Today in History

  • Fri Apr 6th, 2012 10:45am
  • Life

Today is Easter Sunday, April 8, the 99th day of 2012. There are 267 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 8, 1952, President Harry S. Truman issued an executive order seizing the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike by steelworkers.)

On this date:

In 1820, the Venus de Milo statue was discovered by a farmer on the Greek island of Milos.

In 1911, an explosion at the Banner Coal Mine in Littleton, Ala., claimed the lives of 128 men, most of them convicts loaned out from prisons.

In 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for direct popular election of United States senators (as opposed to appointment by state legislatures), was ratified.

In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act, which provided money for programs such as the Works Progress Administration.

In 1961, a suspected bomb exploded aboard the passenger liner MV Dara in the Persian Gulf, causing it to sink; 238 of the 819 people aboard were killed.

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 1981, General of the Army Omar N. Bradley died in New York at age 88.

In 1990, Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance had gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18.

In 1992, tennis great Arthur Ashe announced at a New York news conference that he had AIDS (Ashe died in February 1993 of AIDS-related pneumonia at age 49).

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.

Today’s Birthdays

Comedian Shecky Greene is 86. Actor-turned-diplomat John Gavin is 81. Author and investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is 75. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is 74. Basketball Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek is 72. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 71. Actor Hywel Bennett is 68. Rock musician Steve Howe (Yes) is 65. Former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay is 65. Movie director John Madden is 63. Rock musician Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) is 61. Actor John Schneider is 52. “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch is 51. Singer Julian Lennon is 49. Rock singer-musician Donita Sparks is 49. Actress Robin Wright is 46. Actress Patricia Arquette is 44. Actress Katee Sackhoff is 32. Rock singer-musician Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend) is 28.

Thought for Today

“The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.” — Gen. Omar N. Bradley (1893-1981).

Associated Press