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Wednesday, April 14, 2004


Today is Wednesday, April 14th.

The 105th day of 2004.

There are 261 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded at 10:13PM by John Wilkes Booth while attending the comedy "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater with his wife Mary Todd in Washington. (Lincoln died the following morning.)


On this date:

In 73, According to Jewish historian Josephus, 967 Jewish zealots committed mass suicide within the fortress of Masada on this last night before the walls were breached by the attacking Roman Tenth Legion. (Two women and five children survived by hiding in a cistern, and were later released unharmed by the Romans.)

In 1291, A body of Templars make a night raid on the Moslem camp at the Siege of Acre. They were all killed.

In 1543, Bartoleme Ferrelo returns to Spain after discovering the San Francisco Bay area.

In 1611, The word "telescope" was first used by Prince Federico Cesi.

In 1759, Composer George Frideric Handel died in London.

In 1775, The first American society for the abolition of slavery was organized by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

In 1828, The first edition of Noah Webster's "American Dictionary of the English Language" was published.

In 1863, The continuous-roll printing press was patented by William Bullock.

In 1869, The airbrake is patented by George Westinghouse, Jr. in Schenectady, New York.

In 1894, 1st public showing of Thomas Edison's kinetoscope (moving pictures)

In 1902, J. C. (James Cash) Penney opened his first store, called "The Golden Rule," in Kemmerer, Wyo.

In 1904, British actor Sir (Arthur) John Gielgud was born in London. He died May 21, 2000 at the age of 96.

In 1910, President William Taft starts an American tradition, throwing out the first ball on opening day of the major league baseball season.

In 1912, The British liner RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and began sinking.

In 1914, The non-skid tire pattern was patented by Stacy G. Carkhuff.

In 1918, Douglas Campbell became the first American ace pilot when he shot down his fifth German enemy aircraft.

In 1925, Actor Rodney (Rod) Steiger was born in Westhampton, NY. He died July 8, 2002 at the age of 77.

In 1928, Regular air passenger flights between San Francisco and Los Angeles started by Maddux Air Lines.

In 1931, King Alfonso XIII of Spain went into exile, and the Spanish Republic was proclaimed.

In 1939, The John Steinbeck novel "The Grapes of Wrath" was first published.

In 1945, US forces conquer Motobu peninsula on Okinawa

In 1945, US marines attack Yae Take on Okinawa

In 1946, The civil war between Communists and Nationalists resumed in China.

In 1948, A flash of light is observed in the crater Plato on the Moon.

In 1948, NYC subway fares jump from 5¢ to 10¢

In 1956, Ampex Corp demonstrates 1st commercial videotape recorder

In 1958, Van Cliburn appeared on national TV for the first time. He was on NBC's "The Tonight Show" with Jack Paar.

In 1958, Sputnik 2 (with dog Laika) burns up in atmosphere

In 1967, Israel and Syria exchanged heavy fighting atop Mount Hermon.

In 1973, Acting FBI director L Patrick Gray resigns after admitting he destroyed evidence in the Watergate scandal

In 1981, The first test flight of America's first operational space shuttle, the Columbia, ended successfully with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

In 1986, Americans got first word of a U.S. air raid on Libya (because of the time difference, it was the early morning of April 15 where the attack occurred.)

In 1986, Desmond Tutu elected Anglican archbishop of Capetown.

In 1992, The Supreme Court threw out Apple's lawsuit against Microsoft.

In 1992, A federal appeals court in New York ruled that hotel magnate Leona Helmsley, 71, must go to prison for tax evasion.

In 2000, A Wall Street sell-off wipes out billions of dollars in investments. Nasdaq index plunges almost 10 percent (355 points), Dow Jones industrials lose 5.66 percent (617 points).

In 2000, After five years of deadlock, Russia approved the START II treaty that calls for the scrapping of U.S. and Russian nuclear warheads. The Russian government warned it would abandon all arms-control pacts if Washington continued with an anti-missile system.

Ten years ago (1994):

Two American F-15 warplanes inadvertently shot down two U.S. helicopters over northern Iraq, killing 26 people, including 15 Americans.

The chiefs of the nation's seven largest tobacco companies spent more than six hours being grilled by the House Energy and Commerce health subcommittee about the effects of smoking.

Five years ago (1999):

Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr told Congress the Watergate-era law that gave him the power to probe actions of executive branch officials was flawed and should be abolished.

NATO mistakenly bombed a convoy of ethnic Albanian refugees; Yugoslav officials said 75 people were killed.

British entertainer Anthony Newley died in Jensen Beach, Fla., at age 67.

One year ago (2003):

Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit fell with unexpectedly light resistance, the last Iraqi city to succumb to overpowering U.S.-led ground and air forces.

U.S. commandos in Baghdad captured Abul Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner "Achille Lauro" in 1985. (Abbas died last month while in U.S. custody.)

Four Islamic militants were convicted in a deadly bombing outside the U.S. Consulate in Pakistan.

Assailants armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and a handgun opened fire at John McDonogh High School in New Orleans, killing one youth and wounding three others.


Today's Birthdays:

Actor Bradford Dillman is 74.

Actor Jay Robinson is 74.

Country singer Loretta Lynn is 69.

Former NYPD officer Frank Serpico is 68.

Actress Julie Christie is 64.

Former baseball player Pete Rose is 63.

Rock musician Ritchie Blackmore is 59.

Actor John Shea is 55.

My best friend Judy Jeanette Lewis Roy Nelson is 54.

Actor Brad Garrett is 44.

Actor Robert Carlyle is 43.

Rock singer-musician John Bell (Widespread Panic) is 42.

Rock musician Barrett Martin is 37.

Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 36.

Actor Adrien Brody is 31.

Rapper DaBrat is 30.

Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 27.

Actress Vivien Cardone is 11.


Thought for Today:

"If the end brings me out all right, what is said against me won't amount to anything. If the end brings me out wrong, ten angels swearing I was right would make no difference." -

- Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).


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