Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Apr 16, 2011 12:00 AM
Today in History

Today is Saturday, April 16, the 106th day of 2011. There are 259 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 16, 1789, President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Va., for his inauguration in New York.

On this date:

In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia.

In 1879, St. Bernadette, who'd described seeing visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, died in Nevers (neh-VEHR'), France.

In 1910, Boston Arena (now Matthews Arena) first opened.

In 1917, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returned to Russia after years of exile.

In 1947, the French ship Grandcamp blew up at the harbor in Texas City, Texas; another ship, the High Flyer, exploded the following day. The blasts and resulting fires killed nearly 600 people.

In 1960, shortly before midnight, rock-and-roll performer Eddie Cochran, 21, was fatally injured in a taxi crash in Chippenham, Wiltshire, England (he died the next day).

In 1972, Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon.

In 1991, Sir David Lean, director of "The Bridge on the River Kwai," "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago," died in London at age 83.

In 1996, Britain's Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced they were in the process of divorcing.

In 2007, in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history, student Seung-Hui Cho (sung-wee joh) killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech before taking his own life.

Ten years ago: Israel launched an air strike against a strategic Syrian radar station in Lebanon, killing three Syrian soldiers. The Oregonian of Portland won two Pulitzer Prizes. In breaking news reporting, The Miami Herald won for its coverage of the pre-dawn raid by federal agents who took custody of Elian Gonzalez; the story also produced the breaking news photography award for Alan Diaz of The Associated Press. Michael Chabon won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay"; David Auburn won for his play "Proof." Lee Bong-ju of South Korea won the 105th Boston Marathon; Catherine Ndereba (dah-REH'-bah) of Kenya won the women's race for the second consecutive year.

Five years ago: In his first Easter message as pontiff, Pope Benedict XVI urged nations to use diplomacy to defuse nuclear crises and prayed that Palestinians would one day have their own state alongside Israel.

One year ago: The U.S government accused Wall Street's most powerful firm of fraud, saying Goldman Sachs & Co. had sold mortgage investments without telling buyers the securities were crafted with input from a client who was betting on them to fail. (In July 2010, Goldman agreed to pay $550 million in a settlement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, but did not admit legal wrongdoing.)

Today's Birthdays: Pope Benedict XVI is 84. Actor Peter Mark Richman is 84. Singer Bobby Vinton is 76. Denmark's Queen Margrethe II is 71. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 64. NFL coach Bill Belichick is 59. Rock singer-turned-politician Peter Garrett is 58. Actress Ellen Barkin is 57. Rock musician Jason Scheff (Chicago) is 49. Singer Jimmy Osmond is 48. Rock singer David Pirner (Soul Asylum) is 47. Actor-comedian Martin Lawrence is 46. Actor Jon Cryer is 46. Rock musician Dan Rieser is 45. Actor Peter Billingsley is 40. Actor Lukas Haas is 35.

Thought for Today: "The only graceful way to accept an insult is to ignore it; if you can't ignore it, top it; if you can't top it, laugh at it; if you can't laugh at it, it's probably deserved." _ Russell Lynes, American writer (1910-1991).

(Above Advance for Use Saturday, April 16)

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