Today in History

AP News
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Posted: Apr 30, 2015 12:01 AM

Today is Thursday, April 30, the 120th day of 2015. There are 245 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 30, 1945, as Soviet troops approached his Berlin bunker, Adolf Hitler committed suicide along with his wife of one day, Eva Braun.

On this date:

In 1789, George Washington took the oath of 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, Mississippi, 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, the radio show "Queen for Today" (later "Queen for a Day") premiered on the Mutual Network.

In 1958, the American Association of Retired Persons (later simply AARP) was founded in Washington, D.C., by Dr. Ethel Percy Andrus.

In 1968, New York City police forcibly removed student demonstrators occupying five buildings at Columbia University.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon announced the resignations of top aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, Attorney General Richard G. Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean, who was actually fired.

In 1975, the Vietnam War ended as the South Vietnamese capital of Saigon fell to Communist forces.

In 1988, Gen. Manuel Noriega, waving a machete, vowed at a rally to keep fighting U.S. efforts to oust him as Panama's military ruler.

In 1990, hostage Frank Reed was released by his captives in Lebanon; he was the second American to be released in eight days.

Ten years ago: Missing Georgia woman Jennifer Wilbanks admitted to police in Albuquerque, New Mexico, that she was a "runaway bride" after initially claiming to have been abducted; on what was supposed to have been her wedding day, she was escorted to the airport by officers for a flight home. Vietnam marked the 30th anniversary of the war's end. James Toney outpointed John Ruiz to win the WBA heavyweight title in New York.

Five years 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.

One year ago: Iraq voted in its first nationwide election since U.S. troops withdrew in 2011. Police in Northern Ireland arrested Sinn Fein (shin fayn) party leader Gerry Adams over his alleged involvement in the Irish Republican Army's 1972 abduction, killing and secret burial of a 38-year-old Belfast widow, Jean McConville (Adams was released without charge). A lawyer for Toronto Mayor Rob Ford said Ford would take a leave of absence to seek help for substance abuse.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Cloris Leachman is 89. Singer Willie Nelson is 82. Actor Burt Young is 75. Singer Bobby Vee is 72. Movie director Allan Arkush is 67. Actor Perry King is 67. Singer-musician Wayne Kramer is 67. Singer Merrill Osmond is 62. Movie director Jane Campion is 61. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper is 56. Actor Paul Gross is 56. Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is 54. Country musician Robert Reynolds is 53. Actor Adrian Pasdar is 50. Rock singer J.R. Richards (Dishwalla) is 48. Rapper Turbo B (Snap) is 48. Rock musician Clark Vogeler is 46. Rhythm-and-blues singer Chris "Choc" Dalyrimple (Soul For Real) is 44. Rock musician Chris Henderson (3 Doors Down) is 44. Country singer Carolyn Dawn Johnson is 44. Actress Lisa Dean Ryan is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Akon is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jeff Timmons (98 Degrees) is 42. Actor Johnny Galecki is 40. Singer-musician Cole Deggs (Cole Deggs and the Lonesome) is 39. Actor Kunal Nayyar is 34. Rapper Lloyd Banks is 33. Actress Kirsten Dunst is 33. Country singer Tyler Wilkinson (The Wilkinsons) is 31. Actress Dianna Agron is 29.

Thought for Today: "The trouble with our age is all signposts and no destination." — Louis Kronenberger, American author (1904-1980).

(Above Advance for Use Thursday, April 30)

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