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The Country Said Good-Bye to a Courageous President

April 12th, the country went to war with each other, the theme song to “Happy Days,” was born, T.V. introduced us to Johnny Depp.

1861 – THE CIVIL WAR began when Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.  ABNER DOUBLEDAY, the inventor of baseball, fired the first shot in defense of the fort.

1927 – Fifteen future Hall of Famers were on the field at the Opening Day game between the New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Athletics, including TY COBB, JIMMIE FOXX, LOU GEHRIG and BABE RUTH, who went 0-for-3 in the game.

FDR's Furneral Keystone Features/Getty Images

1945FRANKLIN DELANO ROOSEVELT, the 32nd President of the United States, died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Georgia, at age 63,  just three months after beginning an unprecedented FOURTH TERM in

Hulton Archive/Getty Images

1954BILL HALEY & THE COMETS recorded “Rock Around the Clock”.

1961 – Soviet Cosmonaut YURI GAGARIN took a one-orbit, 108-minute ride in a 10,395-pound vehicle, Vostok 1, to become the FIRST MAN IN SPACE.

When he landed in his parachute, he was met by a terrified farm woman who threatened to attack him with a pitchfork.

1964CHUBBY CHECKER married a former Miss World, CATHERINA LODDERS.

1966 – JAN BERRY of JAN & DEAN barely escaped death when he crashed his Corvette Stingray in Los Angeles.  That’s the same car sung about in the 1964 Jan & Dean classic “Dead Man’s Curve”.

The crash left him in a coma for weeks, and it took four years for him to be able to speak properly again.  He died on March 26th of 2004.

1981 – Heavyweight boxing legend JOE LOUIS died at the age of 66.  He held the world title for a record 12 years and won 68 of his 71 professional fights.


1985 – The MOVIE “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” was released starring two relative unknowns:  HELEN HUNT and SARAH JESSICA PARKER and Shannen Doherty.

1986 – BELINDA CARLISLE married  Morgan Mason, who produced “sex, lies and videotape”.  Today is their 25th wedding anniversary.


1987“21 Jump Street” debuted on Fox,  starring Johnny Depp, Peter DeLuise, Dustin Nguyen and Holly Robinson.  The show really took off in its 2nd season  when Superstar RICHARD GRIECO joined the cast.

Jonah Hill is co-writing and starring in a movie version that’s supposed to come out in 2012.

1989SUGAR RAY ROBINSON died in Culver City, California, at age 67.  Sugar Ray was a five-time winner of the world middleweight boxing championship.

1990 – In its first meeting, East Germany’s first democratically elected parliament acknowledged responsibility for the Nazi Holocaust, and rightly ASKED THE FORGIVENESS OF JEWS and others who had suffered.

1993 – The amazing LISA BONET filed for divorce from LENNY KRAVITZ.

1997 – Country star TRAVIS TRITT married Teresa Nelson.  Three children later, they’re now celebrating their 14th wedding anniversary.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

2005 – After months of press speculation, BRITNEY SPEARS finally admitted she’d was pregnant.  She gave birth to Sean Preston by C-section five months later.

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