Today's History Trivia for April 4
1958 Lana Turner's Boyfriend Killed by Her Daughter While the movie star's gangster boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato, Jr, was beating her in her Beverly Hills bedroom, Turner's 14-year-old daughter rushed in and fatally stabbed him with a carving knife.
1841 First U.S. President to Die in Office William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia after serving only 31 days as President. At the time, his death was attributed to having given an almost two-hour inauguration speech (the longest U.S. Presidential inauguration speech) in bad weather. Harrison's doctors tried several cures, such as opium and leeches, but to no avail.
2004 Iraq War Cindy Sheehan's son Casey Sheehan is killed by enemy action. Cindy would go on to become a peace activist, camping out at President Bush's Crawford ranch.
2003 500 Club Sammy Sosa hits his 500th home run.
1993 Mario Andretti At age 53, the legendary racecar driver becomes the oldest person to win an Indy-car race, by winning the Valvoline 200. This also made him the first driver to win in four different decades.
1987 The Revised New Testament of the American Bible is authorized for use by Roman Catholics.
1983 First launch of the second space shuttle Challenger is Launched. In 1986, it exploded 73 seconds into its launch, resulting in the death of all seven crew members, including a civilian school teacher.
1976 Mike Conners stars in the TV movie The Killer Who Wouldn't Die as Kirk Ohanian. His real name is Krekor Ohanian.
1974 Hank Aaron The baseball legend hits his 714th home run, tying Babe Ruth's record. He hit number 715 four days later.
1973 The World Trade Center is dedicated. At 1,350 feet and 110 stories, it was the world's tallest building.
1964 The Beatles take the top five positions on the Billboard list.
1958 Nuclear weapons Soviet Premier Khrushchev asks the U.S. and Great Britain to follow the Soviet Union in banning nuclear weapons testing.
1887 First Woman U.S. Mayor Susanna Madora Salter is elected by Argonia, Kansas.
1818 American Flag Flag of 13 stripes representing the original states and a star for each state of the Union is adopted.
Today's Birthdays for April 4
1908 "Wrong-Way"Roy Riegels d. 1993 American football player. During the 1929 Rose Bowl he ran 65 yards the wrong way. He was stopped six inches from the goal by his own teammate. A safety scored on a blocked punt the next play caused his team to lose (8-7). This is often considered the worst blunder in college football.
1973 David Blaine American magician. Known for his close-up street magic, levitations, and life-threatening endurance stunts.
1965 Robert Downey Jr American comedian. TV: Saturday Night Live.
1944 Craig T. Nelson American Emmy-winning actor. TV: Coach (Hayden Fox) and The District (Chief Jack Mannion). Film: Flesh Gordon (1974, The Monster), Poltergeist (1982), and The Incredibles (2004, Mr. Incredible).
1932 Anthony Perkins d. 1992 American actor. Film: Psycho (1960, Norman Bates).
1928 Maya Angelou d. 2014 (Marguerite Ann Johnson), African-American poet, civil rights activist. Writings: I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (1969).
1921 Elizabeth Wilson d. 2015 American Tony-winning Theater Hall of Fame actress. Stage: Sticks and Bones (1972, Tony). Film: The Addams Family (1991, Abigail).
1916 Mickey Owen d. 2005 (Arnold Malcolm Owen), American baseball catcher. He hit the first pinch-hit home run in an All-Star game (1942). He dropped a third strike in the 1941 World Series that allowed the Yankees to win the game and go on to beat the Dodgers in the series. Ironically, that same season he had set the record for most errorless chances by a catcher with 508 perfect attempts.
1915 Muddy Waters d. 1983 (McKinley Morganfield), American blues musician, "The Father of Chicago Blues."
1906 John Cameron Swayze d. 1995 American actor, TV personality, and Timex pitchman ("Takes a licking and keeps on ticking.").
1906 Bea Benaderet d. 1968 American actress, voice of Betty Ruble on The Flintstones, Blanche Morton of The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, and Shady Rest Hotel owner Kate Bradley of Petticoat Junction.
1895 George Winthrop "Dixie" Fish d. 1977 American urologist, Olympic Gold Medal Rugby player (1920). His anecdotes about his medical training were the inspiration for the Dr. Kildare books and 1960s TV series.
1895 Arthur Murray d. 1991 (Moses Teichman), American ballroom dance instructor.
1821 Linus Yale, Jr d. 1868 American inventor. He invented the cylinder lock (1861), an improvement on the tumbler locks invented by his father.
1802 Dorothea Lynde Dix d. 1887 American philanthropist and prison reformer. A crusader for the humane treatment of the mentally ill, she helped establish over 30 hospitals for the mentally ill. She served as a Superintendent of Army Nurses during the Civil War, organizing and outfitting the Union Army hospitals.
1792 Thaddeus Stevens d. 1868 American political leader. He introduced the 14th Amendment and the Reconstruction Act of Feb. 6, 1867.
Deaths for April 4
1841 William Henry Harrison b. 1773 9th U.S. President (Mar. 4 - Apr. 4, 1841). He died of pneumonia 31 days after taking office, making him the first U.S. president to die in office. His inaugural address took almost two hours and is longest in American history. Three weeks after his inauguration, he became sick with a cold. Harrison's doctors tried several cures, such as opium and leeches, but to no avail. He died nine days later.
2013 Roger Ebert b. 1942 American film critic. He won the first Pulitzer Prize for film criticism (1975) and wrote the screenplay for Beyond the Valley of the Dolls (1970).
2004 Casey Austin Sheehan b. 1979 American soldier. His death by enemy action in Iraq caused his mother, Cindy Sheehan, to become a peace activist.
1993 Alfred Mosher Butts b. 1899 American architect, inventor of the game Scrabble (1932).
1983 Gloria Swanson b. 1899 (Gloria Svensson), American actress, sex symbol of the 1920s. Film: Sunset Boulevard (1950).
1979 Edgar Buchanan b. 1903 American actor. TV: Petticoat Junction (Uncle Joe) and Green Acres (Uncle Joe).
1958 Johnny Stompanato, Jr b. 1925 American murder victim. While fighting with his movie star girlfriend, Lana Turner, Turner's 14-year-old daughter rushed in and fatally stabbed him with a carving knife.
1931 André Michelin b. 1853 French tire maker. He and his brother founded the Michelin Tire Co. (1888). He also started publishing the Michelin Guide (1900) to promote tourism by car and thus boost the tire industry.
1912 Isaac Kauffman Funk b. 1839 American publisher, co-founder of Funk & Wagnalls Company (1891), which first published its famous dictionary in 1912.
1883 Peter Cooper b. 1791 American inventor. He built the first US steam locomotive (1830, the Tom Thumb) and also invented a washing machine which was powered by the tides.
1831 Isaiah Thomas b. 1749 American printer. He published the first U.S. novel written by an American (1789, The Power of Sympathy) and performed the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence.
1774 Oliver Goldsmith b. 1728 Irish poet, author. Writings: The Vicar of Wakefield (1766), The Deserted Village (1770), and She Stoops to Conquer (1773, one of the greatest comedies in English literature).
1292 Nicholas V b. ???? religious leader, 191st Pope (1288-92).
1284 Alfonso X b. 1221 called "Alfonso the Wise," King of León and Castile (1252-82).
896 Formosus b. ???? religious leader, 111th Pope (891-896).