This Week in History (4/17)


“New Coke” advertisements that were promoted in 1985. (Image courtesy of Todd Gipstein / Corbis via Getty Images file)

Ryan Rose, Co-Editor

April 17th, 1982

Canada gained independence from Great Britain under the Canada Act, which effectively deemed Canada a sovereign state. The act is also known as the Constitution Act as it defined the rights of Canadian citizens.

April 18th, 1775

Paul Revere’s infamously took his ride through the Boston area to warn Massachusetts Bay Colony colonists of the incoming British attacks. The American Revolution officially started the next day with the Battles of Lexington and Concord.

April 19th, 1927

Actress Mae West was arrested for obscenity and “corrupting the morals of youth” in the play that she wrote and starred in on Broadway, Sex. The actress starred as a prostitute who fell in love with an English naval officer; this greatly upset the conservatives of the time.

April 20th, 1999

Two students of Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado,  killed 13 students and faculty members at their school before killing themselves. The tragedy was met with calls for gun control.

April 21st, 1789

John Adams was sworn in as vice president of the United States, oddly 9 days before George Washington would be sworn in as the first president. This means that the United States had a vice president before it ever had a president.

April 22nd, 1970

The United States celebrated the first national Earth Day. The day was intended to promote the growing environmentalist movement and is now celebrated internationally.

April 23rd, 1985

The Coca-Cola Company announced that they were rebranding and would be replacing their original beverage, Coca-Cola, with a reformulated version of the drink, “New Coke.” This was met with mass outrage and eventually the company brought back the original flavor as “Coca-Cola Classic.”