Today’s Highlight in History
On April 11, 1968: President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which included the Fair Housing Act, a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.
On this date
In 1814: Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as Emperor of the French and was banished to the island of Elba. (Napoleon later escaped from Elba and returned to power in March 1815, until his downfall in the Battle of Waterloo in June 1815.)
In 1865: President Abraham Lincoln spoke to a crowd outside the White House, saying, “We meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart.” (It was the last public address Lincoln would deliver.)
In 1899: The treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared in effect.
In 1913: Postmaster General Albert S. Burleson, during a meeting of President Woodrow Wilson’s Cabinet, proposed gradually segregating whites and Blacks who worked for the Railway Mail Service, a policy that went into effect and spread to other agencies.
In 1945: During World War II, American soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in Germany.
In 1947: Jackie Robinson of the Brooklyn Dodgers played in an exhibition against the New York Yankees at Ebbets Field, four days before his regular-season debut that broke baseball’s color line. (The Dodgers won, 14-6.)
In 1961: Former SS officer Adolf Eichmann went on trial in Israel, charged with crimes against humanity for his role in the Nazi Holocaust. (Eichmann was convicted and executed.)
In 1970: Apollo 13, with astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise and Jack Swigert, blasted off on its ill-fated mission to the moon. (The mission was aborted when an oxygen tank exploded April 13. The crew splashed down safely four days after the explosion.)
In 1980: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued regulations specifically prohibiting sexual harassment of workers by supervisors.
In 1996: 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff, who hoped to become the youngest person to fly cross-country, was killed along with her father and flight instructor when their plane crashed after takeoff from Cheyenne, Wyo.
In 2020: The number of U.S. deaths from the coronavirus eclipsed Italy’s for the highest in the world, topping 20,000.
Ten years ago: Congress’ most serious gun-control effort in years cleared its first hurdle as the Senate pushed past conservatives’ attempted blockade, rebuffing 68-31 an effort to keep debate from even starting. (However, proposals for tighter background checks for buyers as well as bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines went down to defeat six days later.) Comedian Jonathan Winters, 87, died in Montecito, Calif.
Five years ago: House Speaker Paul Ryan announced that he would retire rather than seek another term in Congress. California Gov. Jerry Brown accepted President Donald Trump’s call to send the National Guard to the Mexican border but said the troops would have nothing to do with immigration enforcement. Pope Francis admitted he made “grave errors” in judgment in Chile’s sex abuse scandal; during a January visit to Chile, Francis had strongly defended Bishop Juan Barros despite accusations by victims that Barros had witnessed and ignored their abuse. A military transport plane crashed just after takeoff in Algeria, killing 257 people in the worst aviation disaster in the history of the North African country. Mitzi Shore, owner of the Los Angeles club the Comedy Store, died at the age of 87.
One year ago: The mayor of the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol said more than 10,000 civilians died in the Russian siege of his city. Philadelphia becomes the first major U.S. city to reinstate its indoor mask mandate after reporting a sharp increase in coronavirus infections. A jury was selected to hear a libel lawsuit Johnny Depp filed against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, whom he accused of falsely portraying him as a domestic abuser. Mimi Reinhard, a secretary in Oskar Schindler’s office who typed up the list of Jews he saved from extermination by Nazi Germany, died at age 107.