TODAY IN HISTORY


oday is Friday, April 9, the 99th day of 2021. There are 266 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 9, 1939, Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after the Black singer was denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

On this date:

In 1682, French explorer Robert de La Salle claimed the Mississippi River Basin for France.

In 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

In 1940, during World War II, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway.

In 1942, during World War II, some 75,000 Philippine and American defenders on Bataan surrendered to Japanese troops, who forced the prisoners into what became known as the Bataan Death March; thousands died or were killed en route.

In 1959, NASA presented its first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 91, died in Phoenix, Arizona.

In 1968, funeral services, private and public, were held for Martin Luther King Jr. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and Morehouse College in Atlanta, five days after the civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

In 1979, officials declared an end to the crisis involving the Three Mile Island Unit 2 nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania, 12 days after a partial core meltdown.

In 2003, jubilant Iraqis celebrated the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, beheading a toppled statue of their longtime ruler in downtown Baghdad and embracing American troops as liberators.

In 2005, Britain’s Prince Charles married longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles, who took the title Duchess of Cornwall.

In 2010, Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement. (His vacancy was filled by Elena Kagan.)

Today’s Birthdays: Satirical songwriter and mathematician Tom Lehrer is 93. Actor Michael Learned is 82. Actor Dennis Quaid is 67. Talk show host Joe Scarborough is 58. Actor-model Paulina Porizkova is 56. Actor Keshia Knight Pulliam is 42. Actor Kristen Stewart is 31.