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April 16, 2012

Today in History for Monday, April 16, 2012

-- — Highlight in History

On April 16, 1912, American aviator Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel, traveling from Dover, England, to France in 59 minutes, an accomplishment that was overshadowed by the Titanic disaster the day before.

On this date

In 1789, President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Va., for his inauguration in New York.

In 1862, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia. The Confederacy conscripted all white men between the ages of 18 to 35.

In 1879, St. Bernadette, who’d described seeing visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, died in Nevers, France.

In 1889, comedian and movie director Charles Chaplin was born in London.

In 1910, Boston Arena (now Matthews Arena) first opened.

In 1917, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returned to Russia after years of exile.

In 1935, the radio comedy program “Fibber McGee and Molly” premiered on NBC’s Blue Network.

In 1945, U.S. troops reached Nuremberg, Germany, during the Second World War.

In 1947, the French ship Grandcamp blew up at the harbor in Texas City, Texas; another ship, the High Flyer, exploded the following day (the blasts and fires killed nearly 600 people). Financier Bernard M. Baruch said in a speech at the South Carolina statehouse, “Let us not be deceived — we are today in the midst of a cold war.”

In 1962, Bob Dylan debuted his song “Blowin’ in the Wind” at Gerde’s Folk City in New York; New Orleans Archbishop Joseph Rummel excommunicated three local Roman Catholics for fighting racial integration of parochial schools; Walter Cronkite succeeded Douglas Edwards as anchorman of “The CBS Evening News.”

In 1972, Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon with astronauts John W. Young, Charles M. Duke Jr. and Ken Mattingly on board.

In 1996, Britain’s Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced they were in the process of divorcing.

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