Today in History Sunday, April 2, 2017


Today is Sunday, April 2, the 92nd day of 2017. There are 273 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, “The world must be made safe for democracy.” (Congress declared war four days later.)

On this date:

In 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the U.S. Mint.

In 1800, Ludwig van Beethoven premiered his Symphony No. 1 in C Major, Op. 21, in Vienna.

In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, because of advancing Union forces.

In 1932, aviator Charles A. Lindbergh and John F. Condon went to a cemetery in The Bronx, New York, where Condon turned over $50,000 to a man in exchange for Lindbergh’s kidnapped son. (The child, who was not returned, was found dead the following month.)

In 1942, Glenn Miller and his Orchestra recorded “American Patrol” at the RCA Victor studios in Hollywood.

In 1956, the soap operas “As the World Turns” and “The Edge of Night” premiered on CBS-TV.

In 1968, the science-fiction film “2001: A Space Odyssey,” produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, had its world premiere in Washington, D.C.

In 1974, French President Georges Pompidou, 62, died in Paris.

In 1982, several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain. (Britain seized the islands back the following June.)

In 1986, four American passengers, including an 8-month-old girl, her mother and grandmother, were killed when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard a TWA jetliner en route from Rome to Athens, Greece.

In 1992, mob boss John Gotti was convicted in New York of murder and racketeering; he was later sentenced to life, and died in prison.

In 2005, Pope John Paul II died in his Vatican apartment at age 84.

Ten years ago: In its first case on climate change, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, ruled 5-4 that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases were air pollutants under the Clean Air Act. Florida won its second consecutive college basketball championship, beating Ohio State 84-75; the Gators became the first team to repeat since Duke in 1991-92. Coaches Phil Jackson and Roy Williams were among those named to the Basketball Hall of Fame.

Five years ago: A gunman killed seven people at Oikos University, a Christian school in Oakland, California. (Suspected gunman One Goh, a former student, was found not mentally fit to stand trial.) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that jailers may perform invasive strip searches on people arrested even for minor offenses. Five-time All-Star Reggie Miller joined longtime NBA coach Don Nelson and college standout Ralph Sampson as part of a 12-member class to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Kentucky won its eighth men’s national NCAA basketball title, holding off Kansas for a 67-59 victory.

One year ago: Mormon leaders meeting in Salt Lake City called on church members to practice tolerance despite political differences, providing guidance at a conference amid a presidential campaign marked by harsh rhetoric and bickering. Connecticut senior Breanna Stewart won the AP Player of the Year award for a record third time; her coach, Geno Auriemma (aw-ree-EH’-muh), won the Coach of the Year award for the eighth time. Sixteen-year-old Evgenia Medvedeva of Russia capped a dominant debut season by winning the world championship in Boston with a record-setting free skate score; Ashley Wagner of the U.S. came in second while another Russian, Anna Pogorilaya, placed third.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Sharon Acker is 82. Actress Penelope Keith is 77. Actress Linda Hunt is 72. Singer Emmylou Harris is 70. Actor Sam Anderson is 70. Social critic and author Camille Paglia is 70. Actress Pamela Reed is 68. Rock musician Dave Robinson (The Cars) is 64. Country singer Buddy Jewell is 56. Actor Christopher Meloni is 56. Singer Keren Woodward (Bananarama) is 56. Country singer Billy Dean is 55. Actor Clark Gregg is 55. Actress Jana Marie Hupp is 53. Rock musician Greg Camp is 50. Rock musician Tony Fredianelli (Third Eye Blind) is 48. Actress Roselyn Sanchez is 44. Country singer Jill King is 42. Actor Pedro Pascal is 42. Actor Adam Rodriguez is 42. Actor Jeremy Garrett is 41. Actor Michael Fassbender is 40. Actress Jaime Ray Newman is 39. Rock musician Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5) is 38. Actress Bethany Joy Lenz is 36. Singer Lee Dewyze (TV: “American Idol”) is 31. Country singer Chris Janson is 31. Actor Drew Van Acker is 31. Actor Jesse Plemons is 29. Singer Aaron Kelly (TV: “American Idol”) is 24.

Thought for Today: “We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.” — Fulton Oursler, American journalist and author (1893-1952).

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.