Today in history

In 1924: Flower thieves from the city’s parks are getting bolder and in an attempt to put a stop to this kind of vandalism, the park board Wednesday offered a reward of ten dollars to the person giving information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of the person who stole four peony plants from Prospect Park near the Piano Factory. Four plants were dug up in that park and carried away some time last week. Anyone caught stealing flowers or plants will be made an example for all. The justices of the peace are all ready to hand out the stiffest sentence that the law will allow.

 

 

On this day

In A.D. 311, shortly before his death, Roman Emperor Galerius issued his Edict of Toleration ending persecution of Christians.

In 1789, George Washington took the oath of office in New York as the first president of the United States.

In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for 60 million francs, the equivalent of about $15 million

In 1900, engineer John Luther "Casey" Jones of the Illinois Central Railroad died in a train wreck near Vaughan, Mississippi, after staying at the controls in a successful effort to save the passengers.

In 1911, a fire broke out in Bangor, Maine, destroying much of the downtown area before it was brought under control the next morning; two deaths were blamed on the blaze.

In 1945, as Soviet troops approached his Berlin bunker, Adolf Hitler committed suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun.

In 1945, the radio show "Queen for Today" (later "Queen for a Day") premiered on the Mutual Network.

In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon announced the U.S. was sending troops into Cambodia, an action that sparked widespread protest.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced the resignations of top aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean, who was actually fired.

In 1975, the Vietnam War ended as the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to Communist forces.

In 1983, blues singer and guitarist Muddy Waters died in Westmont, Ill., at age 68.

In 1993, top-ranked women's tennis player Monica Seles was stabbed in the back during a match in Hamburg, Germany, by a man who described himself as a fan of second-ranked German player Steffi Graf. (The man, convicted of causing grievous bodily harm, was given a suspended sentence.)

In 2004, Arabs expressed outrage at graphic photographs of naked Iraqi prisoners being humiliated by U.S. military police; President George W. Bush condemned the mistreatment of prisoners, saying "that's not the way we do things in America."

In 2015, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont formally entered the race for the Democratic presidential nomination with a news conference on Capitol Hill.

In 2019, Peter Mayhew, the towering actor who donned a huge, furry costume to give life to Chewbacca in the original “Star Wars” trilogy and two other films, died at his north Texas home at the age of 74.

 

Celebrity birthdays

Willie Nelson is 87.

Cloris Leachman is 94.

Isiah Thomas is 59.

Kirsten Dunst is 38.