Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 19, 1993, the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; about 80 people, including two dozen children and sect leader David Koresh, were killed.
On this date:
In 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.
In 1912, a special subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee opened hearings in New York into the Titanic disaster.
In 1933, the United States went off the gold standard.
In 1943, during World War II, tens of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but ultimately futile battle against Nazi forces.
In 1945, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “Carousel” opened on Broadway.
In 1951, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his Far East command by President Harry S. Truman, bade farewell in an address to Congress in which he quoted a line from a ballad: “Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.”
In 1977, the Supreme Court, in Ingraham v. Wright, ruled 5-4 that even severe spanking of schoolchildren by faculty members did not violate the Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment.
In 1989, 47 sailors were killed when a gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa in the Caribbean. (The Navy initially suspected that a dead crew member had deliberately sparked the blast, but later said there was no proof of that.)
In 1994, a Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million to beaten motorist Rodney King.
In 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Bomber Timothy McVeigh, who prosecutors said had planned the attack as revenge for the Waco siege of two years earlier, was convicted of federal murder charges and executed in 2001.)
In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope in the first conclave of the new millennium; he took the name Benedict XVI.
In 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv), a 19-year-old college student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings, was taken into custody after a manhunt that had left the city virtually paralyzed; his older brother and alleged accomplice, 26-year-old Tamerlan (TAM’-ehr-luhn), was killed earlier in a furious attempt to escape police.
Ten years ago: The U.S. and Iraq claimed a major victory against al-Qaida, saying their forces had killed the terror group’s two top figures in an air and ground assault on their safe house near former President Saddam Hussein’s hometown. Kenya’s Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot (CHEHR’-ee-aht) won the Boston Marathon and broke the course record with a time of 2:05:52; Ethiopia’s Teyba Erkesso won the women’s race in a time of 2:26:11.
Five years ago: Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died a week after suffering a spinal cord injury in the back of a Baltimore police van while he was handcuffed and shackled. (Six police officers were charged; three were acquitted and the city’s top prosecutor eventually dropped the three remaining cases.) At the Academy of Country Music Awards, Miranda Lambert won four awards, including album and song of the year, but lost the night’s top prize, Entertainer of the Year, to Luke Bryan.
One year ago: The chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Democrat Jerrold Nadler of New York, issued a subpoena for the full report from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe and the underlying materials. President Donald Trump rejected claims from former administration officials cited in the Mueller report that he had tried numerous times to stop or influence the probe. A fire service official in Paris said architects and construction workers had stabilized the damaged structure of Notre Dame cathedral, four days after a fire ravaged the iconic building. A Southern California couple who had pleaded guilty to locking up and abusing 12 of their 13 children for years were sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Elinor Donahue is 83. Rock musician Alan Price (The Animals) is 78. Actor Tim Curry is 74. Pop singer Mark “Flo” Volman (The Turtles; Flo and Eddie) is 73. Actor Tony Plana is 68. Former tennis player Sue Barker is 64. Motorsports Hall of Famer Al Unser Jr. is 58. Actor Tom Wood is 57. Recording executive Suge Knight is 55. Singer-songwriter Dar Williams is 53. Actress Kim Hawthorne (TV: “Greenleaf”) is 52. Actress Ashley Judd is 52. Singer Bekka Bramlett is 52. Latin pop singer Luis Miguel is 50. Actress Jennifer Esposito is 48. Actress Jennifer Taylor is 48. Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux (PAY’-roo) is 46. Actor James Franco is 42. Actress Kate Hudson is 41. Actor Hayden Christensen is 39. Actress Catalina Sandino Moreno is 39. Actress-comedian Ali Wong is 38. Actress Victoria Yeates is 37. Actress Kelen Coleman is 36. Actor Zack Conroy is 35. Roots rock musician Steve Johnson (Alabama Shakes) is 35. Actor Courtland Mead is 33. Tennis player Maria Sharapova is 33. NHL forward Patrik Laine is 32.
Thought for Today: “The crisis you have to worry about most is the one you don’t see coming.” — Mike Mansfield, American statesman (1903-2001).