On this day, April 30, 1870, approximately 150 Pinal and Aravaipa Apaches (including 142 women and children) were massacred by six Americans, 48 Mexicans, and 92 O'odham. The Native Americans had been camped at Aravaipa Creek, 5 miles east of Camp Grant (Arizona).
The Aravaipa Creek camp was a peaceful encampment of Native Americans who lived symbiotically with the soldiers at Camp Grant, mainly because of the leadership of Lt. Royal Emerson Whitman and Chief Eskiminzin. Unfortunately, European-American settlers took issue with the presence of the Native Americans and organized the massacre. Its was well-known that William S. Oury and Jesús María Elías planned the massacre, so President Grant demanded indictments. Two months later, the jury deliberated for 19 minutes and to pronounced a verdict of not guilty for each of the 100 assailants who had been charged with 108 counts of murder.
On this day, April 28, 1952, the Treaty of San Francisco came into force (after having been signed September 8, 1951).
The treaty officially ended World War II (six years after combat!!), allocated compensation to Allied civilians and former prisoners of war who had suffered Japanese war crimes, ended the Allies' military occupation, and return sovereignty to Japan. It is the first notable treaty to make extensive use of the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
By Article 11 Japan accepted the judgments of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East and of other Allied War Crimes Courts both within and outside Japan and agreed to carry out the sentences imposed thereby upon Japanese nationals imprisoned in Japan.
On this day, April 26, 1937, Guernica (Gernika) is bombed during the Spanish Civil War by German Luftwaffe. There was no military value to the bombing and the event is known as the one of the first raids on a defenseless civilian population by a modern air force. The massacre was immortalized in Pablo Picasso's "Mural del Gernika" as well as René Iché's sculpture "Gernika."
On this day, April 25, 1945, Fifty nations gather in San Francisco, California to begin the United Nations Conference on International Organization.
On this day, April 24, 1916, The Easter Rising, also known as the Éirí Amach na Cásca, began in Dublin, Ireland (Baile Átha Cliath, Eire). Members of the Irish Volunteers — led by schoolmaster and Irish language activist Patrick Pearse, joined by the smaller Irish Citizen Army of James Connolly, along with 200 members of Cumann na mBan — seized key locations in Dublin and proclaimed the Irish Republic independent of the United Kingdom.
A total of 3,430 men and 79 women were arrested, although most were subsequently released. In a series of courts martial, 90 people were sentenced to death. Fifteen of those (including all seven signatories of the Proclamation of 1916) were executed at Kilmainham Gaol by firing squad (among them the seriously wounded James Connolly who was shot while tied to a chair due to his shattered ankle).
Thomas E. Keefe
Assistant Professor of Humanities,