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April 30, 2014

Almanac

Today is Wednesday, April 30, the 120th day of 2014. There are 245 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history

On April 30, 1789, George Washington took the oath of office in New York as the first president of the United States.

On this date

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

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

In 1864, Confederate President Jefferson Davis’ 5-year-old son, Joseph Evan Davis, died in a fall at the Confederate White House in Richmond, Va.

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

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

In 1958, the American Association of Retired Persons (later simply AARP) was founded in Washington, D.C., by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus.

In 1968, New York City police forcibly removed student demonstrators occupying five buildings at Columbia University.

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 1988, Gen. Manuel Noriega, waving a machete, vowed at a rally to keep fighting U.S. efforts to oust him as Panama’s military ruler.

Ten years ago

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.” On ABC’s “Nightline,” Ted Koppel read aloud the names of 721 U.S. servicemen and women killed in the Iraq war (the Sinclair Broadcast Group refused to air the program on seven ABC stations). Michael Jackson pleaded not guilty in Santa Maria, Calif., to a grand jury indictment that expanded the child molestation case against him. (Jackson was acquitted at trial.)

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