10 days of tragedy: 15 historic disasters occurred over these days in April

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The middle of April has been a calamitous time in history, with a series of tragic events happening locally, nationally, and across the world. Between April 11 and April 20, more than a dozen disasters shaped the course of history.

April 11: Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak

On April 11,1965, known as the “Palm Sunday Tornado Outbreak,” dozens of tornadoes raked six Midwestern states on Palm Sunday, killing 271 people. This was the fourth deadliest tornado outbreak in U.S. history and the deadliest of all Indiana outbreaks.

April 12: The Civil War begins

April 12, 1861, the Civil War began as Confederate forces opened fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

American Civil War, Battle of Charleston, 1861-65, December 5th, 1863 – The interior of Fort Sumter, Charleston Harbout after continuous bombardment by Federal Batteries on Morris Island, Charleston. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

April 12: President Roosevelt dies

On April 12, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia, at age 63; he was succeeded by Vice President Harry S. Truman.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cortege goes down Connecticut Avenue on its way to the White House at Washington DC. (Photo by Keystone Features/Getty Images)

April 13: Jewish Community Center shootings

On April 13, 2014, two shootings occurred at the Jewish Community Center of Greater Kansas City and Village Shalom in Overland Park, Kansas. The three victims were 14-year-old Reat Griffin Underwood an dhis 69-year-old grandfather, Dr. William Lewis Corporon and a 53-year-old woman identified as Terri LaManno. All three were Christian. The suspect, Frazier Glenn Cross, was sentenced to death by lethal injection in 2015.

Victims of the Jewish Center shootings

April 14: Sinking of Titanic

On April 14, 1912, the British liner RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic at 11:40 p.m. ship’s time and began sinking. The ship went under two hours and 40 minutes later with the loss of 1,514 lives.

14th April 1912: Survivors watch from the lifeboats as the ill-fated White Star liner, the ‘Titanic’, plunges beneath the waves. Original Publication: Illustrated London News – pub. 1912 Original Publication: From a special supplement of ‘Graphic’. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

April 14: Assassination of President Lincoln

On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth during a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater in Washington. Lincoln died the following day, nine hours after being shot. Andrew Johnson became the nation’s 17th president.

14th April 1865: The assassination of the 16th President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln by actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre, Washington DC. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

April 15: Boston Marathon bombing

On April 15, 2013, two bombs made from pressure cookers exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line, killing two women and an 8-year-old boy and injuring more than 260. Suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shootout with police; his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was tried, convicted and sentenced to death.

BOSTON, MA – APRIL 15: A runner embraces another woman on the marathon route near Kenmore Square after two bombs exploded during the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. Two people are confirmed dead and at least 23 injured after two explosions went off near the finish line to the marathon. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

April 15: Notre Dame Cathedral fire

Just two years ago on April 15, 2019, fire swept across the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral as the soaring Paris landmark underwent renovations; the blaze collapsed the cathedral’s spire and spread to one of its landmark rectangular towers, but fire officials said the church’s structure had been saved.

The steeple and spire collapses as smoke and flames engulf the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris on April 15, 2019. (Photo credit should read GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP via Getty Images)

April 16: Mass shooting at Virginia Tech

On April 16, 2007, in one of America’s worst school attacks, a college senior killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech before taking his own life.

A stone to remember Cho Seung-Hui rests amongst the memorial to his 32 victims on campus of Virginia Tech University April 20, 2007 in Blacksburg, Virginia. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

April 17: West, Texas fertilizer plant explosion

On April 17, 2013, 15 people were killed when a fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas.

Search and rescue workers comb through what remains of a 50-unit apartment building the day after an explosion at the West Fertilizer Company destroyed the building April 18, 2013 in West, Texas. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

April 18: 1906 San Francisco earthquake

On April 18, 1906, a devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by raging fires; estimates of the final death toll range between 3,000 and 6,000.

This was the scene when San Francisco was devastated by the great earthquake and fire on April 18, 1906. (AP Photo/Arnold Genthe)

April 19: Branch Davidian siege in Waco

On April 19, 1993, the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; about 80 people, including two dozen children and sect leader David Koresh, were killed.

Flames are seen in building to right of tower and smoke billows into sky as the fire first becomes visible at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas on Monday, April 19, 1993. The compound burned to the ground and the Justice Department said cult members set the fire. (AP Photo/Roberto Borea)

April 19: Oklahoma City bombing

On April 19, 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. Bomber Timothy McVeigh, who prosecutors said had planned the attack as revenge for the Waco siege of two years earlier, was convicted of federal murder charges and executed in 2001.

The north side of the Alfred Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City is missing after what federal authorities believe to be a car bomb exploded Wednesday, April 19, 1995. (AP Photo)

April 20: Shooting at Columbine High School

On April 20, 1999, the Columbine High School massacre took place in Colorado as two students shot and killed 12 classmates and one teacher before taking their own lives.

In an April 20, 1999 file photo unidentified young women head to a library near Columbine High School where students and faculty members were evacuated after two gunmen went on a shooting rampage in the school in the southwest Denver suburb of Littleton, Colo. (AP Photo/Kevin Higley/file)

April 20: Deepwater Horizon explosion

April 20, 2010, an explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, leased by BP, killed 11 workers and caused a blow-out that began spewing an estimated 200 million gallons of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. The well was finally capped nearly three months later.

In this handout image provided be the U.S. Coast Guard, fire boat response crews battle the blazing remnants of the off shore oil rig Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico on April 21, 2010 near New Orleans, Louisiana. An estimated leak of 1,000 barrels of oil a day are still leaking into the gulf. Multiple Coast Guard helicopters, planes and cutters responded to rescue the Deepwater Horizon’s 126 person crew. (Photo by U.S. Coast Guard via Getty Images)

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