Today’s moment of history:
On April 16, 1945, a Soviet submarine in the Baltic Sea torpedoed and sank the Goya, used by Germany to transport civilian refugees and wounded soldiers; an estimated 7,000 people died.
In 1789, President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Virginia, for his inauguration in New York.
In 1889, comedian and film director Charles Chaplin was born in London.
In 1945, in his first speech to Congress, President Harry S. Truman promised to pursue a policy of war and peace for his late predecessor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In 1947, in the harbor of Texas City, Texas, the cargo ship “Grandcamp” carrying ammonium nitrate exploded; the next day the nearby High Flyer ship carrying ammonium nitrate and sulfur caught fire and exploded; explosions and fires killed nearly 600 people.
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In 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Prison,” in which a civil rights activist responded to a group of local clerics who criticized him for leading street protests; King defended his tactics, writing: “Injustice everywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
In 1972, “Apollo 16” went on a trip to the moon with astronauts John W. Young, Charles M. Duke Jr. and Ken Mettingley on board.
In 1977, Alex Haley, author of the best-selling The Roots, visited the Gambian village of Juffur, where he believed his ancestor Kunte Quinte was captured as a slave in 1767.
In 1996, British Prince Andrew and his wife Sarah, Duchess of York, announced that they were in the process of divorce.
In 2003, Michael Jordan spent his last game in the NBA with the Washington Wizards, who lost to the Philadelphia 76ers 107-87.
In 2007, as a result of one of the worst attacks on schools in America, a college graduate killed 32 people on the campus of the University of Technology in Virginia before committing suicide.
In 2010, the U.S. government accused the most powerful Wall Street firm of fraud, saying Goldman Sachs & Co. sold the mortgage investment without informing the buyers that the securities had been created involving a client who was betting on their failure. (In July 2010, Goldman agreed to pay $ 550 million in settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but pleaded not guilty.)
In 2012, the trial of Anders Breivik, accused of killing 77 people in a July 2011 bomb and gun blast, began in Oslo, Norway. (Breivik was found guilty of terrorism and premeditated murder and sentenced to 21 years in prison).
In 2017, U.S. officials said a North Korean medium-range missile exploded seconds after launch, hours before U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrived in South Korea on a visit early in a 10-day trip to Asia. .
In 2020, the Trump administration repealed an Obama-era rule that forced the country’s coal-fired power plants to reduce mercury emissions and other hazards to human health.
In 2021, John Ryan Schaefer, a member of the far-right militia group Oath Keepers and a heavy metal guitarist, became the first defendant to plead guilty to federal charges in connection with the January 6 uprising in the U.S. Capitol. Home Secretary Deb Haaland overturned a series of Trump-era orders that promoted fossil fuels in public lands and waters, and issued a new order that prioritized climate change in agency decisions. Raúl Castro has said he is stepping down as head of the Cuban Communist Party, leaving the island without Castro’s leadership for the first time in more than six decades. Iran began enriching uranium to the highest purity ever, bringing the country closer to armaments when Iran tried to put pressure on negotiators in talks to resume a nuclear deal with world powers.