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Today in History

Posted 12:01 a.m. Wednesday

Today in History

Today is Wednesday, April 19, the 109th day of 2017. There are 256 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History:

On April 19, 1967, Kathrine (cq) Switzer became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon (at that time, a men-only event) under an official number by registering without mentioning her gender; by her own estimate, she finished in 4 hours and 20 minutes. (Bobbi Gibb, running unofficially for the second time, finished in 3:27:17.) Former West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer died at age 91.

On this date:

In 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.

In 1897, the first Boston Marathon was held; winner John J. McDermott ran the course in two hours, 55 minutes and 10 seconds.

In 1935, the Universal Pictures horror film "Bride of Frankenstein," starring Boris Karloff with Elsa Lanchester in the title role, had its world premiere in San Francisco.

In 1943, during World War II, tens of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but ultimately futile battle against Nazi forces.

In 1951, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his Far East command by President Harry S. Truman, bade farewell in an address to Congress in which he quoted a line from a ballad: "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away."

In 1966, Bobbi Gibb, 23, became the first woman to run the Boston Marathon at a time when only men were allowed to participate. (Gibb jumped into the middle of the pack after the sound of the starting pistol and finished in 3:21:40.)

In 1977, the Supreme Court, in Ingraham v. Wright, ruled 5-4 that even severe spanking of schoolchildren by faculty members did not violate the Eighth Amendment ban against cruel and unusual punishment.

In 1989, 47 sailors were killed when a gun turret exploded aboard the USS Iowa in the Caribbean. (The Navy initially suspected that a dead crew member had deliberately sparked the blast, but later said there was no proof of that.)

In 1993, the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; dozens of people, including sect leader David Koresh, were killed.

In 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Bomber Timothy McVeigh was later convicted of federal murder charges and executed.)

In 1997, two pizza deliverymen, Giorgio Gallara and Jeremy Giordano, were shot to death outside an abandoned house in Franklin, New Jersey; two teenagers, Thomas Koskovich and Jayson Vreeland, were later convicted of what prosecutors called a thrill killing and were sentenced to life in prison.

In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope in the first conclave of the new millennium; he took the name Benedict XVI.

Ten years ago: Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid offered a bleak assessment of Iraq, saying the war was "lost," triggering an angry backlash by Republicans. A jury in Selmer, Tennessee, convicted Mary Winkler of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting death of her preacher-husband, Matthew. (Mary Winkler spent seven months in custody, with two months served in a mental facility.)

Five years ago: Republicans rammed an election-year, $46 billion tax cut for most of America's employers through the House, ignoring a veto threat from President Barack Obama. (The measure went down to defeat in the Senate.) India announced the successful test launch of a new nuclear-capable missile. Levon Helm, drummer and singer for The Band, died in New York City at age 71. Greg Ham, a member of the Australian band Men at Work, was found dead in his Melbourne home; he was 58.

One year ago: Front-runners Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton swept to resounding victories in New York's primary. Cuban revolutionary leader Fidel Castro delivered a valedictory speech to the Communist Party that he put in power a half-century ago, telling party members he was nearing the end of his life and exhorting them to help his ideas survive. It was announced that Michael Strahan was moving from the daily talk show he co-hosted with Kelly Ripa to work full-time on ABC's "Good Morning America."

Today's Birthdays: Actress Elinor Donahue is 80. Rock musician Alan Price (The Animals) is 75. Actor Tim Curry is 71. Pop singer Mark "Flo" Volman (The Turtles; Flo and Eddie) is 70. Actor Tony Plana is 65. Former tennis player Sue Barker is 61. Motorsports Hall of Famer Al Unser Jr. is 55. Actor Tom Wood is 54. Recording executive Suge Knight is 52. Singer-songwriter Dar Williams is 50. Actress Ashley Judd is 49. Singer Bekka Bramlett is 49. Latin pop singer Luis Miguel is 47. Actress Jennifer Esposito is 45. Actress Jennifer Taylor is 45. Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux (PAY'-roo) is 43. Actor James Franco is 39. Actress Kate Hudson is 38. Actor Hayden Christensen is 36. Actress Catalina Sandino Moreno is 36. Actress-comedian Ali Wong (TV: "American Housewife") is 35. Actress Kelen Coleman is 33. Actor Zack Conroy is 32. Roots rock musician Steve Johnson (Alabama Shakes) is 32. Actor Courtland Mead is 30. Tennis player Maria Sharapova is 30.

Thought for Today: "There is a Law that man should love his neighbor as himself. In a few hundred years it should be as natural to mankind as breathing or the upright gait; but if he does not learn it he must perish." — Alfred Adler, Austrian psychoanalyst (1870-1937).

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