My birthday makes me nervous. And it actually has nothing to do with getting older, but more my birth date.
Most people wouldn’t even notice that April 20th is historically a really bad day. But because I remember the date for a different reason, I take note of what happens on that date. In fact, the New York Daily News said this, “In terms of world history, it would be hard to compete with April 20 for the title of Worst Day of the Year.”
So, it’s not just me.
Did you know that all of the following happened on April 20th?
- 1889: Hitler was born. (And frankly, I blame him for all the drama.)
- 1914: Ludlow massacre killing 25 men, women, and children during a coal miner’s strike
- 1920: Tornados kill 219 in Alabama and Mississippi
- 1961: Bay of Pigs invasion failed
- 1978: Korean Air flight 902 filled with civilians was shot down over the Soviet Union
- 1984: The Good Friday Massacre, an extremely violent hockey game, was played in Montreal. (Okay, so this wasn’t technically as massacre, but I had to give props to the name.)
- 1985: The FBI raids the compound of The Covenant, The Sword, and the Arm of the Lord in Arkansas (an event which was suspected in leading to the Oklahoma City bombing)
- 1999: Columbine High School Massacre
- 2007: Johnson Space Center shooting
- 2010: The explosion that led to the massive Gulf Oil Spill
There have also been a couple of close misses, which I found out about on April 20th: the 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound, which killed 81 people; and the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which killed 168. Both of these occurred on April 19th. I attribute this to poor planning or leap year miscalculation.
Fortunately, this year, April 20th seems to have come and gone without much fuss. A doctor’s appointment, babysitting a contractor as he worked on our dishwasher, grading an EKG exam, and watching hockey. The Predators even pulled out a win against the Red Wings to move on to the next round of the NHL playoffs. I celebrated with a birthday dinner of my favorite dishes that my favorite food truck, Riffs, happened to have on their menu.
It was almost as if April 20th was a good day.
But I’m not fooled.