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On This Day in History, April 5

What Happened On This Day – April 5

  • 1998 The world's largest suspension bridge opens to traffic

    The Akashi Kaikyō Bridge in Japan features the world's longest central span, measuring 1991 meters (6532 feet).

  • 1986 A bomb kills 3 people at the La Belle in West Berlin

    The attack on the nightclub, which was frequented by U.S. soldiers, was later blamed on the Libyan secret service. In retaliatory strikes, at least 15 people were killed in Libya.

  • 1955 Winston Churchill resigns as U.K. Prime Minister

    Churchill was instrumental in initiating the alliance between the U.K., the U.S., and the Soviet Union against Nazi Germany. His political career spanned half a century.

  • 1951 Ethel and Julius Rosenberg are sentenced to death

    The U.S. couple was accused of passing information about nuclear weapons on to the Soviet Union. It later emerged that Ethel was not involved in her husband's activities. Both were executed in 1953.

  • 1895 Oscar Wilde loses his criminal libel case triggered by accusations of homosexuality

    The Marquess of Queensbury had left his calling card in the Albemarle Club with the added inscription, “For Oscar Wilde posing Somdomite” (sic).

Births On This Day – April 5

  • 1937 Colin Powell

    American general, politician, 65th United States Secretary of State

  • 1917 Robert Bloch

    American author

  • 1912 John Le Mesurier

    English actor

  • 1908 Bette Davis

    American actress

  • 1900 Spencer Tracy

    American actor

Deaths On This Day – April 5

  • 1997 Allen Ginsberg

    American poet

  • 1994 Kurt Cobain

    American singer-songwriter, guitarist

  • 1976 Howard Hughes

    American engineer, director

  • 1975 Chiang Kai-shek

    Chinese military leader, politician, President of the Republic of China

  • 1928 Roy Kilner

    English cricketer

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