Today is Tuesday, April 2, the 93rd day of 2024. There are 273 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 2, 2005, John Paul II, the Polish pope born Karol Józef Wojtyła, who became one of the most influential leaders of the 20th and early 21st centuries while working to build a moral foundation in the modern world and playing a crucial role in overthrowing communism, died in his Vatican apartment at age 84.

On this date:

In 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the U.S. Mint.

In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia, because of advancing Union forces.

In 1912, the just-completed RMS Titanic left Belfast to begin its sea trials eight days before the start of its ill-fated maiden voyage.

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, “The world must be made safe for democracy.” (Congress declared war four days later.)

In 1982, several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain. (Britain seized the islands back the following June.)

In 1986, four American passengers, including an 8-month-old girl, her mother and her grandmother, were killed when a terrorist bomb exploded aboard a TWA jetliner en route from Rome to Athens, Greece; the remaining 110 passengers survived.

In 1992, mob boss John Gotti was convicted in New York of murder and racketeering; he was later sentenced to life, and died in prison.

In 1995, after a work stoppage lasting nearly eight months, baseball owners accepted the players’ union offer to play without a contract.

In 2002, Israel seized control of Bethlehem; Palestinian gunmen forced their way into the Church of the Nativity, the traditional birthplace of Jesus, where they began a 39-day standoff.

In 2003, during the Iraq War, American forces fought their way to within sight of the Baghdad skyline.

In 2007, in its first case on climate change, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, ruled 5-4 that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases were air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

In 2012, a gunman killed seven people at Oikos University, a Christian school in Oakland, California. (The shooter, One Goh, died in 2019 while serving a life prison sentence.)

In 2013, North Korea said it would restart its long-shuttered plutonium reactor and increase production of nuclear weapons material in what outsiders saw as its latest attempt to extract U.S. concessions by raising fears of war.

In 2017, Coach Dawn Staley and South Carolina won their first women’s NCAA championship with a 67-55 victory over Mississippi State.

In 2018, anti-apartheid activist Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, who’d been married for nearly 38 years to Nelson Mandela, died in a Johannesburg hospital at age 81.

In 2020, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases worldwide passed the 1 million mark, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University.

In 2021, rapper DMX was rushed from his home to a suburban New York hospital after going into cardiac arrest; he died a week later.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Dame Penelope Keith is 84. Actor Linda Hunt is 79. Singer Emmylou Harris is 77. Actor Sam Anderson is 77. Social critic and author Camille Paglia is 77. Actor Pamela Reed is 75. Rock musician Dave Robinson (The Cars) is 75. Country singer Buddy Jewell is 63. Actor Christopher Meloni is 63. Singer Keren Woodward (Bananarama) is 63. Country singer Billy Dean is 62. Actor Clark Gregg is 62. Actor Jana Marie Hupp is 60. Rock musician Greg Camp is 57. Actor Roselyn Sanchez is 51. Country singer Jill King is 49. Actor Pedro Pascal is 49. Actor Adam Rodriguez is 49. Actor Michael Fassbender is 47. Actor Jaime Ray Newman is 46. Rock musician Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5) is 45. Actor Bethany Joy Lenz is 43. Singer Lee Dewyze (TV: “American Idol”) is 38. Country singer Chris Janson is 38. Actor Drew Van Acker is 38. Actor Briga Heelan (TV: “Great News”) is 37. Actor Jesse Plemons is 36. Singer Aaron Kelly (TV: “American Idol”) is 31.

Associated Press

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