In 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as Emperor of the French and was banished to the island of Elba. (Napoleon later escaped from Elba and returned to power in March 1815, until his downfall in the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.)
In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln spoke to a crowd outside the White House, saying, “We meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart.” (It was the last public address Lincoln would deliver.)
In 1921, Iowa became the first state to impose a cigarette tax, at 2 cents a package.
In 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in Germany.
In 1951, President Harry S. Truman relieved Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his commands in the Far East.
In 1961, former SS officer Adolf Eichmann went on trial in Israel, charged with crimes against humanity for his role in the Nazi Holocaust. (Eichmann was convicted and executed.)
In 1965, dozens of tornadoes raked six Midwestern states on Palm Sunday, killing 271 people.
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which included the Fair Housing Act, a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
In 1970, Apollo 13, with astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise and Jack Swigert, blasted off on its ill-fated mission to the moon.
In 1974, Palestinian gunmen killed 16 civilians, mostly women and children, in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shemona.
In 1981, President Ronald Reagan returned to the White House from the hospital, 12 days after he was wounded in an assassination attempt. Race-related rioting erupted in the Brixton district of south London.
In 1996, 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff, who hoped to become the youngest person to fly cross-country, was killed along with her father and flight instructor when their plane crashed after takeoff from Cheyenne, Wyoming.
Ten years ago: Thousands of people stood in the streets of Poland’s cities in a silent tribute to President Lech Kaczynski (lehk kah-CHIN’-skee) and the other 95 people killed in a plane crash the day before. After a five-month hiatus, golfer Tiger Woods tied for fourth at the Masters, as Phil Mickelson earned his third green jacket.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raoul Castro sat down together on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City in the first formal meeting of the two countries’ leaders in half a century.
One year ago: British police brought Julian Assange from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he had taken refuge for nearly seven years, and the U.S. charged the WikiLeaks founder with conspiring with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to get their hands on government secrets; the arrest came after Ecuador revoked the political asylum that had protected Assange in the embassy. (Assange continues to fight extradition to the United States.) Sudan’s military overthrew President Omar al-Bashir after months of bloody protests against his repressive 30-year rule. (A military-civilian government now rules Sudan.)
Today’s Birthdays: Ethel Kennedy is 92. Actor Joel Grey is 88. Actress Louise Lasser is 81. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman is 79. Movie writer-director John Milius is 76. Actor Peter Riegert is 73. Movie director Carl Franklin is 71. Actor Bill Irwin is 70. Country singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale is 63. Songwriter-producer Daryl Simmons is 63. Rock musician Nigel Pulsford is 59. Actor Lucky Vanous is 59. Country singer Steve Azar is 56. Singer Lisa Stansfield is 54. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock is 54. Actor Johnny Messner is 51. Rock musician Dylan Keefe (Marcy Playground) is 50. Actor Vicellous (vy-SAY’-luhs) Shannon is 49. Rapper David Banner is 46. Actress Tricia Helfer is 46. Rock musician Chris Gaylor (The All-American Rejects) is 41. Actress Kelli Garner is 36. Singer Joss Stone is 33. Actress-dancer Kaitlyn Jenkins is 28.
Thought for Today: “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” — Kurt Vonnegut, American author (born 1922, died this date in 2007).
(Above Advance for Use Saturday, April 11)
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