This Week in History: Train from Albert Lea derails in Glenville

Published 2:54 pm Tuesday, April 7, 2020

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April 7, 1990: Judge Thomas R. Butler sentenced Vernon Olaf Bentson to 13 years in state prison for the second-degree murder of Bonnie Lou Haugen.

Mike Stensrud, former pro football player and native of Lake Mills, spoke at the Albert Lea Quarterback Club’s celebrity dinner. Stensrud, a former linebacker, discussed his career in the NFL.

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April 7, 1980: A Chicago and Northwestern freight train en route to Mason City from Albert Lea derailed just south of Glenville. Seven grain cars left the tracks, with four of them tipping over and spilling grain into the ditch.



2015: President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raoul Castro sat down together on the sidelines of the Summit of the Americas in Panama City in the first formal meeting of the two countries’ leaders in half a century.

2009: Somali pirates hijacked the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama; although the crew was able to retake the cargo ship, the captain, Richard Phillips, was taken captive by the raiders and held aboard a lifeboat. (Phillips was rescued four days later by Navy SEAL snipers who shot three of the pirates dead.)

2003: Jubilant Iraqis celebrated the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, beheading a toppled statue of their longtime ruler in downtown Baghdad and embracing American troops as liberators.

1994: Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead in Seattle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; he was 27.

1990: Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance had gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18.

1983: Space shuttle astronauts Story Musgrave and Don Peterson went on the first U.S. spacewalk in almost a decade as they worked in the open cargo bay of Challenger for nearly four hours.

1981: President Ronald Reagan returned to the White House from the hospital, 12 days after he was wounded in an assassination attempt.

April 11, 1980: The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued regulations specifically prohibiting sexual harassment of workers by supervisors.

1979: Officials declared an end to the crisis involving the Three Mile Island Unit 2 nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania, 12 days after a partial core meltdown.

1974: Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking Babe Ruth’s record.

1970: Apollo 13, with astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise and Jack Swigert, blasted off on its ill-fated mission to the moon.

1968: Funeral services, private and public, were held for Martin Luther King Jr. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and Morehouse College in Atlanta, five days after the civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which included the Fair Housing Act, a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

1965: Dozens of tornadoes raked six Midwestern states on Palm Sunday, killing 271 people.

1959: NASA presented its first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton.

1954: Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., responding to CBS newsman Edward R. Murrow’s broadside against him on “See It Now,” said in remarks filmed for the program that Murrow had, in the past, “engaged in propaganda for Communist causes.”

1952: President Harry S. Truman seized the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike by steelworkers.)

1945: During World War II, the Japanese warship Yamato and nine other vessels sailed on a suicide mission to attack the U.S. fleet off Okinawa; the fleet was intercepted the next day.

American soldiers liberated the Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in Germany.

April 9, 1942: During World War II, some 75,000 Philippine and American defenders on Bataan surrendered to Japanese troops, who forced the prisoners into what became known as the Bataan Death March; thousands died or were killed en route.

1927: The image and voice of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover were transmitted live from Washington to New York in the first successful long-distance demonstration of television.

1917: The United States entered World War I as the House joined the Senate in approving a declaration of war against Germany that was then signed by President Woodrow Wilson.

April 10, 1912: The British liner RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage.

April 6, 1896: The first modern Olympic games formally opened in Athens, Greece.

1865: Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

President Abraham Lincoln spoke to a crowd outside the White House, saying, “We meet this evening, not in sorrow, but in gladness of heart.” (It was the last public address Lincoln would deliver.)

April 8, 1864: The United States Senate passed, 38-6, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery. (The House of Representatives passed it in January 1865; the amendment was ratified and adopted in December 1865.)