Today is Monday, April 4, the 94th day of 2011. There are 271 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 4, 1968, civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., 39, was shot to death at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn. (James Earl Ray later pleaded guilty to assassinating King, then spent the rest of his life claiming his innocence before dying in 1998.)
On this date:
In 1818, Congress decided the flag of the United States would consist of 13 red and white stripes and 20 stars, with a new star to be added for every new state of the Union.
In 1841, President William Henry Harrison succumbed to pneumonia one month after his inaugural, becoming the first U.S. chief executive to die in office.
In 1850, the city of Los Angeles was incorporated.
In 1859, "Dixie" was performed publicly for the first time by Bryant's Minstrels at Mechanics' Hall in New York.
In 1949, 12 nations, including the United States, signed the North Atlantic Treaty in Washington, D.C.
In 1960, Elvis Presley recorded "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" in Nashville for RCA Victor.
In 1975, more than 130 people, most of them children, were killed when a U.S. Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crash-landed shortly after take-off from Saigon.
In 1981, Henry Cisneros became the first Hispanic elected mayor of a major U.S. city: San Antonio.
In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger roared into orbit on its maiden voyage.
In 1991, Sen. John Heinz, R-Pa., and six other people, including two children, were killed when a helicopter collided with Heinz's plane over a schoolyard in Merion, Pa.
Ten years ago: Chinese President Jiang Zemin (jahng zuh-MEEN') demanded the United States apologize for the collision between a U.S. Navy spy plane and a Chinese fighter jet; the Bush administration offered a chorus of regrets, but no apology. Hideo Nomo became the fourth pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter in both leagues with Boston's 3-0 victory over Baltimore.
Five years ago: The Iraq tribunal announced new criminal charges against Saddam Hussein and six others, accusing them of genocide and crimes against humanity stemming from a 1980s crackdown against Kurds. Denis Donaldson, a former Sinn Fein (shin fayn) official recently exposed as a British spy, was found fatally shot at his home in County Donegal, Ireland. Maryland beat Duke, 78-75, in overtime to win its first NCAA women's basketball title.
One year ago: At least 42 people were killed as suicide attackers detonated car bombs near embassies in Baghdad. A magnitude-7.2 earthquake killed two people in Mexicali, Mexico. A U.S.-Russian space team sent Easter greetings down to Earth after their Soyuz spacecraft docked flawlessly at the International Space Station.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Elizabeth Wilson is 90. Author-poet Maya Angelou is 83. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Ind., is 79. Recording executive Clive Davis is 79. Bandleader Hugh Masekela is 72. Author Kitty Kelley is 69. Actor Craig T. Nelson is 67. Actor Walter Charles is 66. Actress Christine Lahti is 61. Country singer Steve Gatlin (The Gatlin Brothers) is 60. Writer-producer David E. Kelley is 55. Actor Phil Morris is 52. Actress Lorraine Toussaint is 51. Actor Hugo Weaving is 51. Rock musician Craig Adams (The Cult) is 49. Actor David Cross is 47. Actor Robert Downey Jr. is 46. Actress Nancy McKeon is 45. Actor Barry Pepper is 41. Country singer Clay Davidson is 40. Rock singer Josh Todd (Buckcherry) is 40. Singer Jill Scott is 39. Rock musician Magnus Sveningsson (The Cardigans) is 39. Magician David Blaine is 38. Singer Kelly Price is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer Andre Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 37. Actor James Roday is 35. Actress Natasha Lyonne is 32. Actress Amanda Righetti is 28. Actress Jamie Lynn Spears is 20.
Thought for Today: "You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea." _ Medgar Evers, American civil rights activist (1926-1963).
(Above Advance for Use Monday, April 4)
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.