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April 6, 2013

Today in History for Saturday, April 6, 2013

-- — Highlight in History

On April 6, 1973, Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees became Major League Baseball’s first designated hitter as he faced pitcher Luis Tiant of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway. (Blomberg was walked with the bases loaded; Boston won the game, 15-5.)

On this date

In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith in Fayette, N.Y.

In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Shiloh began in Tennessee as Confederate forces launched a surprise attack against Union troops, who beat back the Confederates the next day.

In 1896, the first modern Olympic games formally opened in Athens, Greece.

In 1909, American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson and four Inuits became the first men to reach the North Pole.

In 1917, Congress approved a declaration of war against Germany.

In 1943, “Le Petit Prince” (The Little Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupery was first published in the U.S. by Reynal & Hitchcock of New York.

In 1945, during World War II, the Japanese warship Yamato and nine other vessels sailed on a suicide mission to attack the U.S. fleet off Okinawa; the fleet was intercepted the next day.

In 1959, “Gigi” won the Academy Award for best picture of 1958; Susan Hayward was named best actress for “I Want to Live!” and David Niven was named best actor for “Separate Tables.” (To the embarrassment of the show’s producers, the scheduled 2-hour ceremony fell about 20 minutes short.)

In 1963, the United States signed an agreement to sell the Polaris missile system to Britain.

In 1973, NASA launched Pioneer 11, which flew by Jupiter and Saturn.

In 1988, Tirza Porat, a 15-year-old Israeli girl, was killed in a West Bank melee. (Although Arabs were initially blamed, the army concluded Tirza had been accidentally shot by a Jewish settler.)

In 1998, country singer Tammy Wynette died at her Nashville home at age 55.

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