Today in History


Today is Friday, April 7, the 97th day of 2023. There are 268 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 7, 1984, the Census Bureau reported Los Angeles had overtaken Chicago as the nation’s “second city” in terms of population.

On this date:

In 1862, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.

In 1915, jazz singer-songwriter Billie Holiday, also known as “Lady Day,” was born in Philadelphia.

In 1922, the Teapot Dome scandal had its beginnings as Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall signed a secret deal to lease U.S. Navy petroleum reserves in Wyoming and California to his friends, oilmen Harry F. Sinclair and Edward L. Doheny, in exchange for cash gifts.

In 1945, during World War II, American planes intercepted and effectively destroyed a Japanese fleet, which included the battleship Yamato, that was headed to Okinawa on a suicide mission.

In 1949, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” opened on Broadway.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower held a news conference in which he spoke of the importance of containing the spread of communism in Indochina, saying, “You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly.” (This became known as the “domino theory,” although Eisenhower did not use that term.)

In 1957, shortly after midnight, the last of New York’s electric trolleys completed its final run from Queens to Manhattan.

In 1959, a referendum in Oklahoma repealed the state’s ban on alcoholic beverages.

In 1962, nearly 1,200 Cuban exiles tried by Cuba for their roles in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion were convicted of treason.

In 1966, the U.S. Navy recovered a hydrogen bomb that the U.S. Air Force had lost in the Mediterranean Sea off Spain following a B-52 crash.

In 1994, civil war erupted in Rwanda, a day after a mysterious plane crash claimed the lives of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi; in the months that followed, hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsi and Hutu moderates were slaughtered by Hutu extremists.

In 2020, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned after lambasting the officer he’d fired as the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which had been stricken by a coronavirus outbreak; James McPherson was appointed as acting Navy secretary.

Ten years ago: A fierce battle between U.S.-backed Afghan forces and Taliban militants in a remote corner of eastern Afghanistan left nearly 20 people dead, including 11 Afghan children killed in an airstrike and an American civilian adviser. In Egypt, Christians angered by the killing of four Christians in sectarian violence clashed with a Muslim mob throwing rocks and firebombs, killing one and turning Cairo’s main Coptic cathedral into a battleground.

Five years ago: Opposition activists and local rescuers said at least 40 people were killed in a suspected poison gas attack on the last remaining foothold for the Syrian opposition in the eastern suburbs of Damascus. Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was taken into police custody after a showdown with his own supporters, who tried to keep him from surrendering to face prison time for a corruption conviction.

One year ago: The Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, shattering a historic barrier by securing her place as the first Black female justice and giving President Joe Biden a bipartisan endorsement for his effort to diversify the high court. In a Senate package targeted at stopping the coronavirus, U.S. lawmakers dropped nearly all funding for curbing the virus beyond American borders, a move many health experts described as dangerously short-sighted. Five-time champion Tiger Woods returned to golf at the Masters, shooting a 1-under 71 in his first competitive round since a devastating car wreck 14 months earlier. .

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Bobby Bare is 88. Former California Gov. Jerry Brown is 85. Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 84. Actor Roberta Shore is 80. Singer Patricia Bennett (The Chiffons) is 76. Singer John Oates is 75. Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is 74. Singer Janis Ian is 72. Country musician John Dittrich is 72. Actor Jackie Chan is 69. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett is 69. Actor Russell Crowe is 59. Christian/jazz singer Mark Kibble (Take 6) is 59. Actor Bill Bellamy is 58. Rock musician Dave “Yorkie” Palmer (Space) is 58. Rock musician Charlie Hall (The War on Drugs) is 49. Former football player-turned-analyst Tiki Barber is 48. Actor Heather Burns is 48. Christian rock singer-musician John Cooper (Skillet) is 48. Actor Kevin Alejandro is 47. Retired baseball infielder Adrian Beltre is 44. Actor Sian Clifford is 41. Rock musician Ben McKee (Imagine Dragons) is 38. Christian rock singer Tauren Wells is 37. Actor Ed Speleers is 35.

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