Today in History
Today is Saturday, April 8, the 98th day of 2017. There are 267 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 8, 1952, President Harry S. Truman seized the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike by steelworkers.)
On this date:
In 1820, the Venus de Milo statue was discovered by a farmer on the Greek island of Milos.
In 1864, the United States Senate passed, 38-6, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery. (The House of Representatives passed it in Jan. 1865; the amendment was ratified and adopted in Dec. 1865.)
In 1904, Longacre Square in Manhattan was renamed Times Square after The New York Times.
In 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for popular election of U.S. senators (as opposed to appointment by state legislatures), was ratified. President Woodrow Wilson became the first chief executive since John Adams to address Congress in person as he asked lawmakers to enact tariff reform.
In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act, which provided money for programs such as the Works Progress Administration.
In 1946, the League of Nations assembled in Geneva for its final session.
In 1961, a suspected bomb exploded aboard the passenger liner MV Dara in the Persian Gulf, causing it to sink; 238 of the 819 people aboard were killed.
In 1973, artist Pablo Picasso died in Mougins (MOO’-zhun), France, at age 91.
In 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking Babe Ruth’s record.
In 1987, Al Campanis, vice president of player personnel for the Los Angeles Dodgers, resigned after saying on ABC’s “Nightline” that blacks might lack some of the “necessities” for becoming baseball managers.
In 1990, Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance had gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18. The cult TV series “Twin Peaks” premiered on ABC.
In 1992, tennis great Arthur Ashe announced at a New York news conference that he had AIDS, having contracted the virus during a 1983 heart operation (Ashe died in Feb. 1993 of AIDS-related pneumonia at age 49).
Ten years ago: Powerful Shiite (SHEE’-eyet) cleric Muqtada al-Sadr (mook-TAH’-duh al SAH’-dur) ordered his militiamen to redouble their battle to oust American forces from Iraq and called on the country’s army and police to join him in defeating “your archenemy.” Zach Johnson won the Masters with a two-shot victory over Tiger Woods.
Five years ago: A U.N.-brokered plan to stop the bloodshed in Syria effectively collapsed after President Bashar Assad’s government raised new, last-minute demands that the country’s largest rebel group swiftly rejected. The U.S. and Afghanistan signed a deal giving Afghans authority over raids of Afghan homes, resolving one of the most contentious issues between the two wartime allies. Bubba Watson saved par from the pine straw and won the Masters on the second hole of a playoff over Louis Oosthuizen (WUHST’-hy-zen).
One year ago: In a sweeping document on family life that opened a door to divorced and civilly remarried Catholics, Pope Francis insisted that church doctrine could not be the final word in answering tricky moral questions and that Catholics had to be guided by their own informed consciences. Bruce Springsteen canceled a scheduled concert in Greensboro, North Carolina, citing the state’s new law blocking anti-discrimination rules covering the LGBT community. N.W.A. entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a ceremony at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center with 1970s-era rock acts Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple and Steve Miller.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Shecky Greene is 91. Actor-turned-diplomat John Gavin is 86. Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh is 80. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is 79. Basketball Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek is 77. “Mouseketeer” Darlene Gillespie is 76. Rhythm-and-blues singer J.J. Jackson is 76. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 76. Songwriter-producer Leon Huff is 75. Actor Hywel Bennett is 73. Actor Stuart Pankin is 71. Rock musician Steve Howe is 70. Former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay is 70. Movie director John Madden is 68. Rock musician Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) is 66. Actor John Schneider is 57. “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch is 56. Rock musician Izzy Stradlin is 55. Singer Julian Lennon is 54. Actor Dean Norris is 54. Rock singer-musician Donita Sparks is 54. Rapper Biz Markie is 53. Actress Robin Wright is 51. Actress Patricia Arquette is 49. Actor JR Bourne is 47. Rock singer Craig Honeycutt (Everything) is 47. Rock musician Darren Jessee is 46. Actress Emma Caulfield is 44. Actress Katee Sackhoff is 37. Actor Taylor Kitsch is 36. Rock singer-musician Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend) is 33. Actor Taran Noah Smith is 33. Actress Kirsten Storms is 33. Rock musician Jamie Sierota (Echosmith) is 24. Actress Sadie Calvano is 20.
Thought for Today: “A highbrow is a person educated beyond his intelligence.” — James Brander Matthews, American author and educator (1852-1929).
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