Spanish Influenza breaks out, Janet Reno is confirmed as the first female attorney general, and a massive earthquake and tsunami cripple Japan, all on this day.
1926: Ralph Abernathy, a pastor and civil rights leader, is born in Linden, Ala. A close associate of Martin Luther King Jr. in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Abernathy was with King in Memphis, Tenn., when he was assassinated. He took up leadership of the SCLC's Poor People's Campaign after King's assassination. He died at age 64 on April 17, 1990, from two blood clots that had traveled to his heart and lungs.
National Archives and Records Administration
Warner Bros. Pictures
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