16.01.2021

On This Day in April: 30 of the Month’s Biggest Moments

Follow along with the biggest moments in April history in this visual journey of photos from the Shutterstock Editorial archive.

Photography has given us a rich visual archive of the most important events in history – everything from tragedies to the pinnacles of human achievement. Photos can bring us back to a tragic event that broke our collective hearts, a cultural moment that we rejoiced over, or a scientific breakthrough that made us see the world differently. Each month we’ll share photographs from the Shutterstock Editorial archive that show a significant historical or cultural event for each day of that month.

This month, we take a visual journey through April.


April 1

1984: Motown legend Marvin Gaye is murdered by his father.

Photo by Eugene Adebari/Shutterstock.

April 2

1968: Director Stanley Kubrick’s iconic film 2001: A Space Odyssey is released.

Photo by Mgm/Stanley Kubrick Productions/Kobal/Shutterstock.

April 3

1996: The Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski, is arrested.

Photo by John Youngbear/AP/Shutterstock.

April 4

1968: Martin Luther King Jr. assassinated in Memphis.

Photo by Uncredited/AP/Shutterstock.

April 5

1994: Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain dies at the age of 27.

Photo by Roberto Sorbo/AP/Shutterstock.

April 6

1896: The first modern Olympics are held in Athens, Greece.

Photo by Eye Ubiquitous/Shutterstock.

April 7

1994: The Rwanda Civil War and genocide begins.

Photo by Karsten Thielker/AP/Shutterstock.

April 8

1990: Twin Peaks by David Lynch debuts on ABC.

Photo by Moviestore/Shutterstock.

April 9

2005: Prince Charles marries Camilla Parker Bowles.

Photo by Shutterstock.

April 10

1970: The Beatles break up when Paul McCartney leaves the band.

Photo by ANL/Shutterstock.

April 11

2012: The Avengers premieres.

Photo by Picture Perfect/Shutterstock.

April 12

1961: Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becomes the first human in space.

Photo by Shutterstock.

April 13

1997: At 21, Tiger Woods became the youngest ever golfer to win the Masters Tournament.

Photo by Bill Waugh/AP/Shutterstock.

April 14

1912: The RMS Titanic hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean and sinks the next day, killing over 1,500 passengers.

Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

April 15

1947: Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.

Photo by Anonymous/AP/Shutterstock.

April 16

2007: Thirty-two people die in a mass shooting at Virginia Tech.

Photo by Dan Callister/Shutterstock.

April 17

1970: Apollo 13 safely returns to earth after a malfunction forced them to abort a moon landing early.

Photo by Shutterstock.

April 18

1906: Most of San Francisco is destroyed after a massive earthquake.

Photo by Underwood Archives/UIG/Shutterstock.

April 19

1995: 168 people die in a domestic terrorist attack in Oklahoma City.

Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

April 20

1999: Fifteen people die in a school shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado.

Photo by Kevin Higley/AP/Shutterstock.

April 21

1934: The “surgeon’s photograph” showing the purported Loch Ness Monster is published.

Photo by Historia/Shutterstock.

April 22

1970: The first Earthday is celebrated.

Photo by AP/Shutterstock.

April 23

2016: Beyonce releases her Lemonade album.

Photo by Frank Micelotta/Invision/AP/Shutterstock.

April 24

2013: 1,129 people die in Bangladesh when a garment building collapses.

Photo by Abir Abdullah/EPA/Shutterstock.

April 25

2015: Nearly 9,000 people die when a 7.8 magnitude earthquake strikes Nepal.

Photo by Niranjan Shrestha/AP/Shutterstock.

April 26

1986: The Chernobyl nuclear disaster occurs.

Photo by Str/AP/Shutterstock.

April 27

1992: Betty Boothroyd becomes the first woman to serve as Speaker of the House of Commons in the UK.

Photo by Alison Mcdougall/ANL/Shutterstock.

April 28

1969: Charles de Gaulle resigns as President of France.

Photo by Anonymous/AP/Shutterstock.

April 29

1992: Riots erupt in Los Angeles after the acquittal of four police officers charged in the Rodney King beating.

Photo by Paul Sakuma/AP/Shutterstock.

April 30

1997: An estimated 42 million watch as Ellen Degeneres publicly declares she’s gay.

Photo by Mark J Terrill/AP/Shutterstock.

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