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• On April 5, 1792, George Washington exercises
the first presidential veto of a Congressional bill,
which proposed a new plan for dividing seats in the House of Representatives. Washington decided
that the bill would have resulted in a higher number
of representatives than that proscribed by
• On April 3, 1860, the first Pony Express mail, traveling by horse and rider relay teams, simultaneously leaves St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California. Ten days later, the westbound rider arrived in Sacramento, beating the eastbound mail packet by two days.
• On April 8, 1916, at the Boulevard Race in Corona, California, an early racing car careens through a barrier and into a crowd after a wheel breaks, killing the driver and two others. “Wild Bob” Burman had previously set a world speed record for hitting 129 mph.
• On April 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress to send U.S. troops into battle against Germany in World War I. Four days later, Congress obliged. Wilson then signed the Selective Service Act, which required men between 21 and 35 years of age to register for the draft. The Army quickly grew from 200,000 troops to 4 million.
• On April 7, 1920, Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar is born in India. Shankar’s “discovery” by the Beatles’ George Harrison in 1965 made him a household name around the world and changed the music sound of
• On April 4, 1933, a dirigible crashes in New Jersey, killing 73 people in one of the first air disasters in history. The Akron was the largest airship built in the United States.
• On April 1, 1963, the ABC television network airs the premiere episode of “General Hospital,” the daytime drama that will become the longest-running serial program produced in Hollywood. On the same day, rival NBC debuts its own medical-themed soap opera,
• On April 6, 1970, Sam Sheppard, a doctor convicted of murdering his pregnant wife in a trial that caused a media frenzy in the 1950s, dies of liver failure. After a decade in prison, Sheppard was freed following a re-trial. His story is rumored to have inspired the television series “The Fugitive.”
• On April 9, 1987, U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz states that he is “damned angry” about possible Soviet spy activity in the American embassy in the Soviet Union. Soviet officials called the espionage charges “dirty fabrications.”
© 2017 King Features Synd., Inc.
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