On this day: April 12

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

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 - Boss Tweed
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Public domain

1878: William Magear "Boss" Tweed, the politician most notable for being the "boss" of Tammany Hall, the Democratic Party political machine that played a major role in the politics of 19th century New York City and state, dies in New York City's Ludlow Street Jail from severe pneumonia at the age of 55. Tweed, who earlier had spent a year in jail for stealing up to $45 million from New York City taxpayers through political corruption, was waiting for a civil trial in which New York State was seeking to recover $6 million in embezzled funds when he died.

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