Today in History

Today is Thursday, April 9, the 99th day of 2015. There are 266 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 9, 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

On this date:

In 1413, the coronation of England’s King Henry V took place in Westminster Abbey.

In 1682, French explorer Robert de La Salle claimed the Mississippi River Basin for France.

In 1913, the first game was played at Ebbets Field, the newly built home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0.

In 1914, the Tampico Incident took place as eight U.S. sailors were arrested by Mexican authorities for allegedly entering a restricted area and held for a short time before being released.

In 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. after being denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

In 1940, during World War II, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway.

In 1942, American and Philippine defenders on Bataan capitulated to Japanese forces; the surrender was followed by the notorious Bataan Death March.

In 1945, German pastor and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, 39, was executed by the Nazis at the Flossenburg concentration camp.

In 1959, NASA presented its first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 91, died in Phoenix, Ariz.

In 1965, the newly built Astrodome in Houston featured its first baseball game, an exhibition between the Astros and the New York Yankees, with President Lyndon B. Johnson in attendance. (The Astros won, 2-1, in 12 innings.)

In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger ended its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

In 1996, in a dramatic shift of purse-string power, President Bill Clinton signed a line-item veto bill into law. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the veto in 1998.)

Ten years ago: Britain’s Prince Charles married longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles, who took the title Duchess of Cornwall. Tens of thousands of supporters of a militant Shiite cleric filled central Baghdad’s streets, demanding that American soldiers go home. A day after the funeral for Pope John Paul II, cardinals began an intense period of silence and prayer before their conclave to choose the next pope. Feminist author Andrea Dworkin died in Washington, D.C. at age 58.

Five years ago: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement. (His vacancy was filled by Elena Kagan.) Wisconsin forward Blake Geoffrion, the grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Bernie “Boom Boom” Geoffrion, received the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey’s top player. Meinhardt Raabe, who’d played the Munchkin coroner in “The Wizard of Oz,” died in Orange Park, Florida, at age 94.

One year ago: A 16-year-old boy armed with two knives went on a rampage at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Pennsylvania, stabbing 20 students and a security guard (all of whom survived). President Barack Obama and his wife, Michelle, visited Fort Hood, Texas, the scene of a shooting a week earlier in which three U.S. Army soldiers were killed by a fellow soldier who then took his own life.

Today’s Birthdays: Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner is 89. Satirical songwriter and mathematician Tom Lehrer is 87. Naturalist Jim Fowler is 85. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo is 82. Actress Michael Learned is 76. Country singer Margo Smith is 73. Country singer Hal Ketchum is 62. Actor Dennis Quaid is 61. Comedian Jimmy Tingle is 60. Country musician Dave Innis (Restless Heart) is 56. Actress-sports reporter Lisa Guerrero is 51. Actor Mark Pellegrino is 50. Actress-model Paulina Porizkova is 50. Actress Cynthia Nixon is 49. Rock singer Kevin Martin (Candlebox) is 46. Rock singer Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) is 38. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is 36. Rock musician Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes) is 35. Actor Charlie Hunnam is 35. Actor Ryan Northcott is 35. Actor Arlen Escarpeta is 34. Actor Jay Baruchel is 33. Actress Leighton Meester is 29. Actor-singer Jesse McCartney is 28. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazmine Sullivan is 28. Actress Kristen Stewart is 25. Actress Elle Fanning is 17. Actor Isaac Hempstead Wright is 16. Classical crossover singer Jackie Evancho is 15.

Thought for Today: “The ultimate test of a moral society is the kind of world that it leaves to its children.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer (1906-1945).

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