Today in History

Today is Easter Sunday, April 5, the 95th day of 2015. There are 270 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On April 5, 1965, “My Fair Lady” won the Academy Award for best picture, and one of its stars, Rex Harrison, was named best actor; Julie Andrews won best actress for “Mary Poppins.” The single version of The Beach Boys’ “Help Me, Rhonda” was released by Capitol Records.

On this date:

In 1614, Indian Chief Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas married Englishman John Rolfe in the Virginia Colony. England’s King James I convened the second Parliament of his rule; the “Addled Parliament,” as it came to be known, lasted only two months.

In 1764, Britain’s Parliament passed The American Revenue Act of 1764, also known as The Sugar Act.

In 1887, in Tuscumbia, Ala., teacher Anne Sullivan achieved a breakthrough as her 6-year-old deaf-blind pupil, Helen Keller, learned the meaning of the word “water” as spelled out in the Manual Alphabet. British historian Lord Acton wrote in a letter, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

In 1895, Oscar Wilde lost his criminal libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry, who’d accused the writer of homosexual practices.

In 1915, Jess Willard knocked out Jack Johnson in the 26th round of their fight in Havana, Cuba, to claim boxing’s world heavyweight title.

In 1925, a tornado estimated at F-3 intensity struck northern Miami-Dade County, Fla., killing five people.

In 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed an executive order creating the Civilian Conservation Corps and an anti-hoarding order that effectively prohibited private ownership of gold.

In 1955, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill resigned his office for health reasons. Democrat Richard J. Daley was first elected mayor of Chicago, defeating Republican Robert E. Merriam.

In 1975, nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek died in Taipei at age 87.

In 1976, during an outdoor demonstration against court-ordered school busing in Boston, a white teenager swung a pole holding an American flag at a black attorney in a scene captured in a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph by Stanley Forman of the Boston Herald American.

In 1986, two American servicemen and a Turkish woman were killed in the bombing of a West Berlin discotheque, an incident which prompted a U.S. air raid on Libya more than a week later.

In 1991, former Sen. John Tower, R-Texas, his daughter Marian and 21 other people were killed in a commuter plane crash near Brunswick, Ga.

Ten years ago: ABC News anchorman Peter Jennings revealed he had lung cancer (he died in August 2005 at age 67). Nobel Prize-winning author Saul Bellow died in Brookline, Mass., at age 89. Dale Messick, creator of the long-running comic strip “Brenda Starr, Reporter,” died at age 98.

Five years ago: An explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine near Charleston, W.Va., killed 29 workers. In a televised rescue, 115 Chinese coal miners were freed after spending eight days trapped in a flooded mine, surviving an accident that had killed 38. The WikiLeaks website posted classified video of Apache helicopters gunning down at least nine men in Iraq on July 12, 2007, including a Reuters photographer and his driver. The Duke Blue Devils defeated the Butler Bulldogs 61-59, capturing a fourth NCAA men’s basketball title. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced inductees that included NBA stars Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Johnson and Gus Johnson.

One year ago: Millions of Afghans defied Taliban threats and rain as they went to the polls to choose President Hamid Karzai’s successor. (Ashraf Ghani emerged the winner.) Breanna Stewart, UConn’s 6-foot-4 sophomore star, was named The Associated Press Player of the Year. Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw was selected coach of the year for the second straight season. Award-winning author and environmentalist Peter Matthiessen, 86, died on Long Island, N.Y.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie producer Roger Corman is 89. Former U.S. Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell is 78. Country singer Tommy Cash is 75. Actor Michael Moriarty is 74. Pop singer Allan Clarke (The Hollies) is 73. Writer-director Peter Greenaway is 73. Actor Max Gail is 72. Actress Jane Asher is 69. Singer Agnetha Faltskog (ABBA) is 65. Actor Mitch Pileggi is 63. Singer-songwriter Peter Case is 61. Rock musician Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) is 49. Country singer Troy Gentry is 48. Singer Paula Cole is 47. Actress Krista Allen is 44. Country singer Pat Green is 43. Rapper-producer Pharrell Williams is 42. Rapper/producer Juicy J is 40. Actor Sterling K. Brown is 39. Country singer-musician Mike Eli (The Eli Young Band) is 34. Actress Hayley Atwell is 33. Actress Lily James is 26.

Thought for Today: “I realized a long time ago that a belief which does not spring from a conviction in the emotions is no belief at all.” — Evelyn Scott, American author (1893-1963).

 

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