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Almanac

By The Associated Press

Today in History

Today is Thursday, April 8, the 98th day of 2021. There are 267 days left in the year.

Todayís Highlight in History:

On April 8, 1864, the United States Senate passed, 38-6, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery. (The House of Representatives passed it in January 1865; the amendment was ratified and adopted in December 1865.)

On this date:

In 1513, explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and his expedition began exploring the Florida coastline.

In 1820, the Venus de Milo statue was discovered by a farmer on the Greek island of Milos.

In 1911, an explosion at the Banner Coal Mine in Littleton, Alabama, claimed the lives of 128 men, most of them convicts loaned out from prisons.

In 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for popular election of U.S. senators (as opposed to appointment by state legislatures), was ratified. President Woodrow Wilson became the first chief executive since John Adams to address Congress in person as he asked lawmakers to enact tariff reform.

In 1952, President Harry S. Truman seized the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike by steelworkers.)

In 1963, ìLawrence of Arabiaî won the Oscar for best picture at the Academy Awards; Gregory Peck won best actor for ìTo Kill a Mockingbirdî while Anne Bancroft received best actress honors for ìThe Miracle Worker.î

In 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking Babe Ruthís record.

In 1987, Al Campanis, vice president of player personnel for the Los Angeles Dodgers, resigned after saying on ABCís ìNightlineî that Blacks might lack some of the ìnecessitiesî for becoming baseball managers.

In 1990, Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance had gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18.

In 1993, singer Marian Anderson died in Portland, Oregon, at age 96.

In 1994, Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead in Seattle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; he was 27.

In 2009, Somali pirates hijacked the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama; although the crew was able to retake the cargo ship, the captain, Richard Phillips, was taken captive by the raiders and held aboard a lifeboat. (Phillips was rescued four days later by Navy SEAL snipers who shot three of the pirates dead.)

Ten years ago: Congressional and White House negotiators struck a last-minute budget deal ahead of a midnight deadline, averting an embarrassing federal shutdown and cutting billions in spending.

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