FDR dies, Wilmington riots, U.S. fighting in Iraq: News Journal archives, week of April 7

"Pages of history" features excerpts from The News Journal archives including the Wilmington Morning News and the Evening Journal.

April 7, 2004, The News Journal

U.S. reports heavy losses as battles spread in Iraq

Baghdad, Iraq – Sunni Muslim insurgents killed about a dozen U.S. Marines in heavy fighting Tuesday in the western city of Ramadi, a military spokesman said. Troops from the United States and several allied countries also came under fire from militiamen loyal to Muqtada al-Sadr, a militant Shiite Muslim cleric, in cities across southern Iraq….

In addition to the Marines killed, about 20 were wounded and an M1-A1 Abrams tank and a Bradley fighting vehicle were hit and damaged, the official said. He added that the Marines inflicted “heavy casualties” on their attackers.

Front page of The News Journal from April 7, 2004.
Front page of The News Journal from April 7, 2004.

In nearby Fallujah, Marine officers said that after two days and nights of fighting, they had established control over much of the city where four civilian contractors were killed last week….

A soldier from Ukraine and a Bulgarian civilian were killed in the fighting in southern Iraq.

In addition to Tuesday’s casualities, the U.S. military reported that five Marines were killed Monday…and five Army soldiers were killed between Sunday and Tuesday….

U.S. officials acknowledged the violence but said it would not alter the June 30 date for transferring sovereignty to an Iraqi government….

“We’ve got tough work there because, you see, there are terrorists there who would rather kill innocent people than allow for the advance of freedom,” President George W. Bush said….

More military and veterans news: How Delaware is using murals to help bridge communities across the state

April 9, 1968, Wilmington Morning News

City unrest quelled after 4-hour burst

Police restored order in Wilmington last night after a four-hour outbreak of sniping, looting and firebombing that put the city under a state of emergency....

Helmeted officers had little trouble clearing the streets.

The curfew will begin at 7:30 tonight, according to Mayor John E. Babiarz….

Front page of The Morning News from April 9, 1968.
Front page of The Morning News from April 9, 1968.

The wave of violence left 12 persons injured, one seriously. At least two persons suffered gunshot wounds. There were 13 firebombings and 19 reported lootings, mostly in a 12-block area of West Center City. Fifty-one persons were arrested.

About 50 state troopers were ordered into the city by Gov. Charles L. Terry Jr. and 1,200 National Guard troops were activated. Neither the troopers nor the guardsmen were needed to quell the disorders. Terry sent 1,100 of the guardsmen home.

The disturbances began ... following a memorial service in Rodney Square for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

April 10, 2003, The News Journal

Bagdad falls; citizens rejoice freely

Their hour of freedom at hand, jubilant Iraqis celebrated the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s murderous regime Wednesday, beheading a toppled statue of their longtime ruler in downtown Baghdad and embracing American troops as liberators.

“I’m 49, but I never lived a single day. Only now will I start living,” said Yussuf Abed Kazim, a mosque preacher.

Front page of The News Journal from April 10, 2003.
Front page of The News Journal from April 10, 2003.

A young Iraqi spat on a portrait of Saddam. Men hugged Americans in full combat gear, and women held up babies so soldiers riding on tanks could kiss them.

Iraqis released decades of pent-up fury as U.S. forces solidified their grip on the capital. Marine tanks rolled to the eastern bank of the Tigris River. The Army was on the western side of the waterway that curls through the ancient city….

“We are not seeing any organized resistance,” said Navy Capt. Frank Thorp at the U.S. Central Command….

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld said Saddam “is taking his rightful place” alongside such brutal dictators of the past as Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin and Vladimir Lenin….

Catch up on history: FDR asks to alter Supreme Court, Beatles invade: The News Journal archives, week of Feb. 4

April 13, 1945, Wilmington Morning News

Roosevelt dies suddenly; Truman takes oath as 32nd president

President Franklin D. Roosevelt died unexpectedly Thursday at 4:35 p.m. of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Ga.

Mr. Roosevelt’s last words were: “I have a terrific headache.”

The funeral will be in the White House East Room in Washington at 4 p.m. Saturday. Burial will be at the Roosevelt ancestral home at Hyde Park, N.Y., Sunday….

Front page of the Wilmington Morning News from April 13, 1945.
Front page of the Wilmington Morning News from April 13, 1945.

Mr. Roosevelt, in the third month of his fourth term as president, went to Warm Springs three weeks ago to rest.

Mrs. Roosevelt planned to fly to Georgia last night. She left the White House at 7:15 after informing their four sons by wire of their father’s death.

The death removed from world councils one of the Big Three — Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin — who worked together to win the war and laid joint plans for keeping the peace….

Harry S. Truman, who 11 years ago was a Missouri county judge, became the 32nd president of the United States at 7:09 p.m. Thursday and solemnly pledged himself to Roosevelt’s policies….

Reach reporter Ben Mace at rmace@gannett.com.

This article originally appeared on Delaware News Journal: FDR dies, Wilmington riots: News Journal archives, week of April 7