Today is Thursday, April 29, the 119th day of 2021. There are 246 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History
On April 29, 1992: A jury in Simi Valley, California, acquitted four Los Angeles police officers of almost all state charges in the videotaped beating of motorist Rodney King; the verdicts were followed by rioting in Los Angeles resulting in 55 deaths.
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In 1913: Swedish-born engineer Gideon Sundback of Hoboken, New Jersey, received a U.S. patent for a “separable fastener” — later known as the zipper.
In 1945: During World War II, American soldiers liberated the Dachau concentration camp. Adolf Hitler married Eva Braun inside his “Fuhrerbunker” and designated Adm. Karl Doenitz president.
In 1946: 28 former Japanese officials went on trial in Tokyo as war criminals; seven ended up being sentenced to death.
In 1957: The SM-1, the first military nuclear power plant, was dedicated at Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
In 1967: Aretha Franklin’s cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect” was released as a single by Atlantic Records.
In 1961: “ABC’s Wide World of Sports” premiered, with Jim McKay as host.
In 1983: Harold Washington was sworn in as the first Black mayor of Chicago.
In 1991: A cyclone began striking the South Asian country of Bangladesh; it ended up killing more than 138,000 people, according to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
In 1997: Staff Sgt. Delmar Simpson, a drill instructor at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, was convicted of raping six female trainees (he was sentenced to 25 years in prison and dishonorably discharged). A worldwide treaty to ban chemical weapons went into effect.
In 2000: Tens of thousands of angry Cuban-Americans marched peacefully through Miami’s Little Havana, protesting the raid in which armed federal agents yanked 6-year-old Elian Gonzalez from the home of relatives.
In 2008: Democratic presidential hopeful Barack Obama denounced his former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, for what he termed “divisive and destructive” remarks on race.
In 2010: The U.S. Navy officially ended a ban on women serving on submarines, saying the first women would be reporting for duty by 2012. The NCAA’s Board of Directors approved a 68-team format for the men’s basketball tournament beginning the next season.
Ten years ago: Britain’s Prince William and Kate Middleton were married in an opulent ceremony at London’s Westminster Abbey. President Barack Obama visited Tuscaloosa, Alabama, one of the sites of deadly tornadoes two days earlier, saying he had “never seen devastation like this.”
Five years ago: Hundreds of rowdy protesters broke through barricades and threw eggs at police outside a hotel in Burlingame, California, where Donald Trump addressed the state’s Republican convention. North Korea sentenced Kim Dong Chul, a U.S. citizen of Korean heritage, to 10 years in prison after convicting him of espionage and subversion. Joey Meek, a friend of Dylann Roof, the white man later convicted of killing nine Black parishioners during a Bible study at a Charleston, South Carolina, church pleaded guilty to lying to federal authorities. (Meek was sentenced in March 2017 to more than two years in prison.)
One year ago: Scientists announced the first effective treatment against the coronavirus, the experimental antiviral medication remdesivir, which they said could speed the recovery of COVID-19 patients. The government estimated that the U.S. economy shrank at a 4.8% annual rate in the first quarter of the year as the pandemic shut down much of the country. The Federal Reserve said it would keep its key short-term interest rate near zero for the foreseeable future as part of its effort to bolster the economy. A suburban Minneapolis nursing home said 47 residents had died from complications of COVID-19. President Donald Trump said the federal government would not extend the social distancing guidelines that were expiring the next day; he said he would resume his own out-of-state travel. Police were called to a Brooklyn, New York, neighborhood after a funeral home overwhelmed by the coronavirus resorted to storing dozens of bodies on ice in rented trucks and a passerby complained about the smell; no criminal charges were filed.