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    This day in history

    Today is Wednesday, April 11, the 101st day of 2018. There are 264 days left in the year.

    Birthdays: Ethel Kennedy is 90. Actor Joel Grey is 86. Actress Louise Lasser is 79. Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Ellen Goodman is 77. Movie writer-director John Milius is 74. Actor Peter Riegert is 71. Movie director Carl Franklin is 69. Actor Bill Irwin is 68. Singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale is 61. Montana Governor Steve Bullock is 52.

    In 1865, President Lincoln spoke to a crowd outside the White House, saying, ‘‘We meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart.’’ (It was the last public address Lincoln would deliver.)

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    In 1921, Iowa became the first state to impose a cigarette tax, at 2 cents a package.

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    In 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in Germany.

    In 1951, President Truman relieved General Douglas MacArthur of his commands in the Far East.

    In 1953, Oveta Culp Hobby became the first Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.

    In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which included the Fair Housing Act, a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

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    In 1970, Apollo 13, with astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise, and Jack Swigert, blasted off on its ill-fated mission to the moon.

    In 1998, the executive committee of the Ulster Union Party voted 55-23 to support the Northern Ireland peace accord and its leader, David Trimble, who had outmaneuvered rebels in his ranks.

    In 2008, Group of Seven financial officials meeting in Washington pledged to strengthen their regulation of banks and other financial institutions while anxiously hoping the credit crisis in the United States would be a short one.

    In 2013, Congress’ most serious gun-control effort in years cleared its first hurdle as the Senate pushed past conservatives’ attempted blockade, rebuffing 68-31 an effort to keep debate from even starting. (However, proposals for tighter background checks for buyers as well as bans on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines went down to defeat six days later.)

    Last year, guitarist J. Geils, founder of The J. Geils Band, died in his home in Groton at age 71. David Letterman’s mother, Dorothy Mengering, a Midwestern homemaker who became an unlikely celebrity on her son’s late-night talk show, died at age 95.