TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Thursday, April 23, the 114th day of 2020. There are 252 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 23, 1616 (Old Style calendar), English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare died in Stratford-upon-Avon on what has traditionally been regarded as the 52nd anniversary of his birth in 1564.

On this date:

In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States, which responded in kind two days later.

In 1914, Chicago’s Wrigley Field, then called Weeghman Park, hosted its first major league game as the Chicago Federals defeated the Kansas City Packers 9-1.

In 1943, U.S. Navy Lt. (jg) John F. Kennedy assumed command of PT-109, a motor torpedo boat, in the Solomon Islands during World War II. (On Aug. 2, 1943, PT-109 was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, killing two crew members; Kennedy and 10 others survived.)

In 1954, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his 755 major-league home runs in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (The Braves won, 7-5.)

In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. (The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.)

In 1998, James Earl Ray, who confessed to assassinating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and then insisted he’d been framed, died at a Nashville, Tennessee, hospital at age 70.

In 2005, the recently created video-sharing website YouTube uploaded its first clip, “Me at the Zoo,” which showed YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim standing in front of an elephant enclosure at the San Diego Zoo.

In 2007, Boris Yeltsin, Russia’s first freely elected president, died in Moscow at age 76.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Alan Oppenheimer is 90. Actor David Birney is 81. Actor Lee Majors is 81. Hockey Hall of Famer Tony Esposito is 77. Irish nationalist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is 73. Actress Blair Brown is 73. Writer-director Paul Brickman is 71. Actress Joyce DeWitt is 71. Actor James Russo is 67. Filmmaker-author Michael Moore is 66. Actress Judy Davis is 65. Actress Valerie Bertinelli is 60. is 53. Rock musician Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) is 52. Rock musician Bryce Dessner (The National) is 44. Professional wrestler/actor John Cena is 43. Actor-writer-comedian John Oliver is 43.

Thought for Today: “For in that sleep of death what dreams may come,/ When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,/ Must give us pause.” — From “Hamlet.”