Today in History
By The Associated Press
Today is Thursday, April 26, the 116th day of 2018. There are 249 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 26, 1937, German and Italian warplanes raided the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War; estimates of the number of people killed vary from the hundreds to the thousands.
On this date:
In 1564, William Shakespeare was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Stratford-upon-Avon, England.
In 1607, English colonists went ashore at present-day Cape Henry, Virginia, on an expedition to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1777, during the American Revolutionary War, 16-year-old Sybil Ludington, the daughter of a militia commander in Dutchess County, New York, rode her horse into the night to alert her father’s men of the approach of British regular troops.
In 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, was surrounded by federal troops near Port Royal, Virginia, and killed.
In 1913, Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old worker at a Georgia pencil factory, was strangled; Leo Frank, the factory superintendent, was convicted of her murder and sentenced to death. (Frank’s death sentence was commuted, but he was lynched by an anti-Semitic mob in 1915.)
In 1923, Britain’s Prince Albert, Duke of York (the future King George VI), married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon at Westminster Abbey.
In 1945, Marshal Henri Philippe Petain (an-REE’ fee-LEEP’ pay-TAN’), the head of France’s Vichy government during World War II, was arrested.
In 1952, the destroyer-minesweeper USS Hobson sank in the central Atlantic after colliding with the aircraft carrier USS Wasp with the loss of 176 crew members.
In 1968, the United States exploded beneath the Nevada desert a 1.3 megaton nuclear device called “Boxcar.”
In 1977, the legendary nightclub Studio 54 had its opening night in New York.
In 1986, an explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine caused radioactive fallout to begin spewing into the atmosphere. (Dozens of people were killed in the immediate aftermath of the disaster while the long-term death toll from radiation poisoning is believed to number in the thousands.)
In 1994, voting began in South Africa’s first all-race elections, resulting in victory for the African National Congress and the inauguration of Nelson Mandela as president. China Airlines Flight 140, a Taiwanese Airbus A-300, crashed while landing in Nagoya, Japan, killing 264 people (there were seven survivors).
Ten years ago: Police in Amstetten, Austria, arrested Josef Fritzl, freeing his daughter Elisabeth and her six surviving children whom he had fathered while holding her captive in a basement cell for 24 years. (Fritzl was later sentenced to life in a psychiatric ward.) Yossi Harel, the ship commander whose attempt to bring Holocaust survivors to Palestine aboard the Exodus 1947 built support for Israel’s founding, died in Tel Aviv at age 90. Avant-garde composer Henry Brant died in Santa Barbara, California, at age 94.
Five years ago: Unable to ignore air travelers’ anger, Congress overwhelmingly approved legislation to allow the Federal Aviation Administration to withdraw furloughs of air traffic controllers caused by budget-wide cuts known as the sequester, ending a week of coast-to-coast flight delays. Fire at a psychiatric hospital near Moscow killed 38 people; only three escaped. Country singer George Jones, 81, died in Nashville.
One year ago: Dismissing concerns about ballooning federal deficits, President Donald Trump proposed dramatic tax cuts for U.S. businesses and individuals. President Trump told the leaders of Mexico and Canada that he would not immediately pull out of the North American Free Trade Agreement, just hours after administration officials said he was considering a draft executive order to do just that. NASA’s Cassini spacecraft survived an unprecedented trip between Saturn and its rings, sending back amazing pictures to show for it. Jonathan Demme (DEM’-mee), the Oscar-winning director of “The Silence of the Lambs” and “Philadelphia,” died in New York at age 73.
Today’s Birthdays: Architect I.M. Pei is 101. Movie composer Francis Lai is 86. Actress-comedian Carol Burnett is 85. Rhythm-and-blues singer Maurice Williams is 80. Songwriter-musician Duane Eddy is 80. Singer Bobby Rydell is 76. Rock musician Gary Wright is 75. Actress Nancy Lenehan is 65. Actor Giancarlo Esposito is 60. Rock musician Roger Taylor (Duran Duran) is 58. Actress Joan Chen is 57. Rock musician Chris Mars is 57. Actor-singer Michael Damian is 56. Actor Jet Li (lee) is 55. Rock musician Jimmy Stafford (Train) is 54. Actor-comedian Kevin James is 53. Record company executive Jeff Huskins is 52. Former U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey (TREHTH’-eh-way) is 52. Actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste is 51. Country musician Joe Caverlee (Yankee Grey) is 50. Rapper T-Boz (TLC) is 48. First lady Melania Trump is 48. Actress Shondrella Avery is 47. Country musician Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flatts) is 47. Country musician Michael Jeffers (Pinmonkey) is 46. Rock musician Jose Pasillas (Incubus) is 42. Actor Jason Earles is 41. Actor Leonard Earl Howze is 41. Actor Tom Welling is 41. Actor Pablo Schreiber is 40. Actor Nyambi Nyambi is 39. Actress Jordana Brewster is 38. Actress Stana Katic is 38. Actress Marnette Patterson is 38. Actor Channing Tatum is 38. Americana/roots singer-songwriter Lilly Hiatt is 34. Actress Emily Wickersham is 34. Actor Aaron Weeks is 32. Electro pop musician James Sunderland (Frenship) is 31.
Thought for Today: “A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.” — William James, American philosopher and psychologist (1842-1910).
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