TODAY IN HISTORY
April 16, 2007
In one of America’s worst school attacks, a college senior killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech before taking his own life.
ON THIS DATE 1912
American aviator Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel, leaving Dover, England, and arriving near Calais, France, in 59 minutes.
The cargo ship Grandcamp, carrying ammonium nitrate, blew up in the harbor in Texas City, Texas; a nearby ship, the High Flyer, which was carrying ammonium nitrate and sulfur, caught fire and exploded the following day; the blasts and fires killed nearly 600 people.
Martin Luther King Jr. wrote his “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in which the civil rights activist responded to a group of local clergymen who had criticized him for leading street protests; King defended his tactics, writing, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Alex Haley, author of the best-seller “Roots,” visited the Gambian village of Juffure, where, he believed, his ancestor Kunte Kinte was captured as a slave in 1767.