Today in History Friday, April 28, 2017


Today is Friday, April 28, the 118th day of 2017. There are 247 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlights in History:

On April 28, 1967, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title after he refused to be inducted into the armed forces. U.S. Army Gen. William C. Westmoreland told Congress that “backed at home by resolve, confidence, patience, determination and continued support, we will prevail in Vietnam over communist aggression.” McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft merged to form McDonnell Douglas.

On this date:

In 1758, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia.

In 1788, Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.

In 1789, there was a mutiny on the HMS Bounty as rebelling crew members of the British ship, led by Fletcher Christian, set the captain, William Bligh, and 18 others adrift in a launch in the South Pacific. (Bligh and most of the men with him reached Timor in 47 days.)

In 1925, the International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts, which gave rise to the term “Art Deco,” began a six-month run in Paris.

In 1942, pollster George Gallup said most Americans preferred to call the then-current global conflict “World War II” or “The Second World War” (other suggestions included “Survival War” or “War of World Freedom”).

In 1945, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country.

In 1947, a six-man expedition set out from Peru aboard a balsa wood raft named the Kon-Tiki on a 101-day journey across the Pacific Ocean to the Polynesian Islands.

In 1952, war with Japan officially ended as a treaty signed in San Francisco the year before took effect. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Supreme Allied commander in Europe; he was succeeded by Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway.

In 1974, former Attorney General John Mitchell and former Commerce Secretary Maurice H. Stans, accused of attempting to interfere in a Securities and Exchange Commission probe of financier Robert Vesco in exchange for a $200,000 contribution to President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign, were acquitted of all charges by a federal jury in New York.

In 1987, Contra rebels in Nicaragua killed Benjamin Ernest Linder, 27, an American engineer working on a hydroelectric project for the Sandinista government.

In 1996, a man armed with a semi-automatic rifle went on a rampage on the Australian island of Tasmania, killing 35 people; the gunman was captured by police after a 12-hour standoff at a guest cottage, and is now serving a life prison sentence.

In 2001, a Russian rocket lifted off from Central Asia bearing the first space tourist, California businessman Dennis Tito, and two cosmonauts on a journey to the international space station.

Ten years ago: A suicide car bomber struck in Karbala, Iraq, killing at least 63 people. A suicide attack on Pakistan’s Interior Minister (Aftab Khan Sherpao) killed 28 people; the official was slightly hurt. Death claimed “Tonight Show” assistant conductor Tommy Newsom at age 78 and character actor Dabbs Greer at age 90.

Five years ago: Syria derided United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as biased and called his comments “outrageous” after he blamed the regime for widespread cease-fire violations. Paticia Medina, 92, a British-born actress who became a leading lady in Hollywood films of the 1950s, died in Los Angeles.

One year ago: Vice President Joe Biden pressed Iraq during an unannounced visit not to let its crippling political crisis upend hard-fought gains against the Islamic State group. A police sniper shot and wounded a man who walked into the lobby of Baltimore station WBFF-TV wearing a full animal costume and surgical mask and displaying what appeared to be an explosive device on his chest (the “device” turned out to be aluminum-wrapped chocolate bars duct-taped to a flotation device).

Today’s Birthdays: Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III is 87. Actor Frank Vincent is 80. Actress-singer Ann-Margret is 76. Actor Paul Guilfoyle is 68. Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno is 67. Rock musician Chuck Leavell is 65. Actress Mary McDonnell is 64. Rock singer-musician Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) is 64. Actress Nancy Lee Grahn is 61. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is 57. Rapper Too Short is 51. Actress Simbi Khali is 46. Actress Bridget Moynahan is 46. Actor Chris Young is 46. Rapper Big Gipp is 44. Actor Jorge Garcia is 44. Actress Elisabeth Rohm is 44. Actress Penelope Cruz is 43. Actor Nate Richert is 39. TV personalities Drew and Jonathan Scott are 39. Actress Jessica Alba is 36. Actor Harry Shum Jr. is 35. Actress Jenna Ushkowitz is 31. Actress Aleisha Allen is 26.

Thought for Today: “The world does not require so much to be informed as reminded.” — Hannah More, English religious writer (1745-1833).

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