On April 16, 1947, a fire aboard a freighter in Texas ignited explosive materials in the ship’s hold, causing a massive blast and killing nearly 600 people.
Today is Monday, April 16, the 106th day of 2018 with 259 to follow.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury, Neptune and Saturn. Evening stars are Jupiter and Venus.
Those born this date are under the sign of Aries. They include French writer Anatole France in 1844; aviation pioneer Wilbur Wright in 1867; movie legend Charlie Chaplin in 1889; writer Kingsley Amis in 1922; composer/conductor Henry Mancini in 1924; Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in 1927 (age 91); football Hall of fame member Dick “Night Train” Lane in 1927; jazz flutist Herbie Mann in 1930; singer Bobby Vinton in 1935 (age 83); singer Dusty Springfield in 1939; Danish Queen Margrethe II in 1940 (age 78); basketball Hall of Fame member Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1947 (age 71); NFL coach Bill Belichick in 1952 (age 66); actor Ellen Barkin in 1954 (age 64); actor Jon Cryer in 1965 (age 53): actor Martin Lawrence in 1965 (age 53); actor Peter Billingsley in 1971 (age 47); Tejeno singer Selena (Quintanilla) in 1971; singer Akon, born Aliaume Damala Badara Akon Thiam, in 1973 (age 45); actor Claire Foy in 1984 (age 34); Chance the Rapper, born Chancellor Jonathan Bennett, in 1993 (age 25); Mirai Nagasu, first female figure skater to land a triple axel at the Olympics, in 1993 (age 25); actor Anya Taylor-Joy in 1996 (age 22); actor Sadie Sink in 2002 (age 16).
On this date in history:
In 1862, the U.S. Congress abolished slavery in the District of Columbia.
In 1912, as crowds gathered outside its New York City offices, the White Star Line denied that it was withholding information on the sinking of RMS Titanic.
In 1947, a fire aboard the French freighter Grandcamp in the Texas City, Texas, port on Galveston Bay ignited ammonium nitrate and other explosive materials in the ship’s hold, causing a massive blast that destroyed much of the city and killed nearly 600 people.
In 1963, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote “Letter from Birmingham Jail” while imprisoned in Alabama for protesting segregation.
In 1972, Apollo 16 blasted off on an 11-day moon mission with three astronauts aboard.
In 1990, Dr. Jack Kevorkian helped in his first assisted suicide. In December, he was charged with murder for the death of a woman with Alzheimer’s disease, who died using his so-called suicide machine in June.
In 1991, the first Jewish settlement under the Israeli government opened in the occupied territories, defying a U.S. request to stop settlement activity in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
In 1999, hockey legend Wayne Gretzky announced his retirement from the NHL after 21 years. He was inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame in November without having to go through the usual three-year waiting period.
In 2002, Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok and members of his government resigned after a report faulted them, along with the United Nations, for failing to prevent the 1995 massacre of 7,500 Muslim men and boys at Srebrenica, Bosnia.
In 2007, Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech, went on a campus shooting rampage, killing 32 people before killing himself.
In 2011, a vicious rash of tornadoes tore through 14 U.S. states, leaving more than 40 people dead and many others homeless.
In 2014, Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl said he would sell the team to two executives of a New York investment firm. He made the announcement before the team was to end its season with the worst record in the NBA.
A thought for the day: “Each one of us has a fire in our heart for something. It’s our goal in life to find it and keep it lit.” — Mary Lou Retton