Today in history


Today is Friday, April 7, the 97th day of 2017. There are 268 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 7, 1917, American entertainer and songwriter George M. Cohan, galvanized by America’s entry into World War I the day before, wrote his rousing call to arms, “Over There.”

On this date:

In 1788, an expedition led by Gen. Rufus Putnam established a settlement at present-day Marietta, Ohio.

In 1862, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.

In 1927, the image and voice of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover were transmitted live from Washington to New York in the first successful long-distance demonstration of television.

In 1939, Italy invaded Albania, which was annexed less than a week later.

In 1947, auto pioneer Henry Ford died in Dearborn, Michigan, at age 83.

In 1957, shortly after midnight, the last of New York’s electric trolleys completed its final run from Queens to Manhattan.

In 1962, nearly 1,200 Cuban exiles tried by Cuba for their roles in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion were convicted of treason.

In 1967, “The Death of a President,” William Manchester’s detailed reconstruction of the events surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, was published in book form by Harper & Row after being serialized in Look magazine.

In 1978, President Jimmy Carter announced he was deferring development of the neutron bomb, a high-radiation weapon.

In 1984, the Census Bureau reported Los Angeles had overtaken Chicago as the nation’s “second city” in terms of population.

In 1994, civil war erupted in Rwanda, a day after a mysterious plane crash claimed the lives of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi; in the months that followed, hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsi and Hutu moderates were slaughtered by Hutu extremists.

In 2001, NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft took off on a six-month, 286 million-mile journey to the Red Planet.

Ten years ago: A Russian rocket carrying American billionaire Charles Simonyi roared into the night skies over Kazakhstan, sending its three occupants on a trip to the international space station. “B.C.” comic strip creator Johnny Hart died in Nineveh, New York, at age 76. Actor Barry Nelson died in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, at age 89.

Five years ago: The U.S. warned Syria it wouldn’t be able to deceive the world about compliance with a cease-fire that was just days away, as regime forces pounded more opposition strongholds in an apparent rush to crush resistance before troops had to withdraw. A massive avalanche engulfed a Pakistani military complex in a mountain battleground close to the Indian border; all 140 people on the base died. CBS newsman Mike Wallace, 93, died in New Canaan, Connecticut.

One year ago: Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any links to offshore accounts and described the Panama Papers document leaks scandal as part of a U.S.-led plot to weaken Russia. In a brazen assault near the Syrian capital, Islamic State militants abducted 300 cement workers and contractors from their workplace northeast of Damascus. “American Idol” crowned 24-year-old Trent Harmon its 15th and final winner as the influential TV show came to an end.

Today’s Birthdays: Media commentator Hodding Carter III is 82. Country singer Bobby Bare is 82. Rhythm-and-blues singer Charlie Thomas (The Drifters) is 80. California Gov. Jerry Brown is 79. Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 78. Actress Roberta Shore is 74. Singer Patricia Bennett (The Chiffons) is 70. Singer John Oates is 69. Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is 68. Singer Janis Ian is 66. Country musician John Dittrich is 66. Actor Jackie Chan is 63. College and Pro Football Hall-of-Famer Tony Dorsett is 63. Actor Russell Crowe is 53. Christian/jazz singer Mark Kibble (Take 6) is 53. Actor Bill Bellamy is 52. Rock musician Dave “Yorkie” Palmer (Space) is 52. Former football player-turned-analyst Tiki Barber is 42. Actress Heather Burns is 42. Christian rock singer-musician John Cooper (Skillet) is 42. Actor Kevin Alejandro is 41. Rock musician Ben McKee (Imagine Dragons) is 32. Actor Ed Speleers is 29. Actor Conner Rayburn is 18.

Thought for Today: “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t — you’re right.” — Henry Ford (1863-1947).

By The Associated Press

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