Today In History...
In 1790 The U.S. Patent system was established.
In 1849 The Safety pin was patented by Walter Hunt of New York City.
In 1866 The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was established.
In 1872 The first Arbor Day was celebrated in Nebraska. It was later changed to the last Friday in April.
In 1912 The luxury liner RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage. (On April 14, the ship struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank. About 1,500 people died.)
In 1925 F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" was published.
In 1932 German president Paul Von Hindenburg was re-elected, with Adolph Hitler coming in second.
In 1945 During World War II, U.S. troops liberated the Buchenwald death camp in Germany.
In 1953 The first 3-D movie, "House Of Wax," starring Vincent Price, was released in New York.
In 1959 Japan's Crown Prince Akihito married commoner Michiko Shoda.
In 1963 The new nuclear submarine Thresher came apart in the Northern Atlantic during a test dive killing all 129 aboard.
In 1972 An earthquake killed more than 5000 in Iran.
In 1972 The U.S. and the Soviet Union joined some 70 nations in signing an agreement banning biological warfare.
In 1974 Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir announced her resignation and was replaced by Yitzhak Rabin.
In 1978 Arkady Shevchenko, a high-ranking Soviet citizen employed by the United Nations, sought asylum in the United States.
In 1979 Soyuz 33 was launched.
In 1979 A tornado killed 60 in Wichita Falls, Texas.
In 1981 The long-awaited maiden launch of the space shuttle Columbia was scrubbed because of a computer malfunction.
In 1981 Imprisoned IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands won the election to the British Parliament.
In 1984 Baby Zoe, the first baby produced from a frozen embryo, was delivered in Melbourne, Australia.
In 1985 U.S. House Speaker Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill and three other congressmen met in Moscow with Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 1986 The U.S. government banned imports of Italian wine lacking certification they were not laced with methanol following 20 reported deaths blamed on tainted bottles.
In 1986 The U.S. conducted nuclear tests in the Nevada desert despite growing protests among peace groups and strong Soviet support for a test ban.
In 1986 President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail S. Gorbachev delivered speeches on nuclear arms.
In 1989 Vienna authorities announced that four nurses confessed to murdering 49 elderly patients in 6 years of "mercy killings."
In 1990 Following an appeal from Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, 3 European hostages were released in Lebanon.
In 1991 Natalie Schafer (Mrs. Howell on "Gilligan's Island") died at age 90.
In 1991 A day after Mikhail Gorbachev appealed for a moratorium on all strikes, demonstrations, and rallies, 200,000 workers in Byelorussia staged a work stoppage in the capital Minsk.
In 1992 Comedian Sam Kinison, 38, was killed when a pickup hit his car on a Califonia highway.
In 1992 Two people were killed, and 47 were wounded in a car bomb explosion in London's financial district.
In 1992 Financier Charles Keating Jr. was sentenced in Los Angeles to 9 years in prison for defrauding investors when his Lincoln Savings and Loan collapsed. The convictions were later overturned.
In 1993 South African activist Chris Hani, head of the Communist Party and a leading official of the African National Congress was shot to death.
In 1994 U.S. F-16 fighters bombed a Bosnian Serb tank and command post in Gorazade, NATO's first attack on ground positions in its 45-year history.
In 1994 Charles Kuralt hosted his last episode of "Sunday Morning" on CBS TV.
In 1995 Kansas Senator Bob Dole launched his third White House bid.
In 1996 President Clinton vetoed a bill that would outlaw rarely used techniques to end pregnancies in their late stages.
In 1997 A federal judge struck down the Line-Item Veto Act, a law that let the president strike specific items from bills passed by Congress. (The U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional in 1998.)
In 1997, the Senate confirmed former POW and fighter pilot Pete Peterson as the first postwar U.S. ambassador to Vietnam.
In 1998 Negotiators reached a peace accord on governing British-ruled Northern Ireland.
In 1999 The Miami Heat humiliated the Chicago Bulls, 82-49, holding the Bulls to the lowest point total since the introduction of the shot clock.
In 2000 Actor Larry Linville ("M*A*S*H") died in New York at age 60.
In 2001 Republican Jane Swift took office as the first female governor of Massachusetts.
In 2001 The Netherlands legalized assisted suicide for terminal patients.
In 2004 The White House declassified and released a document sent to President Bush before the September 11 attacks, which cited recent intelligence of a possible al-Qaida plot to strike inside the U.S.