On this day, April 11 …

1970: Apollo 13, with astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise and Jack Swigert, blasts off on its ill-fated mission to the moon.

Also on this day:

  • 1865: President Abraham Lincoln speaks to a crowd outside the White House, saying: "We meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart." (It would be the last public address Lincoln would deliver.)
  • 1921: Iowa becomes the first state to impose a cigarette tax, at 2 cents a package.
  • 1945: During World War II, American soldiers liberate the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in Germany.
  • 1951: President Harry S. Truman relieves Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his commands in the Far East.
  • 1961: Former SS officer Adolf Eichmann goes on trial in Israel, charged with crimes against humanity for his role in the Nazi Holocaust. (Eichmann would be convicted and executed.)
  • 1966: Frank Sinatra records the song "Strangers in the Night" for his label, Reprise Records.

President Lyndon B Johnson discusses the Voting Rights Act with civil rights campaigner Martin Luther King Jr.. The act, part of President Johnson's 'Great Society' program trebled the number of black voters in the south, who had previously been hindered by racially inspired laws, 1965. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

  • 1968: President Lyndon B. Johnson signs into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which includes the Fair Housing Act, a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr
  • 1980: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issues regulations specifically prohibiting sexual harassment of workers by supervisors.
  • 2002: U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, is convicted of taking bribes and kickbacks from businessmen and his own staff. 
  • 2009:  Susan Boyle, a middle-aged volunteer church worker, wows judges and audiences alike with her soaring rendition of "I Dreamed a Dream" from the musical "Les Miserables" on the British TV show "Britain’s Got Talent."
  • 2014: President Barack Obama, in a fiery speech at civil rights activist Al Sharpton’s National Action Network conference, accuses the GOP of using voting restrictions to keep voters from the polls and of jeopardizing 50 years of expanded ballot box access for millions of black Americans and other minorities. 
  • 2018: House Speaker Paul Ryan announces that he would retire rather than seek another term in Congress.
  • 2019: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is arrested by London police at the Ecuadorean Embassy and charged with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for aiding Chelsea Manning in the cracking of a password to a classified U.S. government computer in 2010.