Today is Saturday, April 13, the 103rd day of 2019. There are 262 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 13, 1970, Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. (The astronauts managed to return safely.)
On this date:
In 1598, King Henry IV of France endorsed the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to the Protestant Huguenots. (The edict was abrogated in 1685 by King Louis XIV, who declared France entirely Catholic again.)
In 1743, the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was born in Shadwell in the Virginia Colony.
In 1861, at the start of the Civil War, Fort Sumter in South Carolina fell to Confederate forces.
In 1917, American business tycoon James “Diamond Jim” Brady, known for his jewelry collection as well as his hearty appetite, died in Atlantic City, New Jersey at age 60.
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C. on the 200th anniversary of the third American president’s birth.
In 1958, Van Cliburn of the United States won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition for piano in Moscow; Russian Valery Klimov won the violin competition.
In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first black performer in a leading role to win an Academy Award for his performance in “Lilies of the Field.”
In 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Great Synagogue of Rome in the first recorded papal visit of its kind to a Jewish house of worship.
In 1992, the Great Chicago Flood took place as the city’s century-old tunnel system and adjacent basements filled with water from the Chicago River. “The Bridges of Madison County,” a romance novel by Robert James Waller, was published by Warner Books.
In 1997, Tiger Woods became the youngest person to win the Masters Tournament and the first player of partly African heritage to claim a major golf title.
In 1999, right-to-die advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian was sentenced in Pontiac, Michigan, to 10 to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder in the lethal injection of a Lou Gehrig’s disease patient. (Kevorkian ended up serving eight years.)
In 2005, a defiant Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to carrying out the deadly bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and three other attacks in back-to-back court appearances in Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta.
Ten years ago: The U.N. Security Council condemned North Korea’s April 5 rocket launch. President Barack Obama allowed Americans to make unlimited transfers of money and visits to relatives in Cuba. Music producer Phil Spector was found guilty by a Los Angeles jury of second-degree murder in the shooting of actress Lana Clarkson (he was later sentenced to 19 years to life in prison). Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Mark “The Bird” Fidrych died in an accident on his Massachusetts farm; he was 54. Harry Kalas, whose “Outta here!” home run calls thrilled Philadelphia baseball fans, died after collapsing in the broadcast booth before the Phillies’ 9-8 victory over the Nationals in Washington; he was 73.
Five years ago: The head of the United Nations’ expert panel on climate change said the cost of keeping global warming in check was “relatively modest,” but only if the world acted quickly to reverse the buildup of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. Three people were shot to death at two sites in suburban Kansas City; suspect Frazier Glenn Miller, a white supremacist, was allegedly targeting Jews (none of the victims was Jewish). Thirty-six people were killed when a bus slammed into a broken-down truck in Veracruz, Mexico. Bubba Watson won the Masters for the second time in three years.
One year ago: President Donald Trump announced that the United States, France and Britain had carried out joint airstrikes in Syria meant to punish President Bashar Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons. Trump issued a pardon to I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, suggesting that the former top aide to Vice President Dick Cheney had been “treated unfairly” by a special counsel. Responding to a stinging new memoir from former FBI Director James Comey, Trump laced into Comey, describing him as an “untruthful slime ball.” As thousands of teachers rallied inside and outside the state Capitol, the Republican-dominated Kentucky state legislature overrode vetoes by GOP Gov. Matt Bevin on a spending plan that included new money for education.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., is 86. Actor Lyle Waggoner is 84. Actor Edward Fox is 82. Actor Paul Sorvino is 80. Rhythm-and-blues singer Lester Chambers is 79. Movie-TV composer Bill Conti is 77. Rock musician Jack Casady is 75. Actor Tony Dow is 74. Singer Al Green is 73. Actor Ron Perlman is 69. Actor William Sadler is 69. Singer Peabo Bryson is 68. Bandleader/rock musician Max Weinberg is 68. Bluegrass singer-musician Sam Bush is 67. Rock musician Jimmy Destri is 65. Comedian Gary Kroeger is 62. Actress Saundra Santiago is 62. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa., is 59. Rock musician Joey Mazzola (Sponge) is 58. Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is 56. Actress Page Hannah is 55. Actress-comedian Caroline Rhea (RAY) is 55. Rock musician Lisa Umbarger is 54. Rock musician Marc Ford is 53. Reggae singer Capleton is 52. Actor Ricky Schroder is 49. Rock singer Aaron Lewis (Staind) is 47. Actor Bokeem Woodbine is 46. Singer Lou Bega is 44. Actor-producer Glenn Howerton is 43. Actor Kyle Howard is 41. Actress Kelli Giddish is 39. Actress Courtney Peldon is 38. Pop singer Nellie McKay (mih-KY’) is 37. Rapper/singer Ty Dolla $ign is 37. Baseball outfielder Hunter Pence is 36. Actress Allison Williams is 31. Actress Hannah Marks is 26.
Thought for Today: “Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them.” — Charles Louis de Montesquieu, French philosopher (1689-1755).