Today is Sunday, April 19, the 110th day of 2020. There are 256 days left in the year.
Today’s highlight in the story:
On April 19, 1993, the 51-day siege of the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas ended as a fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began to force their way into the interior; around 80 people, including two dozen children and cult leader David Koresh, were killed.
In 1775 the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.
In 1912, a special subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee opened hearings in New York into the Titanic disaster.
In 1933, the United States abandoned the gold standard.
In 1943, during World War II, tens of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but ultimately futile battle against Nazi forces.
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In 1945, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical “Carousel” opened on Broadway.
In 1951, General Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his command in the Far East by President Harry S. Truman, bade farewell in a speech to Congress in which he quoted a line from a ballad: “Old soldiers never die ; they just disappear.
In 1977, the Supreme Court, in Ingraham v. Wright, ruled 5 to 4 that even the harsh spanking of school children by faculty members did not violate the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment.
In 1989, 47 sailors were killed when a gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa in the Caribbean. (The Navy initially suspected that a dead crewman deliberately set off the explosion, but later said there was no evidence of this.)
In 1994, a Los Angeles jury awarded battered motorist Rodney King $3.8 million.
In 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Bomber Timothy McVeigh, who prosecutors say planned the attack in revenge for the Waco siege two years earlier, was federally convicted of murder and executed in 2001.)
In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope in the first conclave of the new millennium; he took the name of Benedict XVI.
In 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, a 19-year-old student wanted in the Boston Marathon bombings, was taken into custody after a manhunt that brought the city to a virtual standstill; his older brother and alleged accomplice, Tamerlan, 26, was killed earlier in a furious attempt to evade police.
Ten years ago: The United States and Iraq have claimed a major victory against al-Qaeda, saying their forces killed the terror group’s two main figures in an air and ground assault on their haven near the hometown of former President Saddam Hussein. Kenya’s Robert Kiprono Cheruiyot won the Boston Marathon and broke the course record with a time of 2:05:52; Ethiopian Teyba Erkesso won the women’s race in 2:26:11.
Five years ago: Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man, died a week after sustaining a spinal cord injury in the back of a Baltimore police van while handcuffed and shackled. (Six police officers were charged, three were acquitted, and the chief city attorney eventually dropped the remaining three cases.) At the Academy of Country Music Awards, Miranda Lambert won four awards, including album and song of the year, but lost the top of the night. award, Artist of the Year, to Luke Bryan.
One year ago: A Paris fire department official said architects and construction workers stabilized the damaged structure of Notre Dame Cathedral, four days after a fire tore through the iconic building. A Southern California couple who pleaded guilty to locking up and abusing 12 of their 13 children for years have been sentenced to 25 years to life in prison.
Today’s birthdays: Actress Elinor Donahue is 83 years old. Rock musician Alan Price (The Animals) is 78 years old. Actor Tim Curry is 74 years old. Pop singer Mark “Flo” Volman (The Turtles; Flo and Eddie) is 73. Actor Tony Plana is 68 years old. Former tennis player Sue Barker is 64 years old. Motorsports Hall of Famer Al Unser Jr. is 58. Actor Tom Wood is 57 years old. Recording director Suge Knight is 55. Singer-songwriter Dar Williams is 53 years old. Actress Ashley Judd is 52 years old. Singer Bekka Bramlett is 52 years old. Latin pop singer Luis Miguel is 50 years old. Actress Jennifer Esposito is 48 years old. Actress Jennifer Taylor is 48 years old. Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux is 46 years old. Actor James Franco is 42 years old. Actress Kate Hudson is 41 years old. Actor Hayden Christensen is 39 years old. Actress Catalina Sandino Moreno is 39 years old. Actress and comedian Ali Wong is 38 years old. Actress Victoria Yeates is 37 years old. Actress Kelen Coleman is 36 years old. Actor Zack Conroy is 35 years old. 35. Actor Courtland Mead is 33 years old. Tennis player Maria Sharapova is 33 years old. NHL forward Patrik Lain I am 32 years old.