Today In History: April 16, King Writes From Birmingham Jail

Today in History

Today is Saturday, April 16, the 106th day of 2022. There are 259 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 16, 1945, a Soviet submarine in the Baltic Sea torpedoed and sank the MV Goya, which Germany was using to transport civilian refugees and wounded soldiers; it’s estimated that up to 7,000 people died.

On this date:

In 1789, President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Virginia, for his inauguration in New York.

In 1889, comedian and movie director Charles Chaplin was born in London.

In 1945, In his first speech to Congress, President Harry S. Truman pledged to carry out the war and peace policies of his late predecessor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1947, the cargo ship Grandcamp, carrying ammonium nitrate, blew up in the harbor in Texas City, Texas; a nearby ship, the High Flyer, which was carrying ammonium nitrate and sulfur, caught fire and exploded the following day; the blasts and fires killed nearly 600 people.

In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in which the civil rights activist responded to a group of local clergymen who had criticized him for leading street protests; King defended his tactics, writing, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

In 1972, Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon with astronauts John W. Young, Charles M. Duke Jr. and Ken Mattingly on board.

In 1977, Alex Haley, author of the best-seller “Roots,” visited the Gambian village of Juffure, where, he believed, his ancestor Kunte Kinte was captured as a slave in 1767.

In 1996, Britain’s Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced they were in the process of divorcing.

In 2003, Michael Jordan played his last NBA game with the Washington Wizards, who lost to the Philadelphia 76ers, 107-87.

In 2007, in one of America’s worst school attacks, a college senior killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech before taking his own life.

In 2010, the U.S government accused Wall Street’s most powerful firm of fraud, saying Goldman Sachs & Co. had sold mortgage investments without telling buyers the securities were crafted with input from a client who was betting on them to fail. (In July 2010, Goldman agreed to pay $550 million in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but did not admit wrongdoing.)

In 2020, the Trump administration gutted an Obama-era rule that compelled the country’s coal plants to cut back emissions of mercury and other human health hazards.

Ten years ago: A trial began in Oslo, Norway, for Anders Breivik (AHN’-durs BRAY’-vihk), charged with killing 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in July 2011. (Breivik was found guilty of terrorism and premeditated murder and given a 21-year prison sentence.)

Five years ago: U.S. officials said a North Korean medium-range missile exploded seconds after launch, a high-profile failure that came hours before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrived in South Korea for a visit at the start of a 10-day trip to Asia.

One year ago: Jon Ryan Schaffer, a member of the far-right Oath Keepers militia group and a heavy metal guitarist, became the first defendant to plead guilty to federal charges in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland revoked a series of Trump-era orders that promoted fossil fuel development on public lands and waters, and issued a new order that prioritized climate change in agency decisions. Raul Castro said he was stepping down as Cuban Communist Party leader, leaving the island without a Castro guiding affairs for the first time in more than six decades. Iran began enriching uranium to its highest-ever purity, edging the country closer to weapons-grade levels as Iran tried to pressure negotiators in talks on restoring its nuclear deal with world powers.

Today’s Birthdays: Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is 95. Singer Bobby Vinton is 87. Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II is 82. Basketball Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 75. Former Massachusetts first lady Ann Romney is 73. NFL coach Bill Belichick is 70. Rock singer and former politician Peter Garrett is 69. Actor Ellen Barkin is 68. Actor Michel Gill is 62. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is 60. Rock musician Jason Scheff (Chicago) is 60. Singer Jimmy Osmond is 59. Rock singer David Pirner (Soul Asylum) is 58. Actor-comedian Martin Lawrence is 57. Actor Jon Cryer is 57. Actor Peter Billingsley is 51. Actor Lukas Haas is 46. Actor-singer Kelli O’Hara is 46. Actor Claire Foy (TV: “The Crown”) is 38. Figure skater Mirai Nagasu is 29. Actor Sadie Sink is 20.