Back to Top
 
 
 
 
 
 

22nd of April

The 22nd of April is the 112th day of the year (Gregorian calendar) or 113th in a leap year. 

 

Annual Commemorative and Observational Days

 

Global

The 22nd of April is known as ‘International Mother Earth Day’ which was established by the United Nations in 2009 to promote awareness of environmental concerns.

 

Brazil

The 22nd of April is known as ‘National Discovery Day’ in Brazil commemorating its discovery by Pedro Álvares Cabral in 1500.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Historical Events

 

22nd of April

 

On the 22nd of April 1954

The televised trial of the United States Army begins. The Army was accused of being “weak on communism” by Senator Joseph McCarthy. McCarthy began a communist witch hunt on the 9th of February 1950 in order to gain favour with the public while fear of communist insurgency was at its highest in the US. Six days before his accusations were first made a communist supporter and Russian spy, Klaus Fuchs, had been arrested in England for passing secrets about the American and United Kingdom’s atomic bomb projects (Fuchs had worked on both projects as a respected physicist). McCarthy originally produced a list of 200 people he claimed were communists but this number decreased over time to just 10 names after several inquiries. The arrest of Klaus also led to the arrests of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in March 1951 also for giving away atomic secrets to Russia, fuelled his four year campaign and public hysteria. But by this stage his public opinion was once again dwindling and he made new accusations, this time about the army, to regain public support. But this backfired for the senator when the televised trial showed the American people McCarthy’s bully boy tactics. He continuously interrupted and verbally assaulted speakers, especially when things were not going his way, as well as showing no evidence for his accusations. He met his match in an associate of the Army’s chief council, Mr Joseph Welch. In response to slanderous accusations he replied "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness…Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?” Welch’s response was met with cheers and applause and this point marked the end for McCarthy’s political career.  After he was censored by the senate committee in 1954 the damage was done. Many people had lost their jobs and reputation and 25 States had outlawed communism. McCarthy died in 1957 after excessive drinking caused health problems. The term McCarthyism was later coined to mean someone who makes accusations of treason or subversion without evidence.

 

On the 22nd of April 1915

The Germans first used poisonous gas in the trenches of the Western Front. Normally after a barrage of artillery fire in the trenches of World War I silence would mean a push of infantry over the top to gain ground. But instead of Germans making their way across no-mans-land, a four mile wide cloud of smoke drifted across carried by the wind. When it reached the French troops in the trenches they were ill prepared and suffered thousands of casualties. This marked the first major offensive using poisonous gas in World War I. The Germans had used gas earlier in the year against the Russians on the Eastern front but the cold weather caused the majority of the gas to freeze making it ineffective.  From this moment on England and France began production of their own poison gas as well as protective equipment to use against the Germans. It is believed that 100,000 tons of gas was used in World War I which killed nearly 30,000 people and injured almost half a million.