Saturday, April 2, 2011

This Week in US History

April 3

1860   The Pony Express begins service between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California.

1948   President Truman signs legislation establishing the Marshall Plan which provided billions of dollars in aid to help Europe get back on its feet at the close of World War II.

1974   In New York City, Motorola engineer Martin Cooper makes the first call on a portable, handheld cell phone, which he had just invented.

Martin Cooper

April 4

1949   The United States and eleven other Western nations sign a treaty creating the North Atlantic Treaty Oganization (NATO).

1968   The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., age 39, is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee at 6:01 PM Central Time.  James Earl Ray, a drifter and escaped convict, was convicted of the assassination.

April 5

1614   Indian princess Pocahontas and Jamestown, Virginia, colonist John Rolfe are married.

1933   Dr. Evarts A. Graham performs the first operation to remove a lung in St. Louis, Missouri.

1984   Kareem Abdul-Jabbar becomes the highest-scoring NBA  player, with 31,421 career points (later retiring with 38,387 points).

April 6

1889   George Eastman begins selling the Kodak camera.

1909   Robert Peary, a 52-year-old U.S. Navy commander, and Matthew Henson reach the North Pole.

April 7

1862   Union forces commanded by General Ulysses S. Grant defeat Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.

1970   John Wayne wins his only Oscar for his role in True Grit.

April 8

1952   President Truman orders the seizure of the nation's steel mills to avert a strike, an act later ruled illegal by the Supreme Court.

1974   Hank Aaron hits his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's record.

April 9

1865   Robert E. Lee surrenders his Confederate army to Ulysses S. Grant in a farmhouse at Appomattox Court House.

2003   In Baghdad, Iraqis and U.S. soldiers celebrate the fall of Saddam Hussein by toppling a giant statue of the dictator in Firdos Square.


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