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Today in History: April 7, civil war erupts in Rwanda

Today in History

Today is Sunday, April 7, the 98th day of 2024. There are 268 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 7, 1994, civil war erupted in Rwanda, a day after a mysterious plane crash claimed the lives of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi; in the months that followed, hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsi and Hutu moderates were slaughtered by Hutu extremists.

On this date:

In 1862, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Maj. Gen. Don Carlos Buell defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.

In 1915, jazz singer-songwriter Billie Holiday, also known as "Lady Day," was born in Philadelphia.

In 1922, the Teapot Dome scandal had its beginnings as Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall signed a secret deal to lease U.S. Navy petroleum reserves in Wyoming and California to his friends, oilmen Harry F. Sinclair and Edward L. Doheny, in exchange for cash gifts.

In 1945, during World War II, American planes intercepted and effectively destroyed a Japanese fleet, which included the battleship Yamato, that was headed to Okinawa on a suicide mission.

In 1949, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "South Pacific" opened on Broadway.

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower held a news conference in which he spoke of the importance of containing the spread of communism in Indochina, saying, "You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly." (This became known as the "domino theory," although Eisenhower did not use the term.)

In 1957, shortly after midnight, the last of New York's electric trolleys completed its final run from Queens to Manhattan.

In 1959, a referendum in Oklahoma repealed the state's ban on alcoholic beverages.

In 1962, nearly 1,200 Cuban exiles tried by Cuba for their roles in the failed Bay of Pigs invasion were convicted of treason.

In 1966, the U.S. Navy recovered a hydrogen bomb that the U.S. Air Force had lost in the Mediterranean Sea off Spain following a B-52 crash.

In 1984, the Census Bureau reported Los Angeles had overtaken Chicago as the nation's "second city" in terms of population.

In 2012, a massive avalanche engulfed a Pakistani military complex in a mountain battleground close to the Indian border; all 140 people on the base died.

In 2017, President Donald Trump concluded a two-day summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, saying he had developed an "outstanding" relationship with the Chinese leader.

In 2020, acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned after lambasting the officer he'd fired as the captain of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, which had been stricken by a coronavirus outbreak; James McPherson was appointed as acting Navy secretary.

In 2022, the Senate confirmed Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, shattering a historic barrier by securing her place as the first Black female justice.

In 2023, Palestinian assailants carried out a pair of attacks, killing three people and wounding at least six as tensions soared after days of fighting at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Jerusalem's most sensitive holy site.

Today's Birthdays: Country singer Bobby Bare is 89. Former California Gov. Jerry Brown is 86. Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 85. Actor Roberta Shore is 81. Singer Patricia Bennett (The Chiffons) is 77. Singer John Oates is 76. Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is 75. Singer Janis Ian is 73. Country musician John Dittrich is 73. Actor Jackie Chan is 70. College and Pro Football Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett is 70. Actor Russell Crowe is 60. Christian/jazz singer Mark Kibble (Take 6) is 60. Actor Bill Bellamy is 59. Rock musician Dave "Yorkie" Palmer (Space) is 59. Rock musician Charlie Hall (The War on Drugs) is 50. Former football player-turned-analyst Tiki Barber is 49. Actor Heather Burns is 49. Christian rock singer-musician John Cooper (Skillet) is 49. Actor Kevin Alejandro is 48. Retired baseball infielder Adrian Beltre is 45. Actor Sian Clifford is 42. Rock musician Ben McKee (Imagine Dragons) is 39. Christian rock singer Tauren Wells is 38. Actor Ed Speleers is 36.