John’s Believe It Or Not… April 10th

John Fioravanti standing at the front of his classroom.

It’s Marvellous Monday! Did you know…

* 1917 – Military – John Pattison of the 50th (Calgary) Infantry Battalion earns the Victoria Cross (For his bravery this second day of the Battle of Vimy Ridge; he singlehandedly attacked and captured a German machine gun nest with grenades; will be killed in action June 3. The Victoria Cross is the highest medal for bravery awarded in the British Empire.)

Portrait photo of Pattison in uniform.

* 1866 ASPCA is founded. (On April 10, 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is founded in New York City by philanthropist and diplomat Henry Bergh, 54. In 1863, Bergh had been appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to a diplomatic post at the Russian court of Czar Alexander II. It was there that he was horrified to witness workhorses beaten by their peasant drivers. En route back to America, a June 1865 visit to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in London awakened his determination to secure a charter not only to incorporate the ASPCA but to exercise the power to arrest and prosecute violators of the law.)

Photo of a horse ambulance.
A horse ambulance.

* 1963 Atomic submarine sinks in Atlantic. (The Thresher was launched on July 9, 1960, from Portsmouth Naval Yard in New Hampshire. Built with new technology, it was the first submarine assembled as part of a new class that could run more quietly and dive deeper than any that had come before. On April 10, 1963, at just before 8 a.m., the Thresher was conducting drills off the coast of Cape Cod. At 9:13 a.m., the USS Skylark, another ship participating in the drills, received a communication from the Thresher that the sub was experiencing minor problems. Other attempted communications failed and, only five minutes later, sonar images showed the Thresher breaking apart as it fell to the bottom of the sea. Sixteen officers, 96 sailors and 17 civilians were on board. All were killed.)

10 April 1963 A.D. Atomic Submarine, USS Thresher (SSN-593), Goes Down 300 Miles East of Boston—129 Lives Lost
10 April 1963 A.D. Atomic Submarine, USS Thresher (SSN-593), Goes Down 300 Miles East of Boston—129 Lives Lost

* 1942 Bataan Death March begins. (The day after the surrender of the main Philippine island of Luzon to the Japanese, the 75,000 Filipino and American troops captured on the Bataan Peninsula begin a forced march to a prison camp near Cabanatuan. During this infamous trek, known as the “Bataan Death March,” the prisoners were forced to march 85 miles in six days, with only one meal of rice during the entire journey. By the end of the march, which was punctuated with atrocities committed by the Japanese guards, hundreds of Americans and many more Filipinos had died. In the Philippines, homage is paid to the victims of the Bataan Death March every April on Bataan Day, a national holiday that sees large groups of Filipinos solemnly rewalking parts of the death route.)

Photo of the Death March

* 1970 Paul McCartney announces the breakup of the Beatles. (The legendary rock band the Beatles spent the better part of three years breaking up in the late 1960s, and even longer than that hashing out who did what and why. And by the spring of 1970, there was little more than a tangled set of business relationships keeping the group together. Each of the Beatles was pursuing his musical interests outside of the band, and there were no plans in place to record together as a group. But as far as the public knew, this was just a temporary state of affairs. That all changed on April 10, 1970, when an ambiguous Paul McCartney “self-interview” was seized upon by the international media as an official announcement of a Beatles breakup.)

Newspaper front page breaking the story.

Look who was born on this date!

Portrait of Perry* Matthew C. Perry in 1794. (American Commodore of the US Navy: Forced Japan to open up to Western influence and trade by sailing his frigate Susquehanna into Tokyo Bay. An early example of gunboat diplomacy.)




head shot of Morgan* Harry Morgan in 1915. (American Actor: American TV and film actor and director who appeared on TV in M*A*S*H and Dragnet.)




Head shot of Arliss* George Arliss in 1868. (English Actor:  The first British actor to win an Academy Award for his role as ‘Benjamin Disraeli’ in “Disraeli” (1929). Arliss is also famous for his roles as ‘Raja of Rukh’ in “The Green Goddess” (1930) and ‘The Duke of Wellington’ in “The Iron Duke” (1934).)

Author: John Fioravanti

I'm a retired History teacher (35 years), husband, father of three, grandfather of three. My wife, Anne, and I became business partners in December, 2013, and launched our own publishing company, Fiora Books (, to publish my books. We have been married since 1973 and hope our joint business venture will be as successful as our marriage.

16 thoughts on “John’s Believe It Or Not… April 10th”

  1. It’s difficult for me to comment on this one, John – SO much cruelty and focus on war and war machines dots man’s history on this planet. NOT that cruelty to each other is understandable or forgivable, but beating horses? What possible purpose could that serve? I fear that the human race is mean and cruel to the bone sometimes.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to transform a world!”

    Liked by 1 person

          1. Thanks, John. I seem to have *almost* nipped it in the bud by going to bed early and staying there all morning – no fever today, the drips almost gone, and my mood a bit brighter.

            As soon as Alka Seltzer Plus Cold & Sinus takes effect and the chest congestion begins to break up, I’ll probably be a MUCH happier camper.

            Thanks for understanding.


  2. As a teen, I learned that one of my neighbors had been in the Bataan Death March. He will always be “Mr.Miller” to me. He used to love talking with my future husband–not about that awful event or the war, just in general. I will always remember him fondly.

    Liked by 2 people

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