Today in History: April 23, 2021

Today in History

Today is Friday, April 23, the 113th day of 2021. There are 252 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 23, 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. (The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.)

On this date:

In 1616 (Old Style calendar), English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare died in Stratford-upon-Avon on what has traditionally been regarded as the 52nd anniversary of his birth in 1564.

In 1789, President-elect George Washington and his wife, Martha, moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House, in New York.

In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States, which responded in kind two days later.

In 1940, about 200 people died in the Rhythm Night Club Fire in Natchez, Mississippi.

In 1943, U.S. Navy Lt. (jg) John F. Kennedy assumed command of PT-109, a motor torpedo boat, in the Solomon Islands during World War II. (On Aug. 2, 1943, PT-109 was rammed and sunk by a Japanese destroyer, killing two crew members; Kennedy and 10 others survived.)

In 1954, Hank Aaron of the Milwaukee Braves hit the first of his 755 major-league home runs in a game against the St. Louis Cardinals. (The Braves won, 7-5.)

In 1987, 28 construction workers were killed when an apartment complex being built in Bridgeport, Connecticut, suddenly collapsed.

In 1988, a federal ban on smoking during domestic airline flights of two hours or less went into effect.

In 1993, labor leader Cesar Chavez died in San Luis, Arizona, at age 66.

In 1996, a civil court jury in The Bronx, New York, ordered Bernhard Goetz (bur-NAHRD’ gehts) to pay $43 million to Darrell Cabey, one of four young men he’d shot on a subway car in 1984.

In 1998, James Earl Ray, who confessed to assassinating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and then insisted he’d been framed, died at a Nashville, Tennessee, hospital at age 70.

In 2005, the recently created video-sharing website YouTube uploaded its first clip, “Me at the Zoo,” which showed YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim standing in front of an elephant enclosure at the San Diego Zoo.

Ten years ago: Yemen’s embattled president, Ali Abdullah Saleh (AH’-lee ahb-DUH’-luh sah-LEH’), agreed to a proposal by Gulf Arab mediators to step down within 30 days and hand power to his deputy in exchange for immunity from prosecution. (Saleh ended up leaving office in Feb. 2012.) Former Sony Corp. president and chairman Norio Ohga, credited with developing the compact disc, died in Tokyo at age 81.

Five years ago: A confident Donald Trump told supporters in Bridgeport, Connecticut, that he was not changing his pitch to voters, a day after his chief adviser assured Republican officials their party’s front-runner would show more restraint while campaigning. Britain marked the 400th anniversary of the death of William Shakespeare with parades, church services and stage performances; President Barack Obama took a break from political talks in London to tour the Globe Theatre, a re-creation of the venue where many of the Bard’s plays were first performed.

One year ago: New data showed unemployment in the U.S. swelling to levels last seen during the Great Depression of the 1930s, with 1 in 6 American workers thrown out of a job by the coronavirus; more than 4.4 million laid-off workers had applied for unemployment benefits in the preceding week. At a White House briefing, President Donald Trump noted that researchers were looking at the effects of disinfectants on the coronavirus, and wondered aloud whether they could be injected into people. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden told an online fundraiser that Trump’s efforts to block emergency funding for the U.S. Postal Service showed that Trump was trying to “undermine” the election and make it harder for Americans to vote by mail. In an NFL draft conducted remotely due to the coronavirus, the Cincinnati Bengals chose LSU quarterback Joe Burrow as the first pick.

LATEST FROM WTAJ:

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Alan Oppenheimer is 91. Actor David Birney is 82. Actor Lee Majors is 82. Hockey Hall of Famer Tony Esposito is 78. Irish nationalist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is 74. Actor Blair Brown is 74. Writer-director Paul Brickman is 72. Actor Joyce DeWitt is 72. Actor James Russo is 68. Filmmaker-author Michael Moore is 67. Actor Judy Davis is 66. Actor Valerie Bertinelli is 61. Actor Craig Sheffer is 61. Actor-comedian-talk show host George Lopez is 60. U.S. Olympic gold medal skier Donna Weinbrecht is 56. Actor Melina Kanakaredes (kah-nah-KAH’-ree-deez) is 54. Rock musician Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) is 53. Actor Scott Bairstow (BEHR’-stow) is 51. Actor-writer John Lutz is 48. Actor Barry Watson is 47. Rock musician Aaron Dessner (The National) is 45. Rock musician Bryce Dessner (The National) is 45. Professional wrestler/actor John Cena is 44. Actor-writer-comedian John Oliver is 44. Actor Kal Penn is 44. Retired MLB All-Star Andruw Jones is 44. Actor Jaime King is 42. Pop singer Taio (TY’-oh) Cruz is 38. Actor Aaron Hill is 38. Actor Jesse Lee Soffer is 37. Actor Rachel Skarsten is 36. Rock musician Anthony LaMarca (The War on Drugs) is 34. Singer-songwriter John Fullbright is 33. Actor Dev Patel (puh-TEHL’) is 31. Actor Matthew Underwood is 31. Model Gigi Hadid is 26. Rock musicians Jake and Josh Kiszka (Greta Van Fleet) are 25. Actor Charlie Rowe (TV: “Salvation”) is 25. Tennis player Ashleigh Barty is 25. U.S. Olympic gold medal snowboarder Chloe Kim is 21.

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