Highlights of this day in history: Cuban exiles invade Bay of Pigs; Three astronauts of Apollo 13 land safely in pacific ocean; Benjamin Franklin dies at age 84; JP Morgan born in Connecticut; Ford rolls out the Mustang convertible. (April 17)
DAVID MELENDI: April 17, 1961. Hundreds of Cuban exiles trained by the CIA invade Cuba's Bay of Pigs trying to topple Fidel Castro from power. But the invasion fails. A political embarrassment for President John F. Kennedy just months after taking office.
JOHN F. KENNEDY: This was a struggle of Cuban patriots against a Cuban dictator. While we could not be expected to hide our sympathies, we made it repeatedly clear that the armed forces of this country would not intervene in any way.
DAVID MELENDI: 1970. The three astronauts of Apollo 13 splashed down safely in the Pacific Ocean days after a ruptured oxygen tank cripples their spacecraft on their way to the moon. 1790. Benjamin Franklin, author, publisher, inventor, and one of America's most famous Founding Fathers, dies in Philadelphia at age 84.
1837. J. P. Morgan, a financial giant in American capitalism during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, is born in Hartford, Connecticut. And 1964. An automotive legend is born. Ford rolls out its sporty new convertible, the Mustang, at the New York World's Fair. It's an instant hit. "Today in History," April 17. David Melendi, the Associated Press.