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Interesting US History
A Website Devoted to Interesting Events in U.S. History





April 18, 1775

Paul Revere's Ride Begins

On this day in 1775, Paul Revere and William Dawes set out from Boston to Lexington to warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams that the British Army had begun to march towards to Lexington. Revere crossed the Charles River to Charlestown and would ride to Lexington from there. Dawes took the the land route.

They both reached Lexington where they met Samuel Prescott and the three of them decided to ride on to Concord where the militia was keeping its weapons. Along the way, they were stopped by British Troops. Prescott got away on his horse and Dawes made a run for it but fell off his horse. Revere was lead at gunpoint back towards Lexington.

As they approached Lexington, shots were heard, prompting the British officers to take off, along with Revere's horse. Of the three, only Prescott made it to Concord. Revere's role in the events of that night went almost un-noted until 1861 when Henry Wadsworth Longfellow penned the poem "Paul Revere's Ride". Although the poem made Revere famous, it conveniently left out many of the facts and embelished others.

April 18, 1906

The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 Occurs

On this day in 1906, San Francisco, California experiences one of the worst natural disasters in American history. The magnitude of the earthquake is estimated to be between 7.7 and 8.25 and was felt from Oregon to Los Angeles on the coast and as far inland as central Nevada.

As bad as the earthquake itself was, the resulting fire added the death and destruction. Estimates place the death toll at more than 3,000 although at the time, government officials tried to downplay the true scope of the tragedy by reporting a death toll of 376.

Besides the permanent impact on lives, it also permanently altered the course of the Salinas river by diverting the point at which it empties into the Pacific by 6 miles.