Today in History -- April 4.
On April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot and killed while standing on a balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. (James Earl Ray later pleaded guilty to assassinating King, then spent the rest of his life claiming he'd been the victim of a setup.)
On this date:
Today is Friday, April 4, the 94th day of 2014. There are 271 days left in the year.
On this date:
In 1818, Congress decided the flag of the United States would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star to be added for every new state of the Union.
In 1841, President William Henry Harrison succumbed to pneumonia one month after his inaugural, becoming the first U.S. chief executive to die in office.
In 1850, the city of Los Angeles was incorporated.
In 1864, in a letter to Kentucky newspaper editor Albert G. Hodges, President Abraham Lincoln wrote, "I claim not to have controlled events, but confess plainly that events have controlled me.''
In 1912, China proclaimed a republic in Tibet, a move fiercely opposed by Tibetans.
In 1933, the Navy airship USS Akron crashed in severe weather off the New Jersey coast with the loss of 73 lives.
In 1949, 12 nations, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, D.C.
In 1960, Elvis Presley recorded "Are You Lonesome Tonight?'' in Nashville for RCA Victor.
In 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves tied Babe Ruth's home-run record by hitting his 714th round-tripper in Cincinnati.
In 1975, more than 130 people, most of them children, were killed when a U.S. Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crash-landed shortly after takeoff from Saigon.
In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger roared into orbit on its maiden voyage. (It was destroyed in January, 1986.)
Ten years ago: Supporters of Muqtada al-Sadr, an anti-American cleric, rioted in four Iraqi cities, killing dozens of Iraqis, eight U.S. troops and a Salvadoran soldier.
Five years ago: A gunman killed three Pittsburgh police officers responding to a domestic disturbance call; Richard Poplawski was later convicted of murder and sentenced to death.
One year ago: Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed into law new restrictions on weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines like the ones used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.