Today’s Highlight in History
On April 2, 2005: Pope John Paul II died in his Vatican apartment at age 84.
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In 1792: Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the U.S. Mint.
In 1865: Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, because of advancing Union forces.
In 1912: The just-completed RMS Titanic left Belfast to begin its sea trials eight days before the start of its ill-fated maiden voyage.
In 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.)
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 her 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 1995: After a work stoppage lasting nearly eight months, baseball owners accepted the players’ union offer to play without a contract.
In 2002: Israel seized control of Bethlehem; Palestinian gunmen forced their way into the Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, where they began a 39-day standoff.
In 2003: During the Iraq War, American forces fought their way to within sight of the Baghdad skyline.
In 2007: 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.
In 2020, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide passed the 1 million mark, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. The captain of a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier facing a coronavirus outbreak was fired after widely distributing a memo pleading for help; Navy Secretary Thomas Modly said Capt. Brett Crozier had demonstrated “poor judgment” in a crisis. (Modly himself would resign days later after facing a backlash over his harsh criticism of Crozier in remarks to the ship’s crew.)
Ten years ago: A gunman killed seven people at Oikos University, a Christian school in Oakland, California. (The shooter, One Goh, died in 2019 while serving a life prison sentence.) The U.S. Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that jailers may perform invasive strip searches on people arrested even for minor offenses. Kentucky won its eighth men’s national NCAA basketball title, holding off Kansas for a 67-59 victory.
Five years ago: Jason Aldean was named entertainer of the year at the Academy of Country Music Awards held in Las Vegas. A’ja Wilson scored 23 points to help coach Dawn Staley and South Carolina win their first women’s NCAA championship with a 67-55 victory over Mississippi State.
One year ago: In his first call to the president of Ukraine, President Joe Biden underscored U.S. support for that country, amid reports of Russian troop movements on Ukraine’s eastern border. A U.S. Capitol police officer, William Evans, was killed when a man rammed a car into officers at a barricade outside the Capitol building and then emerged with a knife; authorities shot the suspect, who died at a hospital. Major League Baseball rescinded its decision to have Atlanta host the 2021 All-Star Game; the move came in response to a sweeping new voting law in Georgia that critics said would negatively affect communities of color. Rapper DMX was rushed from his home to a suburban New York hospital after going into cardiac arrest; he died a week later.