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April Archival Highlights

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Timeless Clips for Your New Stories

Explore historical stock videos for April events as we surface archival gems from our vast editorial library—uncovering top-quality, timely inspiration for your marketing calendars, news, or documentary projects. This month, we dive into Nunavut, NATO, bananas (yes, bananas), Apollo 13, and the Manhattan Project.

 

Creation of Nunavut

April 1, 1999

Canada carved out 2 million square kilometers of the Northwest Territories for a third autonomous territory called Nunavut. The name means “our land” in the Inuktitut language, and approximately 85% of the estimated 33,300 inhabitants are Inuit.

Resource exploration soared in the 1970s, and the Inuit people were concerned with the possibility of losing their traditional way of life. So, in 1992, the Inuit of the eastern Arctic agreed with the Canadian government to create a new territory, recognizing their distinct cultural and social identity. Nunavut has 28 villages or communities, including the capital, Iqaluit.

Discover more of this fascinating world with our Nunavut stock media collection.

1922 – In this silent documentary, an Inuit family brings meat and belongings into their igloo by retrofootage.

 

NATO pact signed

April 4, 1949

The U.S. and 11 other nations established the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, a mutual defense pact against Russian aggression. Relations between Russia and the U.S. had become increasingly strained after WWII. In June 1948, the Soviets blocked all ground travel to the American-occupied zone in West Berlin, and only a massive U.S. airlift of essentials sustained the zone’s population for almost a year.
In 1949, Truman warned the public of a dangerous struggle between democracy and communism. He called for a North Atlantic defensive alliance, and Western signatories agreed that an attack on one meant an attack on all.

Learn more about this significant development in world history with our NATO collection.

NATO Member State Representatives At First Summit Conference – 1957 Video by GovernmentFootage.

 

Bananas Debut in London

April 10, 1633

Apothecary Snow Hill was London’s first shop to display this vibrant, oddly shaped fruit. It likely stood out against a monotonous backdrop of neutral dried herbs and glass bottles, causing a big stir in town.

Thomas Johnson, merchant and herbalist, described the fruit as green, with the “bigness of a large bean,” and shared that “if you turn them up, they look like a boat”. Johnson described the experience of eating it as: “The husk is easily removed. The pulp is white, soft and tender and ate somewhat like a musk melon.” Now, here’s a caveat: Their unripe arrival after an unrefrigerated journey has prompted speculation that these were, in fact, plantains. Either way, the wide-eyed Londoners had no way of knowing.

You, too, can see the fruit in a new light with a visit to our Bananas curated collection.

1920S – Bananas Grow On Plantations In Hot Climates And Are Shipped To Be Sold Video by retrofootage

 

Apollo Launches to the Moon

April 11, 1970

Apollo 13 embarked on its third lunar landing mission, carrying astronauts James A. Lovell, John L. Swigert, and Fred W. Haise. However, on April 13, an explosion ruptured oxygen tank No. 2, jeopardizing the spacecraft’s oxygen supply, electricity, light, and water. Lovell informed mission control of the crisis with the famous words, “Houston, we’ve had a problem here.”

The crew shifted focus to returning to Earth in another craft, the Lunar Module (LM). However, survival was still not a done deal. The LM, usually a shuttle between the moon’s surface and the orbiting Command Module, only had enough power to support two people for 45 hours. Now, it needed to hold three for 90. The astronauts worked with inadequate navigation and CO2 removal capabilities, enduring freezing temperatures and severe water rations while they navigated over 200,000 space miles. They eventually splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean on April 17, 1970.

Relive this dramatic saga in our Apollo 13 stock media collection.

1970-Apollo 13 / Rocket Launch / Usa / 1970 Video by TheArchivalCollection

 

Truman Briefed on the Manhattan Project

April 24, 1945

The Manhattan Project, started under President Franklin Roosevelt, aimed to develop the world’s first atomic bomb. Truman heard of this when he became President, landing him squarely in the depths of a classified endeavor with global ramifications. His diary entry on the night of the briefing reflected the gravity of the situation, as he recalled being told about the U.S. perfecting an explosive with the potential to destroy the entire world.

Grappling with complexities and implications, Truman gave Secretary of War Stimson a handwritten order to release the bomb sometime later. The first bomb was dropped over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, followed by Nagasaki on August 9. Truman became known as the only world leader to have authorized the use of an atomic bomb in warfare, a decision still under historical debate and scrutiny.

Find more history revealed in our Manhattan Project curated collection.

1950 – President Truman Holds A Press Conference About The Atomic Bomb, Having Video by retrofootage

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