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9th of April

The 9th of April is known in the United States of America as Winston Churchill Day celebrating the UK Prime Minister’s honorary citizenship of the USA on this day in 1963. Only 8 foreign nationals have been given this honour and only two during their lifetime (Churchill and Mother Teresa). The 9th of April is the 99th day of the year (Gregorian calendar) or 100th in a leap year.

 

 

 

 

 

9th of April

 

On the 9th of April 1940

Germany invaded Norway. On the 9th of April Norwegian Commander, Vidkun Quisling, gave an order to allow Germans safe passage into Norwegian ports allowing them to slip through the mines laid by Britain. This allowed thousands of troops to enter Norway and take control of the country. When the Norwegian government refused to surrender they were replaced by more controllable councillors, the chief of these was Quisling. Quisling sent many of his fellow countrymen to German concentration camps, buying favour with his German overlords. At the end of World War II Quisling was tried for treason and executed.

 

On the 9th of April 1865

The American Civil war effectively ended when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in Virginia. When Lincoln won the elections to become the 16th President of the United States (on the 6th of November 1860) South Carolina succeeded from the US taking control of all military weapons in the State. Soon several other southern states also succeeded and on the 4th of February 1861 Representatives from Alabama, Mississippi, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina met in Alabama and formed the Confederacy. The debate over the right to own slaves had been continuing and in the 1850’s the growing rift had split the democrat party into North, which generally believed that slavery should be abolished, and the South, who generally believed slavery should remain. These Southern States knew that republican Abraham Lincoln wanted to end slavery in the United States and they felt that this was an infringement of their rights. Civil war seemed inevitable and on the 12th of April 1861 the Confederate forces made their move by bombarding a Union controlled fort Sumter in Charleston Bay and starting the war. The war raged for four years with great victories on both sides, but by 1864 it became apparent that the South or Confederacy was being crushed by lack of resources. The North or Union had 22 million people, substantially more weapons and an industrialised economy, while the Confederacy had 9 million people (with almost half of them African American), fewer weapons and much less money on an economy mainly funded by the sale of cotton. The Confederacy believed however that as it would have to defend rather than attack, its soldiers would fight with greater vigour defending their homes. The lack of resources took its toll on the Confederacy and when the Union forces surrounded the majority of the Confederates in a siege that lasted ten months. When the Union Forces punctured the defences, General Lee retreated to the South with the Union forces in pursuit. Food was scarce for the Confederates and many men deserted along the journey. Lee’s remaining forces met with Union forces coming up from the South and Lee was left with no option. On this day in 1865 Confederate military leader, General Lee, surrendered to Union military leader General Grant and confederate soldiers were immediately given Union food rations. Some small pockets of resistance continued but for the most part the American civil war ended and the United States were once again united. More than half a million lives were lost in the civil war with the majority of losses to the Union Forces.