Today in History
Today is Wednesday, April 7, the 97th day of 2021. There are 268 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 7, 1915, jazz singer-songwriter Billie Holiday, also known as “Lady Day,” was born in Philadelphia.
On this date:
In 1862, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.
In 1922, the Teapot Dome scandal had its beginnings as Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall signed a secret deal to lease U.S. Navy petroleum reserves in Wyoming and California to his friends, oilmen Harry F. Sinclair and Edward L. Doheny, in exchange for cash gifts.
In 1927, the image and voice of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover were transmitted live from Washington to New York in the first successful long-distance demonstration of television.
In 1945, during World War II, American planes intercepted and effectively destroyed a Japanese fleet, which included the battleship Yamato, that was headed to Okinawa on a suicide mission.
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower held a news conference in which he spoke of the importance of containing the spread of communism in Indochina, saying, “You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly.” (This became known as the “domino theory,” although Eisenhower did not use that term.)
In 1957, shortly after midnight, the last of New York’s electric trolleys completed its final run from Queens to Manhattan.
In 1962, nearly 1,200 Cuban exiles tried by Cuba for their roles in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion were convicted of treason.
In 1966, the U.S. Navy recovered a hydrogen bomb that the U.S. Air Force had lost in the Mediterranean Sea off Spain following a B-52 crash.
In 1984, the Census Bureau reported Los Angeles had overtaken Chicago as the nation’s “second city” in terms of population.
In 1994, civil war erupted in Rwanda, a day after a mysterious plane crash claimed the lives of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi; in the months that followed, hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsi and Hutu moderates were slaughtered by Hutu extremists.
In 2010, North Korea said it had convicted and sentenced an American man to eight years in a labor prison for entering the country illegally and unspecified hostile acts. (Aijalon Mahli Gomes was freed in August 2010 after former U.S. President Jimmy Carter secured his release.)
In 2015, Michael Thomas Slager, a white South Carolina police officer, was charged with murder in the shooting death of Black motorist Walter Lamer Scott after law enforcement officials saw a cellphone video taken by a bystander. (Slager pleaded guilty to federal civil rights charges and was sentenced to 20 years in prison; prosecutors agreed to drop state murder charges that remained after a jury couldn’t agree whether he had committed a crime.)
Ten years ago: A man shot and killed 12 children at the Tasso da Silveira public school in Rio de Janeiro; the gunman, a onetime student at the school, shot and killed himself after being cornered by police. A powerful aftershock struck Japan near the same area that had been devastated by a mighty earthquake and tsunami nearly a month earlier; no giant wave or loss of life was reported.
Five years ago: Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any links to offshore accounts and described the Panama Papers document leaks scandal as part of a U.S.-led plot to weaken Russia. In a brazen assault near the Syrian capital, Islamic State militants abducted 300 cement workers and contractors from their workplace northeast of Damascus. “American Idol” crowned 24-year-old Trent Harmon its 15th and final winner as the influential TV show came to an end.
One year ago: Wisconsin went ahead with in-person voting after the state Supreme Court blocked the governor’s order to postpone the primary; thousands waited in line in Milwaukee amid fears that the voting would bring a spike in the state’s coronavirus cases. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned after lambasting the officer he’d fired as the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which had been stricken by a coronavirus outbreak; James McPherson was appointed as acting Navy secretary. President Donald Trump removed Glenn Fine, the acting Defense Department inspector general, who was supposed to oversee the $2.2 trillion rescue package for businesses and individuals affected by the coronavirus.
Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Bobby Bare is 86. R&B singer Charlie Thomas (The Drifters) is 84. Former California Gov. Jerry Brown is 83. Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 82. Actor Roberta Shore is 78. Singer Patricia Bennett (The Chiffons) is 74. Singer John Oates is 73. Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is 72. Singer Janis Ian is 70. Country musician John Dittrich is 70. Actor Jackie Chan is 67. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett is 67. Actor Russell Crowe is 57. Christian/jazz singer Mark Kibble (Take 6) is 57. Actor Bill Bellamy is 56. Rock musician Dave “Yorkie” Palmer (Space) is 56. Rock musician Charlie Hall (The War on Drugs) is 47. Former football player-turned-analyst Tiki Barber is 46. Actor Heather Burns is 46. Christian rock singer-musician John Cooper (Skillet) is 46. Actor Kevin Alejandro is 45. Retired baseball infielder Adrian Beltre is 42. Actor Sian Clifford is 39. Rock musician Ben McKee (Imagine Dragons) is 36. Christian rock singer Tauren Wells is 35. Actor Ed Speleers is 33. Actor Conner Rayburn is 22.