Today is Thursday, April 14, the 104th day of 2011. There are 261 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth during a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington; the president died nine hours later.
On this date:
In 1775, the first American society for the abolition of slavery was formed in Philadelphia.
In 1828, the first edition of Noah Webster's "American Dictionary of the English Language" was published.
In 1910, President William Howard Taft became the first U.S. chief executive to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game as the Washington Senators beat the Philadelphia Athletics 3-0.
In 1912, the British liner RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and began sinking.
In 1931, King Alfonso XIII of Spain went into exile, and the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed.
In 1949, at the conclusion of the so-called "Wilhelmstrasse Trial," 19 former Nazi Foreign Office officials were sentenced by an American tribunal in Nuremberg to prison terms ranging from four to 25 years.
In 1956, Ampex Corp. demonstrated the first successful videotape recorder at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention in Chicago.
In 1960, the musical "Bye Bye Birdie" opened on Broadway.
In 1981, the first test flight of America's first operational space shuttle, the Columbia, ended successfully with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1986, Americans got word of a U.S. air raid on Libya (because of the time difference, it was the early morning of April 15 where the attack occurred.) French feminist author Simone de Beauvoir died in Paris at age 78.
Ten years ago: The 24 crew members of the U.S. spy plane who'd been held in China for 11 days landed at their home base, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington, where they were greeted by thousands of friends, family members and other well-wishers.
Five years ago: President George W. Bush rebuffed recommendations from a growing number of retired generals that he replace Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, saying, "He has my full support." Kobe Bryant broke the Los Angeles Lakers' single-season scoring record, getting 50 points to eclipse Elgin Baylor's long-standing total of 2,719 points in a 110-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
One year ago: A magnitude-7 earthquake in a remote Tibetan region of China killed some 2,700 people and injured more than 10,000. The Eyjafjallajokul (ay-yah-FYAH'-lah-yer-kuhl) volcano in Iceland erupted, sending out an ash plume that led most northern European countries to close their airspace between April 15 and 20, grounding about 10 million travelers worldwide. Ultra marathoner and amputee Amy Palmiero-Winters won the Sullivan Award as America's top amateur athlete.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Bradford Dillman is 81. Actor Jay Robinson is 81. Country singer Loretta Lynn is 76. Actress Julie Christie is 71. Retired MLB All-Star Pete Rose is 70. Rock musician Ritchie Blackmore is 66. Actor John Shea is 62. Actor-race car driver Brian Forster is 51. Actor Brad Garrett is 51. Actor Robert Carlyle is 50. Rock singer-musician John Bell (Widespread Panic) is 49. Actor Robert Clendenin is 47. Actress Catherine Dent is 46. Actor Lloyd Owen is 45. Retired MLB All-Star Greg Maddux is 45. Rock musician Barrett Martin is 44. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 43. Actor Adrien Brody is 38. Classical singer David Miller is 38. Rapper DaBrat is 37. Actor Antwon Tanner is 36. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 34. Actor-producer Rob McElhenney is 34. Actress Vivien Cardone is 18. Actress Abigail Breslin is 15.
Thought for Today: "Change your life today. Don't gamble on the future, act now, without delay." _ Simone de Beauvoir (1908-1986).
(Above Advance for Use Thursday, April 14)
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.