General Lee surrenders at Appomattox Court House, NASA picks its first seven astronauts, the Houston Astrodome opens, and Iraqis tear down Saddam Hussein's statue in a liberated Baghdad, all on this day.
1898: Actor, singer, football player and social activist Paul Robeson is born in Princeton, N.J. Robeson became a football All-American and the class valedictorian at Rutgers University and went on to play in the NFL while attending Columbia Law School. At Columbia, he became a participant in the "Harlem Renaissance" with performances in stage productions "The Emperor Jones" and "All God's Chillun Got Wings." Robeson became an international cinematic star in roles in "Show Boat," "Bosambo" and "Sanders of the River," but turned his focus to civil rights, becoming politically involved in response to the Spanish Civil War, fascism and social injustices. He died of complications of a stroke at age 77 on Jan. 23, 1976.
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