April 8, 1974
HANK AARON HAMMERS 715th CAREER HOME RUN
“Hammerin” Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his long-awaited 715th career home run today at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium before a record crowd of 53,775.
The home run, hit off LA Dodger pitcher Al Downing in the 4th inning, breaks George Herman “Babe” Ruth’s record of 714.
Vince Scully, Dodger play by play announcer, said during his radio broadcast of the game:
“What a marvelous moment for baseball; what a marvelous moment for Atlanta and the state of Georgia; what a marvelous moment for the country and the world. A black man is getting a standing ovation in the Deep South for breaking a record of an all-time baseball idol.”*
*Hank Aaron was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.
Aaron’s “Record Setting” Jersey
April 8, 1963
JFK THROWS OUT FIRST PITCH
President Kennedy threw out the ceremonial first pitch of the 1963 baseball season today.
The ceremony was conducted before the opening day game at DC Stadium.
April 8, 1962
BAY OF PIGS CAPTIVES SENTENCED IN CUBA
Almost a year after the failed invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, a Cuban military court has sentenced more than 1100 exiles who were captured in the failed invasion.
Each of the captives are to serve 30 years in prison.
Fidel Castro, however, has made an offer to the Kennedy administration. He will release all the prisoners upon payment of $62 million.*
*Check back to JFK+50 on April 17 for a full account on the “Bay of Pigs”.
April 8, 1935
EMERGENCY RELIEF ACT BECOMES LAW
As President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Second New Deal” gets underway, the Congress passed today his proposed Emergency Relief Appropriations Act.
It authorizes expenditures of $5 million for work-relief programs.*
*ERA establishes the Works Progress Administration (WPA) which pays workers to build highways, schools, hospitals, airports & playgrounds.
The WPA also restored theaters such as the Dock Street Theater in Charleston, South Carolina.
April 8, 1918
HOLLYWOOD STARS SELL WAR BONDS
Today on the streets of New York City’s financial district, Douglas Fairbanks & Charlie Chaplin sold war bonds to fund United States armed services fighting in the world war.
Douglas Fairbanks at Rally
April 8, 1913
17th Amendment Ratified
The 17th amendment to the United States Constitution became law today.
The amendment requires the direct election of United States senators.*
*Since the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789, senators had been chosen by state legislatures.
April 8, 1904
LONGACRE SQUARE HAS A NEW NAME
New York City’s “Longacre Square” in midtown Manhattan has been renamed.
The new name is “Times Square”.
The new name came as a result of the opening of the new Times Building, home of The New York Times newspaper.*
*Times Square is located at the junction of Broadway & 7th Avenue & stretches from West 42nd to West 47th Streets.
Times Square (1921)