On April 8, 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for popular election of United States senators (as opposed to appointment by state legislatures), was ratified. President Woodrow Wilson became the first chief executive since John Adams to address Congress in person as he asked lawmakers to enact tariff reform.
On this date:
In 1820, the Venus de Milo statue was discovered by a farmer on the Greek island of Milos.
In 1913, the Republic of China's first parliament convened.
In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act, which provided money for programs such as the Works Progress Administration.
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered a freeze on wages and prices to combat inflation.
In 1946, the League of Nations assembled in Geneva for its final session.
In 1952, President Harry S. Truman seized the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike by steelworkers.)
In 1963, "Lawrence of Arabia" won the Oscar for best picture at the Academy Awards; Gregory Peck won best actor for "To Kill a Mockingbird" while Anne Bancroft received best actress honors for "The Miracle Worker."
In 1973, artist Pablo Picasso died in Mougins, France, at age 91.
In 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking Babe Ruth's record.
In 1988, TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart resigned from the Assemblies of God after he was defrocked for rejecting an order from the church's national leaders to stop preaching for a year amid reports he'd consorted with a prostitute.
In 1993, singer Marian Anderson died in Portland, Ore., at age 96.
In 1994, Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead in Seattle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; he was 27.
Ten years ago: U.S.-led military strikes in Baghdad hit a hotel housing hundreds of journalists and an Arab television network, killing three journalists. Kidnapper-rapist John Jamelske, who had imprisoned five women and girls, one after another, as sex slaves inside a makeshift dungeon in his DeWitt, N.Y., home, was arrested. Connecticut won its second straight NCAA women's basketball championship, defeating Tennessee 73-68.
Five years ago: The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David Petraeus, told Congress that hard-won gains in the war zone were too fragile to promise any troop pullouts beyond the summer as he held his ground against impatient Democrats and refused to commit to more withdrawals before President George W. Bush left office in January 2009. American Airlines grounded all 300 of its MD-80 jetliners amid safety concerns about wiring bundles; the carrier ended up canceling more than 3,000 flights over the next four days. Tennessee captured its eighth women's NCAA championship with a 64-48 victory over Stanford.
One year ago: A U.N.-brokered plan to stop the bloodshed in Syria effectively collapsed after President Bashar Assad's government raised new, last-minute demands that the country's largest rebel group swiftly rejected. The U.S. and Afghanistan signed a deal giving Afghans authority over raids of Afghan homes, resolving one of the most contentious issues between the two wartime allies. Bubba Watson saved par from the pine straw and won the Masters on the second hole of a playoff over Louis Oosthuizen.
More Life Headlines
Sister finds herself in awkward position ’The Book of Mormon’ satirical musical finally in Utah Matthew Broderick joins Broadway’s ‘Sylvia’ Today in history Make your piece of the pie — easy as, well, pie Top traditional grilled hot dogs with a gourmet twist Day-old bread, brand-new meal 'American Psycho’ musical heading to Broadway
Our to-do list full of ideas for your weekend
Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.