April 19th

2011
Cuba's Communist Party picked 79-year-old Raul Castro to replace his ailing brother Fidel as first secretary during a key Party Congress.
Fidel Castro
2005
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope and took the name Benedict XVI.
Pope Benedict XVI
2001
The Mel Brooks musical "The Producers" opened on Broadway.
The Producers (musical)
1995
168 die in the Oklahoma City bombing. Timothy McVeigh, the mastermind behind the attack, was executed on June 11, 2001. The motives for the bombing, which also killed 19 babies and children, remain somewhat unclear.
Oklahoma City bombing
1994
A Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million to beaten motorist Rodney King.
1993
A 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended when fire destroyed the structure after federal agents smashed their way in. Dozens of people, including sect leader David Koresh, were killed.
Waco siege
1987
The first installment of The Simpsons is aired. The hugely popular animated sitcom debuted on the Tracey Ullman Show in the form of one-minute shorts.
History of The Simpsons
1971
The Soviet Union launches the world's first manned space station. Salyut 1 was 23 meters long and offered 100 cubic meters of pressurized space.
Salyut 1
1961
The Federal Communications Commission authorized regular FM stereo broadcasting starting on June 1, 1961.
Federal Communications Commission
1951
Gen. Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his command by President Harry S. Truman, bid farewell to Congress, quoting a line from a ballad: 'Old soldiers never die. they just fade away.'
Theodore Roosevelt Jr.
1943
Tens of thousands of Jews living in the Warsaw Ghetto began an uprising against Nazi forces.
Warsaw Ghetto
1933
The United States went off the gold standard.
Gold standard
1919
Leslie Irvin makes the world's first free-fall parachute jump. The jump was executed to test a new kind of parachute, which was also the first featuring a ripcord. The Hollywood stuntman broke a leg on landing.
Leslie Irvin (parachutist)
1909
Joan of Arc receives beatification by the Roman Catholic Church.
Canonization of Joan of Arc
1897
The first Boston Marathon was run.
Boston Marathon
1882
Naturalist Charles Darwin, developer of the theory of evolution, died.
Charles Darwin
1824
Lord Byron died of a fever while helping the Greeks fight the Turks.
Lord Byron
1775
The American Revolutionary War begins. The Battles of Lexington and Concord marked the beginning of the armed conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and 13 colonies of British North America. The war resulted in U.S. independence.
American Revolutionary War
1770
British explorer Captain James Cook first sights Australia.
James Cook