On this day: April 12

Published On: Apr 09 2013 04:42:55 PM CDT   Updated On: Apr 12 2015 01:00:00 AM CDT

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.

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Digital Globe via Wikimedia Commons

2011: Japan ranks its nuclear crisis at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant at the highest possible severity on an international scale -- the same level as the 1986 Chernobyl disaster -- even as it insisted radiation leaks were declining at its tsunami-crippled nuclear plant.


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