On this day in history April 7, 1970 – John Wayne won his first and only Oscar for his role in “True Grit.” He had been in over 200 films.
1971 – U.S. President Nixon pledged to withdraw 100,000 more men from Vietnam by December.
1980 – The U.S. broke diplomatic relations with Iran and imposed economic sanctions in response to the taking of hostages on November 4, 1979.
1983 – Specialist Story Musgrave and Don Peterson made the first Space Shuttle spacewalk.
1983 – The Chinese government canceled all remaining sports and cultural exchanges with the U.S. for 1983.
1985 – In Goteborg, Sweden, China swept all of the world table tennis titles except for men’s doubles.
1985 – In Sudan, Gen. Swar el-Dahab took over the Presidency while President Gaafar el-Nimeiry was visiting the U.S. and Egypt.
1985 – The Soviet Union announced a unilateral freeze on medium-range nuclear missiles.
1987 – In Oklahoma a 16-month-old baby was killed by a pit bull. On the same day a 67-year-old man was killed by another pit bull in Dayton, OH.
1988 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev agreed to final terms of a Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan. Soviet troops began leaving on May 16, 1988.
1988 – In Fort Smith, AR, 13 white supremacists were acquitted on charges for plotting to overthrow the U.S. federal government.
1989 – A Soviet submarine carrying nuclear weapons sank in the Norwegian Sea.
1990 – In the U.S., John Poindexter was found guilty of five counts at his Iran-Contra trial. The convictions were later reversed on appeal.
1990 – At Cincinnati’s Contemporary Arts Center a display of Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs went on display. On the same day the center and its director were indicted on obscenity charges. The charges resulted in acquittal.
1994 – Civil war erupted in Rwanda between the Patriotic Front rebel group and government soldiers. Hundreds of thousands were slaughtered in the months that followed.
1998 – Mary Bono, the widow of Sonny Bono, won a special election to serve out the remainder of her husband’s congressional term.
1999 – Yugoslav authorities sealed off Kosovo’s main border crossings to prevent ethnic Albanians from leaving.