HISTORY TODAY

History In 1822, Florida became a United States territory.

■ In 1867, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward reached agreement with Russia to purchase the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million.

■ In 1870, the 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited denying citizens the right to vote and hold office on the basis of race, was declared in effect by Secretary of State Hamilton Fish. Texas was readmitted to the Union.

■ In 1909, the Queensboro Bridge, linking the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Queens, opened.

■ In 1923, the Cunard liner RMS Laconia became the first passenger ship to circle the globe as it arrived in New York.

■ In 1959, a narrowly divided U.S. Supreme Court, in Bartkus v. Illinois, ruled that a conviction in state court following an acquittal in federal court for the same crime did not constitute double jeopardy.

■ In 1975, James Ruppert, 41, killed 11 members of his family at his mother’s home in Hamilton, Ohio, on Easter Sunday.

■ In 1981, President Ronald Reagan was shot and seriously injured outside a Washington, D.C., hotel by John W. Hinckley Jr.; also wounded were White House press secretary James Brady, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy and a District of Columbia police officer, Thomas Delahanty.

Today’s birthdays: Game show host Peter Marshall is 90. Actor John Astin is 86. Actor-director Warren Beatty is 79. Rock musician Graeme Edge (The Moody Blues) is 75. Rock musician Eric Clapton is 71. Actor Robbie Coltrane is 66. Actor Paul Reiser is 59. Rap artist MC Hammer is 53. Singer Tracy Chapman is 52. Actor Ian Ziering is 52. TV personality Piers Morgan is 51. Singer Celine Dion is 48. Actor Mark Consuelos is 45. Country singer Justin Moore is 32. Actress Tessa Ferrer is 30. Country singer Thomas Rhett is 26.

 

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