On This Day: Kuwait says it foiled Bush assassination attempt

April 26 (UPI) — On this date in history:

In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives of the Philippine Islands during his attempt to be the first to circumnavigate the world. His co-leader, Juan Sebastian de Elcano, completed the voyage in 1522.

In 1749, George Frideric Handel’s “Fireworks Music” was first performed.

In 1810, Ludwig van Beethoven composed “Fur Elise.”

In 1865, the steamboat Sultana, heavily overloaded with an estimated 2,300 passengers, most of them Union soldiers on their way home, exploded on the Mississippi River just north of Memphis. The death toll in the worst maritime disaster in U.S. history was set at 1,450.

In 1897, the cornerstone was laid for Grant’s Tomb in New York City’s Riverside Park. A holiday had been declared for the occasion and an enormous crowd turned out in honor of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th president and Civil War general who died 12 years earlier.

In 1932, prohibition and birth control were to be raised during the formal business meeting of the League of Women Voters in the run-up to the 1932 elections.

In 1937, the first Social Security payment was made in the United States.

In 1970, Edward N. Cole, president of General of Motors Corp., predicted the internal combustion engine would overcome pollution problems and remain the power source for passenger cars for at least 20 years.

In 1991, an estimated 70 tornadoes hit Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa, killing 23 people and leaving thousands homeless.

In 1993, Kuwait said it foiled an Iraqi plot to assassinate former President George H.W. Bush during his visit earlier in the month.

In 1994, Virginia executed a condemned killer in the first case in which DNA testing was used to obtain a conviction.

In 2008, police said a 73-year-old Austrian man, Josef Fritzl, had been accused of fathering several children with his daughter while holding her captive in a cellar for 24 years. Fritzl was eventually sentenced to life in prison.

In 2009, General Motors announced it would drop the Pontiac line.

In 2011, a record outbreak of 358 tornadoes carved a devastating path through parts of 21 states from Texas to New York and on into Canada, hitting southern states hardest. Nearly 300 fatalities were reported, mostly in Alabama, over a four-day period.

In 2012, President Barack Obama said the nation had made “extraordinary progress” in recovering from an economic crisis, which he called the worst since the 1930s.

In 2013, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, long a gun-safety advocate, would tap into his own resources and help as a “political counterweight” to the National Rifle Association, a mayoral aide said.

In 2014, tens of thousands of people gathered at the Vatican for the canonization of two former popes, John XXIII and John Paul II.

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