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Moments in Time

 

 

• On April 7, 1776, Navy Capt. John Barry, commander of the American warship Lexington, makes the first American naval capture of a British vessel when he takes command of the warship HMS Edward off the coast of Virginia. The capture turned Barry into a national hero.

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• On April 1, 1877, prospector Edward Schieffelin begins his search for silver in southern Arizona. Later that year, Schieffelin discovered one of the richest silver veins in the West. He named it the Tombstone Lode.

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• On April 6, 1896, the Olympic Games, a long-lost tradition of ancient Greece, are reborn in Athens. King Georgios I of Greece and a crowd of 60,000 spectators welcomed athletes from 13 nations.

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• On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. is shot to death at a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. A single shot fired from a nearby motel by James Earl Ray struck King in the neck. The death of America’s leading civil-rights advocate sparked a wave of rioting around the country.

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• On April 2, 1972, silent film actor and filmmaker Charlie Chaplin prepares for his first voyage to the United States since 1952, when he was denied a reentry visa amid questions about his leftist politics. Chaplin returned to accept an honorary Academy Award.

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• On April 3, 1996, at his cabin in Montana, Theodore John Kaczynski is arrested by FBI agents and accused of being the Unabomber, the elusive terrorist blamed for 16 mail bombs that killed three people and injured 23. “Unabomber” was an acronym for university, airline and bomber.

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• On April 5, 2000, Lee Petty, an early star of NASCAR, dies at the age of 86 in North Carolina. Lee Petty won more than 50 stockcar races during his career, including three NASCAR championships and the first Daytona 500, held in 1959.

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