Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 22, 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.)
On this date:
In 1864, Congress authorized the use of the phrase “In God We Trust” on U.S. coins.
In 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush began at noon as thousands of homesteaders staked claims.
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 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.
In 1937, thousands of college students in New York City staged a “peace strike” opposing American entry into another possible world conflict.
In 1952, an atomic test in Nevada became the first nuclear explosion shown on live network television as a 31-kiloton bomb was dropped from a B-50 Superfortress.
In 1954, the publicly televised sessions of the Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began.
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 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 2015, 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.
Ten years ago: Syrian security forces fired at protesters, killing at least 75 people around the country. A tornado ripped through Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, causing significant damage to the C Concourse.
Five years ago: Leaders from 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement on climate change at the United Nations as the landmark deal took a key step toward entering into force years ahead of schedule.
One year ago: Tyson Foods suspended operations at a pork plant in Waterloo, Iowa, that was blamed for fueling a massive coronavirus outbreak in the region; the plant was critical to the nation’s pork supply. (At least three workers at the plant died after contracting the virus, which infected more than 1,000 other workers there.) Federal officials said two pet cats in New York state had tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the first confirmed cases in companion animals in the United States; the cats had mild respiratory illnesses. The Boston Red Sox were stripped of their second-round pick in the 2020 amateur draft for sign-stealing in 2018; former Red Sox manager Alex Cora was suspended through the 2020 postseason for his role in the Astros’ sign-stealing operation. Actor Shirley Knight, a two-time Oscar nominee, died in Texas at the age of 83.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Estelle Harris is 93. Actor Jack Nicholson is 84. Singer Mel Carter is 82. Author Janet Evanovich is 78. Country singer Cleve Francis is 76. Movie director John Waters is 75. Singer Peter Frampton is 71.
Rock singer-musician Paul Carrack (ACE; Mike and the Mechanics; Squeeze) is 70. Actor Joseph Bottoms is 67. Actor Ryan Stiles is 62. Baseball manager Terry Francona is 62. Comedian and entertainment executive Byron Allen is 60. Actor Chris Makepeace is 57. Rock musician Fletcher Dragge is 55. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is 55. Actor Sheryl Lee is 54. Actor-talk show host Sherri Shepherd is 54. Country singer-musician Heath Wright (Ricochet) is 54. Country singer Kellie Coffey is 50. Actor Eric Mabius is 50. Actor Ingo Rademacher is 50. Rock musician Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down) is 47. Rock singer-musician Daniel Johns (Silverchair) is 42. Actor Malcolm Barrett is 41. Actor Cassidy Freeman is 39. Actor Michelle Ryan is 37. Actor Zack Gottsagen is 36. Actor Amber Heard is 35. Singer-songwriter BC Jean (Alexander Jean) is 34. Drummer Tripp Howell (LANCO) is 32. Rapper/singer Machine Gun Kelly is 31.