On April 10, 1864, during the Civil War, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, an assistant surgeon for the 52nd Ohio Volunteers, was captured by the Confederates and accused of being a Union spy; she was held until her release in August 1864 as part of a prisoner exchange. (Walker received the Medal of Honor in 1865, the only woman to date so recognized; although the citation was withdrawn in 1917, Walker continued to wear the medal until her death in 1919. President Jimmy Carter restored the citation in 1977.)
On this date:
In 1790, President George Washington signed the first United States Patent Act.
In 1864, Maximilian, archduke of Austria, was proclaimed emperor of Mexico.
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-D horror movie “House of Wax,” produced by Warner Bros. and starring Vincent Price, premiered in New York.
In 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.
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 (lehk kah-CHIN’-skee), 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.
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