Today in History
Today is Thursday, April 19, the 109th day of 2018. There are 256 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 19, 1993, the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; about 80 people, including two dozen children and sect leader David Koresh, were killed.
On this date:
In 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.
In 1893, the Oscar Wilde play “A Woman of No Importance” opened at the Haymarket Theatre in London.
In 1897, the first Boston Marathon was held; winner John J. McDermott ran the course in two hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds.
In 1935, the Universal Pictures horror film “Bride of Frankenstein,” starring Boris Karloff with Elsa Lanchester in the title role, had its world premiere in San Francisco.
In 1943, during World War II, tens of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but ultimately futile battle against Nazi forces.
In 1945, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Carousel” opened on Broadway.
In 1951, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his Far East command by President Harry S. Truman, bade farewell in an address to Congress in which he quoted a line from a ballad: “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.”
In 1966, Bobbi Gibb, 23, became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon at a time when only men were allowed to participate. (Gibb jumped into the middle of the pack after the sound of the starting pistol and finished in 3:21:40.)
In 1977, the Supreme Court, in Ingraham v. Wright, ruled 5-4 that even severe spanking of schoolchildren by faculty members did not violate the Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment.
In 1989, 47 sailors were killed when a gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa in the Caribbean. (The Navy initially suspected that a dead crew member had deliberately sparked the blast, but later said there was no proof of that.)
In 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Bomber Timothy McVeigh, who prosecutors said had planned the attack as revenge for the Waco siege of two years earlier, was convicted of federal murder charges and executed in 2001.)
In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope in the first conclave of the new millennium; he took the name Benedict XVI.
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush wrapped up two days of talks at Camp David with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak. A Russian capsule carrying South Korea’s first astronaut touched down 260 miles off target in northern Kazakhstan after hurtling through the atmosphere in a bone-jarring descent from the international space station.
Five years ago: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv), a 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings, was taken into custody after a manhunt that had left the city virtually paralyzed; his older brother and alleged accomplice, 26-year-old Tamerlan (TAM’-ehr-luhn), was killed earlier in a furious attempt to escape police. Newspaper publisher Al Neuharth, 89, died in Coco Beach, Florida. Children’s author E.L. Konigsburg, 83, died in Falls Church, Virginia.
One year ago: Fox News Channel’s parent company fired Bill O’Reilly following an investigation into harassment allegations, bringing a stunning end to cable news’ most popular program. Former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, 27, who was serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder, hanged himself in his cell in a maximum-security prison in Massachusetts five days after being acquitted of murder charges in the shooting deaths of two men in Boston in 2012.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Elinor Donahue is 81. Rock musician Alan Price (The Animals) is 76. Actor Tim Curry is 72. Pop singer Mark “Flo” Volman (The Turtles; Flo and Eddie) is 71. Actor Tony Plana is 66. Former tennis player Sue Barker is 62. Motorsports Hall of Famer Al Unser Jr. is 56. Actor Tom Wood is 55. Recording executive Suge Knight is 53. Singer-songwriter Dar Williams is 51. Actress Kim Hawthorne (TV: “Greenleaf”) is 50. Actress Ashley Judd is 50. Singer Bekka Bramlett is 50. Latin pop singer Luis Miguel is 48. Actress Jennifer Esposito is 46. Actress Jennifer Taylor is 46. Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux (PAY’-roo) is 44. Actor James Franco is 40. Actress Kate Hudson is 39. Actor Hayden Christensen is 37. Actress Catalina Sandino Moreno is 37. Actress-comedian Ali Wong is 36. Actress Kelen Coleman is 34. Actor Zack Conroy is 33. Roots rock musician Steve Johnson (Alabama Shakes) is 33. Actor Courtland Mead is 31. Tennis player Maria Sharapova is 31.
Thought for Today: “The charm, one might say the genius of memory, is that it is choosy, chancy and temperamental: it rejects the edifying cathedral and indelibly photographs the small boy outside, chewing a hunk of melon in the dust.” — Elizabeth Bowen, Irish-born author (1899-1973).