Today in History
Today is Tuesday, April 2, the 92nd day of 2019. There are 273 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II died in his Vatican apartment at age 84.
On this date:
In 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the U.S. Mint.
In 1863, during the Civil War, the Richmond Bread Riot erupted in the Confederate capital as a mob outraged over food shortages and rising prices attacked and looted stores.
In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, because of advancing Union forces.
In 1912, the just-completed RMS Titanic left Belfast to begin its sea trials eight days before the start of its ill-fated maiden voyage.
In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, “The world must be made safe for democracy.” (Congress declared war four days later.)
In 1956, the soap operas “As the World Turns” and “The Edge of Night” premiered on CBS-TV.
In 1958, the term “beatnik” was coined by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen to refer to members of the pre-hippie counterculture; the term was inspired by the “Beat Generation” and by the Soviet launch of its second Sputnik spacecraft.
In 1968, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the groundbreaking science-fiction film epic produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, had its world premiere in Washington, D.C.
In 1982, several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain. (Britain seized the islands back the following June.)
In 1986, four American passengers, including an 8-month-old girl, her mother and grandmother, were killed when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard a TWA jetliner en route from Rome to Athens, Greece.
In 1992, mob boss John Gotti was convicted in New York of murder and racketeering; he was later sentenced to life, and died in prison.
In 2003, during the Iraq War, American forces fought their way to within sight of the Baghdad skyline.
Ten years ago: Leaders of the world’s rich and major developing countries met at an emergency G-20 economic summit in London; afterward, President Barack Obama hailed agreements they had reached as a “turning point in our pursuit of global economic recovery,” but cautioned, “there are no guarantees.” The House and Senate passed companion budget plans, giving President Obama and his allies on Capitol Hill a key victory. A 19-count federal racketeering indictment was returned against former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (blah-GOY’-uh-vich); the ousted Democrat denied doing anything illegal.
Five years ago: The Supreme Court’s conservative majority voted 5-4 to free wealthy individuals to donate to as many political candidates and campaigns as they wanted, further loosening the reins on giving by big contributors. At Fort Hood in Texas, three soldiers were killed and 16 others were wounded in a shooting rampage by another soldier, Army Spc. Ivan A. Lopez, who then killed himself.
One year ago: Anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who’d been married for nearly 38 years to Nelson Mandela, died in a Johannesburg hospital at the age of 81. Thousands of Oklahoma teachers began two weeks of walkouts and descended on the state Capitol to demand more education funding. Thousands of Kentucky teachers marched to the state Capitol to protest changes to their pension system; some districts that were not on spring break had to cancel classes. China raised import duties on $3 billion in U.S. products in an escalating dispute over trade and industrial policy. Ethan Couch, who as a 16-year-old driver drunkenly struck and killed four pedestrians but dodged prison after suggesting at his trial that his irresponsibility was a result of an entitled upbringing, went free after serving almost two years in a Texas jail on a probation violation. Villanova beat Michigan 79-62 to capture its second NCAA college basketball championship in three years.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Sharon Acker is 84. Actress Dame Penelope Keith is 79. Actress Linda Hunt is 74. Singer Emmylou Harris is 72. Actor Sam Anderson is 72. Social critic and author Camille Paglia is 72. Actress Pamela Reed is 70. Rock musician Dave Robinson (The Cars) is 70. Country singer Buddy Jewell is 58. Actor Christopher Meloni is 58. Singer Keren Woodward (Bananarama) is 58. Country singer Billy Dean is 57. Actor Clark Gregg is 57. Actress Jana Marie Hupp is 55. Rock musician Greg Camp is 52. Rock musician Tony Fredianelli (Third Eye Blind) is 50. Actress Roselyn Sanchez is 46. Country singer Jill King is 44. Actor Pedro Pascal is 44. Actor Adam Rodriguez is 44. Actor Jeremy Garrett is 43. Actor Michael Fassbender is 42. Actress Jaime Ray Newman is 41. Rock musician Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5) is 40. Actress Bethany Joy Galeotti is 38. Singer Lee Dewyze (TV: “American Idol”) is 33. Country singer Chris Janson is 33. Actor Drew Van Acker is 33. Actress Briga Heelan (TV: “Great News”) is 32. Actor Jesse Plemons is 31. Singer Aaron Kelly (TV: “American Idol”) is 26.
Thought for Today: “Never think you’ve seen the last of anything.” — Eudora Welty, American author (1909-2001).