April 18: Thirty years ago today, the fledgling nation once known as Rhodesia declared its independence, two months after landslide elections put Robert Mugabe in power in Zimbabwe. Mugabe still holds power three decades later in one of the most desperate countries in the world, and it may take another revolution to oust him.
Mark Twain, R.I.P.
April 21: On this day 100 years ago, American literary legend Mark Twain died at his New England home from a heart attack. This year, Twain enthusiasts will also be celebrating the 175th anniversary of his birth and the 125th anniversary of the publication of Huckleberry Finn.
April 22: The 40th celebration of Earth Day caps a year marked by scandal among global warming scientists and a backlash against green. Meteorologists are the latest enviro-skeptics: One-third say global warming is caused mostly by human activities, while two-thirds say it is caused mostly by natural changes in the environment.
Happy Birthday, Hubble
April 24: Having completed its final repair mission, the Hubble Space Telescope celebrates its 20th birthday in a sort of sudden-death overtime. Scientists are racing to photograph distant galaxies before an equipment failure renders the satellite inoperative. Its successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, will be launched no earlier than June 2014.
Internet Evangelism Day
April 26: The Roman Road meets the information superhighway. An umbrella group of Christian organizations declared this a day for churches, other Christian organizations, and laymen to learn a few techniques to use the internet to aid in spreading the gospel. Not included: How to win a flame war with an atheist in the comments section of a blog.
April 30: In a move that hints at potential presidential aspirations, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania will keynote the Cheshire County Republican Lincoln Day Dinner in Keene, N.H. The Granite State traditionally holds the first GOP presidential primary and is considered important for building momentum toward a nomination. Santorum lost his Senate seat in 2006 when Democrat Bob Casey Jr. defeated him in a reelection bid.
May 1: Want to do your part to ease the nation's deficit? One Census Bureau official noted that mailing census forms back should save the federal government millions. Today, nearly 650,000 census recorders will hit the streets to find individuals who didn't respond by mail. For every 1 percent that did respond by mail, it saves taxpayers about $85 million in cost.