Today in History: April 6, first modern Olympics begin

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, April 6, the 96th day of 2022. There are 269 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 6, 1896, the first modern Olympic games formally opened in Athens, Greece.

On this date:

In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Shiloh began in Tennessee as Confederate forces launched a surprise attack against Union troops, who beat back the Confederates the next day.

In 1864, Louisiana opened a convention in New Orleans to draft a new state constitution, one that called for the abolition of slavery.

In 1909, American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson and four Inuits became the first men to reach the North Pole.

In 1917, the United States entered World War I as the House joined the Senate in approving a declaration of war against Germany that was then signed by President Woodrow Wilson.

In 1943, “Le Petit Prince” (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was first published by Reynal & Hitchcock of New York.

In 1945, during World War II, the Japanese warship Yamato and nine other vessels sailed on a suicide mission to attack the U.S. fleet off Okinawa; the fleet was intercepted the next day.

In 1954, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., responding to CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow’s broadside against him on “See It Now,” said in remarks filmed for the program that Murrow had, in the past, “engaged in propaganda for Communist causes.”

In 1968, 41 people were killed by two consecutive natural gas explosions at a sporting goods store in downtown Richmond, Indiana.

In 1974, Swedish pop group ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest held in Brighton, England, with a performance of the song “Waterloo.”

In 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, speaking at a private fundraiser in San Francisco, spoke of voters in Pennsylvania’s Rust Belt communities who “cling to guns or religion” because of bitterness about their economic lot; Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton seized on the comment, calling it “elitist.”

In 2014, legendary Hollywood actor Mickey Rooney, 93, died in North Hollywood.

In 2020, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was transferred to the intensive care unit of a London hospital where he was being treated for COVID-19, after his condition deteriorated.

Ten years ago: Five Black people were shot, three fatally, in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Jake England and Alvin Watts, who admitted targeting the victims because of race, pleaded guilty to murder, and were sentenced to life in prison without parole. A Navy F18 Hornet jet whose pilots were forced to eject crashed in a spectacular fireball into a big apartment complex in Virginia Beach, Virginia; miraculously, no one died. Fang Lizhi (fahng lee-juhr), 76, who was one of China’s best-known dissidents, died in Tucson, Arizona. Painter Thomas Kinkade, 54, died in Monte Sereno, California.

Five years ago: President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) opened a two-day summit at Trump’s Florida beach resort. Don Rickles, the big-mouthed, bald-headed “Mr. Warmth” whose verbal assaults endeared him to audiences and peers and made him the acknowledged grandmaster of insult comedy, died at his Beverly Hills home at age 90.

One year ago: Moving up his deadline by about two weeks, President Joe Biden said every adult in the U.S. would be eligible for a coronavirus vaccination by April 19. Major League Baseball announced that the All-Star Game would be played at Coors Field in Denver; the game had been pulled from Atlanta because of objections to changes in Georgia’s voting laws.

Today’s Birthdays: Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson is 94. Actor Billy Dee Williams is 85. Actor Roy Thinnes is 84. Movie director Barry Levinson is 80. Actor John Ratzenberger is 75. Actor Patrika Darbo is 74. Baseball Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven is 71. Actor Marilu Henner is 70. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Janet Lynn is 69. Actor Michael Rooker is 67. Former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is 66. Rock musician Warren Haynes is 62. Rock singer-musician Black Francis is 57. Actor Ari Meyers is 53. Actor Paul Rudd is 53. Actor-producer Jason Hervey is 50. Actor Zach Braff is 47. Actor Joel Garland is 47. Actor Candace Cameron Bure (buhr-RAY’) is 46. Actor Teddy Sears is 45. Jazz and R&B musician Robert Glasper is 44. Actor Eliza Coupe is 41. Folk singer-musician Kenneth Pattengale (Milk Carton Kids) is 40. Actor Bret Harrison is 40. Actor Charlie McDermott is 32.

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