Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Apr 05, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Tuesday, April 5, the 95th day of 2011. There are 270 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 5, 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death following their conviction in New York on charges of conspiring to commit espionage for the Soviet Union; co-defendant Morton Sobell was sentenced to 30 years in prison (he was released in 1969).

On this date:

In 1614, Pocahontas, daughter of the leader of the Powhatan tribe, married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia. (A convert to Christianity, she went by the name Lady Rebecca.)

In 1621, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts on a monthlong return trip to England.

In 1792, George Washington cast the first presidential veto, rejecting a congressional measure for apportioning representatives among the states.

In 1811, English philanthropist Robert Raikes, a promoter of Sunday schools, died in Gloucester, England, at age 74.

In 1895, Oscar Wilde lost his criminal libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry, who'd accused the writer of homosexual practices.

In 1964, Army General Douglas MacArthur died in Washington at age 84.

In 1976, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes died in Houston at age 70.

In 1986, two American servicemen and a Turkish woman were killed in the bombing of a West Berlin discotheque, an incident which prompted a U.S. air raid on Libya more than a week later.

In 1988, a 15-day hijacking ordeal began as gunmen forced a Kuwait Airways jumbo jet to land in Iran.

In 1991, former Sen. John Tower, R-Texas, his daughter Marian and 21 other people were killed in a commuter plane crash near Brunswick, Ga.

Ten years ago: The United States and China intensified negotiations for the release of an American spy plane's crew; President George W. Bush, in a conciliatory gesture, expressed regret over the plane's in-flight collision with a Chinese fighter that triggered the tense standoff. Dutch driver Perry Wacker was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 14 years in prison in the deaths of 58 Chinese immigrants who'd suffocated in his truck in Dover, England. Wang Zhizhi became the first Chinese player to play in the NBA when he took the court for Dallas against Atlanta. (Wang scored six points and grabbed three rebounds as the Mavericks beat the Hawks 108-94.)

Five years ago: Duke University's lacrosse coach resigned and the school canceled the rest of the season amid a burgeoning controversy involving allegations that three players on the highly ranked team had raped a stripper at an off-campus party. (The rape charges were later dropped, and the players exonerated.) Katie Couric announced she was leaving NBC's "Today" show to become anchor of "The CBS Evening News." Singer Gene Pitney was found dead in his hotel room in Cardiff, Wales; he was 66.

One year ago: An explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine near Charleston, W.Va., killed 29 workers. In a televised rescue, 115 Chinese coal miners were freed after spending eight days trapped in a flooded mine, surviving an accident that had killed 38. The WikiLeaks website posted classified video of Apache helicopters gunning down unarmed men in Iraq on July 12, 2007, including two Reuters journalists. The Duke Blue Devils defeated the Butler Bulldogs 61-59, capturing a fourth NCAA men's basketball title. The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame announced its latest inductees, including NBA stars Karl Malone, Scottie Pippen, Dennis Johnson and Gus Johnson.

Today's Birthdays: Movie producer Roger Corman is 85. Country music producer Cowboy Jack Clement is 80. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is 74. Country singer Tommy Cash is 71. Actor Michael Moriarty is 70. Pop singer Allan Clarke (The Hollies) is 69. Writer-director Peter Greenaway is 69. Actor Max Gail is 68. Actress Jane Asher is 65. Singer Agnetha (ag-NEE'-tah) Faltskog (ABBA) is 61. Actor Mitch Pileggi is 59. Rock musician Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) is 45. Country singer Troy Gentry is 44. Singer Paula Cole is 43. Actress Krista Allen is 40. Country singer Pat Green is 39. Rapper-producer Pharrell (fa-REHL') Williams is 38.

Thought for Today: "I realized a long time ago that a belief which does not spring from a conviction in the emotions is no belief at all." _ Evelyn Scott, American author (1893-1963).

(Above Advance for Use Tuesday, April 5)

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