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April 12, 2013

Today in History for Friday, April 12, 2013

-- — Highlight in History

On April 12, 1963, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. was arrested and jailed in Birmingham, Ala., charged with contempt of court and parading without a permit. (During his time behind bars, King wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail”; he was released on bond on April 20.)

On this date

In 1861, the American Civil War began as Confederate forces opened fire on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

In 1862, Union volunteers stole a Confederate locomotive near Marietta, Ga., and headed toward Chattanooga, Tenn., on a mission to sabotage as much of the rail line as they could; the raiders were caught.

In 1955, the Salk vaccine against polio was declared safe and effective.

In 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to fly in space, orbiting the earth once before making a safe landing.

Ten years ago

Finance officials from the seven richest industrial countries, meeting in Washington, agreed to support a new U.N. Security Council resolution as part of a global effort to rebuild Iraq and promised to begin talks on reducing Iraq’s massive foreign debt burden. Rescued POW Jessica Lynch returned to the United States after treatment at a U.S. military hospital in Germany. Women’s activists took their fight against the all-male Augusta National as close as they could get to the Masters tournament.

Five years ago

Democrat Barack Obama conceded that comments he’d made privately during a fundraiser about bitter working class voters who “cling to guns or religion” were ill chosen. Boston College won the NCAA hockey championship, 4-1, over Notre Dame.

One year ago

Florida neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman, charged with second-degree murder, made his first courtroom appearance in the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Jury selection began in Greensboro, N.C., for the corruption trial of former presidential candidate John Edwards, charged with six counts of campaign finance fraud.

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