On This Day, April 19th
1. 1964: Mario Andretti competes in his First Indy Car event.
On this day one of the most decorated and accomplished race car drivers in the world, Mario Andretti, makes his Indy Car debut at a track outside of Trenton New Jersey finishing in 11th place. Andretti has a resume that no other driver can compete with, he is the only driver to win a Formula 1 championship, Indianapolis 500, Daytona 500, The 24hr race at Daytona, the 12hr race at Sebring, The U.S. Nationals. He even pulled off a win at the infamous Pikes Peak race so there is literally nothing this man can’t drive. The whole Andretti Family is known for being great drivers, both sons Michael and Jeff competed in Indy car racing as well as his nephew John. In 1991 all four Andretti’s competed on the same Indy car circuit becoming the first family to compete in motorsports. Mario went on to retire in 1993 with 52 Indycar wins under his belt.
2. 1995: The Oklahoma City bombing shocks the United States
Today was the day that Timothy McVeigh parked a box truck full of explosives in the parking garage of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. McVeigh then detonated the bomb that destroyed the whole front of the building killing as many as 187 people, including 19 children that attended a day car center in the building, as well as leaving many more injured. The building housed the Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) as well as many other agencies. McVeigh used a diesel fuel- fertilizer bomb that was incredibly powerful and was fairly easy to acquire the materials needed to make. On June 11th, 2001 Timothy McViegh was put to death via lethal injection, this was the first time a Federal Prisoner had received the death penalty since 1963
3. 1897: The first running of the Boston Marathon
Inspired by the Marathon that was ran at the first modern Olympic Games 1896, John Graham the U.S. Olympic team manager and Boston businessman Herbert H. Holton decided to put together a running race that would take place in the City of Boston. They decided to use a route that would start at the Irvignton Oval and end 24.5 miles away at Metcalf’s Mill in Ashland. On this day John J McDermont won the very first running of Boston Marathon with a time of 2:55:10. The race would continua to be ran every year on Patriot’s day which was the 19th of April, but later in 1969 Patriots day was moved to be on the third Monday in April and since then the race has been held on that day. In 1908 the distance was changed to 26 miles to match what was being ran in the Olympics. Women were not allowed to compete in the marathon until 1971 but that didn’t stop multiple females from attempting to run the race. In 1966 Roberta Gibb hid in some bushes as the race began and once the major crowd of people took off to begin the grueling 26 mile race, Gibb jumped in and started running also. She was able to finish the race before anyone found out she was a woman. The first female to win the Boston Marathon was Nina Kuscsik in 1972.