1429: Joan of Arc relieves Orleans: During the Hundred Years’ War, the 17-year-old French peasant Joan of Arc leads a French force in relieving the city of Orleans, besieged by the English since October. More here
1854: First African-American college chartered: By an act of the Pennsylvania legislature, Ashmun Institute, the first college founded solely for African-American students, is officially chartered. More here
1863: William Randolph Hearst is born: The newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst is born in San Francisco. He was the only son and principle heir to western mining magnate George Hearst.
George Hearst had made a fortune with his shrewd investments in successful western mining operations. His son William, however, had little interest in the mining industry. While attending Harvard, he became an admirer of Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World and briefly worked as a reporter for the paper after being expelled from college. In 1887, he returned to San Francisco and convinced his father to put him in charge of the Examiner, a paper that the senior Hearst had bought to back his successful 1886 bid for the U.S. Senate. More here
1974: Nixon announces release of White House Watergate tapes: On this day in 1974, President Richard Nixon announces to the public that he will release transcripts of 46 taped White House conversations in response to a Watergate trial subpoena issued in July 1973. The House Judiciary committee accepted 1,200 pages of transcripts the next day, but insisted that the tapes themselves be turned over as well. More here
1992: Rodney King trial verdict announced: An jury of 10 whites, one Hispanic, and one Filipina in the Los Angeles suburb of Simi Valley acquits four police officers who had been charged with using excessive force in arresting black motorist Rodney King a year earlier. The announcement of the verdict, which enraged the black community, prompted widespread rioting throughout much of the sprawling city. It wasn’t until three days later that the arson and looting finally ended. More here
2004: World War II monument opens in Washington, D.C.: On April 29, 2004, the National World War II Memorial opens in Washington, D.C., to thousands of visitors, providing overdue recognition for the 16 million U.S. men and women who served in the war. The memorial is located on 7.4 acres on the former site of the Rainbow Pool at the National Mall between the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The Capitol dome is seen to the east, and Arlington Cemetery is just across the Potomac River to the west. More here
Events taking place today that will be marked as historical events.
2011: The space shuttle Endeavour is officially “go” to launch on its 25th and last space flight today, with NASA expecting record crowds and visit from President Barack Obama to watch the spectacle.You can read all about it here
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