Today In History: April 13, Apollo 13 Damaged By Explosion

Today in History

Today is Saturday, April 13, the 104th day of 2024. There are 262 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 13, 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first Black performer to win an Academy Award for best actor or best actress with his performance in “Lilies of the Field.”

On this date:

In 1743, the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was born in Shadwell in the Virginia Colony.

In 1861, at the start of the Civil War, Fort Sumter in South Carolina fell to Confederate forces.

In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of the third American president’s birth.

In 1953, “Casino Royale,” Ian Fleming’s first book as well as the first James Bond novel, was published in London by Jonathan Cape Ltd.

In 1970, Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. (The astronauts managed to return safely.)

In 1997, Tiger Woods became the youngest person to win the Masters Tournament.

In 1999, right-to-die advocate Dr. Jack Kevorkian was sentenced in Pontiac, Michigan, to 10 to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder in the lethal injection of a Lou Gehrig’s disease patient. (Kevorkian ended up serving eight years.)

In 2005, a defiant Eric Rudolph pleaded guilty to carrying out the deadly bombing at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and three other attacks in back-to-back court appearances in Birmingham, Alabama, and Atlanta.

In 2009, at his second trial, music producer Phil Spector was found guilty by a Los Angeles jury of second-degree murder in the shooting of actor Lana Clarkson (he was later sentenced to 19 years to life in prison; he died in prison in January 2021).

In 2011, A federal jury in San Francisco convicted baseball slugger Barry Bonds of a single charge of obstruction of justice, but failed to reach a verdict on the three counts at the heart of allegations that he’d knowingly used steroids and human growth hormone and lied to a grand jury about it. (Bonds’ conviction for obstruction was ultimately overturned.)

In 2012, Jennifer Capriati was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

In 2016, the Golden State Warriors became the NBA’s first 73-win team by beating the Memphis Grizzlies 125-104, breaking the 1996 72-win record of the Chicago Bulls. Kobe Bryant of the Lakers scored 60 points in his final game, wrapping up 20 years in the NBA.

In 2017, Pentagon officials said U.S. forces in Afghanistan had struck an Islamic State tunnel complex in eastern Afghanistan with “the mother of all bombs,” the largest non-nuclear weapon ever used in combat by the U.S. military.

In 2020, Charles Thacker Jr., a crew member on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, died at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Guam, becoming the first active-duty military member to die from the coronavirus.

In 2013, all 108 passengers and crew survived after a new Lion Air Boeing 737 crashed into the ocean and snapped in two while attempting to land on the Indonesian resort island of Bali.

In 2018, President Donald Trump announced that the United States, France and Britain had carried out joint airstrikes in Syria meant to punish President Bashar Assad for his alleged use of chemical weapons.

In 2021, U.S. health officials recommended a “pause” in use of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of rare but potentially dangerous blood clots, setting off a chain reaction worldwide and dealing a setback to the global vaccination campaign. (Officials lifted the pause on vaccinations 11 days later.)

In 2023, Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old Massachusetts Air National Guard member, was arrested in connection with the disclosure of highly classified military documents about the Ukraine war and other top national security issues. (In March of 2024, Teixeira pleaded guilty to six counts of willful retention and transmission of national defense information in a deal with prosecutors and accepted an 11-year prison sentence.)

Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., is 91. Actor Edward Fox is 87. R&B singer Lester Chambers is 84. Movie-TV composer Bill Conti is 82. Rock musician Jack Casady is 80. Singer Al Green is 78. Actor Ron Perlman is 74. Actor William Sadler is 74. Singer Peabo Bryson is 73. Bandleader/rock musician Max Weinberg is 73. Bluegrass singer-musician Sam Bush is 72. Rock musician Jimmy Destri (Blondie) is 70. Comedian Gary Kroeger is 67. Actor Saundra Santiago is 67. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa., is 64. Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is 61. Actor Page Hannah is 60. Actor-comedian Caroline Rhea (RAY) is 60. Rock musician Marc Ford (The Black Crowes) is 58. Reggae singer Capleton is 57. Actor Ricky Schroder is 54. Rock singer Aaron Lewis (Staind) is 52. Actor Bokeem Woodbine is 51. Singer Lou Bega is 49. Actor-producer Glenn Howerton is 48. Actor Kyle Howard is 46. Actor Kelli Giddish is 44. Actor Courtney Peldon is 43. Pop singer Nellie McKay (mih-KY’) is 42. Rapper/singer Ty Dolla $ign is 42. Actor Allison Williams is 36. Actor Hannah Marks is 31.