On April 18, 1934, the first laundromat (called a “Washateria”) was opened by John F. Cantrell in Fort Worth, Texas; four electric washing machines were rented to members of the public on an hourly basis.
On this date:
In 1775, Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Mass., warning American colonists that the British were coming.
In 1831, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa was officially opened.
In 1906, a devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by raging fires; estimates of the final death toll range between 3,000 and 6,000.
In 1923, the first game was played at the original Yankee Stadium in New York; the Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox, 4-1.
In 1942, an air squadron from the USS Hornet led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The first World War II edition of The Stars and Stripes was published as a weekly newspaper.
In 1944, the ballet “Fancy Free,” with music by Leonard Bernstein and choreography by Jerome Robbins, premiered in New York.
In 1949, the Republic of Ireland was proclaimed.
In 1954, Gamal Abdel Nasser seized power as he became prime minister of Egypt.
In 1955, physicist Albert Einstein died in Princeton, N.J., at age 76.
In 1964, Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht, 70, died in New York.
In 1978, the Senate approved the Panama Canal Treaty, providing for the complete turnover of control of the waterway to Panama on the last day of 1999.
In 1983, 63 people, including 17 Americans, were killed at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.
Ten years ago: Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero ordered a withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq just hours after his government was sworn in, fulfilling a campaign pledge and trying to calm his uneasy nation after bombings that killed 191 people in Madrid.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama offered a spirit of cooperation to America’s hemispheric neighbors at the Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The White House said President Barack Obama was “deeply disappointed” at news Iran had convicted American journalist Roxana Saberi of spying for the United States and sentenced her to eight years in prison. (Saberi was released on appeal the following month.) Emma Hendrickson, a 100-year-old great-great-grandmother from Morris Plains, N.J., became the oldest competitor in the history of the United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships, rolling a 115, 97 and 106 for a 318 series during team competition at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno. (Hendrickson died in February 2012 at 102.)
One year ago: A Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer, Sean Collier, was shot to death while sitting in his cruiser; authorities said he was killed by two brothers suspected in the deadly Boston Marathon bombing. Randy Newman, Heart, Rush, Public Enemy, Donna Summer, Albert King, and producers Quincy Jones and Lou Adler were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Los Angeles.
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