Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 24, 1877, federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North’s post-Civil War rule in the South.
On this date:
In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.
In 1913, the 792-foot Woolworth Building, at that time the tallest skyscraper in the world, officially opened in Manhattan as President Woodrow Wilson pressed a button at the White House to signal the lighting of the towering structure.
In 1915, in what’s considered the start of the Armenian genocide, the Ottoman Empire began rounding up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople.
In 1961, in the wake of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the White House issued a statement saying that President John F. Kennedy “bears sole responsibility for the events of the past few days.”
In 1967, Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was killed when his Soyuz 1 spacecraft smashed into the Earth after his parachutes failed to deploy properly during re-entry; he was the first human spaceflight fatality.
In 1980, the United States launched an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen.
In 1986, Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, for whom King Edward VIII had given up the British throne, died in Paris at age 89.
In 1995, the final bomb linked to the Unabomber exploded inside the Sacramento, California, offices of a lobbying group for the wood products industry, killing chief lobbyist Gilbert B. Murray. (Theodore Kaczynski was later sentenced to four lifetimes in prison for a series of bombings that killed three men and injured 29 others.)
In 2003, U.S. forces in Iraq took custody of Tariq Aziz (TAH’-rihk ah-ZEEZ’), the former Iraqi deputy prime minister. China shut down a Beijing hospital as the global death toll from SARS surpassed 260.
In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI formally began his stewardship of the Roman Catholic Church; the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said in his installation homily that as pontiff he would listen to the will of God in governing the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics.
In 2009, Mexico shut down schools, museums, libraries and state-run theaters across its overcrowded capital in hopes of containing a deadly swine flu outbreak.
In 2013, in Bangladesh, a shoddily constructed eight-story commercial building housing garment factories collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.
Ten years ago: The policy-setting panel of the International Monetary Fund, with a nervous eye on Greece, pledged during a meeting in Washington to address the risks posed to the global recovery from high government debt. A dozen people were killed by a tornado system that bumped down in Louisiana before plowing into Mississippi and then Alabama. Etiquette expert Elizabeth Post (granddaughter-in-law of Emily Post) died in Naples, Florida, at 89.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama marked the 10th anniversary of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, praising the nation’s spying operations as the most capable in the world. The presidents of Russia and France joined other leaders at ceremonies in Yerevan commemorating the estimated 1.5 million Armenian victims of the 1916 massacre by Ottoman Turks. In a long-awaited interview about his gender identity, former Olympic champion Bruce Jenner told ABC’s Diane Sawyer said that “for all intents and purposes, I am a woman.”
One year ago: Avowed racist John William King was executed in Texas for the 1998 slaying of James Byrd Jr., who was chained to the back of a truck and dragged along a road outside Jasper, Texas; prosecutors said Byrd was targeted because he was black. North Korea’s Kim Jong Un arrived in Russia aboard an armored train for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said nearly 700 cases of measles had been reported in the United States so far in 2019; it was already the nation’s worst year for measles since 1994. Hundreds of students and staff at two Los Angeles universities were placed under quarantine, after officials said they may have been exposed to measles and either had not been vaccinated or could not verify that they were immune.
Today’s Birthdays: Movie director-producer Richard Donner is 90. Actress Shirley MacLaine is 86. Actress-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 78. Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 78. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 77. Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 75. R-and-B singer Ann Peebles is 73. Former Irish Taoiseach (TEE’-shuk) Enda Kenny is 69. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 67. Rock singer-musician Jack Blades (Night Ranger) is 66. Actor Michael O’Keefe is 65. Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 63. Actor Glenn Morshower is 61. Rock musician Billy Gould is 57. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 56. Actor Djimon Hounsou (JEYE’-mihn OHN’-soo) is 56. Rock musician Patty Schemel is 53. Actress Stacy Haiduk is 52. Rock musician Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) is 52. Actor Aidan Gillen is 52. Actress Melinda Clarke is 51. Actor Rory McCann is 51. Latin pop singer Alejandro Fernandez is 49. Country-rock musician Brad Morgan (Drive-By Truckers) is 49. Rock musician Brian Marshall (Creed; Alter Bridge) is 47. Actor Derek Luke is 46. Actor-producer Thad Luckinbill is 45. Actor Eric Balfour is 43. Actress Rebecca Mader is 43. Country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard is 41. Country singer Danny Gokey is 40. Actress Reagan Gomez is 40. Actor Austin Nichols is 40. Actress Sasha Barrese is 39. Contemporary Christian musician Jasen Rauch (Red) is 39. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 38. Rock singer-musician Tyson Ritter (The All-American Rejects) is 36. Country singer Carly Pearce is 30. Actor Joe Keery is 28. Actor Jack Quaid is 28. Actor Doc Shaw is 28. Actor Jordan Fisher is 26. Golfer Lydia Ko is 23.
Thought for Today: “I feel proud to be living in a country where people are not afraid to laugh at themselves and where political satire is tolerated by the government, if not the television network.” — Pat Paulsen, American comedian (born 1927, died this date in 1997).