Today in History: April 5, Rosenbergs sentenced to death


Today is Wednesday, April 5, the 95th day of 2023. There are 270 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 5, 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death following their conviction in New York on charges of conspiring to commit espionage for the Soviet Union.

On this date:

In 1614, Indian Chief Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas married Englishman John Rolfe, a widower, in the Virginia Colony.

In 1621, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts on a monthlong return trip to England.

In 1764, Britain’s Parliament passed The American Revenue Act of 1764, also known as the Sugar Act.

In 1887, in Tuscumbia, Alabama, teacher Anne Sullivan achieved a breakthrough as her 6-year-old deaf-blind pupil, Helen Keller, learned the meaning of the word “water” as spelled out in the Manual Alphabet.

In 1976, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes died in Houston at age 70.

In 1986, two American servicemen and a Turkish woman were killed in the bombing of a West Berlin discotheque, an incident that prompted a U.S. air raid on Libya more than a week later.

In 1987, Fox Broadcasting Co. made its prime-time TV debut by airing the situation comedy “Married with Children” followed by “The Tracey Ullman Show,” then repeating both premiere episodes two more times in the same evening.

In 1991, former Sen. John Tower, R-Texas, his daughter Marian and 21 other people were killed in a commuter plane crash near Brunswick, Georgia.

In 2008, actor Charlton Heston, big-screen hero and later leader of the National Rifle Association, died in Beverly Hills, California, at age 84.

In 2010, an explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine near Charleston, West Virginia, killed 29 workers. In a televised rescue, 115 Chinese coal miners were freed after spending eight days trapped in a flooded mine, surviving an accident that had killed 38.

In 2016, UConn won an unprecedented fourth straight women’s national championship, capping another perfect season by routing Syracuse 82-51.

In 2019, inspecting a refurbished section of fencing at the Mexican border in California, President Donald Trump declared that “our country is full,” and that illegal crossings must be stopped.

Ten years ago: Kansas legislators gave final passage to a sweeping anti-abortion measure declaring that life began “at fertilization.” (Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, signed the measure two weeks later.) A federal judge in New York ordered the Food and Drug Administration to lift age restrictions on the sale of emergency contraception, ending a requirement that buyers show proof they were 17 or older if they wanted to buy it without a prescription. (After months of back-and-forth legal battles, the Obama administration agreed to lift the age limits.)

Five years ago: In his first public comments about Stormy Daniels, President Donald Trump said he didn’t know about the $130,000 payment his personal attorney Michael Cohen had made to the porn actress who alleged she had an affair with Trump. In a dramatic escalation of the trade dispute with China, Trump told the U.S. trade representative to consider slapping an additional $100 billion in tariffs on Chinese goods. A Brazilian judge issued an arrest warrant for former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as the once-popular leader tried to mount a political comeback ahead of October elections; da Silva had sought to stay out of prison while he appealed a corruption conviction. A federal immigration raid took 97 people into custody at a Tennessee meat processing plant.

One year ago: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russian troops of gruesome atrocities in Ukraine and told the U.N. Security Council that those responsible should immediately be brought up on war crimes charges in front of a tribunal like the one set up at Nuremberg after World War II. Barack Obama returned to the White House for the first time in more than five years to savor the 12th anniversary of his signature health care law and give a boost to President Joe Biden’s efforts to expand it. Ivanka Trump, former President Donald Trump’s daughter and one of those closest to him during the insurrection at the Capitol, testified before the House panel investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, attack.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie producer Roger Corman is 97. Country singer Tommy Cash is 83. Actor Michael Moriarty is 82. Pop singer Allan Clarke (The Hollies) is 81. Writer-director Peter Greenaway is 81. Actor Max Gail is 80. Actor Jane Asher is 77. Singer Agnetha (ag-NEE’-tah) Faltskog (ABBA) is 73. Actor Mitch Pileggi is 71. Singer-songwriter Peter Case is 69. Hip-hop artist/actor Christopher “Kid” Reid is 59. Rock musician Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) is 57. Singer Paula Cole is 55. Actor Krista Allen is 52. Actor Victoria Hamilton is 52. Country singer Pat Green is 51. Rapper-producer Pharrell (fa-REHL’) Williams is 50. Rapper/producer Juicy J is 48. Actor Sterling K. Brown is 47. Country singer-musician Mike Eli (The Eli Young Band) is 42. Actor Hayley Atwell is 41. Actor Lily James is 34.

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