Today in History: April 26

French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain sits in court as his trial opened in Paris, France on July 23, 1945.  (AP Photo/Carroll)

In 1945, Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, the head of France’s Vichy government during World War II, was arrested. In this photo, Petain sits in court as his trial opened in Paris, France. (AP Photo/Carroll) (ASSOCIATED PRESS/PETER J. CARROLL)

FILE In this 1986 photo, a Chernobyl nuclear power plant worker holding a dosimeter to measure radiation level is seen against the background of a sarcophagus under construction over the 4th destroyed reactor, Ukraine. On May 12, 1986, more than two weeks after the explosion, the leading Soviet daily newspaper Pravda published its first photograph from the site for the first time, shot three days earlier from a helicopter.  The Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion was only about 60 miles from photographer Efrem Lukatsky's  home, but he didn’t learn about it until the next morning from a neighbor. Only a few photographers were allowed to cover the destroyed reactor and desperate cleanup efforts, and all of them paid for it with their health. I went a few months later, and have returned dozens of times. (AP Photo/Volodymyr Repik)

Also in 1986, a major accident occurred at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union) as an explosion and fire caused radioactive fallout to begin spewing into the atmosphere over much of Europe, forcing hundreds of thousands from their homes in the most heavily hit areas. In this file photo, a Chernobyl nuclear power plant worker holding a dosimeter to measure radiation level is seen against the background of a sarcophagus under construction over the 4th destroyed reactor. (AP Photo/Volodymyr Repik) (AP/Volodymyr Repik)

In 1994, voting began in South Africa’s first all-race elections, resulting in victory for the African National Congress and the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president. In this 1993 photo, an elderly woman is instructed on voting procedures during a mock election day at Kwakwatsi, South Africa. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell) (Associated Press/Denis Farrell)
Dancers at Studio 54, the legendary New York disco, in 1978. (AP)
In 1977, the legendary nightclub Studio 54 had its opening night in New York. Disco dancers at the latest “in” place, Studio 54 in New York, gyrate to the disco beat, Nov. 1978. The club, which opened eight months ago, is a former television studio. (AP Photo) (AP)
FILE - This April 17, 2006 file photo shows lighthouses at Cape Henry Memorial Park in Virginia Beach, Va. The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, left, was built by the government in 1792. The effort to fix up the Cape Henry Lighthouse is projected to begin in the fall of 2018. Will Glasco is director of development for Preservation Virginia, the nonprofit that has owned and operated the eight-sided lighthouse since 1930. He says the restoration will involve erosion stabilization, a concrete platform to protect the lighthouse's base and new interpretive signs. The effort is a joint project between Preservation Virginia and the city.   (Jim Walker/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
In 1607, English colonists went ashore at present-day Cape Henry, Virginia, on an expedition to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere. FILE – This April 17, 2006 file photo shows lighthouses at Cape Henry Memorial Park in Virginia Beach, Va. The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, left, was built by the government in 1792. The effort to fix up the Cape Henry Lighthouse is projected to begin in the fall of 2018. Will Glasco is director of development for Preservation Virginia, the nonprofit that has owned and operated the eight-sided lighthouse since 1930. He says the restoration will involve erosion stabilization, a concrete platform to protect the lighthouse’s base and new interpretive signs. The effort is a joint project between Preservation Virginia and the city. (Jim Walker/The Virginian-Pilot via AP) (AP/Jim Walker)
A large photograph depicting President Abraham Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth is displayed at a new exhibit entitled "Silent Witnesses: Artifacts of the Lincoln Assassination" Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at the Ford's Center for Education and Leadership across the street from the historic Ford's Theatre, in Washington. The exhibit is open to the public March 23rd to May 25th and coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination on April 14th. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, was surrounded by federal troops near Port Royal, Virginia, and killed. A large photograph depicting President Abraham Lincoln’s assassin John Wilkes Booth is displayed at a new exhibit entitled “Silent Witnesses: Artifacts of the Lincoln Assassination” Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at the Ford’s Center for Education and Leadership across the street from the historic Ford’s Theatre, in Washington. The exhibit is open to the public March 23rd to May 25th and coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination on April 14th. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (AP)
FILE - In this May 1987 file photo, actress and comic legend Lucille Ball is shown. A bronze sculpture of Ball displayed in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in the village of Celoron, N.Y. , has been criticized because they say it bears little or no likeness to the popular 1950s sitcom actress and comedian. Village officials say they want the sculptor to fix it for free, but the artist wants as much as $10,000 to alter the statue. So the village has started a fundraising effort to pay for the sculpture's makeover. (AP Photo, File)
In 1989, actress-comedian Lucille Ball died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at age 77. FILE – In this May 1987 file photo, actress and comic legend Lucille Ball is shown. A bronze sculpture of Ball displayed in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in the village of Celoron, N.Y. , has been criticized because they say it bears little or no likeness to the popular 1950s sitcom actress and comedian. Village officials say they want the sculptor to fix it for free, but the artist wants as much as $10,000 to alter the statue. So the village has started a fundraising effort to pay for the sculpture’s makeover. (AP Photo, File) (AP)
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French Marshal Henri Philippe Petain sits in court as his trial opened in Paris, France on July 23, 1945.  (AP Photo/Carroll)
FILE In this 1986 photo, a Chernobyl nuclear power plant worker holding a dosimeter to measure radiation level is seen against the background of a sarcophagus under construction over the 4th destroyed reactor, Ukraine. On May 12, 1986, more than two weeks after the explosion, the leading Soviet daily newspaper Pravda published its first photograph from the site for the first time, shot three days earlier from a helicopter.  The Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion was only about 60 miles from photographer Efrem Lukatsky's  home, but he didn’t learn about it until the next morning from a neighbor. Only a few photographers were allowed to cover the destroyed reactor and desperate cleanup efforts, and all of them paid for it with their health. I went a few months later, and have returned dozens of times. (AP Photo/Volodymyr Repik)
Dancers at Studio 54, the legendary New York disco, in 1978. (AP)
FILE - This April 17, 2006 file photo shows lighthouses at Cape Henry Memorial Park in Virginia Beach, Va. The Old Cape Henry Lighthouse, left, was built by the government in 1792. The effort to fix up the Cape Henry Lighthouse is projected to begin in the fall of 2018. Will Glasco is director of development for Preservation Virginia, the nonprofit that has owned and operated the eight-sided lighthouse since 1930. He says the restoration will involve erosion stabilization, a concrete platform to protect the lighthouse's base and new interpretive signs. The effort is a joint project between Preservation Virginia and the city.   (Jim Walker/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)
A large photograph depicting President Abraham Lincoln's assassin John Wilkes Booth is displayed at a new exhibit entitled "Silent Witnesses: Artifacts of the Lincoln Assassination" Tuesday, March 17, 2015 at the Ford's Center for Education and Leadership across the street from the historic Ford's Theatre, in Washington. The exhibit is open to the public March 23rd to May 25th and coincides with the 150th anniversary of the Lincoln assassination on April 14th. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
FILE - In this May 1987 file photo, actress and comic legend Lucille Ball is shown. A bronze sculpture of Ball displayed in Lucille Ball Memorial Park in the village of Celoron, N.Y. , has been criticized because they say it bears little or no likeness to the popular 1950s sitcom actress and comedian. Village officials say they want the sculptor to fix it for free, but the artist wants as much as $10,000 to alter the statue. So the village has started a fundraising effort to pay for the sculpture's makeover. (AP Photo, File)

Today is Friday, April 26, the 116th day of 2019.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, was surrounded by federal troops near Port Royal, Virginia, and killed.

On this date:

In 1564, William Shakespeare was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.

In 1607, English colonists went ashore at present-day Cape Henry, Virginia, on an expedition to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere.

In 1777, during the American Revolutionary War, 16-year-old Sybil Ludington, the daughter of a militia commander in Dutchess County, New York, rode her horse into the night to alert her father’s men of the approach of British regular troops.

In 1933, Nazi Germany’s infamous secret police, the Gestapo, was created.

In 1945, Marshal Henri Philippe Petain (ahn-REE’ fee-LEEP’ pay-TAN’), the head of France’s Vichy government during World War II, was arrested.

In 1968, the United States exploded beneath the Nevada desert a 1.3 megaton nuclear device called “Boxcar.”

In 1977, the legendary nightclub Studio 54 had its opening night in New York.

In 1986, an explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine caused radioactive fallout to begin spewing into the atmosphere. (Dozens of people were killed in the immediate aftermath of the disaster while the long-term death toll from radiation poisoning is believed to number in the thousands.)

In 1989, actress-comedian Lucille Ball died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at age 77.

In 1994, voting began in South Africa’s first all-race elections, resulting in victory for the African National Congress and the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president. China Airlines Flight 140, a Taiwanese Airbus A-300, crashed while landing in Nagoya, Japan, killing 264 people; there were seven survivors.

In 2006, Whitney Cerak and Laura Van Ryn, two students at Indiana’s Taylor University, were involved in a van-truck collision that killed five people; in a tragic mix-up that took five weeks to resolve, a seriously injured and comatose Cerak was mistakenly identified as Van Ryn, who had actually died in the crash and was buried by Cerak’s family.

In 2008, police in Amstetten, Austria, arrested Josef Fritzl, freeing his daughter Elisabeth and her six surviving children whom he had fathered while holding her captive in a basement cell for 24 years. (Fritzl was later sentenced to life in a psychiatric ward.)

Ten years ago: The United States declared a public health emergency as more possible cases of swine flu surfaced from Canada to New Zealand; officials in Mexico City closed everything from concerts to sports matches to churches in an effort to stem the spread of the virus. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made an unannounced visit to Lebanon, where she met with President Michel Suleiman.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama opened the first visit by a U.S. president in nearly half a century to Malaysia, the third stop on his weeklong goodwill trip through Asia. A British helicopter crashed in southern Afghanistan, killing five NATO troops.

One year ago: Bill Cosby was convicted of drugging and molesting Temple University employee Andrea Constand at his suburban Philadelphia mansion in 2004; it was the first big celebrity trial of the (hash)MeToo era and completed the spectacular downfall of a comedian who broke racial barriers on his way to TV superstardom. (Cosby was later sentenced to three to 10 years in prison.) Mike Pompeo was sworn in as secretary of state, minutes after being confirmed by the Senate; he then flew immediately to Brussels for meetings at NATO headquarters. President Donald Trump’s White House doctor, Ronny Jackson, withdrew his nomination to be Veterans Affairs secretary in the face of accusations of misconduct. Teachers in Arizona and Colorado converged on state capitols as they launched widespread walkouts in a bid for better pay and education funding. Four quarterbacks were chosen in the first 10 selections in the NFL draft, with the Cleveland Browns grabbing Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield out of Oklahoma.

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

© 2019 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.

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