On this day April 2 …
2014: A spree shooting at the Fort Hood army base in Texas leaves four dead, including the gunman, and 16 others injured.
Also on this day:
1513: Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León first sights land in what is now the state of Florida.1792: The Coinage Act is passed establishing the United States Mint.1900: The United States Congress passes the Foraker Act, giving Puerto Rico limited self-rule.1902: “Electric Theatre”, the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opens in Los Angeles.1911: The Australian Bureau of Statistics conducts the country’s first national census.1912: The ill-fated RMS Titanic begins sea trials.1917: President Woodrow Wilson asks Congress for a declaration of war on Germany.1956: “As the World Turns” and “The Edge of Night” premiere on CBS and become the first daytime TV dramas to debut in the 30-minute format.1972: Charlie Chaplin returns to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s.1973: The LexisNexis computerized legal research service launches.1986: Alabama governor George Wallace, a former segregationist best known for the “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door”, announces that he will not seek a fifth four-year term and will retire from public life upon the end of his term in January 1987.1989: Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev arrives in Havana, Cuba, to meet with Fidel Castro in an attempt to mend strained relations.
John Gotti, center, enters the Brooklyn Federal courthouse with Sammy "The Bull" Gravano in New York City. (Getty)
1992: In New York, Mafia boss John Gotti is convicted of murder and racketeering; he would be sentenced to life in prison.2004: Islamist terrorists involved in the March 11, 2004 Madrid attacks attempt — and fail — to bomb the Spanish high-speed train AVE near Madrid.2006: More than 60 tornadoes break out in the United States; Tennessee is the hardest hit with 29 people killed.