Today's History Trivia for April 18
1983 Beirut Embassy Bombing A suicide truck-bomber strikes the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, killing 17 Americans and 46 Lebanese. This was the deadliest single-day death toll for the U.S. Marine Corps since World War II's Battle of Iwo Jima, the deadliest single-day death toll for the U.S. Armed Forces since the first day of the Vietnam War's Tet Offensive, the deadliest single terrorist attack on American citizens prior to the September 11 attacks, and the deadliest single terrorist attack on American citizens overseas.
1989 Tiananmen Square Several thousand students gather to mourn the death of pro-reform leader Hu Yaobang. Eventually more than a million would gather leading to martial law and the Tiananmen Square Massacre.
1978 U.S. Senate votes to turn the Panama Canal over to Panama on December 31, 1999.
1956 First major-league umpire to wear glasses Eddie Rommel of the American League. Source: Famous First Facts
1934 First U.S. launderette opens, in Texas.
1924 First Crossword Puzzle Book Is published by Simon and Schuster. Source: Famous First Facts
1923 Yankee Stadium The stadium has its first game, with Babe Ruth hitting the stadium's first home run.
1846 First printing telegraph American inventor Royal Earl House receives a patent for his device, which was capable of 50 words a minute.
1506 St. Peter's Basilica Pope Julius II lays the cornerstone of the famous basilica.
Today's Birthdays for April 18
1963 Conan O'Brien American Emmy-winning TV host, comedian. He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University. TV: Late Night with Conan O'Brien (1993-2009) and The Simpsons (writer and producer).
1956 John James American actor. TV: Dynasty (Jeff Colby).
1953 Rick Moranis Canadian Emmy-winning actor. Film: Ghostbusters (1984), Little Shop of Horrors (1986), and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989). TV: Second City TV. Comedy Album: The Agoraphobic Cowboy (2005).
1947 James Woods American actor. Film: The Onion Field (1979), Videodrome (1983), and Once Upon a Time in America (1984).
1947 Dorothy Lyman American Emmy-winning actress. TV: Mama's Family (Naomi).
1946 Hayley Mills British actress. Film: Pollyanna (1960), The Parent Trap (1962), and That Darn Cat (1965).
1937 Robert Hooks American actor. TV: N.Y.P.D. (Det. Jeff Ward).
1933 Harold Innocent d. 1993 (Harold Sydney Harrison), English actor. Film: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991, the corrupt bishop).
1922 Barbara Hale d. 2017 American Emmy-winning actress. TV: Perry Mason (Della Street).
1912 Wendy Barrie d. 1978 (Wendy Jenkins), British actress. TV: The Wendy Barrie Show.
1904 Dewey "Pigmeat" Markham d. 1981 American comedian. TV: Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In (the judge).
1857 Clarence Darrow d. 1938 American lawyer. Defender of John Scopes in the famous Tennessee Monkey Trial (1925).
1846 F.W. Rueckheim d. 1934 German-born American candy maker. He and his brother created Cracker Jack candy (1893), to which he started adding prizes in 1921.
Deaths for April 18
1955 Albert Einstein b. 1879 German-born American Nobel-winning physicist and mathematician. He developed the theory of relativity and the mass equivalence formula: E=mc2. By the age of 26, he had published four ground-breaking papers: Photoelectric effect, Brownian motion, special relativity, and the equivalence of mass and energy. He would go on to publish more than 300 scientific papers. He was visiting the U.S. when Hitler came to power in 1933; being Jewish he did not want to return to Germany, eventually becoming a U.S. citizen.
1945 Sir John Ambrose Fleming b. 1849 English engineer. He patented the first vacuum tube (1904, also known as the thermionic valve), revolutionizing the wireless telegraph and ushered in the age of modern electronics. He also made numerous contributions to the development of the telephone and electric lighting.
1853 William Rufus King b. 1786 13th U.S. Vice-President (1853), U.S. Senator (1848-52, Alabama), U.S. Minister to France (1844-46), and U.S. Representative (1811-16, North Carolina). He is the only U.S. executive official to take the oath of office on foreign soil; taking the oath of office in Cuba. He died of tuberculosis 45 days after taking office.
2012 Dick Clark b. 1929 (Richard Augustus Wagstaff Clark Jr.), American Emmy-winning, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame host. His show American Bandstand popularized the phrase, "It's got a good beat and you can dance to it." "For now, Dick Clark - so long!" TV: American Bandstand (1957-87) and host of the Times Square New Year's Eve celebrations (1972-2005).
1993 Bernie Wayne b. 1919 American composer. Music: There She Is (1955, Miss America Pageant theme) and the music for Blue Velvet (1963, #1).
1944 Tommy Hitchcock Jr b. 1900 American polo player, the greatest in the history of the sport. He received a 10-goal rating (the highest possible) for 18 of the 19 seasons he played (1922-40). He was killed in an air crash during World War II.
1873 Justus von Liebig b. 1803 German organic chemist. His work in replacing soil minerals laid the foundation for modern fertilization.
1674 John Graunt b. 1620 English statistician. He co-wrote the world's first book of statistics and is the founder of the science of demography (the statistical study of human populations).