Today is Wednesday, April 19, the 109th day of 2023. There are 256 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 19, 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.
On this date:
In 1865, a funeral was held at the White House for President Abraham Lincoln, assassinated five days earlier; his coffin was then taken to the U.S. Capitol for a private memorial service in the Rotunda.
In 1897, the first Boston Marathon was held; winner John J. McDermott ran the course in two hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds.
In 1912, a special subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee opened hearings in New York into the Titanic disaster.
In 1943, during World War II, tens of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but ultimately futile battle against Nazi forces.
In 1977, the Supreme Court, in Ingraham v. Wright, ruled 5-4 that even severe spanking of schoolchildren by faculty members did not violate the Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment.
In 1989, 47 sailors were killed when a gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa in the Caribbean. (The Navy initially suspected that a dead crew member had deliberately sparked the blast, but later said there was no proof of that.)
In 1993, the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; about 80 people, including two dozen children and sect leader David Koresh, were killed.
In 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Bomber Timothy McVeigh, who prosecutors said had planned the attack as revenge for the Waco siege of two years earlier, was convicted of federal murder charges and executed in 2001.)
In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope in the first conclave of the new millennium; he took the name Benedict XVI.
In 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv), a 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings, was taken into custody after a manhunt that had left the city virtually paralyzed; his older brother and alleged accomplice, 26-year-old Tamerlan (TAM’-ehr-luhn), was killed earlier in a furious attempt to escape police.
In 2015, Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old Black man, died a week after suffering a spinal cord injury in the back of a Baltimore police van while he was handcuffed and shackled. (Six police officers were charged; three were acquitted and the city’s top prosecutor eventually dropped the three remaining cases.)
Newspaper publisher Al Neuharth, 89, died in Coco Beach, Florida. Children’s author E.L. Konigsburg, 83, died in Falls Church, Virginia.
Five years ago: Raul Castro turned over Cuba’s presidency to Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, the first non-Castro to hold Cuba’s top government office since the 1959 revolution led by Fidel Castro and his younger brother Raul. Democratic Sen. Tammy Duckworth of Illinois brought her 10-day-old daughter to the Senate floor one day after senators approved a new rule permitting it; Duckworth was the first senator to have given birth while serving in the Senate. Walter Leroy Moody, age 83, was executed by lethal injection in Alabama for the mail-bomb slaying of a federal judge in 1989; Moody became the oldest prisoner put to death in the U.S. in modern times. Authorities in Minnesota ended their investigation into the death of music superstar Prince from an accidental overdose without charging anyone in the case.
One year ago: Russia assaulted cities and towns along a boomerang-shaped front hundreds of miles long and poured more troops into Ukraine in a pivotal battle for control of the country’s eastern industrial heartland of coal mines and factories. A New Jersey diocese agreed to pay $87.5 million to settle claims involving clergy sex abuse with some 300 alleged victims in one of the largest cash settlements involving the Catholic church in the United States. The influential sitcom “black-ish” aired its last episode on ABC after eight seasons.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Elinor Donahue is 86. Rock musician Alan Price (The Animals) is 81. Actor Tim Curry is 77. Pop singer Mark “Flo” Volman (The Turtles; Flo and Eddie) is 76. Actor Tony Plana is 71. Former tennis player Sue Barker is 67. Motorsports Hall of Famer Al Unser Jr. is 61. Actor Tom Wood is 60. Former recording executive Suge Knight is 58. Singer-songwriter Dar Williams is 56. Actor Kim Hawthorne (TV: “Greenleaf”) is 55. Actor Ashley Judd is 55. Singer Bekka Bramlett is 55. Latin pop singer Luis Miguel is 53. Actor Jennifer Esposito is 51. Actor Jennifer Taylor is 51. Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux (PAY’-roo) is 49. Actor James Franco is 45. Actor Kate Hudson is 44. Actor Hayden Christensen is 42. Actor Catalina Sandino Moreno is 42. Actor-comedian Ali Wong is 41. Actor Victoria Yeates is 40. Actor Kelen Coleman is 39. Actor Zack Conroy is 38. Roots rock musician Steve Johnson (Alabama Shakes) is 38. Actor Courtland Mead is 36. Retired tennis player Maria Sharapova is 36. NHL forward Patrik Laine is 25.