Today in history
On April 6, 1973, Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees became Major League Baseball's first designated hitter as he faced pitcher Luis Tiant of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway. (Blomberg was walked with the bases loaded; Boston won the game, 15-5.)
On this date:
In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith in Fayette, N.Y.
In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Shiloh began in Tennessee as Confederate forces launched a surprise attack against Union troops, who beat back the Confederates the next day.
In 1896, the first modern Olympic games formally opened in Athens, Greece.
In 1909, American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson and four Inuits became the first men to reach the North Pole.
In 1917, Congress approved a declaration of war against Germany.
In 1943, "Le Petit Prince" (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was first published in the U.S. by Reynal & Hitchcock of New York.
In 1945, during World War II, the Japanese warship Yamato and nine other vessels sailed on a suicide mission to attack the U.S. fleet off Okinawa; the fleet was intercepted the next day.
In 1959, "Gigi" won the Academy Award for best picture of 1958; Susan Hayward was named best actress for "I Want to Live!" and David Niven was named best actor for "Separate Tables." (To the embarrassment of the show's producers, the scheduled 2-hour ceremony fell about 20 minutes short.)
In 1963, the United States signed an agreement to sell the Polaris missile system to Britain.
In 1973, NASA launched Pioneer 11, which flew by Jupiter and Saturn.
In 1988, Tirza Porat, a 15-year-old Israeli girl, was killed in a West Bank melee. (Although Arabs were initially blamed, the army concluded Tirza had been accidentally shot by a Jewish settler.)
In 1998, country singer Tammy Wynette died at her Nashville home at age 55.
Ten years ago: In the Iraq War, U.S. forces encircled and began flying into Baghdad's international airport. British forces in the south made their deepest push into Basra, Iraq's second-largest city.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin, meeting at the Black Sea resort of Sochi, failed to overcome sharp differences over a U.S. missile defense system as they closed their seven-year relationship. Anti-China demonstrators caused chaos as the Olympic torch was relayed through London ahead of the Beijing games.
One year ago: Five black people were shot, three fatally, in Tulsa, Okla.; two suspects, Jake England and Alvin Watts, are accused of targeting the victims on the basis of race. A Navy F18 Hornet jet whose pilots were forced to eject crashed in a spectacular fireball into a big apartment complex in Virginia Beach, Va., scattering plane parts and wiping out some 40 units, but killing no one. Fang Lizhi (fahng lee-juhr), 76, who was one of China's best-known dissidents, died in Tucson, Ariz. Painter Thomas Kinkade, 54, died in Los Gatos, Calif.
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