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Today in History: Pope John Paul II died in his Vatican apartment at age 84

Today in History: Pope John Paul II died in his Vatican apartment at age 84

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Today is Friday, April 2, the 92nd day of 2021. There are 273 days left in the year.

Highlight in History:

On April 2, 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the U.S. Mint.

On this date:

In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, because of advancing Union forces.

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, “The world must be made safe for democracy.” (Congress declared war four days later.)

In 1932, aviator Charles A. Lindbergh and John F. Condon went to a cemetery in The Bronx, New York, where Condon turned over $50,000 to a man in exchange for Lindbergh’s kidnapped son. (The child, who was not returned, was found dead the following month.)

In 1968, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the groundbreaking science-fiction film epic produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick and starring Keir Dullea and Gary Lockwood, had its world premiere in Washington, D.C.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter signed into law a windfall profits tax on the oil industry. (The tax was repealed in 1988.)

In 1982, several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain. (Britain seized the islands back the following June.)

In 1986, four American passengers, including an 8-month-old girl, her mother and grandmother, were killed when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard a TWA jetliner en route from Rome to Athens, Greece.

In 2002, Israel seized control of Bethlehem; Palestinian gunmen forced their way into the Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, where they began a 39-day standoff.

In 2003, during the Iraq War, American forces fought their way to within sight of the Baghdad skyline.

In 2005, Pope John Paul II died in his Vatican apartment at age 84.

In 2007, in its first case on climate change, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, ruled 5-4 that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases were air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

Ten years ago: Highly radioactive water leaked into the sea from a crack at Japan’s stricken nuclear power plant; meanwhile, earthquake-tsunami survivors complained that the government was not paying enough attention to victims.

Five years ago: Mormon leaders meeting in Salt Lake City called on church members to practice tolerance despite political differences, providing guidance at a conference amid a presidential campaign between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton that was marked by harsh rhetoric and bickering.

One year ago: The number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide passed the 1 million mark, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. 

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Jill King is 46. Actor Pedro Pascal is 46. Actor Adam Rodriguez is 46. Actor Michael Fassbender is 44. Actor Jaime Ray Newman is 43. Rock musician Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5) is 42. Actor Bethany Joy Lenz is 40. Singer Lee Dewyze (TV: “American Idol”) is 35. Country singer Chris Janson is 35. Actor Drew Van Acker is 35. Actor Briga Heelan (TV: “Great News”) is 34. Actor Jesse Plemons is 33. Singer Aaron Kelly (TV: “American Idol”) is 28.

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