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Today in History: Apr 1, First pro baseball, hockey strikes

Today is Saturday, April 1, the 91st day of 2023. There are 274 days left in the year. This is April Fool’s Day.

Birthdays: Actor Don Hastings is 89. Actor Ali MacGraw is 84. R&B singer Rudolph Isley is 84. Reggae singer Jimmy Cliff is 75. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is 73. Rock musician Billy Currie (Ultravox) is 73. Actor Annette O’Toole is 71. Movie director Barry Sonnenfeld is 70. Singer Susan Boyle is 62. Actor Jose Zuniga is 61. Country singer Woody Lee is 55. Actor Jessica Collins is 52. Rapper-actor Method Man is 52. Movie directors Albert and Allen Hughes are 51. Political commentator Rachel Maddow is 50. Country singer Hillary Scott (Lady A) is 37.


In 1865, during the Civil War, Union forces routed Confederate soldiers in the Battle of Five Forks in Virginia.

In 1891, the Wrigley Co. was founded in Chicago by William Wrigley, Jr.

In 1924, Adolf Hitler was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. (Hitler was released in December 1924; during his time behind bars, he wrote his autobiographical screed, “Mein Kampf.”)

In 1945, American forces launched the amphibious invasion of Okinawa during World War II. (US forces succeeded in capturing the Japanese island on June 22.)

In 1970, President Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect after Jan. 1, 1971.

In 1972, the first Major League Baseball players’ strike began; it lasted 12 days. Twenty years later, on April 1, 1992, the National Hockey League Players’ Association went on its first-ever strike, which lasted 10 days.

In 1975, with Khmer Rouge guerrillas closing in, Cambodian President Lon Nol resigned and fled into exile, spending the rest of his life in the United States.


In 1976, Apple Computer was founded by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne.

In 1977, the US Senate followed the example of the House of Representatives by adopting, 86-9, a stringent code of ethics requiring full financial disclosure and limits on outside income.

In 2003, American troops entered a hospital in Nasiriyah, Iraq, and rescued Army Private First Class Jessica Lynch, who had been held prisoner since her unit was ambushed on March 23.

In 2011, Afghans angry over the burning of a Quran at a small Florida church stormed a UN compound in northern Afghanistan, killing seven foreigners, including four Nepalese guards.

In 2013, prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty for James Holmes should he be convicted in the July 2012 Colorado movie theater attack that killed 12 people. (Holmes, found guilty of murder, ended up being sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.) A cast member of the MTV reality show “BUCKWILD,” Shain Gandee, 21, was found dead in a sport utility vehicle in a West Virginia ditch along with his uncle and a friend; the cause was accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

In 2016, world leaders ended a nuclear security summit in Washington by declaring progress in safeguarding nuclear materials sought by terrorists and wayward nations, even as President Obama acknowledged the task was far from finished.

In 2017, Bob Dylan received his Nobel Literature diploma and medal during a small gathering in Stockholm, where he was performing a concert.


In 2018, writer and producer Steven Bochco, known for creating the groundbreaking TV police drama “Hill Street Blues,” died after a battle with cancer; he was 74. Authorities said the SUV that had carried members of a large, free-spirited family to their deaths several days earlier may have been driven intentionally off a scenic California cliff; six adopted children were killed along with their parents.

In 2020, resisting calls to issue a national stay-at-home order, President Trump said he wanted to give governors “flexibility” to respond to the coronavirus. Under growing pressure, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis joined his counterparts in more than 30 states in issuing a stay-at-home order.

Last year, talks to stop the fighting in Ukraine resumed, as another attempt to rescue civilians from the shattered and encircled city of Mariupol was thrown into jeopardy and Russia accused the Ukrainians of a cross-border helicopter attack on a fuel depot. New federal rules were unveiled requiring that new vehicles sold in the United States would have to travel an average of at least 40 miles per each gallon of gasoline by 2026. Amazon workers in Staten Island, N.Y., voted to unionize, marking the first successful US organizing effort in the retail giant’s history.