Today is Sunday, April 5, the 96th day of 2020. There are 270 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 5, 1991, former Sen. John Tower, R-Texas, his daughter Marian and 21 other people were killed in a commuter plane crash near Brunswick, Georgia.
On this date:
In 1621, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts on a monthlong return trip to England.
In 1887, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, 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.
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 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death following their conviction in New York on charges of conspiring to commit espionage for the Soviet Union.
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 1964, Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur died in Washington, D.C., at age 84.
In 1974, Stephen King’s first published novel, “Carrie,” was released by Doubleday.
In 1975, nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek died in Taipei at age 87.
In 1976, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes died in Houston at age 70.
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 1988, a 15-day hijacking ordeal began as gunmen forced a Kuwait Airways jumbo jet to land in Iran.
In 2001, Wang Zhizhi became the first Chinese player to play in the NBA when he took the court for Dallas against Atlanta. (Wang scored six points and grabbed three rebounds as the Mavericks beat the Hawks 108-94.)
Ten years ago: An explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine near Charleston, West Virginia, 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.
Five years ago: In an Easter Sunday peace wish, Pope Francis praised a framework nuclear agreement with Iran as an opportunity to make the world safer, while expressing deep worry about bloodshed in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and elsewhere in Africa. Rolling Stone magazine apologized and officially retracted its discredited article about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia. Actor Richard Dysart, 86, died in Santa Monica, California.
One year ago: Inspecting a refurbished section of fencing at the Mexican border in California, President Donald Trump declared that “our country is full,” and that illegal crossings must be stopped. In a speech to union activists, former Vice President Joe Biden signaled that he was ready to run for president as a moderate Democrat in a party that had been drifting left; Biden also made light of his recent controversy about crossing physical boundaries with women. Former congressman Anthony Weiner, nearing the end of a 21-month prison sentence for having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old girl, was ordered to register as a sex offender.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie producer Roger Corman is 94. Former U.S. Secretary of State and former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell is 83. Country singer Tommy Cash is 80. Actor Michael Moriarty is 79. Pop singer Allan Clarke (The Hollies) is 78. Writer-director Peter Greenaway is 78. Actor Max Gail is 77. Actress Jane Asher is 74. Singer Agnetha (ag-NEE’-tah) Faltskog (ABBA) is 70. Actor Mitch Pileggi is 68. Singer-songwriter Peter Case is 66. Hip-hop artist/actor Christopher “Kid” Reid is 56. Rock musician Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) is 54. Singer Paula Cole is 52. Actress Krista Allen is 49. Actress Victoria Hamilton is 49. Country singer Pat Green is 48. Rapper-producer Pharrell (fa-REHL’) Williams is 47. Rapper/producer Juicy J is 45. Actor Sterling K. Brown is 44. Country singer-musician Mike Eli (The Eli Young Band) is 39. Actress Hayley Atwell is 38. Actress Lily James is 31.
Thought for Today: “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority.” — Lord Acton, British historian (1834-1902), in a letter written on this date in 1887.