Today's History Trivia for April 5
1986 West Berlin disco bombing An American soldier and a Turkish woman are killed. U.S. intelligence blamed Libyan leader Muammar el-Qaddafi and responded by bombing Tripoli and Benghazi, Libya. It was later determined that a German woman was responsible.
1978 The Amazing Spider-Man debuts on CBS.
1958 Fidel Castro declares war against the Cuban regime of Pres. Fulgencio Batista.
1955 Winston Churchill The British Prime Minister resigns due to failing health.
1951 Julius and Ethel Rosenberg The couple are sentenced to death for selling top secret information to the Soviets. They were executed in 1953, making them the first U.S. citizens executed for treason during peace time and the first married couple executed together in the U.S.
1933 First lung removal operation Dr. Evarts Ambrose Graham removes the cancerous lung of a fellow physician, curing the patient.
1923 First commercial automobile balloon tire Firestone Tire and Rubber Co. begins regular production.
1815 Largest recorded volcanic eruption Tambora, on the island of Sumbawa, Indonesia, spewing approximately 40 cubic miles.
1792 First Presidential veto George Washington vetoes an Apportionment Bill for the members of the House.
Today's Birthdays for April 5
1908 Bette Davis d. 1989 (Ruth Elizabeth Davis), American Oscar-winning actress. She turned down the role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With the Wind (1939). Film: All About Eve (1950) and What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962). On the death of her nemesis Joan Crawford she commented, "You should never say bad things about the dead, you should only say good. Joan Crawford is dead. Good."
1966 Mike McCready American Hall of Fame guitarist and founding member of Pearl Jam.
1962 Lana Clarkson d. 2003 American actress. She was found shot to death in music producer Phil Spector's home. In 2009, Spector was found guilty of second degree murder for her death. Film: Deathstalker (1983, warrior Kaira) and Barbarian Queen (1985, title role).
1951 Dean Kamen American inventor. He invented the Segway PT, an electric, self-balancing human transporter. He also invented the first drug infusion pump.
1949 Judith A. Resnik d. 1986 American astronaut. The first U.S. woman astronaut to die on a space mission (1986, Challenger disaster).
1943 Max Gail American actor. TV: Barney Miller (Sgt. Wojohowicz).
1937 General Colin Luther Powell U.S. Secretary of State (2001-05), Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (1989-93), and National Security Advisor (1987-89). His appointment to Secretary of State made him the highest-ranking African-American government official in U.S. history.
1933 Frank Gorshin, Jr d. 2005 American actor. TV: Batman (The Riddler). He also played the half-whiteface, half-blackface Bele in a Star Trek episode.
1922 Gale Storm d. 2009 (Josephine Owaissa Cottle), American actress. TV: My Little Margie (1952-55, title role).
1920 Arthur Hailey d. 2004 British-born author. Writings: Hotel (1965) and Airport (1968).
1918 Joseph Sobek d. 1998 American sportsman, inventor of racquetball (1950). He was the first person inducted into the Racquetball Hall of Fame.
1917 Robert Bloch d. 1994 American author. Writings: Psycho (1959, the basis for the Hitchcock film).
1916 Gregory Peck d. 2003 American Oscar-winning actor. Film: Roman Holiday (1953), To Kill a Mockingbird (1962, Oscar), and The Omen (1976).
1909 Albert Broccoli d. 1996 American movie producer of the James Bond movies.
1908 Herbert von Karajan d. 1989 Austrian classical conductor.
1900 Spencer Tracy d. 1967 (John Edward Tracy), American actor. Film: Boys Town (1938, Father Flanagan), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941, Dr. Jekyll), and The Old Man and the Sea (1958, narrator).
1858 W. Atlee Burpee d. 1915 American seedsman. In 1876 at age 18, he founded what would become the world's largest mail-order seed company.
1856 Booker T. Washington d. 1915 (Booker Taliaferro Washington), American educator, founder of the Tuskegee Institute (1881) for the training of Negroes.
1827 Joseph Lister d. 1912 English physician, founder of antiseptic surgery. He performed the first operation using antiseptic (1867, mastectomy on his sister).
1649 Elihu Yale d. 1721 English colonial official. For whom Yale University is named.
Deaths for April 5
Fahreda Mazar Spyropoulos
b. circa 1871
Syrian belly dancer, billed as "Little Egypt." She performed at Chicago's 1893 exposition, launching the turn of the century's belly dancing craze.
2015 Richard Dysart b. 1929 American actor. TV: L.A. Law (1986-94, Leland McKenzie).
2008 Charlton Heston b. 1923 (Charles Carter), American Oscar-winning actor. Film: The Ten Commandments (1956, Moses), Ben-Hur (1959, title role, Oscar), and Planet of the Apes (1968). He was a five-term president of the National Rifle Association (1998-2003).
1994 Kurt Cobain b. 1967 American singer, songwriter, guitarist, with Nirvana. Music: Smells Like Teen Spirit (1991).
1992 Samuel Moore Walton b. 1918 American businessman, founder of Wal-Mart Discount City and Sam's Wholesale.
1976 Howard Robard Hughes, Jr b. 1905 American billionaire, world-class aviator, motion picture executive. His eccentricity is described in the book I Caught Flies for Howard Hughes and the film The Aviator (2004).
1975 Chiang Kai-shek b. 1887 Chinese general, head of state (1927-75). He led the Allied forced in China during World War II.
1933 Earl Derr Biggers b. 1884 American author, created the Chinese detective Charlie Chan.
1621 John Carver b. circa 1576 American colonist, church elder. He chartered the Mayflower for its expedition to the New World (1620) and was the first governor of the Plymouth colony.