The United States captures the Confederate States’ Capitol – Richmond.
Oscar Wilde instigates libel charges for (accurate) accusations that he was homosexual. It would set in motion a turn of events under which the Irish author would ultimately be sent to two-years hard labor for “gross indecency.” The libel and subsequent criminal trial are the subject of the play, “Gross Indecency: The Trials of Oscar Wilde.”
President Truman signs the Marshall Plan, which authorized $5 billion in aid to help reconstruct Europe. By 1952, as the funding ended, the economy of every participant state had surpassed pre-war levels; for all Marshall Plan recipients, output in 1951 was at least 35% higher than in 1938. It was considered a major element of the Truman Doctrine’s effort to contain Soviet advances in Europe.
Martin Luther King delivers his prophetic “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” speech the night before his assassination.
Martin Cooper of Motorola made the first handheld mobile phone call to Joel S. Engel of Bell Labs, though it took ten years for the DynaTAC 8000X to become the first such phone to be commercially released.
The Osborne 1, the first successful portable computer, is unveiled at the West Coast Computer Faire in San Francisco.
Commerce Secretary Ron Brown, the first African-American to head an major American political party, killed in plane crash over Croatia.
United States v. Microsoft: Microsoft is ruled to have violated United States antitrust laws by keeping “an oppressive thumb” on its competitors.
French LTV train sets world speed record – 357 mph.