Today in history


By The Associated Press



Today is Thursday, April 2, the 93rd day of 2020. There are 273 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 2, 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, because of advancing Union forces.

On this date:

In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and his expedition landed in present-day Florida. (Some historians say the landing actually occurred the next day, on April 3.)

In 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the U.S. Mint.

In 1912, the just-completed RMS Titanic left Belfast to begin its sea trials eight days before the start of its ill-fated maiden voyage.

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, “The world must be made safe for democracy.” (Congress declared war four days later.)

In 1956, the soap operas “As the World Turns” and “The Edge of Night” premiered on CBS-TV.

In 1958, the term “beatnik” was coined by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen (cayn) to refer to members of the pre-hippie counterculture; the term was inspired by the “Beat Generation” and by the Soviet launch of its second Sputnik spacecraft.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed into law a windfall profits tax on the oil industry. (The tax was repealed in 1988.)

In 1982, several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain. (Britain seized the islands back the following June.)

In 1986, four American passengers, including an 8-month-old girl, her mother and grandmother, were killed when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard a TWA jetliner en route from Rome to Athens, Greece.

In 2002, Israel seized control of Bethlehem; Palestinian gunmen forced their way into the Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, where they began a 39-day standoff.

In 2003, during the Iraq War, American forces fought their way to within sight of the Baghdad skyline.

In 2005, Pope John Paul II died in his Vatican apartment at age 84.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama, visiting a factory in Charlotte, North Carolina, hailed a new government report showing the most jobs created in nearly three years, saying, “We are beginning to turn the corner.” Gunmen seeking to pass themselves off as U.S. and Iraqi soldiers raided a Sunni village outside Baghdad, killing at least 24 people in an execution-style attack. Ohio State junior swingman Evan Turner was the runaway choice as The Associated Press’ college basketball player of the year; Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim (BAY’-hym) was the AP’s college basketball coach of the year.

Five years ago: Capping a week of difficult negotiations, the United States, Iran and five other world powers said they had agreed on an outline of limits on Iran’s nuclear program that would prevent it from developing nuclear weapons in exchange for sanctions relief. Al-Shabab gunmen rampaged through a college in northeastern Kenya, killing at least 148 people. A Russian trawler, the Dalny Vostok, sank in just 15 minutes in icy waters off Russia’s Far Eastern coast, killing at least 56 crew members. Rev. Robert H. Schuller, 88, died in Artesia, California. Stanford won its second NIT title, edging Miami 66-64.

One year ago: Former federal prosecutor Lori Lightfoot won the runoff election for Chicago mayor, becoming the first black woman and the first openly gay person to lead the nation’s third-largest city. Police near Los Angeles arrested a man they said had fatally shot rapper Nipsey Hussle and evaded authorities for two days; police said the two men knew each other and had some sort of personal dispute in the hours before the rapper was killed. Lawmakers in New Zealand voted overwhelmingly in favor of new gun restrictions, including a ban on the types of weapons used by a gunman to kill 50 people at two mosques the previous month. A judge in Pennsylvania sentenced three former Penn State fraternity members to jail in the 2017 death of a pledge who drank heavily before being fatally injured in a series of falls; they were the first defendants ordered to serve time behind bars in a case that brought a new state anti-hazing law.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Sharon Acker is 85. Actress Dame Penelope Keith is 80. Actress Linda Hunt is 75. Singer Emmylou Harris is 73. Actor Sam Anderson is 73. Social critic and author Camille Paglia is 73. Actress Pamela Reed is 71. Rock musician Dave Robinson (The Cars) is 71. Country singer Buddy Jewell is 59. Actor Christopher Meloni is 59. Singer Keren Woodward (Bananarama) is 59. Country singer Billy Dean is 58. Actor Clark Gregg is 58. Actress Jana Marie Hupp is 56. Rock musician Greg Camp is 53. Rock musician Tony Fredianelli (Third Eye Blind) is 51. Actress Roselyn Sanchez is 47. Country singer Jill King is 45. Actor Pedro Pascal is 45. Actor Adam Rodriguez is 45. Actor Jeremy Garrett is 44. Actor Michael Fassbender is 43. Actress Jaime Ray Newman is 42. Rock musician Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5) is 41. Actress Bethany Joy Lenz is 39. Singer Lee Dewyze (TV: “American Idol”) is 34. Country singer Chris Janson is 34. Actor Drew Van Acker is 34. Actress Briga Heelan (TV: “Great News”) is 33. Actor Jesse Plemons is 32. Singer Aaron Kelly (TV: “American Idol”) is 27.

Thought for Today: “Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little.” — Agnes de Mille, American dancer-choreographer (1905-1993).

By The Associated Press