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Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, April 6, the 96th day of 2017. There are 269 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 6, 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.

On this date:

In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith in Fayette, New York.

In 1886, the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia, was incorporated.

In 1896, the first modern Olympic games formally opened in Athens, Greece.

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

In 1947, the first Tony Awards were held in New York; this event, focusing on individual achievement rather than specific works, honored Ingrid Bergman, Helen Hayes, Jose Ferrer, Fredric March and playwright Arthur Miller, among others.

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 1965, the United States launched Intelsat I, also known as the “Early Bird” communications satellite, into geosynchronous orbit.

In 1971, Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky, 88, died in New York City.

In 1980, 3M introduced its “Post-it Notes,” a re-branding of a product formerly known as “Press ‘n Peel.”

In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled a Nebraska farmer had been entrapped by postal agents into buying mail-order child pornography. The four-year siege of Sarajevo by Bosnian Serb forces began. Science-fiction author Isaac Asimov died in New York at age 72.

In 1998, country singer Tammy Wynette died at her Nashville home at age 55.

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

Ten years ago: British sailors and marines back home after being freed by Iran said they were blindfolded, isolated in cold stone cells and tricked into fearing execution while being coerced into falsely saying they had entered Iranian waters. A suicide bomber smashed a truck loaded with TNT and toxic chlorine gas into a police checkpoint in Ramadi, Iraq, killing 27 people.

Five 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.

One year ago: A federal judge in Charleston, West Virginia, sentenced former coal executive Don Blankenship to a year in prison for his role in the 2010 Upper Big Branch Mine explosion that killed 29 men in America’s deadliest mining disaster in four decades; Blankenship maintained that he had committed no crime. Country giant Merle Haggard died in Palo Cedro, California, on his 79th birthday.

Today’s Birthdays: Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson is 89. Composer-conductor Andre Previn is 88. Actor Billy Dee Williams is 80. Actor Roy Thinnes is 79. Movie director Barry Levinson is 75. Actor John Ratzenberger is 70. Actress Patrika Darbo is 69. Baseball Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven is 66. Actress Marilu Henner is 65. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Janet Lynn is 64. Actor Michael Rooker is 62. Former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is 61. Rock musician Warren Haynes is 57. Rock singer-musician Frank Black is 52. Actress Ari Meyers is 48. Actor Paul Rudd is 48. Actor-producer Jason Hervey is 45. Rock musician Markku Lappalainen (mar-KOO’ lap-uh-LAN’-en) is 44. Actor Zach Braff is 42. Actor Joel Garland is 42. Actress Candace Cameron Bure (buhr-RAY’) is 41. Actor Teddy Sears is 40. Jazz and rhythm-and-blues musician Robert Glasper is 39. Actress Eliza Coupe is 36. Folk singer-musician Kenneth Pattengale (Milk Carton Kids) is 35. Actor Bret Harrison is 35. Actor Charlie McDermott is 27.

Thought for Today: “To be really cosmopolitan, a man must be at home even in his own country.” — Thomas Wentworth Higginson, American clergyman-author (1823-1911).

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