Today in history


By the Associated Press



Today is Saturday, April 18, the 109th day of 2020. There are 257 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 18, 1978, the Senate approved the Panama Canal Treaty, providing for the complete turnover of control of the waterway to Panama on the last day of 1999.

On this date:

In 1775, Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Massachusetts, warning colonists that British Regular troops were approaching.

In 1831, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa was officially opened.

In 1906, a devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by raging fires; estimates of the final death toll range between 3,000 and 6,000.

In 1910, suffragists showed up at the U.S. Capitol with half a million signatures demanding that women be given the right to vote.

In 1934, the first laundromat (called a “washateria”) opened in Fort Worth, Texas.

In 1938, Superman, AKA “The Man of Steel,” made his debut as the first issue of Action Comics (bearing a cover date of June) went on sale for 10 cents a copy. (In 2014, a nearly flawless original copy was sold on eBay for $3.2 million.)

In 1945, famed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle, 44, was killed by Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima (ee-EH’ shee-MAH’), off Okinawa.

In 1954, Gamal Abdel Nasser seized power as he became prime minister of Egypt.

In 1956, American actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier (ren-YAY’) of Monaco in a civil ceremony. (A church wedding took place the next day.)

In 1983, 63 people, including 17 Americans, were killed at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.

In 1988, an Israeli court convicted John Demjanjuk (dem-YAHN’-yuk), a retired auto worker from Cleveland, of committing war crimes at the Treblinka death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. (However, Israel’s Supreme Court later overturned Demjanjuk’s conviction.)

In 1995, quarterback Joe Montana retired from professional football. The Houston Post closed after more than a century.

Ten years ago: Tens of thousands of Poles bade farewell to President Lech Kaczynski (lehk kah-CHIN’-skee) at a state funeral in Krakow. Brian Davis called a two-stroke penalty on himself on the first playoff hole to give Jim Furyk a victory at the Verizon Heritage. Rafael Nadal defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-1 in an all-Spanish final to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the sixth straight year. Carrie Underwood became the first woman to win entertainer of the year twice at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

Five years ago: A ship believed to be carrying more than 800 migrants from Africa sank in the Mediterranean off Libya; only about 30 people were rescued. A motorcycle-riding suicide bomber attacked a line of people waiting outside a bank in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 35. Ringo Starr, Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, pop punks Green Day, soul singer-songwriter Bill Withers, underground-rock icon Lou Reed, bluesy guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band and The “5” Royales were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

One year ago: The final report from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation was made public; it outlined Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election but did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government. Mueller offered no conclusion on the question of whether the president obstructed justice. As France paid a daylong tribute to the firefighters who saved Notre Dame Cathedral, a police official said investigators believed that the fire at the landmark was most likely caused by an electrical short-circuit.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Clive Revill is 90. Actor Robert Hooks is 83. Actress Hayley Mills is 74. Actor James Woods is 73. Actress-director Dorothy Lyman is 73. Actress Cindy Pickett is 73. Country musician Walt Richmond (The Tractors) is 73. Country musician Jim Scholten (Sawyer Brown) is 68. Actor Rick Moranis is 67. Actress Melody Thomas Scott is 64. Actor Eric Roberts is 64. Actor John James is 64. Rock musician Les Pattinson (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 62. Author-journalist Susan Faludi is 61. Actress Jane Leeves is 59. Ventriloquist-comedian Jeff Dunham is 58. Talk show host Conan O’Brien is 57. Bluegrass singer-musician Terry Eldredge is 57. Actor Eric McCormack is 57. Actress Maria Bello is 53. Actress Mary Birdsong is 52. Actor David Hewlett is 52. Rock musician Greg Eklund (The Oolahs) is 50. Actress Lisa Locicero is 50. Actress Tamara Braun is 49. TV chef Ludovic Lefebvre is 49. Actor Fedro Starr is 49. Actor David Tennant is 49. Country musician Marvin Evatt (EH’-veht) is 46. Rock musician Mark Tremonti is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Trina (Trina and Tamara) is 46. Actress Melissa Joan Hart is 44. Actor Sean Maguire is 44. Actor Kevin Rankin is 44. Actor Bryce Johnson is 43. Reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian (kar-DASH’-ee-uhn) is 41. Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is 37. Actress America Ferrera is 36. Actor Tom Hughes is 35. Actress Ellen Woglom (TV: “Marvel’s Inhumans”) is 33. Actress Vanessa Kirby is 32. Actress Alia Shawkat is 31. Actress Britt Robertson is 30. Actress Chloe Bennet is 28. Rock singer Nathan Sykes (The Wanted) is 27. Actor Moises Arias is 26.

Thought for Today: “There is no shame in not knowing; the shame lies in not finding out.” — Russian proverb.

By the Associated Press