Today in History
Today is Tuesday, April 19, the 109th day of 2022. There are 256 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 19, 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.
On this date:
In 1865, a funeral was held at the White House for President Abraham Lincoln, assassinated five days earlier; his coffin was then taken to the U.S. Capitol for a private memorial service in the Rotunda.
In 1897, the first Boston Marathon was held; winner John J. McDermott ran the course in two hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds.
In 1912, a special subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee opened hearings in New York into the Titanic disaster.
In 1943, during World War II, tens of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but ultimately futile battle against Nazi forces.
In 1977, the Supreme Court, in Ingraham v. Wright, ruled 5-4 that even severe spanking of schoolchildren by faculty members did not violate the Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment.
In 1989, 47 sailors were killed when a gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa in the Caribbean. (The Navy initially suspected that a dead crew member had deliberately sparked the blast, but later said there was no proof of that.)
In 1993, the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; about 80 people, including two dozen children and sect leader David Koresh, were killed.
In 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Bomber Timothy McVeigh, who prosecutors said had planned the attack as revenge for the Waco siege of two years earlier, was convicted of federal murder charges and executed in 2001.)
In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope in the first conclave of the new millennium; he took the name Benedict XVI.
In 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv), a 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings, was taken into custody after a manhunt that had left the city virtually paralyzed; his older brother and alleged accomplice, 26-year-old Tamerlan (TAM’-ehr-luhn), was killed earlier in a furious attempt to escape police.
In 2015, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man, died a week after suffering a spinal cord injury in the back of a Baltimore police van while he was handcuffed and shackled. (Six police officers were charged; three were acquitted and the city’s top prosecutor eventually dropped the three remaining cases.)
In 2018, Raul Castro turned over Cuba’s presidency to Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, the first non-Castro to hold Cuba’s top government office since the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro and his younger brother Raul.
Ten years ago: Republicans rammed an election-year, $46 billion tax cut for most of America’s employers through the House, ignoring a veto threat from President Barack Obama. (The measure went down to defeat in the Senate.) India announced the successful test launch of a new nuclear-capable missile. Levon Helm, drummer and singer for The Band, died in New York City at age 71.
Five years ago: Fox News Channel’s parent company fired Bill O’Reilly following an investigation into harassment allegations, bringing a stunning end to cable news’ most popular program. Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, 27, who was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder, hanged himself in his cell in a maximum-security prison in Massachusetts five days after being acquitted of murder charges in the shooting deaths of two men in Boston in 2012.
One year ago: Former Vice President Walter Mondale, a liberal icon who served as a Democratic senator from Minnesota and as Jimmy Carter’s vice president before losing one of the most lopsided presidential elections in the nation’s history to Republican Ronald Reagan in 1984, died at the age of 93. The D.C. medical examiner’s office ruled that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick, who was injured during the Jan. 6 insurrection, suffered a stroke and died from natural causes. NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter named Ingenuity took flight on Mars, rising 10 feet into the thin air above the dusty red surface to achieve the first powered flight by an aircraft on another planet.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Elinor Donahue is 85. Rock musician Alan Price (The Animals) is 80. Actor Tim Curry is 76. Pop singer Mark “Flo” Volman (The Turtles; Flo and Eddie) is 75. Actor Tony Plana is 70. Former tennis player Sue Barker is 66. Motorsports Hall of Famer Al Unser Jr. is 60. Actor Tom Wood is 59. Former recording executive Suge Knight is 57. Singer-songwriter Dar Williams is 55. Actor Kim Hawthorne (TV: “Greenleaf”) is 54. Actor Ashley Judd is 54. Singer Bekka Bramlett is 54. Latin pop singer Luis Miguel is 52. Actor Jennifer Esposito is 50. Actor Jennifer Taylor is 50. Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux (PAY’-roo) is 48. Actor James Franco is 44. Actor Kate Hudson is 43. Actor Hayden Christensen is 41. Actor Catalina Sandino Moreno is 41. Actor-comedian Ali Wong is 40. Actor Victoria Yeates is 39. Actor Kelen Coleman is 38. Actor Zack Conroy is 37. Roots rock musician Steve Johnson (Alabama Shakes) is 37. Actor Courtland Mead is 35. Retired tennis player Maria Sharapova is 35. NHL forward Patrik Laine is 34.
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