Today is Saturday, April 30, the 120th day of 2011. There are 245 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 30, 1911, a fire broke out in Bangor, Maine, destroying much of the downtown area before it was brought under control the next morning. Two deaths were blamed on the blaze.
On this date:
In A.D. 311, shortly before his death, Roman Emperor Galerius issued his Edict of Toleration ending persecution of Christians.
In 1789, George Washington took office in New York as the first president of the United States.
In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory from France for 60 million francs, the equivalent of about $15 million.
In 1812, Louisiana became the 18th state of the Union.
In 1900, engineer John Luther "Casey" Jones of the Illinois Central Railroad died in a train wreck near Vaughan, Miss., after staying at the controls in a successful effort to save the passengers.
In 1939, the New York World's Fair officially opened with a ceremony that included an address by President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
In 1945, as Russian troops approached his Berlin bunker, Adolf Hitler committed suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun.
In 1958, the American Association of Retired Persons (later simply AARP) was founded in Washington, D.C.
In 1968, New York City police forcibly removed student demonstrators occupying five buildings at Columbia University.
In 1973, President Richard M. Nixon announced the resignations of top aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, along with Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean.
Ten years ago: California businessman Dennis Tito arrived at the international space station aboard a Russian spacecraft. Federal intern Chandra Levy (SHAHN'-druh LEE'-vee) was last seen at a health club near her apartment in Washington, D.C. (Levy's body was found in a Washington park in May 2002; a suspect, Ingmar Guandique, was later convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to 60 years in prison.)
Five years ago: Thousands of people joined celebrities and lawmakers at a rally on the National Mall in Washington, urging the Bush administration and Congress to help end genocide in Sudan's Darfur (dar-FOOR') region.
One year ago: Heavy winds and high tides complicated efforts to hold back oil from a blown-out BP-operated rig that threatened to coat bird and marine life in the Gulf of Mexico; President Barack Obama halted any new offshore projects pending safeguards to prevent more explosions like the one that unleashed the spill.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Cloris Leachman is 85. Singer Willie Nelson is 78. Actor Gary Collins is 73. Actor Burt Young is 71. Singer Bobby Vee is 68. Movie director Allan Arkush is 63. Actor Perry King is 63. Singer Merrill Osmond is 58. Movie director Jane Campion is 57. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is 52. Actor Paul Gross is 52. Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is 50. Country musician Robert Reynolds (The Mavericks) is 49. Actor Adrian Pasdar is 46. Rapper Turbo B (Snap) is 44. Rock musician Clark Vogeler is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chris "Choc" Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 40. Rock musician Chris Henderson (3 Doors Down) is 40. Country singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson is 40. Actress Lisa Dean Ryan is 39. Rhythm-and-blues singer Akon is 38. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees) is 38. Actor Johnny Galecki is 36. Singer-musician Cole Deggs (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 35. Actor Kunal Nayyar is 30. Rapper Lloyd Banks is 29. Actress Kirsten Dunst is 29. Country singer Tyler Wilkinson (The Wilkinsons) is 27. Actress Dianna Agron is 25.
Thought for Today: "Love demands infinitely less than friendship." _ George Jean Nathan, American author and critic (1882-1958).
(Above Advance for Use Saturday, April 30)
Copyright 2011, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.