Today in History

Today is Tuesday, April 7, the 97th day of 2015. There are 268 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 7, 1945, during World War II, American planes intercepted and effectively destroyed a Japanese fleet, which included the battleship Yamato, that was headed to Okinawa on a suicide mission.

On this date:

In 1788, an expedition led by Gen. Rufus Putnam established a settlement at present-day Marietta, Ohio.

In 1862, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.

In 1915, jazz singer-songwriter Billie Holiday, also known as “Lady Day,” was born in Philadelphia.

In 1927, the image and voice of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover were transmitted live from Washington to New York in the first successful long-distance demonstration of television.

In 1939, Italy invaded Albania, which was annexed less than a week later.

In 1949, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” opened on Broadway.

In 1953, the U.N. General Assembly ratified Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden as the new secretary-general, succeeding Trygve Lie of Norway.

In 1955, movie actress Theda Bara died in Los Angeles at age 69.

In 1966, the U.S. Navy recovered a hydrogen bomb that the U.S. Air Force had lost in the Mediterranean Sea off Spain following a B-52 crash.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter announced he was deferring development of the neutron bomb, a high-radiation weapon.

In 1985, British pop sensation Wham! (George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley) performed at a packed Beijing stadium in Communist China’s first big-name rock concert.

In 1990, a display of Robert Mapplethorpe photographs opened at Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center, the same day the center and its director were indicted on obscenity charges (both were acquitted). An arson fire aboard a ferry en route from Norway to Denmark killed 158 people.

Ten years ago: The blockbuster painkiller Bextra was taken off the market, and the FDA said all similar prescription drugs should strongly warn about possible risk of heart attacks and strokes. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite, was named Iraq’s interim prime minister; Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani was sworn in as interim president. Historic bus service began between the two parts of Kashmir, one controlled by India, the other by Pakistan.

Five years ago: North Korea said it had convicted and sentenced an American man to eight years in a labor prison for entering the country illegally and unspecified hostile acts. (Aijalon Mahli Gomes was freed in August 2010 after former U.S. President Jimmy Carter secured his release.) Opponents seized Kyrgyzstan’s government headquarters after clashes between protesters and security forces that had left dozens of people dead. Space shuttle Discovery docked at the International Space Station, its astronauts overcoming a rare antenna breakdown that had knocked out radar tracking.

One year ago: Pro-Russian activists barricaded inside government buildings in eastern Ukraine proclaimed their regions to be independent and called for a referendum on seceding from Ukraine, an echo of events that had led to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Alonzo Mourning, a seven-time NBA All-Star, and NCAA championship-winning coaches Nolan Richardson and Gary Williams were voted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Connecticut won its second NCAA men’s title in four years, beating Kentucky 60-54 in the championship game. Model and media personality Peaches Geldof was found dead at her home in Wrotham, Kent, England, at age 25.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Wayne Rogers is 82. Media commentator Hodding Carter III is 80. Country singer Bobby Bare is 80. Rhythm-and-blues singer Charlie Thomas (The Drifters) is 78. California Gov. Jerry Brown is 77. Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 76. Singer Patricia Bennett (The Chiffons) is 68. Singer John Oates is 67. Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is 66. Singer Janis Ian is 64. Country musician John Dittrich is 64. Actor Jackie Chan is 61. College and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Tony Dorsett is 61. Actor Russell Crowe is 51. Christian/jazz singer Mark Kibble (Take 6) is 51. Actor Bill Bellamy is 50. Rock musician Dave “Yorkie” Palmer (Space) is 50. Former football player-turned-analyst Tiki Barber is 40. Actress Heather Burns is 40. Christian rock singer-musician John Cooper (Skillet) is 40. Actor Kevin Alejandro is 39. Rock musician Ben McKee (Imagine Dragons) is 30. Actor Ed Speleers is 27. Actor Conner Rayburn is 16.

Thought for Today: “Verba movent, exempla trahunt.” (Words move people, examples compel them.) – Latin proverb.

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