On this day: April 12

POSTED: 02:42 PM PDT Apr 09, 2013    UPDATED: 11:00 PM PDT Apr 11, 2016 

The American Civil War begins, FDR dies, a Soviet cosmonaut becomes the first human to travel into space, and the first space shuttle lifts off, all on this day.

OTD April 12 - Josephine Baker
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Public domain

1975: Dancer, singer and actress Josephine Baker, who became an international musical and political icon, dies of a cerebral hemorrhage at the age of 68 in Paris, France. Born Freda Josephine McDonald in St. Louis, Missouri, Baker was the first black woman to star in a major motion picture, 1934's "Zouzou," and the first to integrate an American concert hall. She also became known for her efforts contributing the American Civil Rights Movement and for assisting the French Resistance during World War II.


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