Today in History
Published 12:01 am Tuesday, April 17, 2018
Today is Tuesday, April 17, the 107th day of 2018. There are 258 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 17, 1961, some 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in an attempt to topple Fidel Castro, whose forces crushed the incursion by the third day.
On this date:
In 1492, a contract was signed by Christopher Columbus and a representative of Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, giving Columbus a commission to seek a westward ocean passage to Asia.
In 1521, Martin Luther went before the Diet of Worms (vohrms) to face charges stemming from his religious writings. (Luther was later declared an outlaw by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.)
In 1861, the Virginia State Convention voted to secede from the Union.
In 1895, the Treaty of Shimonoseki ended the first Sino-Japanese War.
In 1924, the motion picture studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer was founded, the result of a merger of Metro Pictures, Goldwyn Pictures and the Louis B. Mayer Co.
In 1937, cartoon character Daffy Duck made his debut in the Warner Bros. animated short “Porky’s Duck Hunt,” directed by Tex Avery.
In 1941, Yugoslavia surrendered to Germany during World War II.
In 1964, Geraldine “Jerrie” Mock became the first woman to complete a solo airplane trip around the world as she returned to Columbus, Ohio, after 29 1/2 days in her Cessna 180. Ford Motor Co. unveiled the Mustang at the New York World’s Fair. The first game was played at New York’s Shea Stadium; the Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the Mets, 4-3.
In 1970, Apollo 13 astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise and Jack Swigert splashed down safely in the Pacific, four days after a ruptured oxygen tank crippled their spacecraft while en route to the moon.
In 1972, the Boston Marathon allowed women to compete for the first time; Nina Kuscsik was the first officially recognized women’s champion, with a time of 3:10:26.
In 1986, at London’s Heathrow Airport, a bomb was discovered in the bag of Anne-Marie Murphy, a pregnant Irishwoman about to board an El Al jetliner to Israel; she’d been tricked into carrying the bomb by her Jordanian fiance, Nezar Hindawi. The bodies of kidnapped American Peter Kilburn and Britons Philip Padfield and Leigh Douglas were found near Beirut; they had been slain in apparent retaliation for the U.S. raid on Libya.
In 1993, a federal jury in Los Angeles convicted two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King; two other officers were acquitted. Turkish President Turgut Ozal died at age 66.
Ten years ago: Pope Benedict XVI, during his visit to Washington, talked and prayed privately with survivors of the clergy sex abuse scandal in what’s believed to be a first-ever meeting between a pontiff and abuse victims. British Prime Minister Gordon Brown met at Camp David with President George W. Bush; the two leaders sought to dispel doubts about their relationship, showing common ground on a range of issues. Danny Federici, the keyboard player for Bruce Springsteen, died in New York City at age 58.
Five years ago: Fifteen people were killed when a fertilizer plant exploded in West, Texas. Sports returned to Boston two days after the deadly Marathon bombing as the Buffalo Sabres defeated the Bruins in a 3-2 shootout (players on both teams wore “Boston Strong” decals on their helmets). Senate Republicans backed by a small band of rural-state Democrats scuttled the most far-reaching gun control legislation in two decades, rejecting tighter background checks for buyers and a ban on assault weapons.
One year ago: Opening his first White House Easter Egg Roll, President Donald Trump extolled the strength of America as thousands of kids, and some adults, reveled in the time-honored tradition of rolling hard-boiled eggs across the manicured lawn in his back yard. Kenyans ruled the Boston Marathon, with Geoffrey Kirui and Edna Kiplagat winning the race in their debut.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor David Bradley is 76. Composer-musician Jan Hammer (yahn HAH’-mur) is 70. Actress Olivia Hussey is 67. Actor Clarke Peters is 66. Rock singer-musician Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks) is 63. Rapper Afrika Bambaataa is 61. Actor Sean Bean is 59. Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason is 57. Actor Joel Murray is 56. Rock singer Maynard James Keenan is 54. Actress Lela Rochon (LEE’-lah rohn-SHAHN’) is 54. Actor William Mapother is 53. Actress Leslie Bega is 51. Actor Henry Ian Cusick is 51. Actress Kimberly Elise is 51. Singer Liz Phair is 51. Rapper-actor Redman is 48. Actress Jennifer Garner is 46. Country musician Craig Anderson is 45. Singer Victoria Adams Beckham is 44. Actress-singer Lindsay Korman is 40. Actor Tate Ellington is 39. Actor Nicholas D’Agosto is 38. Actor Charlie Hofheimer is 37. Actress Rooney Mara is 33. Actress Jacqueline MacInnes Wood is 31. Actor Paulie Litt is 23. Actress Dee Dee Davis is 22.