Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 11, 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which included the Fair Housing Act, a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
On this date:
In 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as Emperor of the French and was banished to the island of Elba. (Napoleon later escaped from Elba and returned to power in March 1815, until his downfall in the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.)
In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln spoke to a crowd outside the White House, saying, “We meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart.” (It was the last public address Lincoln would deliver.)
In 1899, the treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared in effect.
In 1913, Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson, during a meeting of President Woodrow Wilson’s Cabinet, proposed gradually segregating whites and Blacks who worked for the Railway Mail Service, a policy that went into effect and spread to other agencies.
In 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in Germany.
In 1947, Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers played in an exhibition against the New York Yankees at Ebbets Field, four days before his regular-season debut that broke baseball’s color line. (The Dodgers won, 14-6.)
In 1961, former SS officer Adolf Eichmann went on trial in Israel, charged with crimes against humanity for his role in the Nazi Holocaust. (Eichmann was convicted and executed.)
In 1970, Apollo 13, with astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise and Jack Swigert, blasted off on its ill-fated mission to the moon. (The mission was aborted when an oxygen tank exploded April 13. The crew splashed down safely four days after the explosion.)
In 1980, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued regulations specifically prohibiting sexual harassment of workers by supervisors.
In 1996, 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff, who hoped to become the youngest person to fly cross-country, was killed along with her father and flight instructor when their plane crashed after takeoff from Cheyenne, Wyoming.
In 2013, comedian Jonathan Winters, 87, died in Montecito, California.
In 2020, the number of U.S. deaths from the coronavirus eclipsed Italy’s for the highest in the world, topping 20,000. On the day before Easter, the Kansas Supreme Court allowed an executive order from Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly to remain in effect; it banned religious and funeral services of more than 10 people during the pandemic.
Ten years ago: George Zimmerman, the Florida neighborhood watch volunteer who fatally shot 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. (He was acquitted at trial.) A California prison panel denied parole to mass murderer Charles Manson in his 12th bid for freedom.
Five years ago: In Dortmund, Germany, three bomb explosions went off near Borussia Dortmund’s team bus ahead of a Champions League quarterfinal match, injuring one of the soccer team’s players. (Prosecutors alleged that the bomber bet that Borussia Dortmund’s shares on the stock exchange would drop in value and tried to disguise the attack as Islamic terrorism; he was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 14 years in prison.) Guitarist J. Geils, founder of The J. Geils Band, died in his Massachusetts home at age 71. David Letterman’s mother, Dorothy Mengering, a Midwestern homemaker who became an unlikely celebrity on her son’s late-night talk show, died at age 95.
One year ago: A Black motorist, 20-year-old Daunte Wright, was shot and killed by a white police officer, Kim Potter, in suburban Minneapolis during a traffic stop. (Potter, who said she had confused her handgun for her Taser, would be convicted of first- and second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to two years in prison.) Iran’s underground Natanz atomic facility was struck by a blackout that Iran blamed on “nuclear terrorism.” Hideki Matsuyama won the Masters golf tournament in Augusta, Georgia, becoming the first Japanese golfer to claim the green jacket.
Today’s Birthdays: Ethel Kennedy is 94. Actor Joel Grey is 90. Actor Louise Lasser is 83. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman is 81. Movie writer-director John Milius is 78. Actor Peter Riegert is 75. Movie director Carl Franklin is 73. Actor Bill Irwin is 72. Country singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale is 65. Songwriter-producer Daryl Simmons is 65. Rock musician Nigel Pulsford is 61. Actor Lucky Vanous is 61. Country singer Steve Azar is 58. Singer Lisa Stansfield is 56. Actor Johnny Messner is 53. Rock musician Dylan Keefe (Marcy Playground) is 52. Actor Vicellous (vy-SAY’-luhs) Shannon is 51. Rapper David Banner is 48. Actor Tricia Helfer is 48. Rock musician Chris Gaylor (The All-American Rejects) is 43. Actor Kelli Garner is 38. Singer Joss Stone is 35. Actor-dancer Kaitlyn Jenkins is 30.