Today’s birthdays: Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson is 95. Actor Billy Dee Williams is 86. Actor Roy Thinnes is 85. Film director Barry Levinson is 81.
Actor John Ratzenberger is 76. Actor Patrika Darbo is 75. Baseball Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven is 72. Actor Marilu Henner is 71. Olympic bronze medalist figure skater Janet Lynn is 70.
Actor Michael Rooker is 68. Former US Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is 67. Rock musician Warren Haynes is 63.
Rock singer and musician Black Francis (The Pixies) is 58. Actor Ari Meyers is 54. Actor Paul Rudd is 54. Actor-producer Jason Hervey is 51.
Actor Zach Braff is 48. Actor Joel Garland is 48. Actor Candace Cameron Bure is 47. Actor Teddy Sears is 46. Jazz and R&B musician Robert Glasper is 45. Actor Eliza Coupe is 42. Singer and guitarist Kenneth Pattengale (Milk Carton Kids) is 41. Actor Bret Harrison is 41.
Actor Charlie McDermott is 33.
Today’s highlight in history:
On April 6, 1896, the first modern Olympic Games were officially opened in Athens, Greece.
On this date:
In 1862, Tennessee’s Civil War Battle of Shiloh began when Confederate troops launched a surprise attack on Union troops, who repelled the Confederates the next day.
In 1864, Louisiana opened a convention in New Orleans to draft a new state constitution calling for the abolition of slavery.
In 1909, American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson, along with four Inuit, became the first people to reach the North Pole.
In 1917, the United States entered World War I when the House of Representatives joined the Senate in approving a declaration of war against Germany, which was then signed by President Woodrow Wilson.
In 1943, Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s “Le Petit Prince” (The Little Prince) was first published by Reynal & Hitchcock in New York.
In 1954, Senator Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., responded to CBS anchor Edward R. Murrow’s broadside against him on “See It Now,” in remarks filmed for the program that Murrow had in the past “Engaged” in propaganda for communist causes.”
In 1968, two consecutive natural gas explosions at a sporting goods store in downtown Richmond, Indiana, killed 41 people.
In 1974, Swedish pop group ABBA won the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton, England with a performance of the song “Waterloo”.
In 2008, at a private fundraiser in San Francisco, Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama spoke of voters in Pennsylvania’s Rust Belt communities who “cling to guns or religion” because they are bitter about their economic lot; Democratic rival Hillary Rodham Clinton seized on the comment, calling it “elitist.”
In 2014, legendary Hollywood actor Mickey Rooney, 93, died in North Hollywood.
Comedian Don Rickles, known for his scathing slurs, died in 2017 at the age of 90 in Beverly Hills, California.
In 2020, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was transferred to the intensive care unit of a London hospital where he was being treated for COVID-19 after his condition worsened.
Ten years ago: Iran and six world powers failed to agree at talks in Almaty, Kazakhstan on how to allay fears that Tehran could use its nuclear technology to make weapons. Militants killed six Americans, including 25-year-old diplomat Anne Smedinghoff, and an Afghan doctor in two attacks in Afghanistan, the deadliest day for the United States in the war in eight months.
Five years ago: Texas Republican Congressman Blake Farenthold abruptly resigned four months after announcing he would not be re-elected amid sexual harassment allegations. Former Democratic Senator Daniel Akaka of Hawaii died in Honolulu at the age of 93. Federal law enforcement agencies seized online classification site Backpage.com and its affiliated sites, known for listing adult escort services. A South Korean court sentenced former President Park Geun-hye to 24 years in prison on charges including bribery and extortion in connection with a corruption scandal that impeached her from office a year earlier. A van collided with a bus carrying a junior ice hockey team in western Canada, killing 16.
A year ago: The mayor of the besieged Ukrainian port city of Mariupol said more than 5,000 civilians had been killed when Russian troops invaded. In response, the US and its Western allies moved to impose new sanctions on the Kremlin for its war crimes. European health authorities investigated a rapidly developing outbreak of salmonella in 134 children, apparently linked to chocolate Easter eggs.