Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 30, 1945, as Soviet troops approached his Berlin bunker, Adolf Hitler committed suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun.
On this date:
In A.D. 311, shortly before his death, Roman Emperor Galerius issued his Edict of Toleration ending persecution of Christians.
In 1789, George Washington took the oath of office in New York as the first president of the United States.
In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for 60 million francs, the equivalent of about $15 million.
In 1900, engineer John Luther “Casey” Jones of the Illinois Central Railroad died in a train wreck near Vaughan, Mississippi, after staying at the controls in a successful effort to save the passengers.
In 1911, a fire broke out in Bangor, Maine, destroying much of the downtown area before it was brought under control the next morning; two deaths were blamed on the blaze.
In 1945, the radio show “Queen for Today” (later “Queen for a Day”) premiered on the Mutual Network.
In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon announced the U.S. was sending troops into Cambodia, an action that sparked widespread protest.
In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced the resignations of top aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean, who was actually fired.
In 1975, the Vietnam War ended as the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to Communist forces.
In 1983, blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters died in Westmont, Ill., at age 68.
In 1993, top-ranked women’s tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed in the back during a match in Hamburg, Germany, by a man who described himself as a fan of second-ranked German player Steffi Graf. (The man, convicted of causing grievous bodily harm, was given a suspended sentence.)
In 2004, Arabs expressed outrage at graphic photographs of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated by U.S. military police; President George W. Bush condemned the mistreatment of prisoners, saying “that’s not the way we do things in America.”
Ten years ago: Heavy winds and high tides complicated efforts to hold back oil from a blown-out BP-operated rig that threatened to coat bird and marine life in the Gulf of Mexico; President Barack Obama halted any new offshore projects pending safeguards to prevent more explosions like the one that unleashed the spill.
Five years ago: Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont formally entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination with a news conference on Capitol Hill. Vietnam marked the 40th anniversary of the day communist forces seized control of the country with a parade through the capital of Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon). Rhythm-and-blues singer Ben E. King, 76, died in Hackensack, New Jersey.
One year ago: Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaidó took to the streets to call for a military uprising against Nicolas Maduro; street battles erupted in the Venezuelan capital. The Trump administration quickly declared enthusiastic support for the Venezuelan opposition effort. President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders agreed to work toward a $2 trillion infrastructure plan but put off the question of how to pay for it. A gunman killed two students and wounded four others in a lecture hall at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte; a student who helped end the shooting by tackling the gunman was one of the two killed. (Former student Trystan Terrell pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and other charges.) Japanese Emperor Akihito announced his abdication; his 30-year reign ended at midnight, when his son, Crown Prince Naruhito, became the new emperor. Peter Mayhew, the towering actor who donned a huge, furry costume to give life to Chewbacca in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and two other films, died at his north Texas home at the age of 74. The musical “Hadestown” earned a leading 14 Tony Award nominations.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Cloris Leachman is 94. Singer Willie Nelson is 87. Actor Burt Young is 80. King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden is 74. Movie director Allan Arkush is 72. Actor Perry King is 72. Singer-musician Wayne Kramer is 72. Singer Merrill Osmond is 67. Movie director Jane Campion is 66. Movie director Lars von Trier is 64. Former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is 61. Actor Paul Gross is 61. Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is 59. Country musician Robert Reynolds is 58. Actor Adrian Pasdar is 55. Rock singer J.R. Richards (Dishwalla) is 53. Rapper Turbo B (Snap) is 53. Rock musician Clark Vogeler is 51. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chris “Choc” Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 49. Rock musician Chris Henderson (3 Doors Down) is 49. Country singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson is 49. Actress Lisa Dean Ryan is 48. Rhythm-and-blues singer Akon is 47. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees) is 47. Actor Johnny Galecki is 45. Singer-musician Cole Deggs (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 44. Actor Sam Heughan is 40. Actor Kunal Nayyar is 39. Rapper Lloyd Banks is 38. Actress Kirsten Dunst is 38. Country singer Tyler Wilkinson (The Wilkinsons) is 36. Actress Dianna Agron is 34. Country singer Brandon Lancaster is 31. Rapper/producer Travis Scott is 29.
Thought for Today: “There’s a difference between a philosophy and a bumper sticker.” — Charles M. Schulz, American cartoonist (1922-2000).