Hank Aaron‘s 715th round-tripper on April 8, 1974, makes him Major League Baseball’s all-time home run leader, ending Babe Ruth‘s 39-year reign. Barry Bonds deposes Aaron in 2007, an achievement tarnished by suspicions that Bonds used steroids.
The disco anthem “Dancing Queen” by Swedish pop group ABBA tops American pop charts on April 9, 1977.
On April 7, 1969, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously strikes down laws prohibiting possession of obscene material. The justices cite freedom of speech and “the right to be free, except in very limited circumstances, from unwanted governmental intrusions into one’s privacy.”
Sidney Poitier becomes the first African American to win the Academy Award for Best Actor on April 13, 1964. “It is a long journey to this moment,” says Poitier, who played an itinerant worker who helps nuns build a chapel in Lilies of the Field.
Preparing to release a solo album, Paul McCartney reveals on April 10, 1970, that the Beatles are finished. Why? “Personal differences, business differences, musical differences, but most of all because I have a better time with my family. Temporary or permanent? I don’t really know.” The split was permanent.
The off-center TV serial drama Twin Peaks premieres April 8, 1990. The series, created by David Lynch and Mark Frost, ends after only 30 episodes but not before developing a cult following.
Apollo 13 astronauts James Lovell Jr., John Swigert Jr. and Fred Haise Jr. don’t exactly say “Houston, we have a problem.” But it’s close. On April 13, 1970, some 200,000 miles from Earth, their command module loses its normal supply of electricity, light and water after an oxygen tank blows up. See it all in Ron Howard’s 1995 Apollo 13 movie.
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Credits – Hank Aaron: Getty Images; McCartney cover: PaulMcCartney.com; NASA Mission Control: NASA via Wikipedia
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