Today in History
Today is Wednesday, April 18, the 108th day of 2018. There are 257 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 18, 1938, Superman, AKA “The Man of Steel,” made his debut as the first issue of Action Comics (bearing a cover date of June) went on sale for 10 cents a copy. (In 2014, a nearly flawless original copy was sold on eBay for $3.2 million.)
On this date:
In 1775, Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Massachusetts, warning colonists that British Regular troops were approaching.
In 1865, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman near Durham Station in North Carolina.
In 1906, a devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by raging fires; estimates of the final death toll range between 3,000 and 6,000.
In 1923, the first game was played at the original Yankee Stadium in New York; the Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-1.
In 1942, during World War II, an air squadron from the USS Hornet led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The first World War II edition of The Stars and Stripes was published as a weekly newspaper.
In 1943, Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, commander-in-chief of the Japanese Combined Fleet, was shot down and killed by U.S. fighters while approaching Bougainville in the Solomon Islands.
In 1956, American actress Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier (ren-YAY’) of Monaco in a civil ceremony. (A church wedding took place the next day.)
In 1966, “The Sound of Music” won the Oscar for best picture of 1965 at the 38th Academy Awards. The first Major League baseball game played on AstroTurf took place at the Houston Astrodome as the Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the Astros 6-3. Bill Russell was named player-coach of the Boston Celtics, becoming the NBA’s first black coach.
In 1978, the Senate approved the Panama Canal Treaty, providing for the complete turnover of control of the waterway to Panama on the last day of 1999.
In 1983, 63 people, including 17 Americans, were killed at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.
In 1988, an Israeli court convicted John Demjanjuk (dem-YAHN’-yuk), a retired auto worker from Cleveland, of committing war crimes at the Treblinka death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. (However, Israel’s Supreme Court later overturned Demjanjuk’s conviction.)
In 1998, despite fierce internal dissent, Northern Ireland’s main Protestant party, the Ulster Unionists, approved a peace agreement. The remains of Pol Pot were cremated, three days after the Khmer Rouge leader blamed for the killings of up to two million Cambodians died at age 73. Former North Carolina governor and U.S. senator Terry Sanford died in Durham at age 80.
Ten years ago: Addressing the United Nations, Pope Benedict XVI said that respect for human rights, not violence, was the key to solving many of the world’s problems. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gave birth to her fifth child, a son named Trig Paxson Van Palin.
Five years ago: The FBI released surveillance camera images of two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing and asked for the public’s help in identifying them, hours after President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama attended an interfaith service at a Roman Catholic cathedral. Randy Newman, Heart, Rush, Public Enemy, Donna Summer, Albert King, and producers Quincy Jones and Lou Adler were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Los Angeles.
One year ago: Turning back to the economic populism that helped drive his election campaign, President Donald Trump signed an order he said should help American workers whose jobs were threatened by skilled immigrants; the signing took place at the headquarters of hand and power tool manufacturer Snap-on Inc., in Kenosha, Wisconsin. A man shot and killed three people on the streets of downtown Fresno, California; a suspect who was also accused of killing a motel security guard two days earlier was almost immediately arrested. U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence assured Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe (shin-zoh AH’-bay) “we are with you 100 per cent” during a visit amid escalating tensions over North Korea.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Clive Revill is 88. Actor James Drury is 84. Actor Robert Hooks is 81. Actress Hayley Mills is 72. Actor James Woods is 71. Actress-director Dorothy Lyman is 71. Actress Cindy Pickett is 71. Country musician Walt Richmond (The Tractors) is 71. Country musician Jim Scholten (Sawyer Brown) is 66. Actor Rick Moranis is 65. Actress Melody Thomas Scott is 62. Actor Eric Roberts is 62. Actor John James is 62. Rock musician Les Pattinson (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 60. Author-journalist Susan Faludi is 59. Actress Jane Leeves is 57. Ventriloquist-comedian Jeff Dunham is 56. Talk show host Conan O’Brien is 55. Bluegrass singer-musician Terry Eldredge is 55. Actor Eric McCormack is 55. Actress Maria Bello is 51. Actress Mary Birdsong is 50. Actor David Hewlett is 50. Rock musician Greg Eklund (The Oolahs) is 48. Actress Lisa Locicero is 48. TV chef Ludovic Lefebvre is 47. Actor David Tennant is 47. Country musician Marvin Evatt (EH’-veht) is 44. Rock musician Mark Tremonti is 44. Rhythm-and-blues singer Trina (Trina and Tamara) is 44. Actress Melissa Joan Hart is 42. Actor Sean Maguire is 42. Actor Kevin Rankin is 42. Actor Bryce Johnson is 41. Reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian (kar-DASH’-ee-uhn) is 39. Actress America Ferrera is 34. Actress Ellen Woglom (TV: “Marvel’s Inhumans”) is 31. Actress Vanessa Kirby is 30. Actress Alia Shawkat is 29. Actress Britt Robertson is 28. Actress Chloe Bennet is 26. Rock singer Nathan Sykes (The Wanted) is 25. Actor Moises Arias is 24.
Thought for Today: “I’ll tell you a secret. We live in a mad and inspiring world.” — Ben Hecht, Hollywood screenwriter (born 1894, died this date in 1964).