Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, April 23, the 114th day of 2020. There are 252 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 23, 1616 (Old Style calendar), English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare died in Stratford-upon-Avon on what has traditionally been regarded as the 52nd anniversary of his birth in 1564.

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On this date:

In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States, which responded in kind two days later.

In 1914, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, then called Weeghman Park, hosted its first major league game as the Chicago Federals defeated the Kansas City Packers 9-1.

In 1943, U.S. Navy Lt. (jg) John F. Kennedy assumed command of PT-109, a motor torpedo boat, in the Solomon Islands during World War II. (On Aug. 2, 1943, PT-109 was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, killing two crew members; Kennedy and 10 others survived.)

In 1954, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his 755 major-league home runs in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (The Braves won, 7-5.)

In 1968, student protesters began occupying buildings on the campus of Columbia University in New York; police put down the protests a week later. The Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged to form the United Methodist Church.

In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. (The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.)

In 1987, 28 construction workers were killed when an apartment complex being built in Bridgeport, Connecticut, suddenly collapsed.

In 1988, a federal ban on smoking during domestic airline flights of two hours or less went into effect.

In 1996, a civil court jury in The Bronx, New York, ordered Bernhard Goetz (bur-NAHRD’ gehts) to pay $43 million to Darrell Cabey, one of four young men he’d shot on a subway car in 1984.

In 1998, James Earl Ray, who confessed to assassinating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and then insisted he’d been framed, died at a Nashville, Tennessee, hospital at age 70.

In 2005, the recently created video-sharing website YouTube uploaded its first clip, “Me at the Zoo,” which showed YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim standing in front of an elephant enclosure at the San Diego Zoo.

In 2007, Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first freely elected president, died in Moscow at age 76.

Ten years ago: Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer signed the nation’s toughest illegal immigration law, saying “decades of inaction and misguided policy” had created a “dangerous and unacceptable situation”; opponents said the law would encourage discrimination against Hispanics. The Coast Guard suspended a three-day search for 11 workers missing after an explosion rocked the Deepwater Horizon oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico.

Five years ago: Blaming the “fog of war,” President Barack Obama revealed that U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan had inadvertently killed an American and an Italian, two hostages held by al-Qaida, as well as two other Americans who had leadership roles with the terror network. Former CIA Director David Petraeus, whose career was destroyed by an extramarital affair with his biographer, Paula Broadwell, was sentenced in Charlotte, North Carolina, to two years’ probation and fined $100,000 for giving her classified material while she was working on the book. The Senate voted 56-43 to confirm Loretta Lynch as U.S. attorney general.

One year ago: President Donald Trump met with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, hours after bashing the company and accusing it of not treating him well because he’s a Republican. The S&P 500 hit an all-time high, closing at 2,933.68 and marking the stock market’s complete recovery from a nosedive at the end of 2018. Sri Lanka’s president gave the country’s military sweeping police powers in the wake of the Easter Sunday church and hotel bombings that killed more than 250 people.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Alan Oppenheimer is 90. Actor David Birney is 81. Actor Lee Majors is 81. Hockey Hall of Famer Tony Esposito is 77. Irish nationalist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is 73. Actress Blair Brown is 73. Writer-director Paul Brickman is 71. Actress Joyce DeWitt is 71. Actor James Russo is 67. Filmmaker-author Michael Moore is 66. Actress Judy Davis is 65. Actress Valerie Bertinelli is 60. Actor Craig Sheffer is 60. Actor-comedian-talk show host George Lopez is 59. U.S. Olympic gold medal skier Donna Weinbrecht is 55. Actress Melina Kanakaredes (kah-nah-KAH’-ree-deez) is 53. Rock musician Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) is 52. Country musician Tim Womack (Sons of the Desert) is 52. Actor Scott Bairstow (BEHR’-stow) is 50. Actor-writer John Lutz is 47. Actor Barry Watson is 46. Rock musician Aaron Dessner (The National) is 44. Rock musician Bryce Dessner (The National) is 44. Professional wrestler/actor John Cena is 43. Actor-writer-comedian John Oliver is 43. Actor Kal Penn is 43. Retired MLB All-Star Andruw Jones is 43. Actress Jaime King is 41. Pop singer Taio (TY’-oh) Cruz is 37. Actor Aaron Hill is 37. Actor Jesse Lee Soffer is 36. Actress Rachel Skarsten is 35. Rock musician Anthony LaMarca (The War on Drugs) is 33. Singer-songwriter John Fullbright is 32. Tennis player Nicole Vaidisova (vay-deh-SOH’-vuh) is 31. Actor Dev Patel (puh-TEHL’) is 30. Actor Matthew Underwood is 30. Actor Camryn Walling is 30. Model Gigi Hadid is 25. Rock musicians Jake and Josh Kiszka (Greta Van Fleet) are 24. Actor Charlie Rowe (TV: “Salvation”) is 24. Tennis player Ashleigh Barty is 24. U.S. Olympic gold medal snowboarder Chloe Kim is 20.

Thought for Today: “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,/ When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,/ Must give us pause.” — From “Hamlet.”

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