Today in History: The subject of story and song, this great railroad man died in 1900

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, April 30, the 120th day of 2019. There are 245 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 30, 1975, the Vietnam War ended as the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to Communist forces.

- FWBP Digital Partners -

On this date:

In 1789, George Washington took the oath of office in New York as the first president of the United States.

In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for 60 million francs, the equivalent of about $15 million.

In 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state of the Union.

- Advertisement -

In 1900, engineer John Luther “Casey” Jones of the Illinois Central Railroad died in a train wreck near Vaughan, Mississippi, after staying at the controls in a successful effort to save the passengers.

In 1912, Universal Studios had its beginnings as papers incorporating the Universal Film Manufacturing Co. were filed and recorded in New York State.

In 1945, as Soviet troops approached his Berlin bunker, Adolf Hitler committed suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun.

In 1968, New York City police forcibly removed student demonstrators occupying five buildings at Columbia University.

- Advertisement -

In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon announced the U.S. was sending troops into Cambodia, an action that sparked widespread protest.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced the resignations of top aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean, who was actually fired.

In 1983, blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters died in Westmont, Ill., at age 68.

In 1993, top-ranked women’s tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed in the back during a match in Hamburg, Germany, by a man who described himself as a fan of second-ranked German player Steffi Graf. (The man, convicted of causing grievous bodily harm, was given a suspended sentence.)

In 2004, Arabs expressed outrage at graphic photographs of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated by U.S. military police; President George W. Bush condemned the mistreatment of prisoners, saying “that’s not the way we do things in America.”

Ten years ago: Riding a crest of populist anger, the House approved, 357-70, a bill to restrict credit card practices and eliminate sudden increases in interest rates and late fees. Chrysler filed for bankruptcy protection; the federal government pledged up to $8 billion in additional aid and to back warranties. The Iraq war formally ended for British forces as they handed control of the oil-rich Basra area to U.S. commanders. A man drove his car into a crowd of parade spectators in Amsterdam, killing seven people in an attempt to attack the Dutch royal family (the attacker, Karst Tates, died of his injuries).

Five years ago: Iraq voted in its first nationwide election since U.S. troops withdrew in 2011. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein (shin fayn) party leader Gerry Adams over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army’s 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a 38-year-old Belfast widow, Jean McConville (Adams was released without charge). A lawyer for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Ford would take a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse.

One year ago: Central Americans who traveled in a caravan through Mexico to the U.S. border near San Diego began turning themselves in to U.S. authorities to seek asylum in a challenge to the Trump administration. New details emerged on a rift between White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and President Donald Trump, with one former administration official saying Kelly had privately called Trump “an idiot.” (Trump announced in December that Kelly would be leaving at the end of the year.) The Time’s Up campaign, devoted to helping women in the aftermath of sexual abuse, called for further investigation into allegations that singer R. Kelly had sexually abused women. (R. Kelly would be charged in February with 10 counts of aggravated sexual abuse; investigators alleged that he had abused three girls and a woman starting in the late 1990s.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Cloris Leachman is 93. Singer Willie Nelson is 86. Actor Burt Young is 79. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is 73. Movie director Allan Arkush is 71. Actor Perry King is 71. Singer-musician Wayne Kramer is 71. Singer Merrill Osmond is 66. Movie director Jane Campion is 65. Movie director Lars von Trier is 63. Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is 60. Actor Paul Gross is 60. Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is 58. Country musician Robert Reynolds is 57. Actor Adrian Pasdar is 54. Rock singer J.R. Richards (Dishwalla) is 52. Rapper Turbo B (Snap) is 52. Rock musician Clark Vogeler is 50. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chris “Choc” Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 48. Rock musician Chris Henderson (3 Doors Down) is 48. Country singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson is 48. Actress Lisa Dean Ryan is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer Akon is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees) is 46. Actor Johnny Galecki is 44. Singer-musician Cole Deggs (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 43. Actor Sam Heughan is 39. Actor Kunal Nayyar is 38. Rapper Lloyd Banks is 37. Actress Kirsten Dunst is 37. Country singer Tyler Wilkinson (The Wilkinsons) is 35. Actress Dianna Agron is 33. Country singer Brandon Lancaster is 30. Rapper/producer Travis Scott is 28.

Thought for Today: “The trouble with our age is all signposts and no destination.” — Louis Kronenberger, American author (1904-1980).