On This Day In History

Our "On This Day in History" section of the website is designed to provide teachers with video resources to help students better understand significant events throughout U.S. history.

Each event features several short video clips that help set the stage by providing context through archival footage and witness testimony (where available), utilizing C-SPAN's unique access to historical newsreels, vignettes, oral history, and expert analysis.

As one of the most recent additions to our site, this area will continue to develop each month. If you or your students have suggestions for key moments in history that are not currently represented, please email us at educate@c-span.org.

  • Document ImageApril 1, 1945

    WWII: Battle of Okinawa

    On April 1, 1945, the U.S. military launched its campaign, Operation Iceberg, on the island of Okinawa. This…

    6 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 3, 1948

    Marshall Plan

    On April 3rd, 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed the Economic Recovery Program, also known as the…

    4 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 4, 1949

    Formation of NATO

    The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is a military alliance between 29 different countries in Europe…

    4 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 4, 1968

    The Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    On April 4, 1968, civil rights leader and clergyman Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was fatally shot while staying…

    8 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 5, 1856

    Booker T Washington

    Born into slavery on April 5, 1856, Booker Taliaferro Washington was an American educator, author, orator,…

    2 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 6, 1917

    US Enters Into World War I

    Under President Woodrow Wilson, the U.S. maintained neutrality when WWI erupted in 1914. During this time…

    7 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 7, 1922

    Teapot Dome Scandal

    In the early 1920s, a portion of land in Wyoming was allocated to secure oil reserves for use by the…

    2 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 9, 1865

    Civil War - Appomattox Court House and General Lee's Surrender

    On April 9, 1865 General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in the home of Wilmer McLean…

    5 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 11, 1970

    Apollo 13

    On April 11 1970, Apollo 13 launched and became the 3rd manned mission intended for the moon. However, plans…

    5 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 15, 1865

    President Abraham Lincoln's Assassination

    President Abraham Lincoln died at 7:22am on April 15, 1865, in the small, back bedroom of the Petersen House,…

    4 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 16, 2007

    Virginia Tech Shooting

    On April 16, 2007, a mass school shooting took place at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia.…

    4 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 17, 1961

    Bay of Pigs Invasion

    On April 17, 1961, over 1,000 Cuban exiles launched an invasion into Cuba in an attempt to overthrow Fidel…

    6 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 19, 1775

    The Battles of Lexington and Concord

    On April 19, 1775, British and colonial militias engaged in the Battles of Lexington and Concord. In response…

    6 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 19, 1995

    Oklahoma City Bombing

    On April 19, 1995, a truck bomb exploded outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK.…

    5 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 20, 1999

    Columbine High School Shooting

    On the morning of April 20, 1999, Dylan Klebold, 18, and Eric Harris, 17, arrived at Columbine High School in…

    5 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 20, 2010

    Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill

    On April 20, 2010, the Gulf of Mexico experienced the largest oil spill in history as a result of an…

    6 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 22, 1970

    Earth Day

    Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which events worldwide are held to demonstrate…

    5 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 26, 1986

    Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant Disaster

    On April 26, 1986 a disaster occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine in the Soviet Union.…

    5 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 27, 1773

    The Tea Act

    As the British Empire emerged as victors of the Seven Years' War in 1763, they found themselves deeply in…

    4 Video Clips
  • Document ImageApril 28, 1789

    The Mutiny on the HMS Bounty

    In December 1787, the HMS Bounty sailed from England under the leadership of Captain William Bligh. It was…

    4 Video Clips