April 11 (UPI) — On this date in history:
In 1945, Allied troops liberated Buchenwald concentration camp in Germany. French writer Marcel Conversy would describe his 15 months there as a “living hell.”
In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson became the first African-American player to take the field for a Major League Baseball team, playing in an exhibition game against the New York Yankees. Four days later, on April 15, Robinson made his official MLB debut, playing on opening day at Ebbets Field against the Boston Braves.
In 1951, President Harry Truman relieved Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his command in Korea.
In 1968, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act, granting fair housing options to all regardless of race, religion or national origin.
In 1970, the Apollo 13 spacecraft was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on the third U.S. moon-landing mission. The attempt was aborted after an oxygen tank exploded but the astronauts safely returned to Earth.
In 1983, voters elected Harold Washington as the first African-American mayor of Chicago.
In 1989, Philadelphia Flyers’ Ron Hextall became the first NHL goaltender to score in a playoff game, defeating the Washington Capitals.
In 1993, a riot that would last 11 days erupted at the maximum-security Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville. Nine inmates and a guard died.
In 1996, 7-year-old Jessica Dubroff, trying to become the youngest person to pilot a plane across the United States, her father and her flight instructor were killed when their plane crashed on takeoff from Cheyenne, Wyo.
In 2002, Rep. James Traficant, D-Ohio, was convicted of racketeering and corruption. He served seven years in prison.
In 2006, Ariel Sharon was officially relieved of his duties as prime minister of Israel when the Cabinet declared him to be permanently incapacitated. Sharon had a major stroke on Jan. 4, 2006, and fell into a coma a short time later. He died in 2014.
In 2011, France became the first European nation to ban the wearing of full veils in public.
In 2020, the United States surpassed Italy to have the highest death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic — nearly 20,000. A year later, the United States still has the most deaths, with more than 550,000.