Today is Saturday, April 19, the 109th day of 2003. There are 256 days left in the year. On this date in 1775, the American Revolutionary War begins with the battles of Lexington and Concord.
In 1782, the Netherlands recognizes American independence. In 1893, the Oscar Wilde play "A Woman of No Importance" opens at the Haymarket Theatre in London. In 1933, the United States goes off the gold standard. In 1943, during World War II, tens of thousands of Jews living in the Warsaw Ghetto begin a valiant but futile battle against Nazi forces. In 1945, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical "Carousel" opens on Broadway. In 1951, Gen. Douglas MacArthur, relieved of his Far East command by President Truman, bids farewell to Congress, quoting a line from a ballad: "Old soldiers never die; they just fade away." In 1982, astronauts Sally K. Ride and Guion S. Bluford Jr. become the first woman and first African-American to be tapped for U.S. space missions. In 1989, 47 sailors are killed when a gun turret explodes aboard the USS Iowa. In 1995, a truck bomb destroys the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people and injuring hundreds. Timothy McVeigh is later convicted of federal murder charges and executed. In 1999, the German parliament inaugurates its new home in the restored Reichstag in Berlin, its prewar capital.
April 19, 1978: Thieves apparently looking for money or other loot pumped 14 small-caliber bullets in 63-year-old John Vodhanel Jr. as he sat in the dining room of his vintage farm house in Milton Township. Bloodhounds brought in by the Mahoning County Sheriff's Department locate several pieces of evidence.
The possibility that Youngstown Sheet & amp; Tube Co.'s highly profitable seamless tube mill may be moved elsewhere in the country, costing the area another 2,500 to 3,700 jobs directly and thousands of others indirectly, is raised by the Ecumenical Coalition of the Mahoning Valley.
After a prisoner complains that he was in the Mahoning County Jail for four months and the only time he saw Sheriff Michael Yarosh was on television, Mahoning County judges order the sheriff to make personal weekly inspections of the jail and file monthly reports.
April 19, 1963: A promise that the Youngstown Sheet & amp; Tube Co. will improve the rod and wire plant in Struthers is given by J.L. "Pete" Mauthe, retiring board chairman, who was guest of honor at the Struthers Businessman's Association dinner.
Isa Salman, owner of the Salman Food Market, 2047 Jacobs Road, is injured in a scuffle with a burglar he subdued at 5 a.m. Salman struck the 22-year-old intruder with a beer bottle and held him until police arrived.
Almost $1,900 is paid by motorists on overdue parking tickets as Youngstown continues a drive to clear its records of delinquent tickets. Some 1,000 warrants are being prepared for unpaid tickets dating to 1961.
April 19, 1953: Frank Purnell, 66, chairman of the board of Youngstown Sheet & amp; Tube Co., the Valley's leading industrialist and one of the top steel men in the nation, dies in the North Side Hospital.
Miss Nancy Ann Novotny, 19-year-old Youngstown girl who was a contestant in the finals of the Ohio Sesquicentennial beauty contest, is found dead in her room at the YWCA. A coroner's ruling is pending.
Continued cold weather is predicted for the Youngstown district with mercury expected to drop to a low of 20 degrees, threatening to kill many fruit crops and spring flowers already in bloom.
April 19, 1928: About $46,000 will be spent in Mill Creek Park for the construction of a dam to impound Lake Newport in the upper end of the park, according to Dr. H. L. Morgan, member of the board of park commissioners.
Louis Hricko's daughters, age 13 and 15, suffer scalp wounds when struck in the head by the butt of a burglar's revolver. The burglar who invaded the family home on Salt Springs Road is later shot through both hips by police.
Two thousand bottles of beer confiscated by vice squad officers in recent weeks are dumped into the Mahoning River.