Today is Tuesday, April 10, the 101st day of 2012. There are 265 days left in the year.
On April 10, 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage, stopping first in Cherbourg, France, and then Queenstown (Cobh), Ireland, the next day to pick up additional passengers before heading out into the open sea.
On this date:
In 1790, President George Washington signed into law the first United States Patent Act.
In 1862, Congress passed a joint resolution offering financial aid to any state which agreed to gradually abolish slavery.
In 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was incorporated.
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 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.) Stuart Sutcliffe, the Beatles’ original bass player, died in Hamburg, West Germany, at age 21. Movie director Michael Curtiz (“Casablanca”) died in Hollywood at age 75.
In 1963, the nuclear-powered submarine USS Thresher sank during deep-diving tests off Cape Cod, Mass., in a disaster that claimed 129 lives.
In 1972, the United States and the Soviet Union joined some 70 nations in signing an agreement banning biological warfare. A severe earthquake struck southern Iran, killing more than 5,000 people. At the Academy Awards, “The French Connection” won Best Picture; Charles Chaplin received an honorary Oscar.
In 1992, comedian Sam Kinison was killed in a car crash outside Needles, Calif., at age 38.
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: Eight Israelis were killed by a suicide bomber aboard a bus in Haifa.
Five years ago: A woman wearing an explosives vest strapped underneath her black robe blew herself up in the midst of 200 Iraqi police recruits in Muqdadiyah, killing 16. Two Russian cosmonauts and U.S. billionaire Charles Simonyi arrived at the international space station. DNA tests showed that former boyfriend Larry Birkhead was the father of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby.
One year ago: In the first remarks since his ouster, former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak denied allegations that he had used his position to amass wealth and property. Bob Dylan performed a concert in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) in Vietnam. Charl Schwartzel won the Masters by two strokes over Adam Scott and Jason Day after a wild final round at Augusta National; the 26-year-old South African closed with four straight birdies, making a 20-footer at the final hole to wrap up a 6-under 66.