Today is Easter Sunday, April 24, the 114th day of 2011. There are 251 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 24, 1961, in the wake of the failed Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, the White House issued a statement saying that President John F. Kennedy "bears sole responsibility for the events of the past few days."
On this date:
In 1792, the national anthem of France, "La Marseillaise" (lah mahr-say-YEHZ'), was composed by Captain Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.
In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.
In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States. (The United States responded in kind the next day.)
In 1915, what's widely regarded as the start of the Armenian genocide began as the Ottoman Empire rounded up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople.
In 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The rising was put down by British forces almost a week later.)
In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1960, rioting erupted in Biloxi, Miss., after black protesters staging a "wade-in" at a whites-only beach were attacked by a crowd of hostile whites.
In 1970, the People's Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, "The East is Red."
In 1980, the United States launched an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen.
In 1986, Wallis, Duchess of Windsor, for whom King Edward VIII had given up the British throne, died in Paris at age 89.
Ten years ago: A New Zealand air force plane rescued four ailing Americans at an Antarctic research station. Reformer Junichiro Koizumi (joon-ee-chee-roh koh-ee-zoo-mee) was chosen president of Japan's ruling party, guaranteeing his election as the country's next prime minister. The Supreme Court ruled, 5-4, that police can arrest and handcuff people for minor traffic offenses. The Rev. Leon Sullivan, a pioneering civil rights crusader credited with helping end South Africa's system of apartheid, died in Scottsdale, Ariz., at age 78.
Five years ago: Terrorist bombings killed at least 23 people at a beach resort on Egypt's Sinai Peninsula. Speaking in Irvine, Calif., President George W. Bush said those calling for deporting all of the nation's estimated 11 million illegal immigrants back to their home countries were being "unrealistic." Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum, spiritual leader of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, died in New York at age 91.
One year ago: The policy-setting panel of the International Monetary Fund, with a nervous eye on Greece, pledged during a meeting in Washington to address the risks posed to the global recovery from high government debt. A dozen people were killed by a tornado system that bumped down in Louisiana before plowing into Mississippi and then Alabama. Etiquette expert Elizabeth Post (granddaughter-in-law of Emily Post) died in Naples, Fla. at 89.
Today's Birthdays: Film and drama critic Stanley Kauffmann is 95. Movie director-producer Richard Donner is 81. Actress Shirley MacLaine is 77. Author Sue Grafton is 71. Actor-singer Michael Parks is 71. Actress-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 69. Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 69. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 68. Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 66. Rock singer-musician Rob Hyman is 61. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 58. Rock singer-musician Jack Blades (Night Ranger) is 57. Actor Michael O'Keefe is 56. Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 54. Actor Glenn Morshower is 52. Rock musician Billy Gould is 48. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 47. Actor Djimon Hounsou (JEYE'-mihn OHN'-soo) is 47. Rock musician Patty Schemel is 44. Rock musician Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) is 43. Actress Melinda Clarke is 42. Latin pop singer Alejandro Fernandez is 40. Country-rock musician Brad Morgan (Drive-By Truckers) is 40. Rock musician Brian Marshall (Creed; Alter Bridge) is 38. Actor Derek Luke is 37. Actor Eric Balfour is 34. Actress Rebecca Mader is 34. Country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard is 32. Country singer Danny Gokey is 31. Actor Austin Nichols is 31. Contemporary Christian musician Jasen Rauch (Red) is 30. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 29. Rock singer-musician Tyson Ritter (The All-American Rejects) is 27.
Thought for Today: "The door to the past is a strange door. It swings open and things pass through it, but they pass in one direction only. No man can return across that threshold, though he can look down still and see the green light waver in the water weeds." _ Loren Eiseley, American anthropologist (1907-1977).
(Above Advance for Use Sunday, April 24)
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.