April the Nineteenth

Historically, April 19th is day that for a lot of people is somewhat of a condemned day on the calendar.  Some might consider it a day of death:

  • In 1993, fires ravaged in Waco, Texas, ending a 51-day standoff between supposed cultists and the FBI resulting in about 80 human casualties.
  • In 1995, Timothy McVeigh detonates a truck filled with explosives in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Downtown Oklahoma City that killed 168 people, as well as injuring close to 700.
  • In 1997, floods ravaged the Dakotas, resulting in the destruction of eleven buildings and ruining countless homes and lives.
  • There was a brief hiatus of April 19th tragedies for the next decade or so, as the insane seemed to have missed the mark by a day or so (April 20, 1999 – Columbine Shootings, April 22, 2000 – Elian Gonzalez is extradited back to Cuba, April 16, 2007 – Virginia Tech Massacre), but in 2007, a crazy Haji suicide bomber drove his explosive-filled vehicle into a tanker, causing an explosion that killed 12 and injured 34 more.

But it’s not all death and tragedy; three very well-known professional athletes were born on April 19th:  In 1981, Troy Polamalu, the wild-haired strong safety for the Pittsburgh Steelers who covers, well, the non-aquatic covered Earth was born.  In 1983, the franchise of the Minnesota Twins and sabermetric Triple Crown winner, catcher Joe Mauer was born.  In 1987, arguably the prize package of women’s tennis, Maria Sharapova was born.

So what’s the point of all this?  If it isn’t already obvious, it’s because April 19th is my birthday.

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