April 8

1789   The U.S. House of Representatives holds its first meeting.
1832   Some 300 American troops of the 6th Infantry leave Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis, to confront the Sauk Indians in what would become known as the Black Hawk War.
1864   In the Battle of Mansfield, Louisiana, Federals are routed by Confederate Gen. Richard Taylor.
1865   General Robert E. Lee‘s retreat is cut off near Appomattox Court House.
1898   British General Horatio Kitchener defeats the Khalifa, leader of the dervishes in Sudan, at the Battle of Atbara.
1913   The 17th Amendment is ratified, requiring direct election of senators.
1935   The Works Progress Administration (WPA) is approved by Congress.
1939   Italy invades Albania.
1942   The Soviets open a rail link to the besieged city of Leningrad.
1952   President Truman orders the seizure of U.S. steel mills to prevent a strike.
1962   Bay of Pigs invaders get thirty years imprisonment in Cuba.
1974   Hank Aaron hits his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth’s record.
1975   Frank Robinson of the Cleveland Indians becomes the first black manager of a major-league baseball team.
Born on April 8
563 BC   Gautama Buddha, founder of Buddhism.
1605   Philip IV, king of Spain and Portugal (1621-65).
1726   Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
1893   Mary Pickford (Gladys Smith), early film actress.
1893   Edgar “Yip” Harburg, lyricist (Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?, Over the Rainbow).
1920   Carmen McRae, jazz vocalist and pianist.
1921   Betty Bloomer Ford, first lady to President Gerald Ford.
1955   Barbara Kingsolver, novelist (The Bean Trees, Animal Dreams).

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