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Today In History – April 22 – President Richard Nixon Dies

1886: Seduction is made illegal: Ohio passes a statute that makes seduction unlawful. Covering all men over the age of 18 who worked as teachers or instructors of women, this law even prohibited men from having consensual sex with women (of any age) whom they were instructing. The penalty for disobeying this law ranged from two to 10 years in prison. More here

1934: An FBI agent is killed in a gangster raid: George “Baby Face” Nelson kills Special Agent W. Carter Baum during an FBI raid in northern Wisconsin. Nelson was holed up with notorious bank robber John Dillinger’s gang at the Little Bohemia resort but didn’t follow the planned escape route. As he was stealing a car to escape, he blasted several agents with two handguns. The famed gangster was born Lester Gillis but wanted to be known as Big George Nelson. Unfortunately for him, his youthful looks caused everyone to call him “Baby Face,” although one had to be careful about using the nickname within earshot of the gangster. After a typical teenage criminal career, Nelson joined Al Capone’s gang in 1929, where he was known for his particularly brutal strong-arm tactics. In fact, his unpredictable violence got so out of hand that it eventually led to his expulsion from the gang. More here

1945: Hitler admits defeat: On this day in 1945, Adolf Hitler, learning from one of his generals that no German defense was offered to the Russian assault at Eberswalde, admits to all in his underground bunker that the war is lost and that suicide is his only recourse. Almost as confirmation of Hitler’s assessment, a Soviet mechanized corps reaches Treuenbrietzen, 40 miles southwest of Berlin, liberates a POW camp and releases, among others, Norwegian Commander in Chief Otto Ruge. More here

1970: The first Earth Day: Earth Day, an event to increase public awareness of the world’s environmental problems, is celebrated in the United States for the first time. Millions of Americans, including students from thousands of colleges and universities, participated in rallies, marches, and educational programs. More here

1994: Former President Richard Nixon dies: On this day in 1994, former President Richard M. Nixon dies after suffering a stroke four days earlier. In a 1978 speech at Oxford University, Nixon admitted he had screwed up during his presidency but predicted that his achievements would be viewed more favorably with time. He told the young audience, “You’ll be here in the year 2000, see how I am regarded then.”

Nixon is most often remembered for his involvement in the Watergate scandal as president and for his Cold War-era persecution of suspected communists while serving as a U.S. senator. However, Nixon left a legacy as complex as his personality. More here

2008: The United States Air Force retires the remaining F-117 Nighthawk aircraft in service: Unlike most other Air Force aircraft which are retired to Davis-Monthan AFB for scrapping, or dispersal to museums, the F-117s were retired to their original hangers at the Tonopah Test Range Airport. At Tonopah, their wings were removed and the aircraft are stored in their original climate-controlled hangars. The decommissioning occurred in eight phases, with the operational aircraft retired to Tonapah in seven waves beginning on 13 March 2007, and ending with the last wave’s arrival on 22 April 2008. Four aircraft were kept flying beyond April by the 410th Flight Test Squadron at Palmdale for flight test. By the beginning of August, two were remaining. The last F-117 (S/N 86-0831) left Palmdale to fly to Tonopah on 11 August 2008. This was the last flight of an F-117. With the last aircraft retired, the 410th was deactivated in a ceremony on 1 August 2008. Although officially retired, the F-117 fleet remains intact, and photos show the aircraft carefully mothballed. No further aircraft have been scrapped, or transferred to museums. More here

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