Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Saturday, April 16, the 107th day of 2016. There are 259 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 16, 1789, President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Virginia, for his inauguration in New York.

On this date:

In 1879, Bernadette Soubirous, who’d described seeing visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, died in Nevers (neh-VEHR’), France.

In 1912, American aviator Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel, leaving Dover, England, and arriving near Calais, France, in 59 minutes.

In 1935, the radio comedy program “Fibber McGee and Molly” premiered on NBC’s Blue Network.

In 1940, Major League Baseball’s first (and, to date, only) opening day no-hitter took place as Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians pitched a no-no against the Chicago White Sox, 1-0, at Comiskey Park.

In 1945, during World War II, a Soviet submarine in the Baltic Sea torpedoed and sank the MV Goya, which Germany was using to transport civilian refugees and wounded soldiers; it’s estimated that up to 7,000 people died. In his first speech to Congress, President Harry S. Truman pledged to carry out the war and peace policies of his late predecessor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1947, the French ship Grandcamp blew up at the harbor in Texas City, Texas; another ship, the High Flyer, exploded the following day (the blasts and fires killed nearly 600 people). Financier Bernard M. Baruch said in a speech at the South Carolina statehouse, “Let us not be deceived – we are today in the midst of a cold war.”

In 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in which he said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

In 1972, Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon with astronauts John W. Young, Charles M. Duke Jr. and Ken Mattingly on board.

In 1986, dispelling rumors he was dead, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi appeared on television to condemn the U.S. raid on his country and to say that Libyans were “ready to die” defending their nation.

In 1991, Sir David Lean, who had directed “The Bridge on the River Kwai,” ”Lawrence of Arabia” and “Doctor Zhivago” died in London at age 83.

In 1996, Britain’s Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced they were in the process of divorcing.

In 2007, college student Seung-Hui Cho (sung-wee joh) shot and killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech before taking his own life.

Ten years ago: In his first Easter message as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI urged nations to use diplomacy to defuse nuclear crises and prayed that Palestinians would one day have their own state alongside Israel.

Five years ago: A Taliban sleeper agent walked into a meeting of NATO trainers and Afghan troops at Forward Operating Base Gamberi in the eastern Afghan province of Laghman and detonated a vest of explosives hidden underneath his uniform; six American troops, four Afghan soldiers and an interpreter were killed. President Raul Castro drew a line in the Caribbean sand across which Cuba’s economic reforms must never go, telling a Communist party summit that he had rejected dozens of suggested changes that would have allowed the concentration of property in private hands.

One year ago: U.N. Security Council members were moved to tears as a Syrian doctor, Mohamed Tennari, an eyewitness to suspected chlorine attacks on civilians in Syria, gave a graphic eyewitness account of dying children during a closed-door briefing. The NFL reinstated Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, clearing the way for him to return after missing most of the previous season while facing child abuse charges in Texas for disciplining his son with a wooden switch.

Today’s Birthdays: Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is 89. Actor Peter Mark Richman is 89. Singer Bobby Vinton is 81. Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II is 76. Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 69. Former Massachusetts first lady Ann Romney is 67. NFL coach Bill Belichick is 64. Rock singer and former politician Peter Garrett is 63. Actress Ellen Barkin is 62. Rock musician Jason Scheff (Chicago) is 54. Singer Jimmy Osmond is 53. Rock singer David Pirner (Soul Asylum) is 52. Actor-comedian Martin Lawrence is 51. Actor Jon Cryer is 51. Rock musician Dan Rieser is 50. Actor Peter Billingsley is 45. Actor Lukas Haas is 40. Actress-singer Kelli O’Hara is 40. Figure skater Mirai Nagasu is 23. Actress Sadie Sink (TV: “American Odyssey”) is 14.

comments powered by Disqus