TODAY IN HISTORY


Today is Thursday, April 8, the 98th day of 2021. 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 1820, the Venus de Milo statue was discovered by a farmer on the Greek island of Milos.

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 1952, President Harry S. Truman seized the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike by steelworkers.)

In 1963, “Lawrence of Arabia” won the Oscar for best picture at the Academy Awards; Gregory Peck won best actor for “To Kill a Mockingbird” while Anne Bancroft received best actress honors for “The Miracle Worker.”

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 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 95. Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh is 84. “Mouseketeer” Darlene Gillespie is 80. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 80. Rock musician Steve Howe is 74. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., is 66. Actor John Schneider is 61. “Survivor” winner Richard Hatch is 60. Singer Julian Lennon is 58. Actor Patricia Arquette is 53.