Today in History | Story


Today is Monday, April 4, the 94th day of 2022. There are 271 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in the story:

On April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot and killed while standing on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee; his murder was followed by a wave of riots (Washington, DC, Baltimore and Chicago were among the cities particularly affected). James Earl Ray later pleaded guilty to murdering King, then spent the rest of his life claiming he was framed.

To this date :

In 1841, President William Henry Harrison succumbed to pneumonia a month after taking office, becoming the first American chief executive to die in office.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln, accompanied by his son Tad, visited the defeated Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, where he was greeted by a crowd that included former slaves.

In 1917, the U.S. Senate voted 82 to 6 in favor of declaring war on Germany (the House followed suit two days later with a vote of 373 to 50).

In 1945, during World War II, American forces liberated the Ohrdruf Nazi concentration camp in Germany. Hungary was liberated as Soviet forces eliminated the remaining German troops.

In 1949, 12 nations, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, D.C.

In 1973, the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York were officially inaugurated. (The towers were destroyed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.)

In 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves tied Babe Ruth’s home run record by hitting his 714th home run at Cincinnati.

In 1975, more than 130 people, mostly children, were killed when a US Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crashed shortly after taking off from Saigon. Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger launched into orbit on its maiden voyage. (It was destroyed in the January 1986 disaster.)

In 1991, Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., and six others, including two children, were killed when a helicopter collided with Heinz’s plane over a schoolyard in Merion, Pennsylvania.

In 2011, bowing to political opposition, the Obama administration waived trying admitted 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged accomplices in civilian federal courts and said it would instead prosecute them in military commissions.

In 2015, in North Charleston, South Carolina, Walter Scott, a 50-year-old black motorist, was shot dead while fleeing a traffic stop; Officer Michael Thomas Slager, seen in cellphone video opening fire on Scott, has been charged with murder. (The charge, which persisted after an initial state trial ended in a mistrial, was dropped as part of a settlement under which Slager pleaded guilty to a federal civil rights violation ; he was sentenced to 20 years in prison.)

Ten years ago: A federal judge sentenced five former New Orleans police officers to prison for the fatal Danziger Bridge shooting in the chaotic days following Hurricane Katrina. (The verdicts in the case were later overturned by the judge, who cited prosecutorial misconduct; the officers pleaded guilty in 2016 to reduced charges.)

Five years ago: a chemical attack on an opposition-held town in northern Syria left around 100 dead; a joint investigation team made up of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and UN experts concluded that the Syrian government was responsible. A federal appeals court ruled for the first time that the 1964 Civil Rights Act protected LGBT employees from discrimination in the workplace; the case involved an Indiana teacher who accused her of not being hired full-time because she was a lesbian.

A year ago: On a second Sunday of Easter marred by pandemic restrictions, Christianity’s most joyful holiday was celebrated around the world with worshipers distanced on pews and singing choirs of “Hallelujah” to through face coverings. Pope Francis, in his traditional Easter Sunday address, denounced as “scandalous” the way armed conflict continued to rage even as the coronavirus pandemic unleashed severe social and economic suffering and swelled the ranks of the poor. Stanford defeated Arizona 54-53 to become NCAA women’s basketball champions.

Today’s birthdays: Recording director Clive Davis turns 90. Author Kitty Kelley is 80 years old. Actor Craig T. Nelson is 78 years old. Actor Walter Charles is 77 years old. Actress Christine Lahti is 72 years old. Country singer Steve Gatlin (The Gatlin Brothers) is 71 years old. Actor Mary -Margaret Humes is 68 years old. Writer-producer David E. Kelley is 66 years old. Actor Constance Shulman is 64 years old. Actor Phil Morris is 63 years old. Actor Lorraine Toussaint is 62 years old. Actor Hugo Weaving is 62 years old. Rock musician Craig Adams (The Cult) is 60 years old. Talk show/comic book host Graham Norton is 59. Actor David Cross is 58 years old. Actor Robert Downey Jr. is 57 years old. Actor Nancy McKeon is 56 years old. Actor Barry Pepper is 52 years old. Country singer Clay Davidson is 51. ) is 51 years old. Singer Jill Scott is 50 years old. Rock musician Magnus Sveningsson (The Cardigans) is 50. Magician David Blaine is 49 years old. Singer Kelly Price is 49 years old. R&B singer Andre Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 48 years old. Country musician Josh McSwain (Parmalee) is 47 years old. Actor James Roday is 46 years old. Actor Natasha Lyonne is 43 years old. Actor Eric Andre is 39 years old. Tor Amanda Righetti is 39 years old. Actor-singer Jamie Lynn Spears is 31 years old. Actor Daniela Bobadilla is 29 years old. Pop singer Austin Mahone (muh-HOHN’) is 26 years old. Actor Aliyah Royale is 22 years old.


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