 – The United States Declared War on Spain in the Spanish-American War.

1945 – The United Nations was Founded by Forty-Six Nations in San Francisco.

1959 – The St. Lawrence Seaway was Opened.

Just last month it was my privilege to take my family to Ottawa, Canada, where I spoke for the Easter Week Services for the Evangelical Ministerial Association. Our route took us by the St. Lawrence Seaway. What a beautiful thing it is to behold. I could not help but thank God for the beauties of nature and the glory of God’s handiwork. As I think of this, of course, I think of Psalm 8. Let us turn to Psalm 8 and read it today and thank God for His miraculous acts.

1983 – Andropov Writes to U.S. Student

On this day in 1983, the Soviet Union releases a letter that Russian leader Yuri Andropov wrote to Samantha Smith, an American fifth-grader from Manchester, Maine, inviting her to visit his country. Andropov’s letter came in response to a note Smith had sent him in December 1982, asking if the Soviets were planning to start a nuclear war. At the time, the United States and Soviet Union were Cold War enemies.

President Ronald Reagan, a passionate anti-communist, had dubbed the Soviet Union the “evil empire” and called for massive increases in U.S. defense spending to meet the perceived Soviet threat. In his public relations duel with Reagan, known as the “Great Communicator,” Andropov, who had succeeded longtime Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev in 1982, assumed a folksy, almost grandfatherly approach that was incongruous with the negative image most Americans had of the Soviets.

Andropov’s letter said that Russian people wanted to “live in peace, to trade and cooperate with all our neighbors on the globe, no matter how close or far away they are, and, certainly, with such a great country as the United States of America.” In response to Smith’s question about whether the Soviet Union wished to prevent nuclear war, Andropov declared, “Yes, Samantha, we in the Soviet Union are endeavoring and doing everything so that there will be no war between our two countries, so that there will be no war at all on earth.” Andropov also complimented Smith, comparing her to the spunky character Becky Thatcher from “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain.

Smith, born June 29, 1972, accepted Andropov’s invitation and flew to the Soviet Union with her parents for a visit. Afterward, she became an international celebrity and peace ambassador, making speeches, writing a book and even landing a role on an American television series. In February 1984, Yuri Andropov died from kidney failure and was succeeded by Konstantin Chernenko. The following year, in August 1985, Samantha Smith died tragically in a plane crash at age 13.

April 26

Confederate Memorial Day.

Whenever I come to any Memorial Day, I think of an article I read many years ago during World War II. The article was concerning three-hundred service men who had been killed in action and whose bodies were being shipped to Boston Harbor. I thought as I read it, how I would love to go to Boston and walk on the deck of the ship from boy to boy and say to each one, “Thank you, George. Thank you, Bill. Thank you, John. Thank you, Pete. Thank you, Jack, for dying for me.” As I think of this, I think of boys with whom I ran as a child who were killed in World War II. There was Felix Ezzell, the first baseman on our ball team. There was Raymond Randlett, who lived three blocks from me. There was Alvin Sandefur, the pitcher. There was Jackie Daniels, who was in my class. Yes, there were others. For years they have been in eternity because they paid the supreme sacrifice for our freedom. May we thank God today for the lives of those who died that we might live.

1954 – The Nationwide Test of Salk Polio Vaccine Began.

This is a day that we all remember. We had anxiously awaited such a test. Now the big day had come! What a blessing this has been! Pray for our scientists today who seek a cure for cancer, emphysema, and other dread diseases. Thank God for the many inventions and discoveries that our generation has found for diseases that once were the scourge of our country and our world.

“On this day in 1954, the Salk polio vaccine field trials, involving 1.8 million children, begin at the Franklin Sherman Elementary School in McLean, Virginia. Children in the United States, Canada and Finland participated in the trials, which used for the first time the now-standard double-blind method, whereby neither the patient nor attending doctor knew if the inoculation was the vaccine or a placebo. On April 12, 1955, researchers announced the vaccine was safe and effective and it quickly became a standard part of childhood immunizations in America. In the ensuing decades, polio vaccines would all but wipe out the highly contagious disease in the Western Hemisphere.

Polio, known officially as poliomyelitis, is an infectious disease that has existed since ancient times and is caused by a virus. It occurs most commonly in children and can result in paralysis. The disease reached epidemic proportions throughout the first half of the 20th century. During the 1940s and 1950s, polio was associated with the iron lung, a large metal tank designed to help polio victims suffering from respiratory paralysis breathe.

President Franklin Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio in 1921 at the age of 39 and was left paralyzed from the waist down and forced to use leg braces and a wheelchair for the rest of his life. In 1938, Roosevelt helped found the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, later renamed the March of Dimes. The organization was responsible for funding much of the research concerning the disease, including the Salk vaccine trials.

The man behind the original vaccine was New York-born physician and epidemiologist Jonas Salk (1914-95). Salk’s work on an anti-influenza vaccine in the 1940s, while at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, led him, in 1952 at the University of Pittsburgh, to develop the inactivated polio vaccine (IPV), based on a killed-virus strain of the disease. The 1954 field trials that followed, the largest in U.S. history at the time, were led by Salk’s former University of Michigan colleague, Dr. Thomas Francis, Jr.

In the late 1950s, Polish-born physician and virologist Albert Sabin (1906-1993) tested an oral polio vaccine (OPV) he had created from a weakened live virus. The vaccine, easier to administer and cheaper to produce than Salk’s, became available for use in America in the early 1960s and eventually replaced Salk’s as the vaccine of choice in most countries.

Today, polio has been eliminated throughout much of the world due to the vaccine; however, there is still no cure for the disease and it persists in a small number of countries in Africa and Asia.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/polio-vaccine-trials-begin

April 27

4977 B.C. – Universe is Created, according to Kepler.

“On this day in 4977 B.C., the universe is created, according to German mathematician and astronomer Johannes Kepler, considered a founder of modern science. Kepler is best known for his theories explaining the motion of planets.”

Unfortunately, the History Channel chooses to make fun of this in the video above and claims that Kepler is off by about 13.7 billion years. Kepler was a brilliant mathematician and astronomer, but when it comes to his research on creation, the History Channel chooses to dismiss Kepler in favor of the Big Bang hypothesis, which scientists today are backing away from.

“Kepler was born on December 27, 1571, in Weil der Stadt, Germany. As a university student, he studied the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus’ theories of planetary ordering. Copernicus (1473-1543) believed that the sun, not the earth, was the center of the solar system, a theory that contradicted the prevailing view of the era that the sun revolved around the earth.

In 1600, Kepler went to Prague to work for Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, the imperial mathematician to Rudolf II, emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Kepler’s main project was to investigate the orbit of Mars. When Brahe died the following year, Kepler took over his job and inherited Brahe’s extensive collection of astronomy data, which had been painstakingly observed by the naked eye. Over the next decade, Kepler learned about the work of Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), who had invented a telescope with which he discovered lunar mountains and craters, the largest four satellites of Jupiter and the phases of Venus, among other things. Kepler corresponded with Galileo and eventually obtained a telescope of his own and improved upon the design. In 1609, Kepler published the first two of his three laws of planetary motion, which held that planets move around the sun in ellipses, not circles (as had been widely believed up to that time), and that planets speed up as they approach the sun and slow down as they move away. In 1619, he produced his third law, which used mathematic principles to relate the time a planet takes to orbit the sun to the average distance of the planet from the sun.

Kepler’s research was slow to gain widespread traction during his lifetime, but it later served as a key influence on the English mathematician Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727) and his law of gravitational force. Additionally, Kepler did important work in the fields of optics, including demonstrating how the human eye works, and math. He died on November 15, 1630, in Regensberg, Germany.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/universe-is-created-according-to-kepler (April 27, 2012)

1791 – The Birthday of Samuel Morse.

Samuel Morse was the inventor of the telegraph. Of course, we should thank God for the telegram. How easy it is today to communicate with people around the world. May we not let this day pass without thanking God for this means of communication.

1822 – U. S. Grant was Born.

Of course, he was President of our nation, but more than that, he was a great general. We are so prone to remember our servicemen but forget those generals that have authority over them. The decisions of these men affect the lives of our boys. Pray today for God’s blessings upon the generals, commanding officers, and the military leaders who have much weight on their shoulders.

1882 – Ralph Waldo Emerson Died.

Yes, we all must die. One of the most interesting portions of Scripture is the early part of Genesis where Lamech, Methuselah, Adam, Seth, and others are listed. They lived to be seven hundred, eight hundred, nine hundred years old, but the concluding statement about each one is “And he died.” Yes, we must die. We only have one life to live. As someone has said, “Only one life, twill soon be past. Only what’s done for Christ will last.” May we redeem the time and use our fleeting moments wisely in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ.

April 28

1758 – The Birthday of James Monroe.

Today is the birthday of James Monroe, the fifth President of the United States. Much responsibility was placed upon James Monroe, but not a fraction of the responsibility that is placed upon our President today. He needs your prayers. Do not fail him.

1943 – Benito Mussolini was Executed.

While in Italy, not long ago, we retraced many of the steps of Mussolini. We saw the place from whence he made his speeches on a balcony overlooking the Square. It seemed for a moment that I could see the crowds gathering, multitudes cheering, and this dictator emotionally stirring the people. It was on this date that he died.

“On this day in 1945, “Il Duce,” Benito Mussolini, and his mistress, Clara Petacci, are shot by Italian partisans who had captured the couple as they attempted to flee to Switzerland.

The 61-year-old deposed former dictator of Italy was established by his German allies as the figurehead of a puppet government in northern Italy during the German occupation toward the close of the war. As the Allies fought their way up the Italian peninsula, defeat of the Axis powers all but certain, Mussolini considered his options. Not wanting to fall into the hands of either the British or the Americans, and knowing that the communist partisans, who had been fighting the remnants of roving Italian fascist soldiers and thugs in the north, would try him as a war criminal, he settled on escape to a neutral country.

He and his mistress made it to the Swiss border, only to discover that the guards had crossed over to the partisan side. Knowing they would not let him pass, he disguised himself in a Luftwaffe coat and helmet, hoping to slip into Austria with some German soldiers. His subterfuge proved incompetent, and he and Petacci were discovered by partisans and shot, their bodies then transported by truck to Milan, where they were hung upside down and displayed publicly for revilement by the masses.” – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/benito-mussolini-executed

Once again, we are reminded of death. The Word of God tells us that it is appointed to a man once to die. You have an appointment with death. John Wesley used to say, “My people die well.” I have found this to be true of God’s people. I have seen many people die through the years. I recall the little lady in East Texas who sang, “I’m longing for the coming of the Snowwhite Angel Band.” I think of the deacon that told the nurse on his deathbed, as she asked if she should call a priest, “I am a priest.” I remember the words of that faithful preacher, James W. Moore, who died with his hand in mine saying, “Bro. Jack, keep preaching it!” Oh, may God help us to live well so we may die well.

April 29

1789 – Washington Gave the First Inaugural Address.

1882 – The Date That Some Think was the Death of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

1893 – Harold C. Urey Was Born.

Harold C. Urey is a famous atomic scientist. He wrote an article entitled, “I am a Frightened Man,” admitting the fact that we do not have the spiritual strength and maturity to use the atomic bomb. Thank God today for scientists.

1945 – Germany Signed an Unconditional Surrender in World War II.

At the time, I was on maneuvers in a foxhole. I heard shouting at a distance. Then, someone came running through saying, “Germany has surrendered! Germany has surrendered!” What a time of rejoicing it was as we thanked God that at least this phase of the war was over. Of course, we lingered at war with Japan, but we were now at peace with Germany. The sad truth was that Germany had been almost destroyed. Germany has been rebuilt now. Let us pray for her. Many of our finest Christian leaders came from Germany. Let us pray for God to bless German people, missionaries to Germany, German pastors, and Christians all over this great nation.

2004 – World War II Monument Opens in Washington, D.C.

On April 29, 2004, the National World War II Memorial opens in Washington, D.C., to thousands of visitors, providing overdue recognition for the 16 million U.S. men and women who served in the war. The memorial is located on 7.4 acres on the former site of the Rainbow Pool at the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The Capitol dome is seen to the east, and Arlington Cemetery is just across the Potomac River to the west.

The granite and bronze monument features fountains between arches symbolizing hostilities in Europe and the Far East. The arches are flanked by semicircles of pillars, one each for the states, territories and the District of Columbia. Beyond the pool is a curved wall of 4,000 gold stars, one for every 100 Americans killed in the war. An Announcement Stone proclaims that the memorial honors those “Americans who took up the struggle during the Second World War and made the sacrifices to perpetuate the gift our forefathers entrusted to us: A nation conceived in liberty and justice.”

Though the federal government donated $16 million to the memorial fund, it took more than $164 million in private donations to get it built. Former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, who was severely wounded in the war, and actor Tom Hanks were among its most vocal supporters. Only a fraction of the 16 million Americans who served in the war would ever see it. Four million World War II veterans were living at the time, with more than 1,100 dying every day, according to government records.

The memorial was inspired by Roger Durbin of Berkey, Ohio, who served under Gen. George S. Patton. At a fish fry near Toledo in February 1987, he asked U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur why there was no memorial on the Mall to honor World War II veterans. Kaptur, a Democrat from Ohio, soon introduced legislation to build one, starting a process that would stumble along through 17 years of legislative, legal and artistic entanglements. Durbin died of pancreatic cancer in 2000.

The monument was formally dedicated May 29, 2004, by U.S. President George W. Bush. Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it received some 4.4 million visitors in 2005. – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/world-war-ii-monument-opens-in-washington-dc

2007 – Dr. Lee Roberson Died.

2007 – Dr. Viola Walden Died.

Do a Kind Deed Today.

Bake a cake. Go by the hospital to see someone that would love to have your visit. Don’t forget to live for others.


Lord, let me live from day to day 
In such a self-forgetful way 
That even when I kneel to pray, 
My prayer shall be for others.

Others, Lord, yes, others, 
Let this my motto be, 
Help me to live for others 
That I may live like Thee.

April 30

1812 – Louisiana was Admitted to the Union.

Pray for the friends in Louisiana today. I think of my own friends there in New Orleans, in Baton Rouge, in Shreveport, in Monroe, and in other places across this great state. Pray for the breath of Heaven to rest on those who labor here in this needy area. Especially pray for those who labor with the French-speaking people.

1903 – Fulton Lewis, Jr. was Born.

1945 – Hitler Committed Suicide.

On this day in 1945, holed up in a bunker under his headquarters in Berlin, Adolf Hitler commits suicide by swallowing a cyanide capsule and shooting himself in the head. Soon after, Germany unconditionally surrendered to the Allied forces, ending Hitler’s dreams of a “1,000-year” Reich.

Since at least 1943, it was becoming increasingly clear that Germany would fold under the pressure of the Allied forces. In February of that year, the German 6th Army, lured deep into the Soviet Union, was annihilated at the Battle of Stalingrad, and German hopes for a sustained offensive on both fronts evaporated. Then, in June 1944, the Western Allied armies landed at Normandy, France, and began systematically to push the Germans back toward Berlin. By July 1944, several German military commanders acknowledged their imminent defeat and plotted to remove Hitler from power so as to negotiate a more favorable peace. Their attempts to assassinate Hitler failed, however, and in his reprisals, Hitler executed over 4,000 fellow countrymen.

In January 1945, facing a siege of Berlin by the Soviets, Hitler withdrew to his bunker to live out his final days. Located 55 feet under the chancellery, the shelter contained 18 rooms and was fully self-sufficient, with its own water and electrical supply. Though he was growing increasingly mad, Hitler continued to give orders and meet with such close subordinates as Hermann Goering, Heinrich Himmler and Josef Goebbels. He also married his long-time mistress Eva Braun just two days before his suicide.

In his last will and testament, Hitler appointed Admiral Karl Donitz as head of state and Goebbels as chancellor. He then retired to his private quarters with Braun, where he and Braun poisoned themselves and their dogs, before Hitler then also shot himself with his service pistol.

Hitler and Braun’s bodies were hastily cremated in the chancellery garden, as Soviet forces closed in on the building. When the Soviets reached the chancellery, they removed Hitler’s ashes, continually changing their location so as to prevent Hitler devotees from creating a memorial at his final resting place. Only eight days later, on May 8, 1945, the German forces issued an unconditional surrender, leaving Germany to be carved up by the four Allied powers. – www.history.com/this-day-in-history/adolf-hitler-commits-suicide

“The wages of sin is death … ” (Romans 6:23) “Be sure your sins will find you out.” (Numbers 32:23) “Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15) These and other Scriptures are borne out by this tragic event. Let us be reminded ourselves today that sin will reap the whirlwind. Ask God to give you victory over your main temptation. Say with the Apostle Paul, “I buffet my body daily.” Live every moment fleeing sin. Pray for God to give victory today. Tomorrow pray again for victory. Live day by day a life of victory over temptation and the tempter.

Another Month Has Ended.

Tomorrow begins a new month. Make your vows to God to serve Him better in the month of May. Pledge to be a better Christian next month than you were this month. Oh, to grow in grace!

Higher Ground

I’m pressing on the upward way, 
New heights I’m gaining every day; 
Still praying as I’m onward bound, 
“Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.”

Lord, lift me up and let me stand, 
By faith, on Heaven’s table-land, 
A higher plane than I have found; 
Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.