Did You Know?
Facts, Figures, & Folklore About the Month of April
Did you know that April was originally the second month, not the fourth month, of the year?
In the early Roman calendar, the month was referred to as Aprilis, likely derived from the Roman word for "to open" -- perhaps referring to the opening of spring flowers.
Did you know that April is the first full month of Spring?
The month is marked by a renewal of natural life, with hibernating animals coming out of their burrows, birds returning from their winter migration, flowers and trees blossoming, and bees beginning to gather nectar.
Did you know that April's birthstone is the diamond?
Considered the most precious of all stones, diamonds may have been associated with the month of April since Biblical times, when a priest's breastplate was adorned with twelve different gems -- one for each month of the year. The official list of birthstones, however, was not published until 1912, when the Kansas City-based National Association of Jewelers assigned a different stone to each month. Initially criticized for its obvious commercial motivation, the list quickly became widely accepted.
Did you know that in North America, April is often considered the start of the planting season?
But do April showers really bring May flowers? It depends on whether you are talking about annual flowers or perennial flowers. Perennials like tulips and daffodils usually pop open between late March and the end of May, depending on what part of the country you live in, so it would seem there is some truth to the age-old adage. Of course, too much rain during a perennial's bloom may cause the buds to shrivel up before they open.
Did you know that the daisy is the official flower of the month of April?
This cheerful flower brightens any flower garden and makes a wonderful addition to any indoor vase arrangement. There are dozens of varieties of daises, but the most popular the African Daisy and the Shasta Daisy.
Did you know that William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564?
The month of April is filled with famous birthdays, from the Civil War General and 18th President of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant (April 27, 1822), to the renowned children's author Hans Christian Anderson (April 2, 1805), to the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell (April 5, 1937). April is also the birth month of dozens of contemporary Hollywood stars, including Uma Thurman, Renee Zellweger, Alec Baldwin, Robert Downey, Jr., and James Garner.
Did you know that both Judaism and Christianity celebrate pinnacle holidays during the month of April?
The eight-day Jewish festival of Passover (Pesach) celebrates the Israelites exodus from Egypt, while the Christian holiday of Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus.
Did you know that April Fools Day may have begun in France?
While some historians disagree, the most popular theory about the origins of this day for pranks and practical jokes is that it began in the 1500s in France, when the start of the New Year was moved from March to January. Word of the move traveled slowly to the rural dwellers, who continued to celebrate the New Year in April, earning them the title of "April fools".
Did you know that the Revolutionary War began in April?
On April 19, 1775, British soldiers clashed with American revolutionaries in Massachusetts in the Battle of Lexington and Concord.
Did you know that the Vietnam War ended in April?
The North captured Saigon and the South Vietnamese surrendered on April 30, 1975, putting an end to what was then America's longest and most contentious military operation.
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