Today is Wednesday, April 8, the 99th day of 2020. There are 267 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 8, 1864, the United States Senate passed, 38-6, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery. (The House of Representatives passed it in January 1865; the amendment was ratified and adopted in December 1865.)
On this date:
In 1513, explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and his expedition began exploring the Florida coastline.
In 1904, Longacre Square in Manhattan was renamed Times Square after The New York Times.
In 1911, an explosion at the Banner Coal Mine in Littleton, Alabama, claimed the lives of 128 men, most of them convicts loaned out from prisons.
In 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking Babe Ruth’s record.
In 1990, Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance had gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18.
In 1993, singer Marian Anderson died in Portland, Oregon, at age 96.
In 1994, Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead in Seattle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; he was 27.
In 2009, Somali pirates hijacked the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama; although the crew was able to retake the cargo ship, the captain, Richard Phillips, was taken captive by the raiders and held aboard a lifeboat. (Phillips was rescued four days later by Navy SEAL snipers who shot three of the pirates dead.)
Today’s Birthdays: Comedian Shecky Greene is 94. Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh is 83. “Mouseketeer” Darlene Gillespie is 79. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 79. Songwriter-producer Leon Huff is 78. Actor Stuart Pankin is 74. Rock musician Steve Howe is 73. Former House Republican leader Tom DeLay is 73. Movie director John Madden is 71. Rock musician Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) is 69. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is 65. Actor John Schneider is 60. “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch is 59. Singer Julian Lennon is 57. Actor Dean Norris is 57.
Thought for Today: “The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.” — Gen. Omar N. Bradley (1893-1981).