Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 22, 1915, the first full-scale use of deadly chemicals in warfare took place as German forces unleashed chlorine gas against Allied troops at the start of the Second Battle of Ypres (EE’-preh) in Belgium during World War I; thousands of soldiers are believed to have died.
On this date:
In 1616, Spanish novelist Miguel de Cervantes, author of “Don Quixote,” died in Madrid. (The date is according to the New Style Gregorian calendar that was adopted by Spain in 1582.)
In 1864, Congress authorized the use of the phrase “In God We Trust” on U.S. coins.
In 1898, with the United States and Spain on the verge of war, the U.S. Navy began blockading Cuban ports. Congress authorized creation of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, also known as the “Rough Riders.”
In 1954, the publicly televised sessions of the Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began.
In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson opened the New York World’s Fair.
In 1970, millions of Americans concerned about the environment observed the first “Earth Day.”
In 1994, Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, died at a New York hospital four days after suffering a stroke; he was 81.
In 2000, in a dramatic pre-dawn raid, armed immigration agents seized Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban boy at the center of a custody dispute, from his relatives’ home in Miami; Elian was reunited with his father at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington.
In 2003, President George W. Bush announced he would nominate Alan Greenspan for a fifth term as Federal Reserve chairman.
In 2004, Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who’d traded in a multi-million-dollar NFL contract to serve in Afghanistan, was killed by friendly fire; he was 27.
In 2005, Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE’-uhs moo-SOW’-ee) pleaded guilty in a federal courtroom outside Washington, D.C. to conspiring with the Sept. 11 hijackers to kill Americans. (Moussaoui is serving a life prison sentence.)
In 2013, a seriously wounded Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) was charged in his hospital room with bombing the Boston Marathon in a plot with his older brother, Tamerlan (TAM’-ehr-luhn), who died after a fierce gunbattle with police. Richie Havens, 72, the folk singer and guitarist who was the first performer at the 1969 Woodstock festival, died in Jersey City, New Jersey.
Ten years ago: The Deepwater Horizon oil platform, operated by BP, sank into the Gulf of Mexico two days after a massive explosion that killed 11 workers. The NCAA announced a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with CBS and Turner Broadcasting under which every game during an expanded March Madness schedule would be broadcast live nationally for the first time in the tournament’s 73-year history.
Five years ago: A federal judge in Philadelphia approved a settlement agreement expected to cost the NFL $1 billion over 65 years to resolve thousands of concussion lawsuits. A federal appeals court in San Francisco overturned home run leader Barry Bonds’ obstruction of justice conviction, ruling 10-1 that his meandering answer before a grand jury in 2003 was not material to the government’s investigation into illegal steroids distribution.
One year ago: Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren proposed the elimination of existing student loan debt for millions of Americans as part of a sweeping set of education funding proposals. The Trump administration said it would no longer exempt any countries from U.S. sanctions if they continued to buy Iranian oil. A federal court in Detroit declared it unconstitutional for police to mark a car’s tires with chalk in order to enforce parking rules; the court said the practice was like entering property without a search warrant. (The ruling applied to Michigan, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.)
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Estelle Harris is 92. Actor Jack Nicholson is 83. Singer Mel Carter is 81. Author Janet Evanovich is 77. Country singer Cleve Francis is 75. Movie director John Waters is 74. Singer Peter Frampton is 70. Rock singer-musician Paul Carrack (Mike and the Mechanics; Squeeze) is 69. Actor Joseph Bottoms is 66. Actor Ryan Stiles is 61. Baseball manager Terry Francona is 61. Comedian Byron Allen is 59. Actor Chris Makepeace is 56. Rock musician Fletcher Dragge (DRAH’-guh) is 54. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is 54. Actress Sheryl Lee is 53. Actress-talk show host Sherri Shepherd is 53. Country singer-musician Heath Wright (Ricochet) is 53. Country singer Kellie Coffey is 49. Actor Eric Mabius is 49. Actor Ingo Rademacher (RAH’-deh-mah-ker) is 49. Rock musician Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down) is 46. Rock singer-musician Daniel Johns (Silverchair) is 41. Actor Malcolm Barrett is 40. Actress Cassidy Freeman is 38. Actress Michelle Ryan is 36. Actor Zack Gottsagen is 35. Actress Amber Heard is 34. Singer-songwriter BC Jean (Alexander Jean) is 33. Drummer Tripp Howell (LANCO) is 31. Rapper/singer Machine Gun Kelly is 30.
Thought for Today: “Demasiada cordura puede ser la peor de las locuras, ver la vida como es y no como debería de ser.” (Too much sanity may be the worst folly, see life as it is and not as it should be.) — Miguel de Cervantes (1547-1616).