Today in History: April 13, Apollo 13 damaged by explosion

Today in History

Today is Thursday, April 13, the 103rd day of 2023. There are 262 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 13, 1970, Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. (The astronauts managed to return safely.)

On this date:

In 1743, the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was born in Shadwell in the Virginia Colony.

In 1861, at the start of the Civil War, Fort Sumter in South Carolina fell to Confederate forces.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of the third American president’s birth.

In 1953, “Casino Royale,” Ian Fleming’s first book as well as the first James Bond novel, was published in London by Jonathan Cape Ltd.

In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first Black performer in a leading role to win an Academy Award for his performance in “Lilies of the Field.”

In 1997, Tiger Woods became the youngest person to win the Masters Tournament and the first player of partly African heritage to claim a major golf title.

In 1999, right-to-die advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian was sentenced in Pontiac, Michigan, to 10 to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder in the lethal injection of a Lou Gehrig’s disease patient. (Kevorkian ended up serving eight years.)

In 2005, a defiant Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to carrying out the deadly bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and three other attacks in back-to-back court appearances in Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta.

In 2009, music producer Phil Spector was found guilty by a Los Angeles jury of second-degree murder in the shooting of actor Lana Clarkson (he was later sentenced to 19 years to life in prison; he died in prison in January 2021).

In 2011, A federal jury in San Francisco convicted baseball slugger Barry Bonds of a single charge of obstruction of justice, but failed to reach a verdict on the three counts at the heart of allegations that he’d knowingly used steroids and human growth hormone and lied to a grand jury about it. (Bonds’ conviction for obstruction was ultimately overturned.)

In 2016, the Golden State Warriors became the NBA’s first 73-win team by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104, breaking the 1996 72-win record of the Chicago Bulls. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers scored 60 points in his final game, wrapping up 20 years in the NBA.

In 2020, Charles Thacker Jr., a crew member on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, died at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam, becoming the first active-duty military member to die from the coronavirus.

Ten years ago: Francine Wheeler, the mother of a 6-year-old boy killed in the Connecticut school shooting, used the opportunity to fill in for President Barack Obama during his weekly radio and Internet address to make a personal plea from the White House for action to combat gun violence. All 108 passengers and crew survived after a new Lion Air Boeing 737 crashed into the ocean and snapped in two while attempting to land on the Indonesian resort island of Bali. Hundreds of opponents of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher partied in London’s Trafalgar Square to celebrate her death, sipping champagne and chanting, “Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead.”

Five years ago: President Donald Trump announced that the United States, France and Britain had carried out joint airstrikes in Syria meant to punish President Bashar Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons. Trump issued a pardon to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, suggesting that the former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney had been “treated unfairly” by a special counsel. Responding to a stinging new memoir from former FBI Director James Comey, Trump laced into Comey, describing him as an “untruthful slime ball.”

One year ago: Frank James, a 62-year-old man accused of shooting and wounding 10 people on a Brooklyn subway train was arrested about 30 hours later and charged with a federal terrorism offense after calling police to come get him. (James would plead guilty months later.) The presidents of Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, four countries on Russia’s doorstep, visited Ukraine and underscored their support for the embattled country, where they saw heavily damaged buildings and demanded accountability for what they called war crimes carried out by Russian forces.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., is 90. Actor Edward Fox is 86. R&B singer Lester Chambers is 83. Movie-TV composer Bill Conti is 81. Rock musician Jack Casady is 79. Singer Al Green is 77. Actor Ron Perlman is 73. Actor William Sadler is 73. Singer Peabo Bryson is 72. Bandleader/rock musician Max Weinberg is 72. Bluegrass singer-musician Sam Bush is 71. Rock musician Jimmy Destri (Blondie) is 69. Comedian Gary Kroeger is 66. Actor Saundra Santiago is 66. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa., is 63. Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is 60. Actor Page Hannah is 59. Actor-comedian Caroline Rhea (RAY) is 59. Rock musician Marc Ford (The Black Crowes) is 57. Reggae singer Capleton is 56. Actor Ricky Schroder is 53. Rock singer Aaron Lewis (Staind) is 51. Actor Bokeem Woodbine is 50. Singer Lou Bega is 48. Actor-producer Glenn Howerton is 47. Actor Kyle Howard is 45. Actor Kelli Giddish is 43. Actor Courtney Peldon is 42. Pop singer Nellie McKay (mih-KY’) is 41. Rapper/singer Ty Dolla $ign is 41. Actor Allison Williams is 35. Actor Hannah Marks is 30.

Copyright © 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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