Today in History: Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, April 17, the 108th day of 2024. There are 258 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 17, 1961, some 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba in an attempt to topple Fidel Castro, whose forces crushed the incursion by the third day.
On this date:
In 1521, Martin Luther went before the Diet of Worms (vohrms) to face charges stemming from his religious writings. (Luther was later declared an outlaw by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.)
In 1961, “The Apartment” won the Academy Award for best picture of 1960; Burt Lancaster was named best actor for “Elmer Gantry,” while the best actress award went to Elizabeth Taylor for “Butterfield 8.”
In 1964, Ford Motor Co. unveiled the Mustang at the New York World’s Fair.
In 1969, a jury in Los Angeles convicted Sirhan Sirhan of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
In 1970, Apollo 13 astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise and Jack Swigert splashed down safely in the Pacific, four days after a ruptured oxygen tank crippled their spacecraft while en route to the moon.
In 1972, the Boston Marathon allowed women to compete for the first time; Nina Kuscsik was the first officially recognized women’s champion, with a time of 3:10:26.
In 1973, Federal Express (later FedEx) began operations as 14 planes carrying 186 packages took off from Memphis International Airport, bound for 25 U.S. cities.
In 1975, Cambodia’s five-year war ended as the capital Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge, which instituted brutal, radical policies that claimed an estimated 1.7 million lives until the regime was overthrown in 1979.
In 1986, at London’s Heathrow Airport, a bomb was discovered in the bag of Anne-Marie Murphy, a pregnant Irishwoman about to board an El Al jetliner to Israel; she’d been tricked into carrying the bomb by her Jordanian fiance, Nezar Hindawi.
In 1991, the Dow Jones industrial average closed above 3,000 for the first time, ending the day at 3,004.46, up 17.58.
In 1993, a federal jury in Los Angeles convicted two former police officers of violating the civil rights of beaten motorist Rodney King; two other officers were acquitted.
In 2012, riding on the back of a 747 jet, retired space shuttle Discovery traveled from Cape Canaveral, Florida, to Chantilly, Virginia, to be installed in its new home: the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum annex in Virginia.
In 2013, 15 people were killed in an explosion at a fertilizer plant in the city of West, Texas.
In 2018, Barbara Bush, who was both a first lady and the mother of a president, died in Houston at the age of 92; she was survived by her husband, George H.W. Bush; their marriage of 73 years was the longest of any presidential couple in American history.
In 2020, President Donald Trump urged supporters to “LIBERATE” three states led by Democratic governors, apparently encouraging protests against stay-at-home mandates aimed at stopping the coronavirus.
In 2022, Ukrainian fighters holed up in a steel plant in the last known pocket of resistance inside the shattered city of Mariupol ignored a surrender-or-die ultimatum from the Russians and continued to hold out against the capture of the strategically vital port.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor David Bradley is 82. Composer-musician Jan Hammer (yahn HAH’-mur) is 76. Actor Olivia Hussey is 73. Actor Clarke Peters is 72. Rapper Afrika Bambaataa is 67. Actor Sean Bean is 65. Former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason is 63. Actor Joel Murray is 62. Rock singer Maynard James Keenan (Tool) is 60. Actor Lela Rochon is 60. Actor William Mapother is 59. Actor Leslie Bega is 57. Actor Henry Ian Cusick is 57. Actor Kimberly Elise is 57. Singer Liz Phair is 57. Director/producer Adam McKay is 56. Rapper-actor Redman is 54. Actor Jennifer Garner is 52. Singer Victoria Beckham is 50. Actor-singer Lindsay Korman is 46. Actor Tate Ellington is 45. Actor Nicholas D’Agosto is 44. Actor Charlie Hofheimer is 43. Actor Rooney Mara is 39. Actor Jacqueline MacInnes Wood is 37. Actor Paulie Litt is 29. Actor Dee Dee Davis is 28.