Wednesday, April 8, the 99th day of 2020. There are 267 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 8, 1864, the United States Senate passed, 38-6, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery. (The House of Representatives passed it in January 1865; the amendment was ratified and adopted in December 1865.)
On this date:
In 1513, explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and his expedition began exploring the Florida coastline.
In 1904, Longacre Square in Manhattan was renamed Times Square after The New York Times.
In 1911, an explosion at the Banner Coal Mine in Littleton, Alabama, claimed the lives of 128 men, most of them convicts loaned out from prisons.
In 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for popular election of U.S. senators (as opposed to appointment by state legislatures), was ratified. President Woodrow Wilson became the first chief executive since John Adams to address Congress in person as he asked lawmakers to enact tariff reform.
In 1952, President Harry S. Truman seized the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike by steelworkers.)
In 1973, artist Pablo Picasso died in Mougins (MOO’-zhun), France, at age 91.
In 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking Babe Ruth’s record.
In 1990, Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance had gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18.
In 1994, Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead in Seattle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; he was 27.
In 2003, kidnapper-rapist John Jamelske, who had imprisoned five women and girls, one after another, as sex slaves inside a makeshift dungeon in his DeWitt, New York, home, was arrested. (Jamelske, who pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree kidnapping, is serving an 18 years-to-life sentence in a maximum-security prison.)
In 2009, Somali pirates hijacked the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama; although the crew was able to retake the cargo ship, the captain, Richard Phillips, was taken captive by the raiders and held aboard a lifeboat. (Phillips was rescued four days later by Navy SEAL snipers who shot three of the pirates dead.) A Russian spacecraft carrying a crew of three, including U.S. billionaire space tourist Charles Simonyi, landed safely in Kazakhstan.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the New START treaty in Prague. Authorities in Cancun, Mexico, found the body of Monica Beresford-Redman, the wife of “Pimp My Ride” and former “Survivor” producer Bruce Beresford-Redman, who was convicted by a Mexico court in March 2015 of murdering her and sentenced to 12 years in prison (he was released in 2019.) Malcolm McLaren, 64, former manager of the Sex Pistols, died in Switzerland. Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the first black prime minister of an interim white-dominated government before Zimbabwe’s independence, died six days before his 85th birthday.
Five years ago: Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) was convicted by a federal jury on all 30 charges against him in the Boston Marathon bombing and found responsible for the deaths of the three people killed in the 2013 attack and the killing of an MIT police officer three days later. (He was sentenced to death the following month.)
One year ago: The United States designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps as a foreign terrorist organization, an unprecedented declaration against a foreign government. Two U.S. soldiers and a Marine were killed in a Taliban roadside bomb attack near the main American base in Afghanistan. After squandering a 10-point lead, the Virginia Cavaliers pulled away in overtime for an 85-77 victory over Texas Tech in the final game of the NCAA college basketball tournament. Chris Davis of the Baltimore Orioles set a major league record by going 49 at-bats without a hit, a streak that extended back to mid-September.
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Shecky Greene is 94. Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh is 83. “Mouseketeer” Darlene Gillespie is 79. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 79. Songwriter-producer Leon Huff is 78. Actor Stuart Pankin is 74. Rock musician Steve Howe is 73. Former House Republican leader Tom DeLay is 73. Movie director John Madden is 71. Rock musician Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) is 69. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is 65. Actor John Schneider is 60. “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch is 59. Rock musician Izzy Stradlin is 58. Singer Julian Lennon is 57. Actor Dean Norris is 57. Rock singer-musician Donita Sparks is 57. Rapper Biz Markie is 56. Actress Robin Wright is 54. Actress Patricia Arquette is 52. Actor JR Bourne is 50. Rock singer Craig Honeycutt (Everything) is 50. Rock musician Darren Jessee is 49. Actress Emma Caulfield is 47. Actress Katee Sackhoff is 40. Actor Taylor Kitsch is 39. Rock singer-musician Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend) is 36. Actor Taran Noah Smith is 36. Actress Kirsten Storms is 36. Rock musician Jamie Sierota is 27. Actress Sadie Calvano is 23.
Thought for Today: “The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.” — Gen. Omar N. Bradley (1893-1981).
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Today is Thursday, April 9, the 100th day of 2020. There are 266 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 9, 1942, during World War II, some 75,000 Philippine and American defenders on Bataan surrendered to Japanese troops, who forced the prisoners into what became known as the Bataan Death March; thousands died or were killed en route.
On this date:
In 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
In 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after being denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
In 1959, NASA presented its first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 91, died in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1963, British statesman Winston Churchill was proclaimed an honorary U.S. citizen by President John F. Kennedy. (Churchill, unable to attend, watched the proceedings live on television in his London home.)
In 1968, funeral services, private and public, were held for Martin Luther King Jr. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and Morehouse College in Atlanta, five days after the civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 1979, officials declared an end to the crisis involving the Three Mile Island Unit 2 nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania, 12 days after a partial core meltdown.
In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger ended its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1992, former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega was convicted in Miami of eight drug and racketeering charges; he served a 17-year U.S. prison sentence.
In 1996, Dan Rostenkowski, the once-powerful House Ways and Means chairman, pleaded guilty to two mail fraud charges in a deal that brought with it a 17-month prison term. (Rostenkowski served 15 months, and was pardoned by President Clinton in 2000.)
In 2003, jubilant Iraqis celebrated the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime, beheading a toppled statue of their longtime ruler in downtown Baghdad and embracing American troops as liberators.
In 2005, Britain's Prince Charles married longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles, who took the title Duchess of Cornwall.
In 2009, North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament appointed Kim Jong Il to a third term as leader. Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, 22, and two others were killed in a car crash by a suspected drunken driver. (Andrew Thomas Gallo was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to 51 years to life in prison.)
Ten years ago: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement. (His vacancy was filled by Elena Kagan.) Meinhardt Raabe, who'd played the Munchkin coroner in "The Wizard of Oz," died in Orange Park, Florida, at age 94.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama briefly visited Jamaica, where he met with Caribbean leaders and spoke at a town hall of young leaders; the president then flew to Panama City for a summit of Western Hemisphere nations and a historic encounter with Cuban President Raul Castro. Canadian-born filmmaker Paul Almond, 83, died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: Israelis voted in an election that would bring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a historic fifth term. Iranian lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted “Death to America” as they convened for an open session of parliament after the White House designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a foreign terrorist organization. Magic Johnson abruptly quit as the Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations; the announcement came before the final game of the Lakers’ sixth consecutive losing season.
Today's Birthdays: Satirical songwriter and mathematician Tom Lehrer is 92. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo is 87. Actress Michael Learned is 81. Country singer Margo Smith is 78. Country singer Hal Ketchum is 67. Actor Dennis Quaid is 66. Comedian Jimmy Tingle is 65. Country musician Dave Innis (Restless Heart) is 61. Talk show host Joe Scarborough is 57. Actress-sports reporter Lisa Guerrero is 56. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is 56. Actor Mark Pellegrino is 55. Actress-model Paulina Porizkova is 55. Actress Cynthia Nixon is 54. Rock singer Kevin Martin (Candlebox) is 51. TV personality Sunny Anderson is 45. Rock singer Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) is 43. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is 41. Rock musician Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes) is 40. Actor Charlie Hunnam is 40. Actor Ryan Northcott is 40. Actor Arlen Escarpeta is 39. Actor Jay Baruchel is 38. Actress Annie Funke is 35. Actor Jordan Masterson is 34. Actress Leighton Meester is 34. Actor-singer Jesse McCartney is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazmine Sullivan is 33. Actress Kristen Stewart is 30. Actress Elle Fanning is 22. Rapper Lil Nas X is 21. Actor Isaac Hempstead Wright is 21. Classical crossover singer Jackie Evancho (ee-VAYN'-koh) is 20.
Thought for Today: "Thinking is like loving or dying. Each of us must do it for ourselves." — Josiah Royce, American philosopher (1855-1916).