Today in History


Today is Thursday, April 6, the 96th day of 2023. There are 269 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 6, 1896, the first modern Olympic games formally opened in Athens, Greece.

On this date:

In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Shiloh began in Tennessee as Confederate forces launched a surprise attack against Union troops, who beat back the Confederates the next day.

In 1864, Louisiana opened a convention in New Orleans to draft a new state constitution, one that called for the abolition of slavery.

In 1909, American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson and four Inuits became the first men to reach the North Pole.

In 1917, the United States entered World War I as the House joined the Senate in approving a declaration of war against Germany that was then signed by President Woodrow Wilson.

In 1943, “Le Petit Prince” (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was first published by Reynal & Hitchcock of New York.

In 1945, during World War II, the Japanese warship Yamato and nine other vessels sailed on a suicide mission to attack the U.S. fleet off Okinawa; the fleet was intercepted the next day.

In 1954, Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., responding to CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow’s broadside against him on “See It Now,” said in remarks filmed for the program that Murrow had, in the past, “engaged in propaganda for Communist causes.”

In 1968, 41 people were killed by two consecutive natural gas explosions at a sporting goods store in downtown Richmond, Indiana.

In 1974, Swedish pop group ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest held in Brighton, England, with a performance of the song “Waterloo.”

In 2008, Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, speaking at a private fundraiser in San Francisco, spoke of voters in Pennsylvania’s Rust Belt communities who “cling to guns or religion” because of bitterness about their economic lot; Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton seized on the comment, calling it “elitist.”

In 2014, legendary Hollywood actor Mickey Rooney, 93, died in North Hollywood.

In 2017, comedian Don Rickles, known for his biting insults, died in Beverly Hills, California at age 90.

In 2020, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was transferred to the intensive care unit of a London hospital where he was being treated for COVID-19, after his condition deteriorated.

Ten years ago: Iran and six world powers failed to reach agreement during talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on how to reduce fears that Tehran might use its nuclear technology to make weapons. Militants killed six Americans, including diplomat Anne Smedinghoff, 25, and an Afghan doctor in a pair of attacks in Afghanistan, the deadliest day for the United States in the war in eight months.

Five years ago: Texas Republican congressman Blake Farenthold abruptly resigned, four months after announcing he wouldn’t seek re-election amid sexual harassment allegations. Former Democratic Sen. Daniel Akaka of Hawaii died in Honolulu at the age of 93. Federal law enforcement authorities seized online classified site and its affiliated websites known for listing adult escort services. A South Korean court sentenced former President Park Geun-hye to 24 years in prison on charges including bribery and extortion stemming from a corruption scandal that removed her from office a year earlier. A transport truck collided with a bus carrying a junior hockey team in western Canada, killing 16.

One year ago: The mayor of the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol said more than 5,000 civilians had been killed during the invasion by Russian troops. In response, the U.S. and its Western allies moved to impose new sanctions against the Kremlin over what they brand war crimes. European health officials investigated a rapidly evolving outbreak of salmonella in 134 children that appears linked to chocolate Easter eggs.

Today’s Birthdays: Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson is 95. Actor Billy Dee Williams is 86. Actor Roy Thinnes is 85. Movie director Barry Levinson is 81. Actor John Ratzenberger is 76. Actor Patrika Darbo is 75. Baseball Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven is 72. Actor Marilu Henner is 71. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Janet Lynn is 70. Actor Michael Rooker is 68. Former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is 67. Rock musician Warren Haynes is 63. Rock singer-musician Black Francis (The Pixies) is 58. Actor Ari Meyers is 54. Actor Paul Rudd is 54. Actor-producer Jason Hervey is 51. Actor Zach Braff is 48. Actor Joel Garland is 48. Actor Candace Cameron Bure (buhr-RAY’) is 47. Actor Teddy Sears is 46. Jazz and R&B musician Robert Glasper is 45. Actor Eliza Coupe is 42. Singer and guitarist Kenneth Pattengale (Milk Carton Kids) is 41. Actor Bret Harrison is 41. Actor Charlie McDermott is 33.

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