TODAY IN HISTORY
Explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and his expedition began exploring the Florida coastline.
The United States Senate passed, 38-6, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery.
“Lawrence of Arabia” won the Oscar for best picture at the Academy Awards; Gregory Peck won best actor for “To Kill a Mockingbird” while Anne Bancroft received best actress honors for “The Miracle Worker.”
Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance had gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18.
Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead in Seattle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; he was 27.
Somali pirates hijacked the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama; although the crew was able to retake the cargo ship, the captain, Richard Phillips, was taken captive by the raiders and held aboard a lifeboat.