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Today In History – April 04 – Martin Luther King Jr. Assassinated





1776: Washington begins march to New York: After the successful siege of Boston, General George Washington begins marching his unpaid soldiers from their headquarters in Cambridge, Massachusetts, toward New York in anticipation of a British invasion, on this day in 1776. More here

1841: President William Henry Harrison dies after one month in office: Only 31 days after assuming office, William Henry Harrison, the ninth president of the United States, dies of pneumonia at the White House. Born in Charles County, Virginia, in 1773, Harrison served in the U.S. Army in the old Northwest Territory and in 1800 was made governor of the Indian Territory, where he proved an able administrator. In 1811, he led U.S. forces against an Indian confederation organized by Shawnee Chief Tecumseh, and victory at the Battle of Tippecanoe brought an end to Tecumseh’s hopes for a united Indian front against U.S. expansion. In the War of 1812, Harrison gained his greatest fame as a military commander, recapturing Detroit from the British and defeating a combined force of British and Native Americans at the Battle of the Thames. More here

1850: Los Angeles, California is incorporated as a city: Los Angeles was founded on September 4, 1781 by Spanish governor Felipe de Neve. It became a part of Mexico in 1821 following the Mexican War of Independence. In 1848, at the end of the Mexican–American War, Los Angeles and the rest of California were purchased as part of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, thereby becoming part of the United States. Los Angeles was incorporated as a municipality on April 4, 1850, five months before California achieved statehood. Los Angeles enjoys a Mediterranean climate, with an average of 35 days with measurable precipitation annually. More here

1865: Lincoln dreams about a presidential assassination: According to the recollection of one of his friends, Ward Hill Lamon, President Abraham Lincoln dreams on this night in 1865 of “the subdued sobs of mourners” and a corpse lying on a catafalque in the White House East Room. In the dream, Lincoln asked a soldier standing guard “Who is dead in the White House?” to which the soldier replied, “the President.he was killed by an assassin.” Lincoln woke up at that point. On April 11, he told Lamon that the dream had “strangely annoyed” him ever since. Ten days after having the dream, Lincoln was shot dead by an assassin while attending the theater. More here

1949: NATO established: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is established by 12 Western nations: the United States, Great Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Iceland, Canada, and Portugal. The military alliance, which provided for a collective self-defense against Soviet aggression, greatly increased American influence in Europe. More here

1967: Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” speech: The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, delivers a speech entitled “Beyond Vietnam” in front of 3,000 people at Riverside Church in New York City. In it, he says that there is a common link forming between the civil rights and peace movements. King proposed that the United States stop all bombing of North and South Vietnam; declare a unilateral truce in the hope that it would lead to peace talks; set a date for withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam; and give the National Liberation Front a role in negotiations. More here

1968: Dr. Martin Luther King assassinated: Just after 6 p.m. on April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. is fatally shot while standing on the balcony outside his second-story room at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. The civil rights leader was in Memphis to support a sanitation workers’ strike and was on his way to dinner when a bullet struck him in the jaw and severed his spinal cord. King was pronounced dead after his arrival at a Memphis hospital. He was 39 years old. More here

1991: Senator John Heinz of Pennsylvania and six others are killed when a helicopter collides with their plane over an elementary school in Merion, Pennsylvania: Heinz and six other people were killed on April 4, 1991 when a Bell 412 helicopter collided with the Senator’s Piper Aerostar plane over Merion Elementary School in Lower Merion Township, Pennsylvania. All aboard the two aircraft and two first-grade girls playing outside the school were killed. The helicopter had been dispatched to check out a problem with the landing gear of Heinz’s plane. While moving in for a closer look, the helicopter’s rotor blades struck the bottom of the plane, causing both aircraft to lose control and crash. Senator Heinz was interred in the Heinz family mausoleum in Homewood Cemetery, located in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh, PA. More here

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