Today in History
Today is Tuesday, April 13, the 103rd day of 2021. There are 262 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 13, 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.)
On this date:
In 1613, Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, was captured by English Capt. Samuel Argall in the Virginia Colony. (During a yearlong captivity, Pocahontas converted to Christianity and ultimately opted to stay with the English.)
In 1742, “Messiah,” the oratorio by George Frideric Handel featuring the “Hallelujah” chorus, had its first public performance in Dublin, Ireland.
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 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was incorporated in New York. (The original museum opened in 1872.)
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 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first Black performer in a leading role to win an Academy Award for his performance in “Lilies of the Field.”
In 1992, the Great Chicago Flood took place as the city’s century-old tunnel system and adjacent basements filled with water from the Chicago River. “The Bridges of Madison County,” a romance novel by Robert James Waller, was published by Warner Books.
In 1997, Tiger Woods became the youngest person to win the Masters Tournament and the first player of partly African heritage to claim a major golf title.
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 2015, a federal judge in Washington sentenced former Blackwater security guard Nicholas Slatten to life in prison and three others to 30-year terms for their roles in a 2007 shooting in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square that killed 14 Iraqi civilians and wounded 17 others.
Ten years ago: Ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and his two sons were detained for investigation of corruption, abuse of power and killings of protesters. 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.)
Five years ago: A task force issued a report saying that Chicago police had “no regard for the sanctity of life when it comes to people of color.” A judge in Fort Worth, Texas ordered 19-year-old Ethan Couch, who had used an “affluenza” defense in a fatal drunken-driving wreck, to serve nearly two years in prison. 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.
One year ago: President Donald Trump claimed “total” authority to decide how and when to reopen the economy after weeks of tough social distancing guidelines; governors from both parties quickly pointed out that they had primary responsibility for public safety in their states. 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. “Good Morning America” host George Stephanopoulos revealed that he had tested positive for the coronavirus, but said he had been relatively symptom-free. Bernie Sanders urged his progressive supporters to rally behind Joe Biden’s presidential campaign. The XFL, a spring professional football league backed by WWE, filed for bankruptcy. Sculptor and painter Glenna Goodacre, who created the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C., died in New Mexico at the age of 80.
Today’s Birthdays: Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., is 88. Actor Edward Fox is 84. Actor Paul Sorvino is 82. R&B singer Lester Chambers is 81. Movie-TV composer Bill Conti is 79. Rock musician Jack Casady is 77. Actor Tony Dow is 76. Singer Al Green is 75. Actor Ron Perlman is 71. Actor William Sadler is 71. Singer Peabo Bryson is 70. Bandleader/rock musician Max Weinberg is 70. Bluegrass singer-musician Sam Bush is 69. Rock musician Jimmy Destri is 67. Comedian Gary Kroeger is 64. Actor Saundra Santiago is 64. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa., is 61. Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is 58. Actor Page Hannah is 57. Actor-comedian Caroline Rhea (RAY) is 57. Rock musician Marc Ford is 55. Reggae singer Capleton is 54. Actor Ricky Schroder is 51. Rock singer Aaron Lewis (Staind) is 49. Actor Bokeem Woodbine is 48. Singer Lou Bega is 46. Actor-producer Glenn Howerton is 45. Actor Kyle Howard is 43. Actor Kelli Giddish is 41. Actor Courtney Peldon is 40. Pop singer Nellie McKay (mih-KY’) is 39. Rapper/singer Ty Dolla $ign is 39. Actor Allison Williams is 33. Actor Hannah Marks is 28.