Today is Tuesday, April 4th, the 94th day of 2017. There are 271 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
1968: Civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot and killed on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee.
1818: Congress decided the flag of the United States would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star to be added for every new state of the Union.
1841: President William Henry Harrison succumbed to pneumonia one month after his inaugural, becoming the first U.S. chief executive to die in office.
1859: “Dixie” was performed publicly for the first time by Bryant’s Minstrels at Mechanics’ Hall in New York.
1864: President Abraham Lincoln, in a letter to Kentucky newspaper editor Albert G. Hodges, wrote: “I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.”
1887: Susanna Madora Salter became the first woman elected mayor of an American community: Argonia, Kansas.
1917: The U.S. Senate voted 82-6 in favor of declaring war against Germany (the House followed suit two days later by a vote of 373-50).
1933: The Navy airship USS Akron crashed in severe weather off the New Jersey coast with the loss of 73 lives.
1949: 12 nations, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, D.C.
1958: Johnny Stompanato, an enforcer for crime boss Mickey Cohen and the boyfriend of actress Lana Turner, was stabbed to death by Turner’s teenage daughter, Cheryl Crane, who said Stompanato had attacked her mother.
1975: More than 130 people, most of them children, were killed when a U.S. Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crash-landed shortly after takeoff from Saigon. Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
1983: The space shuttle Challenger roared into orbit on its maiden voyage. (It was destroyed in the disaster of Jan. 1986.)
1991: Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., and six other people, including two children, were killed when a helicopter collided with Heinz’s plane over a schoolyard in Merion, Pennsylvania.
Former Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is 85.
Recording executive Clive Davis is 85.
Bandleader Hugh Masekela is 78.
Author Kitty Kelley is 75.
Actor Craig T. Nelson is 73.
Actor Walter Charles is 72.
Actress Christine Lahti is 67.
Country singer Steve Gatlin (The Gatlin Brothers) is 66.