Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Monday, April 4, the 95th day of 2016. There are 271 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

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.

On this date:

In 1818, Congress decided the flag of the United States would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star to be added for every new state of the Union.

In 1841, President William Henry Harrison succumbed to pneumonia one month after his inaugural, becoming the first U.S. chief executive to die in office.

In 1850, the city of Los Angeles was incorporated.

In 1859, “Dixie” was performed publicly for the first time by Bryant’s Minstrels at Mechanics’ Hall in New York.

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

In 1933, the Navy airship USS Akron crashed in severe weather off the New Jersey coast with the loss of 73 lives.

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

In 1958, Johnny Stompanato, an enforcer for crime boss Mickey Cohen and the boyfriend of actress Lana Turner, was stabbed to death by Turner’s teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane, who said Stompanato had attacked her mother.

In 1975, more than 130 people, most of them children, were killed when a U.S. Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crash-landed shortly after takeoff from Saigon. Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

In 1976, the film “All the President’s Men,” starring Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, had its world premiere in Washington, D.C.

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

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

Ten years ago: The Iraq tribunal announced new criminal charges against Saddam Hussein and six others, accusing them of genocide and crimes against humanity stemming from a 1980s crackdown against Kurds. Denis Donaldson, a former Sinn Fein (shin fayn) official recently exposed as a British spy, was found fatally shot at his home in County Donegal, Ireland. Maryland beat Duke, 78-75, in overtime to win its first NCAA women’s basketball title.

Five years ago: Yielding to political opposition, the Obama administration gave up on trying avowed Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed and four alleged co-conspirators in civilian federal courts and said it would prosecute them instead before military commissions. President Barack Obama’s campaign announced in a web video that he would run for re-election in 2012. The Connecticut Huskies beat the Butler Bulldogs 53-41 for the NCAA men’s basketball title. Dennis Rodman, Chris Mullin, Artis Gilmore, Arvydas Sabonis, Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards, Harlem Globetrotter Reece “Goose” Tatum and Boston Celtic Tom “Satch” Sanders were elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

One year ago: In North Charleston, South Carolina, Walter Scott, a 50-year-old black motorist, was shot to death while running away from a traffic stop; Officer Michael Thomas Slager, seen in a cellphone video opening fire at Scott, has been charged with murder. More than 300 enslaved migrant fishermen, mostly from Myanmar, were brought to freedom by an Indonesia delegation following a dramatic rescue from a remote island that was the result of an Associated Press investigation. The United States defended their women’s world hockey championship with a 7-5 win over Canada in Malmo, Sweden. Jenny Wallenda, 87, the matriarch of the famous family of high-flying circus performers, died in Sarasota, Florida.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is 84. Recording executive Clive Davis is 84. Bandleader Hugh Masekela is 77. Author Kitty Kelley is 74. Actor Craig T. Nelson is 72. Actor Walter Charles is 71. Actress Christine Lahti is 66. Country singer Steve Gatlin (The Gatlin Brothers) is 65. Actress Mary-Margaret Humes is 62. Writer-producer David E. Kelley is 60. Actress Constance Shulman (TV: “Orange is the New Black”) is 58. Actor Phil Morris is 57. Actress Lorraine Toussaint is 56. Actor Hugo Weaving is 56. Rock musician Craig Adams (The Cult) is 54. Talk show host/comic Graham Norton is 53. Actor David Cross is 52. Actor Robert Downey Jr. is 51. Actress Nancy McKeon is 50. Actor Barry Pepper is 46. Country singer Clay Davidson is 45. Rock singer Josh Todd (Buckcherry) is 45. Singer Jill Scott is 44. Rock musician Magnus Sveningsson (The Cardigans) is 44. Magician David Blaine is 43. Singer Kelly Price is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Andre Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 42. Country musician Josh McSwain (Parmalee) is 41. Actor James Roday is 40. Actress Natasha Lyonne is 37. Actor Eric Andre is 33. Actress Amanda Righetti is 33. Actress-singer Jamie Lynn Spears is 25. Actress Daniela Bobadilla is 23. Pop singer Austin Mahone (muh-HOHN’) is 20.

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