Today is Friday, April 28th, the 118th day of 2017. There are 247 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlights in History:
1967: Heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title after he refused to be inducted into the armed forces. U.S. Army Gen. William C. Westmoreland told Congress that “backed at home by resolve, confidence, patience, determination and continued support, we will prevail in Vietnam over communist aggression.” McDonnell Aircraft and Douglas Aircraft merged to form McDonnell Douglas. 1758: The fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, was born in Westmoreland County, Virginia.
1788: Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.
1789: There was a mutiny on the HMS Bounty as rebelling crew members of the British ship, led by Fletcher Christian, set the captain, William Bligh, and 18 others adrift in a launch in the South Pacific. (Bligh and most of the men with him reached Timor in 47 days.)
1925: The International Exposition of Modern Industrial and Decorative Arts, which gave rise to the term “Art Deco,” began a six-month run in Paris.
1942: Pollster George Gallup said most Americans preferred to call the then-current global conflict “World War II” or “The Second World War” (other suggestions included “Survival War” or “War of World Freedom”).
1945: Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country.
1947: A six-man expedition set out from Peru aboard a balsa wood raft named the Kon-Tiki on a 101-day journey across the Pacific Ocean to the Polynesian Islands.
1952: War with Japan officially ended as a treaty signed in San Francisco the year before took effect. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Supreme Allied commander in Europe; he was succeeded by Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway.
1974: Former Attorney General John Mitchell and former Commerce Secretary Maurice H. Stans, accused of attempting to interfere in a Securities and Exchange Commission probe of financier Robert Vesco in exchange for a $200,000 contribution to President Richard Nixon’s re-election campaign, were acquitted of all charges by a federal jury in New York.
1987: Contra rebels in Nicaragua killed Benjamin Ernest Linder, 27, an American engineer working on a hydroelectric project for the Sandinista government.
1996: A man armed with a semi-automatic rifle went on a rampage on the Australian island of Tasmania, killing 35 people; the gunman was captured by police after a 12-hour standoff at a guest cottage, and is now serving a life prison sentence.
2001: A Russian rocket lifted off from Central Asia bearing the first space tourist, California businessman Dennis Tito, and two cosmonauts on a journey to the international space station. Birthdays: Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III is 87. Actor Frank Vincent is 80. Actress-singer Ann-Margret is 76. Actor Paul Guilfoyle is 68. Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno is 67. Rock musician Chuck Leavell is 65. Actress Mary McDonnell is 64. Rock singer-musician Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) is 64. Actress Nancy Lee Grahn is 61. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is 57.