Today in History

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Posted: Apr 15, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Friday, April 15, the 105th day of 2011. There are 260 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 15, 1861, following the Confederate takeover of Fort Sumter, President Abraham Lincoln declared a state of insurrection and called out Union troops.

On this date:

In 1817, the first permanent American school for the deaf opened in Hartford, Conn.

In 1850, the city of San Francisco was incorporated.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died, nine hours after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford's Theater in Washington. Andrew Johnson became the nation's 17th president.

In 1912, the British luxury liner RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland, less than three hours after striking an iceberg; some 1,500 people died.

In 1945, during World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.

In 1947, Jackie Robinson, baseball's first black major league player, made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day. (The Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves, 5-3.)

In 1959, Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrived in Washington to begin a goodwill tour of the United States. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles resigned for health reasons (he was succeeded by Christian A. Herter).

In 1960, a three-day conference to form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) began at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. (The group's first chairman was Marion Barry.)

In 1980, existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre died in Paris at age 74.

In 1986, the United States launched an air raid against Libya in response to the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin on April 5; Libya said 37 people, mostly civilians, were killed.

Ten years ago: U.N. investigators arrested Bosnian Serb army officer Dragan Obrenovic (oh-BREHN'-uh-vich) in connection with the Serbian Army's slaughter of some 7,000 Muslim men and boys. (Obrenovic later pleaded guilty to five war crimes charges and testified against his one-time superior officers; he was sentenced to 17 years in prison.) Punk rock icon Joey Ramone, 49, died of lymphoma at a New York hospital.

Five years ago: A U.S. airstrike aimed at militants holed up in eastern Kunar province in Afghanistan mistakenly killed seven civilians.

One year ago: An ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano drifted over northern Europe, causing the largest disruption of flights since the 2001 terror attacks. President Barack Obama, visiting the Kennedy Space Center, predicted his new space exploration plans would lead American astronauts to Mars and back in his lifetime. Civil rights leader Benjamin Hooks, one-time executive director of the NAACP, died in Memphis, Tenn. at age 85.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Michael Ansara is 89. Country singer Roy Clark is 78. Author and politician Jeffrey Archer is 71. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 67. Actor Michael Tucci is 65. Actress Lois Chiles is 64. Writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is 64. Actress Amy Wright is 61. Columnist Heloise is 60. Actress-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 52. Bluegrass musician Jeff Parker is 50. Singer Samantha Fox is 45. Rock musician Ed O'Brien (Radiohead) is 43. Actor Flex Alexander is 41. Actor Danny Pino is 37. Actor-writer Seth Rogen is 29. Actress Alice Braga is 28. Rock musician De'Mar Hamilton (Plain White T's) is 27. Actress Emma Watson is 21.

Thought for Today: "We do not know what we want and yet we are responsible for what we are _ that is the fact." _ Jean-Paul Sartre (1905-1980).

(Above Advance for Use Friday, April 15)

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