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Today in History

April 15, 2019

Today in History

Today is Tuesday, April 23, the 113th day of 2019. There are 252 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On April 23, 1954, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his 755 major-league home runs in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (The Braves won, 7-5.)

On this date:

In 1616 (Old Style calendar), English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare died in Stratford-upon-Avon on what has traditionally been regarded as the 52nd anniversary of his birth in 1564.

In 1789, President-elect George Washington and his wife, Martha, moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House, in New York.

In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States, which responded in kind two days later.

In 1943, U.S. Navy Lt. (jg) John F. Kennedy assumed command of PT-109, a motor torpedo boat, in the Solomon Islands during World War II. (On Aug. 2, 1943, PT-109 was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, killing two crew members; Kennedy and 10 others survived.)

In 1968, student protesters began occupying buildings on the campus of Columbia University in New York; police put down the protests a week later. The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged to form the United Methodist Church.

In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. (The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.)

In 1971, hundreds of Vietnam War veterans opposed to the conflict protested by tossing their medals and ribbons over a wire fence in front of the U.S. Capitol.

In 1987, 28 construction workers were killed when an apartment complex being built in Bridgeport, Connecticut, suddenly collapsed.

In 1988, a federal ban on smoking during domestic airline flights of two hours or less went into effect.

In 1995, sportscaster Howard Cosell died in New York at age 77.

In 1998, James Earl Ray, who confessed to assassinating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and then insisted he’d been framed, died at a Nashville, Tennessee, hospital at age 70.

In 2005, the recently created video-sharing website YouTube uploaded its first clip, “Me at the Zoo,” which showed YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim standing in front of an elephant enclosure at the San Diego Zoo.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama met privately with leading executives of credit-card issuing companies; afterward, the president said he was determined to get a credit-card law passed that eliminated the tricky fine print, sudden rate increases and late fees.

Five years ago: Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed a law allowing legally owned guns in bars without restriction and in some churches, schools and government buildings under certain circumstances. Facebook reported its earnings had nearly tripled and revenue had grown sharply in the first quarter, surpassing Wall Street’s expectations.

One year ago: A man plowed a rental van into crowds of pedestrians in Toronto, killing 10 people and leaving 16 others hurt; police said the suspect, Alek Minassian, had posted a Facebook message indicating anger toward women. (Minassian is due to go to trial in February 2020.) French President Emmanuel Macron began a three-day state visit to Washington by visiting George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate with his host, President Donald Trump, and their wives. The Duchess of Cambridge, formerly known as Kate Middleton, gave birth to a new prince who was fifth in line to the British throne; Louis Arthur Charles was the third child for the duchess and her husband, Prince William.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Alan Oppenheimer is 89. Actor David Birney is 80. Actor Lee Majors is 80. Hockey Hall of Famer Tony Esposito is 76. Irish nationalist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is 72. Actress Blair Brown is 72. Writer-director Paul Brickman is 70. Actress Joyce DeWitt is 70. Actor James Russo is 66. Filmmaker-author Michael Moore is 65. Actress Judy Davis is 64. Actress Valerie Bertinelli is 59. Actor Craig Sheffer is 59. Actor-comedian-talk show host George Lopez is 58. U.S. Olympic gold medal skier Donna Weinbrecht is 54. Actress Melina Kanakaredes (kah-nah-KAH’-ree-deez) is 52. Rock musician Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) is 51. Country musician Tim Womack (Sons of the Desert) is 51. Actor Scott Bairstow (BEHR’-stow) is 49. Actor-writer John Lutz is 46. Actor Barry Watson is 45. Rock musician Aaron Dessner (The National) is 43. Rock musician Bryce Dessner (The National) is 43. Professional wrestler/actor John Cena is 42. Actor-writer-comedian John Oliver is 42. Actor Kal Penn is 42. Retired MLB All-Star Andruw Jones is 42. Actress Jaime King is 40. Pop singer Taio (TY’-oh) Cruz is 36. Actor Aaron Hill is 36. Actor Jesse Lee Soffer is 35. Actress Rachel Skarsten is 34. Rock musician Anthony LaMarca (The War on Drugs) is 32. Singer-songwriter John Fullbright is 31. Tennis player Nicole Vaidisova (vay-deh-SOH’-vuh) is 30. Actor Dev Patel (puh-TEHL’) is 29. Actor Matthew Underwood is 29. Actor Camryn Walling is 29. Model Gigi Hadid is 24. Rock musicians Jake and Josh Kiszka (Greta Van Fleet) are 23. Actor Charlie Rowe (TV: “Salvation”) is 23. U.S. Olympic gold medal snowboarder Chloe Kim is 19.

Thought for Today: “In the future everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” — Andy Warhol, American pop artist (1928-1987).