Dear Kid,

Hang onto your hat, kiddo. Today we discuss Important History (as opposed to Unimportant History which I generally discuss. Or am disgusted with. Take your pick.).

April 9th is a generally unassuming day. When it was born, its mother kissed it on the nose and went off to make April 10th. You know how it is sometimes with middle children. With April Fool’s Day on one side and Tax Day on the other and a bunch of other show-y April days all around, April 9th grew up somewhat in the shadows.

But make no mistake about it, somehow little 9th managed to grab some History along the way.

There is much debate (all in my head) about which event should be considered the most important. I have An Opinion but I doubt that many people will agree with me. So here, in a relatively unbiased and largely chronological manner, I present to you Events of April 9th. (Cue The Flowers That Bloom in the Spring—tra la. Has nothing whatsoever to do with April 9, but seems like a good theme song.)

On April 9, 1881, Billy The Kid was convicted of murder, paving the way for Billy Joel to write (and sing) The Ballad of Billy the Kid.

In 1859, Mark Twain got his steamboat pilot’s license, paving the way for many a tale.

In 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant ending the Civil War and paving the way for the joke “Who’s buried in Grant’s tomb?” I am interested intrigued disturbed to discover this happened after Twain got his license. There is something about history that often feels wrong and this is one of those things (imho). Somehow I had it in my head that the Civil War is OLD—even older than Twain…guess not.

In 1939, Marian Anderson sang at the Lincoln Memorial, paving the way for other African-American artists to be recognized for their talents. Ms. Anderson was supposed to sing at Constitution Hall but wasn’t allowed to because of her race. The Lincoln Memorial concert was a HUGE big deal. It is also wrong that this happened so long after the Civil War. People can be real twits.

In 1953, TV Guide published its first issue, paving the way for couch potatoes to plan their viewing time.

In 1959, the first US astronauts were introduced, paving the way for unpaved journeys into space. To the best of my knowledge none of them sang or had their steamboat pilot’s license.

In 2005, Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles got hitched, paving the way for much royal-watching. Wishing them a very Happy Anniversary. Do you think I should send a card?

Hoping your April 9th is full of fun things to celebrate.

Love, Mom

And for your viewing enjoyment–Tra la la la, la La!