Today in history

By The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, April 8, the 98th day of 2018. There are 267 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 8, 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.

On this date:

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

In 1864, the United States Senate passed, 38-6, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery. (The House of Representatives passed it in January 1865; the amendment was ratified and adopted in December 1865.)

In 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for popular election of U.S. senators (as opposed to appointment by state legislatures), was ratified. President Woodrow Wilson became the first chief executive since John Adams to address Congress in person as he asked lawmakers to enact tariff reform.

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

In 1946, the League of Nations assembled in Geneva for its final session.

In 1952, President Harry S. Truman seized the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike by steelworkers.)

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 1973, artist Pablo Picasso died in Mougins (MOO’-zhun), France, at age 91.

In 1988, TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart resigned from the Assemblies of God after he was defrocked for rejecting an order from the church’s national leaders to stop preaching for a year amid reports he had consorted with a prostitute.

In 1993, singer Marian Anderson died in Portland, Oregon, at age 96.

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.

In 2003, kidnapper-rapist John Jamelske, who had imprisoned five women and girls, one after another, as sex slaves inside a makeshift dungeon in his DeWitt, New York, home, was arrested. (Jamelske, who pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree kidnapping, is serving an 18 years-to-life sentence in a maximum security prison.)

Ten years ago: The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Army Gen. David Petraeus, told Congress that hard-won gains in the war zone were too fragile to promise any troop pullouts beyond the summer as he held his ground against impatient Democrats and refused to commit to more withdrawals before President George W. Bush left office in January 2009. American Airlines grounded all 300 of its MD-80 jetliners amid safety concerns about wiring bundles; the carrier ended up canceling more than 3,000 flights over the next four days. Tennessee captured its eighth women’s NCAA championship with a 64-48 victory over Stanford.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama warned Congress not to use delaying tactics against tighter gun regulations and told families of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victims during a visit to Hartford, Connecticut, that he was “determined as ever” to honor their children with tougher laws. Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 87, died in London. Actress and former Disney “Mouseketeer” Annette Funicello, 70, died in Bakersfield, California. Rick Pitino, who coached Louisville in the NCAA championship game, was elected to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame along with former NBA stars Bernard King and Gary Payton, former UNLV coach Jerry Tarkanian, North Carolina women’s coach Sylvia Hatchell, former University of Houston coach Guy Lewis and former University of Virginia star Dawn Staley.

One year ago: Immigrant workers at the famed Tom Cat Bakery in New York who were threatened with being fired if they didn’t produce legal work papers defied the government by rallying outside President Donald Trump’s Manhattan home.

Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Shecky Greene is 92. Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh is 81. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is 80. Basketball Hall of Famer John Havlicek is 78. “Mouseketeer” Darlene Gillespie is 77. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 77. Songwriter-producer Leon Huff is 76. Actor Stuart Pankin is 72. Rock musician Steve Howe is 71. Former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay is 71. Movie director John Madden is 69. Rock musician Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) is 67. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is 63. Actor John Schneider is 58. “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch is 57. Rock musician Izzy Stradlin is 56. Singer Julian Lennon is 55. Actor Dean Norris is 55. Rock singer-musician Donita Sparks is 55. Rapper Biz Markie is 54. Actress Robin Wright is 52. Actress Patricia Arquette is 50. Actor JR Bourne is 48. Rock singer Craig Honeycutt (Everything) is 48. Rock musician Darren Jessee is 47. Actress Emma Caulfield is 45. Actress Katee Sackhoff is 38. Actor Taylor Kitsch is 37. Rock singer-musician Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend) is 34. Actor Taran Noah Smith is 34. Actress Kirsten Storms is 34. Rock musician Jamie Sierota is 25. Actress Sadie Calvano is 21.

Thought for Today: “The truth is always something that is told, not something that is known. If there were no speaking or writing, there would be no truth about anything.” — Susan Sontag, American author and critic (1933-2004).

By The Associated Press