Today in History

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Posted: Apr 09, 2011 12:01 AM
Today in History

Today is Saturday, April 9, the 99th day of 2011. There are 266 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 9, 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington after being denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

On this date:

In 1511, St. John's College at the University of Cambridge was established by charter.

In 1682, French explorer Robert de La Salle claimed the Mississippi River Basin for France.

In 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

In 1940, during World War II, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway.

In 1942, American and Philippine defenders on Bataan capitulated to Japanese forces; the surrender was followed by the notorious Bataan Death March which claimed thousands of lives.

In 1947, a series of tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas claimed 181 lives.

In 1959, NASA presented its first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 91, died in Phoenix, Ariz.

In 1965, the newly built Astrodome in Houston featured its first baseball game, an exhibition between the Astros and the New York Yankees. (The Astros won, 2-1, in 12 innings.)

In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger ended its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

In 1996, in a dramatic shift of purse-string power, President Bill Clinton signed a line-item veto bill into law. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the veto in 1998.)

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush sent Congress details of his $1.96 trillion budget for fiscal 2002, in which he targeted scores of federal programs to make room for his ten year, $1.6 trillion tax cut. American Airlines' parent company acquired bankrupt Trans World Airlines. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Stargell died in Wilmington, N.C., at age 61.

Five years ago: The White House sought to dampen the idea of a military strike on Iran, saying the United States was conducting "normal defense and intelligence planning" in response to Tehran's nuclear ambitions. More than half a million people in ten states rallied for immigrant rights. Phil Mickelson won his second Masters tournament.

One year ago: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement. (His vacancy was filled by Elena Kagan.) Wisconsin forward Blake Geoffrion, the grandson of Hockey Hall of Famer Bernie "Boom Boom" Geoffrion, received the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as college hockey's top player. Meinhardt Raabe, who'd played the Munchkin coroner in "The Wizard of Oz," died in Orange Park, Fla., at age 94.

Today's Birthdays: Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner is 85. Naturalist Jim Fowler is 79. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo is 78. Actress Michael Learned is 72. Country singer Margo Smith is 69. Country singer Hal Ketchum is 58. Actor Dennis Quaid is 57. Humorist Jimmy Tingle is 56. World Golf Hall of Famer Severiano Ballesteros is 54. Country musician Dave Innis (Restless Heart) is 52. Actress-sports reporter Lisa Guerrero is 47. Actor Mark Pellegrino is 46. Actress-model Paulina Porizkova is 46. Actress Cynthia Nixon is 45. Rock singer Kevin Martin (Candlebox) is 42. Rock singer Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) is 34. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is 32. Rock musician Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes) is 31. Actor Charlie Hunnam is 31. Actor Ryan Northcott is 31. Actor Jay Baruchel is 29. Actress Leighton Meester is 25. Actor-singer Jesse McCartney is 24. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazmine Sullivan is 24. Actress Kristen Stewart is 21. Actress Elle Fanning is 13. Classical crossover singer Jackie Evancho (ee-VAYN'-koh) (TV: "America's Got Talent") is 11.

Thought for Today: "I always felt that the great high privilege, relief and comfort of friendship was that one had to explain nothing." _ Katherine Mansfield, New Zealander author (1888-1923).

(Above Advance for Use Saturday, April 9)

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