A glance again at historical past | Life and Leisure


Thursday, April 15, 2021

Today is Thursday, April 15, the 105th day of 2021. There are 260 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson, baseball’s first Black major league player, made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day at Ebbets Field. (The Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves, 5-3.)

On this date:

In 1452, artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci was born in or near the Tuscan town of Vinci.

In 1850, the city of San Francisco was incorporated.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died nine hours after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington; Andrew Johnson became the nation’s 17th president.

In 1892, General Electric Co., formed by the merger of the Edison Electric Light Co. and other firms, was incorporated in Schenectady, New York.

In 1912, the British luxury liner RMS Titanic foundered in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland more than 2 1/2 hours after hitting an iceberg; 1,514 people died, while less than half as many survived.

In 1945, during World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died on April 12, was buried at the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park, New York.

In 1989, 96 people died in a crush of soccer fans at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. Students in Beijing launched a series of pro-democracy protests; the demonstrations culminated in a government crackdown at Tiananmen Square.

In 1990, legendary film star Greta Garbo died in New York at age 84. The comedy sketch show “In Living Color” premiered on Fox TV.

In 1998, Pol Pot, the notorious leader of the Khmer Rouge, died at age 72, evading prosecution for the deaths of two million Cambodians.

In 2009, whipped up by conservative commentators and bloggers, tens of thousands of protesters staged “tea parties” around the country to tap into the collective angst stirred up by a bad economy, government spending and bailouts.

In 2013, two bombs made from pressure cookers exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line, killing two women and an 8-year-old boy and injuring more than 260. Suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev (TAM’-ehr-luhn tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) died in a shootout with police; his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv), was tried, convicted and sentenced to death.

In 2019, fire swept across the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral as the soaring Paris landmark underwent renovations; the blaze collapsed the cathedral’s spire and spread to one of its landmark rectangular towers, but fire officials said the church’s structure had been saved.

Ten years ago: The first of three days of tornadoes to strike the central and southern U.S. began; according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there were an estimated 177 twisters and at least 38 fatalities.

Five years ago: House Republicans departed Washington, having missed a deadline to pass their long-stalled budget in an embarrassment for House Speaker Paul Ryan. A North Korea missile launch meant to celebrate the birthday of the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung, apparently ended in failure.

One year ago: The government reported that the nation’s industrial output in March registered its biggest decline since the U.S. demobilized at the end of World War II as factories shut down amid the coronavirus epidemic. Best Buy became the latest national chain to announce massive furloughs, saying it would sideline about 51,000 hourly employees. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said residents would be required to wear face coverings any time they came into close contact with people outside their homes. California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the state would give $500 coronavirus relief payments to immigrants who were in the country illegally. The Treasury Department confirmed that, in an unprecedented move, President Donald Trump’s name would appear on the stimulus checks that the IRS would be sending to tens of millions of Americans.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Claudia Cardinale is 83. Author and politician Jeffrey Archer is 81. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 78. Actor Michael Tucci is 75. Actor Lois Chiles is 74. Writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is 74. Actor Amy Wright is 71. Columnist Heloise is 70. Actor Sam McMurray is 69. Actor-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 62. Bluegrass musician Jeff Parker is 60. Singer Samantha Fox is 55. Olympic gold, silver and bronze medal swimmer Dara Torres is 54. Rock musician Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) is 53. Actor Flex Alexander is 51. Actor Danny Pino is 47. Actor Douglas Spain is 47. Country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton is 43. Actor Luke Evans is 42. Rock musician Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) is 41. Rock musician Zach Carothers (Portugal. The Man) is 40. Actor-writer Seth Rogen is 39. Actor Alice Braga is 38. Americana singer-songwriter Margo Price is 38. Rock musician De’Mar Hamilton (Plain White T’s) is 37. Actor Samira Wiley is 34. Actor Leonie Elliott is 33. Actor Emma Watson is 31. Actor Maisie Williams is 24.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Today is Friday, April 16, the 106th day of 2021. There are 259 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 16, 2007, in one of America’s worst school attacks, a college senior killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech before taking his own life.

On this date:

In 1789, President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Virginia, for his inauguration in New York.

In 1862, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia.

In 1867, aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright was born in Millville, Indiana (his brother Orville was born five years later in Dayton, Ohio).

In 1912, American aviator Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel, leaving Dover, England, and arriving near Calais, France, in 59 minutes.

In 1945, a Soviet submarine in the Baltic Sea torpedoed and sank the MV Goya, which Germany was using to transport civilian refugees and wounded soldiers; it’s estimated that up to 7,000 people died.

In 1947, the cargo ship Grandcamp, carrying ammonium nitrate, blew up in the harbor in Texas City, Texas; a nearby ship, the High Flyer, which was carrying ammonium nitrate and sulfur, caught fire and exploded the following day; the blasts and fires killed nearly 600 people.

In 1962, New Orleans Archbishop Joseph Rummel excommunicated three local Roman Catholics for fighting racial integration of parochial schools. Bob Dylan debuted his song “Blowin’ in the Wind” at Gerde’s Folk City in New York.

In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in which the civil rights activist responded to a group of local clergymen who had criticized him for leading street protests; King defended his tactics, writing, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

In 1972, Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon with astronauts John W. Young, Charles M. Duke Jr. and Ken Mattingly on board.

In 1977, Alex Haley, author of the best-seller “Roots,” visited the Gambian village of Juffure, where, he believed, his ancestor Kunte Kinte was captured as a slave in 1767.

In 1996, Britain’s Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced they were in the process of divorcing.

In 2010, the U.S government accused Wall Street’s most powerful firm of fraud, saying Goldman Sachs & Co. had sold mortgage investments without telling buyers the securities were crafted with input from a client who was betting on them to fail. (In July 2010, Goldman agreed to pay $550 million in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but did not admit wrongdoing.)

Ten years ago: A Taliban sleeper agent walked into a meeting of NATO trainers and Afghan troops at Forward Operating Base Gamberi in the eastern Afghan province of Laghman and detonated a vest of explosives hidden underneath his uniform; six American troops, four Afghan soldiers and an interpreter were killed.

Five years ago: In an extraordinary gesture, Pope Francis brought 12 Syrian Muslims to Italy aboard his plane after an emotional visit to the Greek island of Lesbos, which was facing the brunt of Europe’s migration crisis. A magnitude 7.8 earthquake on Ecuador’s central coast near the town of Muisne (MWIHZ’-nee) killed more than 660 people.

One year ago: President Donald Trump gave governors a road map for easing coronavirus restrictions, laying out a “phased and deliberate approach” to restoring normal activity in places that had strong testing in place and were seeing a decrease in COVID-19 cases. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state would extend stay-at-home restrictions for at least another month. The Labor Department said the wave of layoffs that had engulfed the economy since the virus struck had caused another 5.2 million people to seek unemployment benefits, raising the total number of laid-off workers to 22 million; it was the worst run of U.S. job losses on record. The Trump administration gutted an Obama-era rule that compelled the country’s coal plants to cut back emissions of mercury and other human health hazards.

Today’s Birthdays: Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is 94. Singer Bobby Vinton is 86. Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II is 81. Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 74. Former Massachusetts first lady Ann Romney is 72. NFL coach Bill Belichick is 69. Rock singer and former politician Peter Garrett is 68. Actor Ellen Barkin is 67. Actor Michel Gill is 61. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is 59. Rock musician Jason Scheff (Chicago) is 59. Singer Jimmy Osmond is 58. Rock singer David Pirner (Soul Asylum) is 57. Actor-comedian Martin Lawrence is 56. Actor Jon Cryer is 56. Actor Peter Billingsley is 50. Actor Lukas Haas is 45. Actor-singer Kelli O’Hara is 45. Actor Claire Foy (TV: “The Crown”) is 37. Figure skater Mirai Nagasu is 28. Actor Sadie Sink is 19.

Saturday, April 17, 2021

Today is Saturday, April 17, the 107th day of 2021. There are 258 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 17, 1970, Apollo 13 astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise and Jack Swigert splashed down safely in the Pacific, four days after a ruptured oxygen tank crippled their spacecraft while en route to the moon.

On this date:

In 1492, a contract was signed by Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia.

In 1895, the Treaty of Shimonoseki ended the first Sino-Japanese War.

In 1905, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Lochner v. New York, struck down, 5-4, a New York State law limiting the number of hours that bakers could be made to work. (This ruling was effectively overturned in 1937 by the high court’s West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish decision.)

In 1961, some 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in an attempt to topple Fidel Castro, whose forces crushed the incursion by the third day.

In 1969, a jury in Los Angeles convicted Sirhan Sirhan of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.

In 1972, the Boston Marathon allowed women to compete for the first time; Nina Kuscsik was the first officially recognized women’s champion, with a time of 3:10:26.

In 1973, Federal Express (later FedEx) began operations as 14 planes carrying 186 packages took off from Memphis International Airport, bound for 25 U.S. cities.

In 1975, Cambodia’s five-year war ended as the capital Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge, which instituted brutal, radical policies that claimed an estimated 1.7 million lives until the regime was overthrown in 1979.

In 1986, at London’s Heathrow Airport, a bomb was discovered in the bag of Anne-Marie Murphy, a pregnant Irishwoman about to board an El Al jetliner to Israel; she’d been tricked into carrying the bomb by her Jordanian fiance, Nezar Hindawi. The bodies of kidnapped American Peter Kilburn and Britons Philip Padfield and Leigh Douglas were found near Beirut; they had been slain in apparent retaliation for the U.S. raid on Libya.

In 1991, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 3,000 for the first time, ending the day at 3,004.46, up 17.58.

In 1993, a federal jury in Los Angeles convicted two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King; two other officers were acquitted. Turkish President Turgut Ozal died at age 66.

In 2013, 15 people were killed when a fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas. Sports returned to Boston two days after the deadly Marathon bombing as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Bruins in a 3-2 shootout (players on both teams wore “Boston Strong” decals on their helmets).

Ten years ago: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Japan, where she expressed confidence the country would fully recover from its tsunami and nuclear disasters. Actor Michael Sarrazin, 70, died in Montreal.

Five years ago: Brazil’s lower house of Congress voted to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, who repeatedly argued that the push against her was a “coup.” (Rousseff was removed the following August.) Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize a comprehensive medical marijuana program as Gov. Tom Wolf signed the bill into law. Actor Doris Roberts, who played the tart-tongued, endlessly meddling mother on CBS’ “Everybody Loves Raymond,” died at age 90.

One year ago: President Donald Trump urged supporters to “LIBERATE” three states led by Democratic governors, apparently encouraging protests against stay-at-home mandates aimed at stopping the coronavirus. Washington Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee accused Trump of “fomenting domestic rebellion and spreading lies.” Governors of both parties indicated that they would be cautious in returning to normal; some warned that they couldn’t do it without help from Washington to expand testing. Singer Taylor Swift canceled all of her performances and appearances for the rest of the year.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor David Bradley is 79. Composer-musician Jan Hammer (yahn HAH’-mur) is 73. Actor Olivia Hussey is 70. Actor Clarke Peters is 69. Rapper Afrika Bambaataa is 64. Actor Sean Bean is 62. Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason (eh-SY’-uh-suhn) is 60. Actor Joel Murray is 59. Rock singer Maynard James Keenan is 57. Actor Lela Rochon (LEE’-lah rohn-SHAHN’) is 57. Actor William Mapother is 56. Actor Leslie Bega is 54. Actor Henry Ian Cusick is 54. Actor Kimberly Elise is 54. Singer Liz Phair is 54. Director/producer Adam McKay is 53. Rapper-actor Redman is 51. Actor Jennifer Garner is 49. Country musician Craig Anderson is 48. Singer Victoria Beckham is 47. Actor-singer Lindsay Korman is 43. Actor Tate Ellington is 42. Actor Nicholas D’Agosto is 41. Actor Charlie Hofheimer is 40. Actor Rooney Mara is 36. Actor Jacqueline MacInnes Wood is 34. Actor Paulie Litt is 26. Actor Dee Dee Davis is 25.