TODAY IN HISTORY
Today is Friday, April 11, the 101st day of 2013. There are 264 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 11, 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.)
On this date:
In 1689, William III and Mary II were crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain.
In 1713, the Treaty of Utrecht was signed, ending the War of the Spanish Succession.
In 1899, the treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared in effect.
In 1914, the George Bernard Shaw play “Pygmalion” had its London premiere. Canadian film animator Norman McLaren was born in Stirling, Scotland.
In 1921, Iowa became the first state to impose a cigarette tax, at 2 cents a package.
In 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the notorious Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in Germany.
In 1951, President Harry S. Truman relieved Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his commands in the Far East.
In 1963, Pope John XXIII issued his final encyclical, “Pacem in Terris” — “Peace on Earth.”
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.
In 1974, a jury in Media, Pa., convicted former United Mine Workers of America president W.A. “Tony” Boyle of three counts of first-degree murder for ordering the killings in 1969 of union rival Joseph A. Yablonski, Yablonski’s wife and daughter. (The convictions were overturned, but Boyle was found guilty in a retrial.)
Palestinian gunmen killed 16 civilians, mostly women and children, in the northern Israeli town of Kiryat Shmona.
In 1979, Idi Amin was deposed as president of Uganda as rebels and exiles backed by Tanzanian forces seized control.
In 1989, Mexican officials began unearthing the remains of victims of a drug-trafficking cult near Matamoros; one of the dead was University of Texas student Mark Kilroy, who had disappeared while on spring break. (Several cult members were later convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to 50 years in prison.)
Ten years ago: President George W. Bush defended his response to a briefing memo from August 2001 about possible terrorist plots against the United States, saying he was “satisfied that some of the matters were being looked into” and that there were no specific threats against New York and Washington. Pope John Paul II celebrated Easter Mass with calls for world leaders to resolve conflicts in Iraq, the Holy Land and Africa. Phil Mickelson’s agonizing pursuit of a major ended at the Masters when he made an 18-foot birdie putt on the final hole and got to claim his green jacket.
Five years ago: A 16-nation Asian summit in Bangkok was canceled after demonstrators stormed the venue. Boston University won its fifth NCAA hockey championship, defeating Miami (Ohio) 4-3 in overtime. Susan Boyle, a middle-aged volunteer church worker, wowed judges and audiences alike with her soaring rendition of “I Dreamed a Dream” from the musical “Les Miserables” on the British TV show “Britain’s Got Talent.”
One year 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.
Today’s Birthdays: Ethel Kennedy is 86. Actor Joel Grey is 82. Actress Louise Lasser is 75. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman is 73. Movie writer-director John Milius is 70. Actor Peter Riegert is 67. Actor Meshach Taylor is 67. Movie director Carl Franklin is 65.
Actor Bill Irwin is 64. Country singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale is 57. Songwriter-producer Daryl Simmons is 57. Rock musician Nigel Pulsford is 53. Actor Lucky Vanous is 53. Country singer Steve Azar is 50. Singer Lisa Stansfield is 48. Rock musician Dylan Keefe (Marcy Playground) is 44. Actor Johnny Messner is 44. Actor Vicellous Shannon is 43. Rapper David Banner is 40. Actress Tricia Helfer is 40. Rock musician Chris Gaylor (The All-American Rejects) is 35. Actress Kelli Garner is 30. Singer Joss Stone is 27. Actress-dancer Kaitlyn Jenkins (TV: “Bunheads”) is 22.