Julius & Ethel Rosenberg
On April 5, 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg are sentenced to death after being found guilty of conspiring to transmit atomic secrets to the Soviet Union. The Rosenberg case began with the arrest of Klaus Fuchs, a German-born and U.S.-employed scientist who confessed to passing classified information about the U.S. atomic program to the Soviets. Following his 1950 conviction, U.S. authorities began an extensive investigation of Los Alamos, New Mexico, the top secret U.S. atomic development headquarters where Fuchs worked during the war.
Martin Luther King Jr. assassination scene
On April 4, 1968, Martin Luther King Jr. is shot to death at a hotel in Memphis, Tennessee. A single shot fired by James Earl Ray from over 200 feet away at a nearby motel struck King in the neck. He died an hour later at St. Joseph's Hospital. The death of America's leading civil rights advocate sparked a wave of rioting in the black communities of several cities around the country.
On April 3, 1882, one of America's most notorious outlaws, Jesse James, is shot to death by fellow gang member Robert Ford. For 16 years, Jesse and his brother, Frank, committed robberies and murders throughout the Midwest. Newspaper accounts and pulp novels glamorized the James gang, turning them into mythical Robin Hoods who were driven to crime by unethical landowners and bankers. In reality, Jesse James was a ruthless killer who stole only for himself.
On April 2, 1992, a jury in New York finds mobster John Gotti, guilty on 13 counts, including murder and racketeering. In the wake of the conviction, the assistant director of the FBI’s New York office, James Fox, was quoted as saying, “The don is covered in Velcro, and every charge stuck.” On June 23 of that year, Gotti was sentenced to life in prison, dealing a significant blow to organized crime.
On April 1, 1984, singer Marvin Gaye is murdered . At the peak of his career, Gaye was the Prince of Motown—the soulful voice behind many hits. Over the course of his roughly 25-year recording career, he moved successfully from upbeat pop to "message" music to satin-sheet soul, combining elements of Smokey Robinson, Bob Dylan and Barry White into one complicated and sometimes contradictory package.
John Reginald Christie was a notorious English serial killer active in the 1940s and early 1950s. He murdered at least eight females, including his wife Ethel, by strangling them in his flat at 10 Rillington Place, Notting Hill, London.
John Hickley Jr.
On March 30, 1981, John Hinckley, Jr. shoots President Ronald Reagan outside the Hilton Hotel in Washington D.C. The president had just completed an address to the Building and Construction Workers Union of the AFL-CIO. Hinckley was armed with a .22 revolver with exploding bullets and was only ten feet away from Reagan when he began shooting.