April 17

About April: National Parkinson’s Awareness Month and More

By Rick Banas of Gardant Management Solutions

Did You Know . . .

William Shakespeare was born on April 23, 1564 and died 52 years later on April 23.

The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere and William Dawes occurred on April 18, 1775. Fourteen years later, on April 30, 1789, George Washington became the first President of the United States.

The first train crossed the Mississippi River on April 21, 1855.

By an Act of Congress, “In God We Trust” was added to all newly minted U.S. coins in April 1864.

Despite a veto by President Andrew Johnson, the Civil Rights Bill of 1866 was passed by Congress on April 9. The law granted blacks the rights and privileges of citizenship. Nearly 100 years later, on April 11, 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. The law prohibits discrimination in housing, provides protections for civil rights workers, and expanded the rights of Native Americans.

A catcher’s mask was used for the first time in a baseball game in April 1877. Jackie Robinson entered Major League Baseball on April 11, 1947. On April 4, 1974, Hank Aaron tied Babe Ruth’s record of 714 home runs. On April 8, he hit number 715.

On April 4, 1887, Susanna Salter became the first woman in the United States to be elected Mayor. She was elected Mayor of Argonia, Kansas. The town reportedly is named after the Argonauts, a group in Greek mythology whose mission was to find the legendary Golden Fleece. On April 11, 1983, Harold Washington became the first African American to be elected Mayor of Chicago.

The first public showing of a motion picture occurred in April 1894. The musical “South Pacific” opened on Broadway in April 1949. General Hospital premiered on ABC-TV in April 1963.

After a break of 1,500 years, the Olympics were held in April 1896 in Athens, Greece.

The first Social Security checks were issued on April 27, 1937.

In April 1964, the Ford Motor Company unveiled the Mustang.

April is designated National Parkinson’s Awareness Month. Parkinson’s Disease is a degenerative brain disorder. Tremors, slowness, stiffness, and walking and balance problems are common. Symptoms generally develop slowly over years. Treatment options vary and can include medications and surgery.

More information on Parkinson’s disease can be found on the Parkinson’s Foundation website or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research website


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