Today in History
Today is Thursday, April 18, the 108th day of 2019. There are 257 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 18, 1983, 63 people, including 17 Americans, were killed at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.
On this date:
In 1775, Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Massachusetts, warning colonists that British Regular troops were approaching.
In 1906, a devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by raging fires; estimates of the final death toll range between 3,000 and 6,000.
In 1923, the first game was played at the original Yankee Stadium in New York; the Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-1.
In 1934, the first laundromat (called a “washateria”) opened in Fort Worth, Texas.
In 1938, Superman, AKA “The Man of Steel,” made his debut as the first issue of Action Comics (bearing a cover date of June) went on sale for 10 cents a copy. (In 2014, a nearly flawless original copy was sold on eBay for $3.2 million.)
In 1943, Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, commander-in-chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, was shot down and killed by U.S. fighters while approaching Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.
In 1945, famed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle, 44, was killed by Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima, off Okinawa.
In 1956, American actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier of Monaco in a civil ceremony. (A church wedding took place the next day.)
In 1978, the Senate approved the Panama Canal Treaty, providing for the complete turnover of control of the waterway to Panama on the last day of 1999.
In 1988, an Israeli court convicted John Demjanjuk, a retired auto worker from Cleveland, of committing war crimes at the Treblinka death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. (However, Israel’s Supreme Court later overturned Demjanjuk’s conviction.)
In 1995, quarterback Joe Montana retired from professional football. The Houston Post closed after more than a century.
In 2013, the FBI released surveillance camera images of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing and asked for the public’s help in identifying them, hours after President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended an interfaith service at a Roman Catholic cathedral.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama offered a spirit of cooperation to America’s hemispheric neighbors at the Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The White House said Obama was “deeply disappointed” at news Iran had convicted American journalist Roxana Saberi of spying for the United States and sentenced her to eight years in prison. (Saberi was released on appeal the following month.)
Five years ago: An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest, killing 16 Sherpa guides in the deadliest disaster on the world’s highest peak.
One year ago: Cuba’s government selected 57-year-old First Vice President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez as the sole candidate to succeed President Raul Castro, a move that would install someone from outside the Castro family in the country’s highest office for the first time in nearly six decades; the 86-year-old Castro would remain head of the Communist Party. Amid a blackout that affected much of the rest of Puerto Rico, generators helped keep the lights on at a stadium in San Juan for the second of two games between the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins. Bruno Sammartino, who had once been one of the longest-reigning champions in professional wrestling, died at the age of 82.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Clive Revill is 89. Actor James Drury is 85. Actor Robert Hooks is 82. Actress Hayley Mills is 73. Actor James Woods is 72. Actress-director Dorothy Lyman is 72. Actress Cindy Pickett is 72. Country musician Walt Richmond (The Tractors) is 72. Country musician Jim Scholten (Sawyer Brown) is 67. Actor Rick Moranis is 66. Actress Melody Thomas Scott is 63. Actor Eric Roberts is 63. Actor John James is 63. Rock musician Les Pattinson (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 61. Author-journalist Susan Faludi is 60. Actress Jane Leeves is 58. Ventriloquist-comedian Jeff Dunham is 57. Talk show host Conan O’Brien is 56. Bluegrass singer-musician Terry Eldredge is 56. Actor Eric McCormack is 56. Actress Maria Bello is 52. Actress Mary Birdsong is 51. Actor David Hewlett is 51. Rock musician Greg Eklund (The Oolahs) is 49. Actress Lisa Locicero is 49. Actress Tamara Braun is 48. TV chef Ludovic Lefebvre is 48. Actor Fedro Starr is 48. Actor David Tennant is 48. Country musician Marvin Evatt (EH’-veht) is 45. Rock musician Mark Tremonti is 45. Rhythm-and-blues singer Trina (Trina and Tamara) is 45. Actress Melissa Joan Hart is 43. Actor Sean Maguire is 43. Actor Kevin Rankin is 43. Actor Bryce Johnson is 42. Reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian (kar-DASH’-ee-uhn) is 40. Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is 36. Actress America Ferrera is 35. Actor Tom Hughes is 34. Actress Ellen Woglom (TV: “Marvel’s Inhumans”) is 32. Actress Vanessa Kirby is 31. Actress Alia Shawkat is 30. Actress Britt Robertson is 29. Actress Chloe Bennet is 27. Rock singer Nathan Sykes (The Wanted) is 26. Actor Moises Arias is 25.
Thought for Today: “War makes strange giant creatures out of us little routine men who inhabit the earth.” — Ernie Pyle (1900-1945).