Today is Wednesday, April 13, the 103rd day of 2011. There are 262 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 13, 1861, Fort Sumter in South Carolina fell as the Union commander, Maj. Robert Anderson, agreed to surrender in the face of the Confederates' relentless bombardment.
On this date:
In 1598, King Henry IV of France endorsed the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to the Protestant Huguenots. (The edict was abrogated in 1685 by King Louis XIV, who declared France entirely Catholic again.)
In 1742, Handel's "Messiah" was first performed publicly, in Dublin, Ireland.
In 1743, the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was born in Shadwell in the Virginia Colony.
In 1860, the Pony Express completed its inaugural run from St. Joseph, Mo. to Sacramento, Calif. in 10 days.
In 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial.
In 1958, Van Cliburn of the United States won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition for piano in Moscow; Russian Valery Klimov won the violin competition.
In 1960, the U.S. Navy's Transit 1B navigational satellite was successfully launched into orbit.
In 1970, Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. (The astronauts managed to return safely.)
In 1981, Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke received a Pulitzer Prize for her feature about an 8-year-old heroin addict named "Jimmy"; however, Cooke relinquished the prize two days later, admitting she'd fabricated the story.
In 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Great Synagogue of Rome in the first recorded papal visit of its kind to a Jewish house of worship.
Ten years ago: With the crew of a U.S. spy plane safely back in the United States, American officials gave their detailed version of what happened when the plane collided with a Chinese fighter on April 1; the U.S. said its plane was struck by the jet. (China maintained that the U.S. plane rammed the fighter.)
Five years ago: Confessed al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE'-uhs moo-SOW'-ee) expressed no remorse for his role in the 9/11 attacks as he took the stand for the second time in his death-penalty trial in Alexandria, Va. British author Dame Muriel Spark died in Florence, Italy, at age 88.
One year ago: World leaders concluded a 47-nation nuclear security conference in Washington, endorsing President Barack Obama's call for securing all of the globe's vulnerable nuclear materials within four years, but offering few specifics for achieving that goal. First lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden made a surprise visit to Haiti, the scene of a devastating earthquake three months earlier.
Today's Birthdays: Movie director Stanley Donen is 87. Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., is 78. Actor Lyle Waggoner is 76. Actor Edward Fox is 74. Actor Paul Sorvino is 72. Poet Seamus Heaney is 72. Movie-TV composer Bill Conti is 69. Rock musician Jack Casady is 67. Actor Tony Dow is 66. Singer Al Green is 65. Author-journalist Christopher Hitchens is 62. Actor Ron Perlman is 61. Actor William Sadler is 61. Singer Peabo Bryson is 60. Bandleader/rock musician Max Weinberg is 60. Bluegrass singer-musician Sam Bush is 59. Rock musician Jimmy Destri is 57. Singer-musician Louis Johnson (The Brothers Johnson) is 56. Comedian Gary Kroeger is 54. Actress Saundra Santiago is 54. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa., is 51. Rock musician Joey Mazzola (Sponge) is 50. Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is 48. Actress Page Hannah is 47. Actress-comedian Caroline Rhea (RAY) is 47. Rock musician Lisa Umbarger is 46. Rock musician Marc Ford is 45. Reggae singer Capleton is 44. Actor Ricky Schroder is 41. Rock singer Aaron Lewis (Staind) is 39. Actor Bokeem Woodbine is 38. Singer Lou Bega is 36. Actor-producer Glenn Howerton is 35. Actress Courtney Peldon is 30. Pop singer Nellie McKay (mih-KY') is 29.
Thought for Today: "Happiness is not the absence of problems but the ability to deal with them." _ Charles Louis de Montesquieu, French philosopher (1689-1755).
(Above Advance for Use Wednesday, April 13)
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.