The people and events that shaped this week in history.
1862 – In the U.S., slavery was abolished by law in the District of Columbia.
1900 – The first book of postage stamps was issued. The two-cent stamps were available in books of 12, 24 and 48 stamps.
1905 – Andrew Carnegie donated $10,000,000 of personal money to set up the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
1962 – Walter Cronkite began anchoring “The CBS Evening News”.
1968 – Major league baseball’s longest night game was played when the Houston Astros defeated the New York Mets 1-0. The 24 innings took six hours, six minutes to play.
1985 – Mickey Mantle was reinstated after being banned from baseball for several years.
1999 – Wayne Gretzky announced his retirement from the National Hockey League (NHL). He played his last game against the NY Rangers on April 18th. He retired the NHL’s all-time leading scorer and holder of 61 individual records.
2007 – In Blacksburg, VA, a student killed 33 people at Virginia Tech before killing himself.
1521 – Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church.
1629 – Horses were first imported into the colonies by the American Massachusetts Bay Colony.
1704 – John Campbell published what would eventually become the first successful American newspaper. It was known as the Boston “News-Letter.”
1860 – New Yorkers learned of a new law that required fire escapes to be provided for tenement houses.
1961 – About 1,400 U.S.-supported Cuban exiles invaded Cuba at the Bay of Pigs in an attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. It was an unsuccessful attack.
1964 – Ford Mustang debuts at World’s Fair. That same day, the new car also debuted in Ford showrooms across America and almost 22,000 Mustangs were immediately snapped up by buyers.
1964 – Jerrie Mock became first woman to fly an airplane solo around the world.
1993 – A federal jury in Los Angeles convicted two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King. Two other officers were acquitted.
1775 – American revolutionaries Paul Revere, William Dawes and Samuel Prescott rode though the towns of Massachusetts giving the warning that the Regulars were coming out. Later, the phrase “the British are coming” was attributed to Revere even though it is unlikely he used that wording.
1923 – Yankee Stadium opened in the Bronx, NY. The Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1. John Phillip Sousa’s band played the National Anthem.
1938 – Superman made his debut when he appeared in the first issue of Action Comics. (Cover date June 1938)
1985 – Ted Turner filed for a hostile takeover of CBS.
2002 – The city legislature of Berlin decided to make Marlene Dietrich an honorary citizen. Dietrich had gone to the United States in 1930. She refused to return to Germany after Adolf Hitler came to power.
2014 – Mt. Everest sees its single deadliest day. 16 Nepali mountaineering guides, most of them ethnic Sherpas, are killed by an avalanche on Mt. Everest, the Earth’s highest mountain.
1775 – The American Revolution began as fighting broke out at Lexington, MA.
1939 – Connecticut approved the Bill of Rights for the U.S. Constitution after 148 years.
1951 – Shigeki Tanaka won the Boston Marathon. Tanaka had survived the atomic blast at Hiroshima, Japan during World War II. This was the 54th annual Boston Marathon.
1960 – Baseball uniforms began displaying player’s names on their backs.
1982 – NASA named Sally Ride to be first woman astronaut.
1982 – NASA named Guion S. Bluford Jr. as the first African-American astronaut.
1987 – In Phoenix, AZ, skydiver Gregory Robertson went into a 200-mph free-fall to save an unconscious colleague 3,500 feet from the ground.
1994 – A Los Angeles jury awarded $3.8 million to Rodney King for violation of his civil rights.
1995 – The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, OK, was destroyed by a bomb. It was the worst bombing on U.S. territory. 168 people were killed including 19 children, and 500 were injured. Timothy McVeigh was found guilty of the bombing on June 2, 1997.
1832 – Hot Springs National Park (in Arkansas) was established by an act of the U.S. Congress. It was the first national park in the U.S.
1841 – In Philadelphia, PA, Edgar Allen Poe’s first detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” was published in Graham’s Magazine.
1916 – Chicago’s Wrigley Field held its first Cubs game with the first National League game at the ballpark. The Cubs beat the Cincinnati Reds 7-6 in 11 innings.
1961 – FM stereo broadcasting was approved by the FCC.
1962 – The New Orleans Citizens’ Council offered a free one-way ride for blacks to move to northern states.
1989 – Scientist announced the successful testing of high-definition TV.
1998 – Kenyan runner Moses Tanui, 32, won the Boston Marathon for the second time. He also registered the third fastest time with 2 hours 7 minutes and 34 seconds.
1999 – The Columbine High School Massacre happened when seniors Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold murdered 12 students and one teacher. They injured 21 other people, and three more were injured while attempting to escape the school. Harris and Klebold committed suicide.
1789 – John Adams was sworn in as the first U.S. Vice President.
1895 – Woodville Latham and his sons demonstrated their Panopticon. It was the first movie projector developed in the United States.
1898 – The Spanish-American War began.
1984 – In France, it was announced that doctors had found a virus believed to cause AIDS.
1989 – The Game Boy handheld video game device was released in Japan.
1992 – Robert Alton Harris became the first person executed by the state of California in 25 years. He was put to death for the 1978 murder of two teen-age boys.
1994 – Jackie Parker became the first woman to qualify to fly an F-16 combat plane.
1998 – Astronomers announced in Washington that they had discovered possible signs of a new family of planets orbiting a star 220 light-years away.
2009 – UNESCO launched The World Digital Library. The World Digital Library (WDL) is an international digital library operated by UNESCO and the United States Library of Congress.
1864 – The U.S. Congress passed legislation that allowed the inscription “In God We Trust” to be included on one-cent and two-cent coins.
1914 – Babe Ruth made his pitching debut with the Baltimore Orioles.
1933 – Rolls Royce co-founder dies at the age of 70 in West Wittering, West Sussex, England.
1954 – The U.S. Senate Army-McCarthy televised hearings began.
1970 – The first “Earth Day” was observed by millions of Americans.
1976 – Barbara Walters became first female nightly network news anchor.
1999 – The Watson Family received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
2000 – Elian Gonzalez was reunited with his father. He had to be taken from his Miami relatives by U.S. agents in a predawn raid.