On April 10, 1963, the fast-attack nuclear submarine USS Thresher (SSN-593) sank during deep-diving tests east of Cape Cod, Mass., in a disaster that claimed 129 lives.
On this date:
In 1790, President George Washington signed into law the first United States Patent Act.
In 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was incorporated.
In 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage.
In 1925, the novel "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was first published.
In 1932, German president Paul Von Hindenburg was re-elected in a runoff, with Adolf Hitler coming in second.
In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey purchased the contract of Jackie Robinson from the Montreal Royals.
In 1953, the 3-dimensional horror movie "House of Wax," produced by Warner Bros. and starring Vincent Price, premiered in New York.
In 1957, Egypt reopened the Suez Canal to all shipping traffic. (The canal had been closed due to wreckage resulting from the Suez Crisis.)
In 1962, United States Steel Chairman Roger Blough informed President John F. Kennedy of his company's decision to raise steel prices an average of $6 a ton. (Under administration pressure, Blough changed his mind.)
In 1974, Golda Meir told party leaders she was resigning as prime minister of Israel.
In 1998, the Northern Ireland peace talks concluded as negotiators reached a landmark settlement to end 30 years of bitter rivalries and bloody attacks.
In 2010, Polish President Lech Kaczynski, 60, was killed in a plane crash in western Russia that also claimed the lives of his wife and top Polish political, military and church officials.
Ten years ago: Iraqi television aired videotaped greetings from President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Congress overwhelmingly passed a package of child safety protections, including a national Amber Alert network. A fire in a boarding school for the deaf in southern Russia killed 28 children. Eva Narcissus Boyd, the singer formerly known as "Little Eva," died in Kinston, N.C.
Five years ago: The U.S. Board on Geographic Names officially renamed Squaw Peak in Phoenix Piestewa Peak, in honor of Army Spc. Lori Piestewa, who was killed in Iraq in 2003 and posthumously promoted from the rank of Private First Class. Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean, suspected of killing a pregnant colleague, was arrested in Tacambaro, Mexico; Laurean was later sentenced to life in prison for murdering Marine Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach in North Carolina.
One year ago: Rick Santorum quit the presidential race, clearing the way for Mitt Romney to claim the Republican nomination. Syrian troops defied a U.N.-brokered cease-fire plan, launching fresh attacks on rebellious areas. The University of Arkansas fired Bobby Petrino as its football coach, citing a "pattern of misleading" behavior that included hiring his mistress.
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