Today in History

The Associated Press
·4-min read

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, April 28, the 118th day of 2021. There are 247 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 28, 1967, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali was stripped of his title after he refused to be inducted into the armed forces.

On this date:

In 1788, Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the Constitution of the United States.

In 1945, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country.

In 1952, war with Japan officially ended as a treaty signed in San Francisco the year before took effect. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower resigned as Supreme Allied commander in Europe; he was succeeded by Gen. Matthew B. Ridgway.

In 1958, the United States conducted the first of 35 nuclear test explosions in the Pacific Proving Ground as part of Operation Hardtack I. Vice President Richard Nixon and his wife, Pat, began a goodwill tour of Latin America that was marred by hostile mobs in Lima, Peru, and Caracas, Venezuela.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter accepted the resignation of Secretary of State Cyrus R. Vance, who had opposed the failed rescue mission aimed at freeing American hostages in Iran. (Vance was succeeded by Edmund Muskie.)

In 1986, the Soviet Union informed the world of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl.

In 1988, a flight attendant was killed and more than 60 persons injured when part of the roof of an Aloha Airlines Boeing 737 tore off during a flight from Hilo (HEE’-loh) to Honolulu.

In 1994, former CIA official Aldrich Ames, who had passed U.S. secrets to the Soviet Union and then Russia, pleaded guilty to espionage and tax evasion, and was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In 2001, a Russian rocket lifted off from Central Asia bearing the first space tourist, California businessman Dennis Tito, and two cosmonauts on a journey to the international space station.

In 2010, Coast Guard Rear Adm. Mary Landry said a massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was worse than officials had believed, and that the federal government was offering to help industry giant BP contain the slick threatening the U.S. shoreline.

In 2015, urging Americans to “do some soul-searching,” President Barack Obama expressed deep frustration over recurring black deaths at the hands of police, rioters who responded with senseless violence and a society that would only “feign concern” without addressing the root causes.

In 2019, former Republican Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, a leading voice on foreign policy during his 36 years in the Senate, died at a hospital in Virginia at the age of 87. “Avengers: Endgame” shattered the record for biggest opening weekend with an estimated $350 million in ticket sales domestically and $1.2 billion globally.

Ten years ago: President Barack Obama reshuffled his national security team, with CIA Director Leon Panetta succeeding Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Gen. David Petraeus replacing Panetta at the CIA. Convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido and his wife, Nancy, pleaded guilty to kidnapping and raping a California girl, Jaycee Dugard, who was abducted in 1991 at the age of 11 and rescued 18 years later. (Phillip Garrido was sentenced to 431 years to life in prison; Nancy Garrido was sentenced to 36 years to life in prison.) Canada’s Patrick Chan won the world figure skating championships in Moscow.

Five years ago: Vice President Joe Biden pressed Iraq during an unannounced visit not to let its crippling political crisis upend hard-fought gains against the Islamic State group.

One year ago: President Donald Trump signed an executive order under the Defense Production Act to keep meat packing plants open; it classified meat processing as critical infrastructure. The Navy said the number of sailors aboard the USS Kidd who had tested positive for the coronavirus had risen to 64, or about one-fifth of the destroyer’s crew. Joe Biden won Ohio’s presidential primary, the first major test of statewide elections via mail amid the virus outbreak. Hillary Clinton became the latest Democrat to endorse Biden as the party continued its unification efforts. Democrat Kweisi Mfume easily won a special election to complete the term of the late Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings.

Today’s Birthdays: Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III is 91. Actor-singer Ann-Margret is 80. Actor Paul Guilfoyle is 72. Former “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno is 71. Rock musician Chuck Leavell is 69. Actor Mary McDonnell is 69. Rock singer-musician Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) is 68. Actor Nancy Lee Grahn is 65. Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan is 61. Rapper Too Short is 55. Actor Bridget Moynahan is 50. Actor Chris Young is 50. Rapper Big Gipp is 49. Actor Jorge Garcia is 48. Actor Elisabeth Rohm is 48. Actor Penelope Cruz is 47. Actor Nate Richert is 43. TV personalities Drew and Jonathan Scott are 43. Actor Jessica Alba is 40. Actor Harry Shum Jr. is 39. Actor Jenna Ushkowitz is 35. Actor Aleisha Allen is 30.