Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 24, 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, between Camp Parks, California, and Westford, Massachusetts.
On this date:
In 1877, federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North’s post-Civil War rule in the South.
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 1960, rioting erupted in Biloxi, Mississippi, after Black protesters staging a “wade-in” at a whites-only beach were attacked by a crowd of hostile whites.
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, Film “Crocodile Dundee” starring Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski premieres in Australia (highest grossing film of the year in the US).
In 1990, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.
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 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 2013, in Bangladesh, a shoddily constructed eight-story commercial building housing garment factories collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.
In 2019, 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.
In 2020, the Food and Drug Administration issued an alert about the dangers of using a malaria drug that President Donald Trump had repeatedly promoted for coronavirus patients. The parent company of Lysol and another disinfectant warned that its products should not be used as an internal treatment for the coronavirus, a day after Trump wondered aloud about that prospect during a White House briefing.
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama went after the college vote, telling students at the University of North Carolina that he and first lady Michelle Obama had “been in your shoes” and didn’t pay off their student loans until eight years earlier. Republican Mitt Romney swept primaries in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania and New York.
Five years ago: Two inmates received lethal injections on the same gurney about three hours apart as Arkansas completed the nation’s first double execution since 2000, just days after the state ended a nearly 12-year hiatus on administering capital punishment. Astronaut Peggy Whitson broke the U.S. record for most time in space and talked up Mars during a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump to the International Space Station.
One year ago: Flames engulfed the intensive care unit of a Baghdad hospital for coronavirus patients, claiming more than 80 lives and leaving more than 100 others injured. The United States formally declared that the systematic killing and deportation of more than a million Armenians by Ottoman Empire forces in the early 20th century was “genocide,” a term that the White House had avoided using for decades for fear of alienating ally Turkey.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Shirley MacLaine is 88. Actor-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 80. Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 80. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 79. Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 77. R&B singer Ann Peebles is 75. Former Irish Taoiseach (TEE’-shuk) Enda Kenny is 71. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 69. Rock singer-musician Jack Blades (Night Ranger) is 68. Actor Michael O’Keefe is 67. Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 65. Actor Glenn Morshower is 63. Rock musician Billy Gould is 59. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 58. Actor Djimon Hounsou (JEYE’-mihn OHN’-soo) is 58. Rock musician Patty Schemel is 55. Actor Stacy Haiduk is 54. Rock musician Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) is 54. Actor Aidan Gillen is 54. Actor Melinda Clarke is 53. Actor Rory McCann is 53. Latin pop singer Alejandro Fernandez is 51. Country-rock musician Brad Morgan (Drive-By Truckers) is 51. Rock musician Brian Marshall (Creed; Alter Bridge) is 49. Actor Derek Luke is 48. Actor-producer Thad Luckinbill is 47. Actor Eric Balfour is 45. Actor Rebecca Mader is 45. Country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard is 43. Country singer Danny Gokey is 42. Actor Reagan Gomez is 42. Actor Austin Nichols is 42. Actor Sasha Barrese is 41. Contemporary Christian musician Jasen Rauch (Red) is 41. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 40.
Rock singer-musician Tyson Ritter (The All-American Rejects) is 38. Country singer Carly Pearce is 32. Actor Joe Keery is 30. Actor Jack Quaid is 30. Actor Doc Shaw is 30. Actor Jordan Fisher is 28. Golfer Lydia Ko is 25.