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April 6, 2014

Today in History for Sunday, April 6, 2014

-- — Highlight in History

On April 6, 1994, the Hutu president of Rwanda, Juvenal Habyarimana, was killed along with the president of Burundi, Cyprien Ntaryamira, when their plane was apparently shot down near the Rwandan capital of Kigali; what followed was a 100-day genocide in Rwanda during which more than 500,000 minority Tutsis and moderate members of the Hutu majority were killed by Hutu extremists.

On this date

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

In 1864, Louisiana opened a convention in New Orleans to draft a new state constitution, one that called for the abolition of slavery.

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 by Reynal & Hitchcock of New York.

In 1954, a month after being criticized by newsman Edward R. Murrow on CBS’ “See It Now,” Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., given the chance to respond on the program, charged that Murrow had, in the past, “engaged in propaganda for Communist causes.”

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

In 1974, Swedish pop group ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest held in Brighton, England, with a performance of the song “Waterloo.”

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 1994, Supreme Court Justice Harry A. Blackmun announced his retirement after 24 years.

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

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