• On April 3, 1776, because it lacked sufficient funds to build a strong navy, the Continental Congress gives privateers permission to attack any and all British ships, except for those vessels bringing arms and ammunition or people who intended to settle in the Colonies.
• On April 1, 1924, Nazi Party leader Adolf Hitler is sentenced to five years in prison for treason for leading the Nazis’ unsuccessful “Beer Hall Putsch.” Sent to Landsberg jail, he spent his time dictating his autobiography, “Mein Kampf,” and was released after nine months.
• On April 30, 1947, Preston Tucker announces his concept for a new automobile to be named the “Tucker.” His plans called for a rearmounted engine as powerful as an aircraft motor, a stationary “cyclops” headlight and a steering wheel placed in the center of the car.
• On April 5, 1951, at the end of a highly publicized espionage case, death sentences are imposed against Julius and Ethel Rosenberg after they were found guilty of conspiring to transmit atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. The only incriminating evidence came from a confessed spy who was given a reduced sentence to testify against them.
• On April 2, 1987, the United States government allows individual states to increase the speed limit on rural roads from 55 mph to 65 mph. Since 1973, when President Richard Nixon set a federal maximum speed limit of 55 mph, no cars were allowed to exceed this speed.
(c) 2009 King Features Synd.