On This Day April 2
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1917 – The first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress, Jeannette Rankin, takes her seat as a representative from Montana. A year later, she earns a second distinction by joining 49 of her House colleagues in voting against U.S. entry into World War I. Rankin remained true to her antiwar beliefs, becoming the only member of Congress to oppose declaring war against Japan following the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor.
1978 – “Dallas” premieres in primetime on CBS, starring Larry Hagman as the devious and despised oil tycoon J.R. Ewing. Launched as a five-episode miniseries, the ratings juggernaut delivers audiences 356 episodes over 14 seasons, turning its actors into international stars and J.R. and Southfork Ranch into household names.
2005 – John Paul II, history’s most well-traveled pope and the first non-Italian to serve as head of the Roman Catholic Church since the 16th century, dies at his home in the Vatican at the age of 84. Six days later, two million people pack Vatican City for his funeral, believed to be the most-attended funeral of all time.
1957 – Elvis Presley performs at the Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto, Canada. It is one of only five concert appearances The King ever makes outside the U.S. The tour marks the first and last time that Elvis wears his now-legendary gold lamé suit.
1977 – “Rumours,” by Fleetwood Mac, climbs to No. 1 on the Billboard album chart and remains there for 31 weeks. The album contains tracks that became huge hits for the band, including the chart-topping “Dreams” and Top-10 singles “Go Your Own Way,” “Don’t Stop” and “You Make Loving Fun.”