This Day In History, April 19th

What happened on this day in history: The first shots of the American Revolution are fired, Lord Byron dies in Greece, and more important events from April 19th.

1775: The American Revolution Begins

The American Revolution begins in Lexington, Massachusetts. British troops and American militiamen met in Lexington Green, where someone — to this day, it’s unclear who — fired a shot. The “shot heard ’round the world'” led to the American Revolution, which raged for seven years and resulted in the United States’ independence from Britain.

1824: Lord Byron Dies

Today In History April 19

Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesThe poet Lord Byron died at the age of 36 while supporting Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire.

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron, best known as Lord Byron, dies in present-day Messolonghi, Greece, at the age of 36 after contracting a fever. An English Romantic poet best known for works like Hours of Idleness (1807) and Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage (1812), Byron’s flamboyant and controversial life led to the word “Byronic,” meaning alluring and moody. In 1823, he joined the Greek independence movement and poured vast sums of his own money into the cause, but fell ill in February 1824 and eventually died.

1943: The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising Begins

Warsaw Uprising

Ullstein bild/Getty ImagesSS commander Jürgen Stroop (center) during the Warsaw Uprising.

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising begins in Warsaw, Poland. As German troops entered the ghetto in order to deport its inhabitants to concentration camps, hundreds of people imprisoned there fought back. They resisted until May 16, when German forces crushed the rebellion, killing thousands and sending tens of thousands to their deaths at Treblinka and Lublin/Majdanek.

1993: The Waco Siege Ends

The siege of the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, ends after 51 days. Two months earlier on February 28, 1993, agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms had embarked on a disastrous raid of the compound in search of illegal guns and explosives that left several dead on both sides. The FBI took over the operation and attacked the Christian cult compound, breaking the siege but killing dozens of the Branch Davidians, including several children and the cult’s leader, David Koresh.

1995: The Oklahoma City Bombing Takes Place

Oklahoma City Bombing

J. Pat CarterThe aftermath of the attack in Oklahoma City.

Timothy McVeigh detonates a truckload of explosives outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The Oklahoma City bombing killed 168 people, including 19 children attending daycare, and injured hundreds more. McVeigh, an anti-government radical, sought to mark the two-year anniversary of the Waco siege.