Highlight in History
On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, was surrounded by federal troops near Port Royal, Va., and killed. (Just before dying, Booth looked at his hands and gasped, “Useless, useless.”)
On this date
In 1607, English colonists went ashore at present-day Cape Henry, Va., on an expedition to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1913, Mary Phagan, a 13-year-old worker at a Georgia pencil factory, was strangled; Leo Frank, the factory superintendent, was convicted of her murder and sentenced to death. (Frank’s death sentence was commuted, but he was lynched by an anti-Semitic mob in 1915.)
In 1933, Nazi Germany’s infamous secret police, the Gestapo, was created.
In 1937, German and Italian warplanes raided the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War; estimates of the number of people killed vary from the hundreds to the thousands.
In 1968, the United States exploded beneath the Nevada desert a 1.3 megaton nuclear device called “Boxcar.”
In 1986, a major nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl plant in Ukraine (then part of the Soviet Union).
In 1993, Conan O’Brien was named to succeed David Letterman as host of NBC’s “Late Night” program.
Ten years ago
A Soyuz rocket carrying American astronaut Edward Lu and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko blasted off for the international space station. Actor Charlton Heston, diagnosed with symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, made his last appearance as president of the National Rifle Association during an NRA convention in Orlando, Fla., where he briefly thanked the membership.
Five years ago
Police in Austria arrested Josef Fritzl, freeing his daughter Elisabeth and her six surviving children, whom he had fathered while holding her captive in a cellar for 24 years. (Fritzl was later sentenced to life in a psychiatric ward.) Yossi Harel, the ship commander whose attempt to bring Holocaust survivors to Palestine aboard the Exodus 1947 built support for Israel’s founding, died in Tel Aviv at age 90. Avant-garde composer Henry Brant died in Santa Barbara, Calif., at age 94.
One year ago
Former Liberian President Charles Taylor became the first head of state since World War II to be convicted by an international war crimes court as he was found guilty of arming Sierra Leone rebels in exchange for “blood diamonds” mined by slave laborers and smuggled across the border.
Highlight in History
- National, International News
Vet detained in N. Korea says statement was coerced
The 85-year-old U.S. veteran who was detained for weeks by North Korea said Monday that the videotaped confession in which he apologized for killing North Koreans during the war was given involuntarily and under duress.
18 LA sheriff’s deputies face federal charges
Federal officials said 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies saw themselves as being “above the law” when they engaged in crimes that included beating inmates and jail visitors, falsifying reports, and trying to obstruct an FBI probe of the nation’s largest jail system.
World leaders to speak at Mandela memorial
An eclectic mix of world leaders including President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro will eulogize Nelson Mandela before a crowd of nearly 100,000 mourners at a massive memorial service today in the World Cup soccer stadium where the anti-apartheid champion made his last public appearance.
Today in History for Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013
Today is Tuesday, Dec. 10, the 344th day of 2013. There are 21 days left in the year.
Storm along East Coast dumps snow, snarls traffic
A powerful storm that crept across the country dumped a mix of snow, freezing rain and sleet on the Mid-Atlantic region and headed northeast Sunday, turning NFL playing fields in Pennsylvania into winter wonderlands, threatening as much as a foot of snow in Delaware and New Jersey and raising concerns about a messy morning commute.
South Africans of all faiths pray for Mandela
In death, Nelson Mandela unified South Africans of all races and backgrounds Sunday on a day of prayer for the global statesman — from a vaulted cathedral with hymns and incense to a rural, hilltop church with goat-skin drums and barefoot dancing.
Today in History for Monday, Dec. 9, 2013
Today is Monday, Dec. 9, the 343rd day of 2013. There are 22 days left in the year.
Snow, ice, deep-freeze hit large swath of US
A late fall cold snap that has gripped much of the country is being blamed for a handful of deaths and has forced people to deal with frigid temperatures, power outages by the thousands and treacherous roads.
Weather forecasters say the powerful weather system has Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic in its icy sights next.
Police: Pa. newlyweds killed man from Craigslist
A couple married for just three weeks lured a man to his death with a Craigslist ad because they wanted to kill someone together, police said.
Pearl Harbor ceremony marks bombing anniversary
About 50 survivors of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor paused Saturday at the site to honor those killed and remember the moment that plunged the U.S. into World War II.
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- Vet detained in N. Korea says statement was coerced