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Friday, April 16, 2004


Today is Friday, April 16th.

The 107th day of 2004.

There are 259 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On April 16, 1947, the French ship Grandcamp blew up at the harbor in Texas City, Texas; another ship, the Highflyer, exploded the following day. The blasts and resulting fires killed 576 people.


On this date:

In 1705, Queen Anne of England knights Isaac Newton at Trinity College.

In 1789, President-elect Washington left Mount Vernon, Va., for his inauguration in New York.

In 1818, The U.S. Senate ratifies the Rush-Bagot amendment to form an unarmed U.S.-Canada border.

In 1854, San Salvador was destroyed by an earthquake.

In 1862, A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia became law.

In 1879, Saint Bernadette, who had described seeing visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, died in Nevers, France.

In 1889, Comedian, Actor, Director Sir Charles (Charlie) Spencer Chaplin was born in London, England. He died in Switzerland on December 25, 1977 at the age of 88.

In 1900, The US Post Office issues 1st books of postage stamps

In 1908, The Natural Bridges National Monument was established in Utah.

In 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel, using a Bleriot monoplane to travel from Dover, England, to Hardelot, France.

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

In 1921, Actor/producer/director/screenwriter/author Sir Peter Ustinov was born in London, England. He died on March 28, 2004 at the age of 82.

In 1924, Oscar (4) and Grammy (20) winning composer/conductor/arranger Henry Mancini was born in Cleveland, OH. He died June 14, 1994 at the age of 70.

In 1935, The radio comedy program "Fibber McGee and Molly" premiered on the NBC Blue Network.

In 1939 Singer Dame Mary Isobel Catherine O'Brien (Dusty) Springfield was born in London, England. She died March 2, 1999 at the age of 59.

In 1945, In his first speech to Congress, President Truman pledged to carry out the war and peace policies of his late predecessor, President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

In 1945, U.S. troops reached Nuremberg, Germany, during World War II.

In 1945, The Russian Army began the Battle of Berlin.

In 1947, Financier and presidential confidant Bernard M. Baruch said in a speech at the South Carolina statehouse: "Let us not be deceived -- we are today in the midst of a cold war."

In 1962, Walter Cronkite succeeded Douglas Edwards as anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."

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

In 1975, The Khmer Rouge Rebels won control of Cambodia after a five-year civil war. They renamed the country Kampuchea and began a reign of terror.

In 1977, The ban on women attending West Point was lifted.

In 1981, The final episode of "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" aired on NBC.

In 1982, Queen Elizabeth proclaimed Canada's new constitution, severing the last colonial links with Britain.

In 2002, The U.S. Supreme Court overturned major parts of a 1996 child pornography law based on rights to free speech.


Ten years ago (1994):

Bosnian Serbs downed a British Sea Harrier jet near Gorazde; the pilot ejected, and was rescued by Bosnian government troops.

Ralph Ellison, author of "Invisible Man," died in New York at age 80.

Five years ago (1999):

President Clinton defended NATO airstrikes against Serbian targets during visits to Michigan and Massachusetts, saying U.S. involvement in Kosovo was a moral imperative.

Wayne Gretzky announced his retirement from hockey.

One year ago (2003):

The Bush administration lowered the terror alert level from orange to yellow, saying the end of heavy fighting in Iraq has diminished the threat of terrorism in the United States.

During a visit to a fighter jet factory in St. Louis, President Bush called for lifting economic sanctions against Iraq as commanders of both the U.S. military and the reconstruction effort prepared to move into the country.

Michael Jordan played his last NBA game with the Washington Wizards, who lost to the Philadelphia 76ers, 107-87.


Today's Birthdays:

Actor Barry Nelson is 84.

Actor Peter Mark Richman is 77.

Actress-singer Edie Adams is 75.

Singer Bobby Vinton is 69.

Denmark's Queen Margrethe the Second is 64.

Basketball Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 57.

Singer Gerry Rafferty is 57.

Actress Ellen Barkin is 50.

Singer Jimmy Osmond is 41.

Rock singer David Pirner (Soul Asylum) is 40.

Actor-comedian Martin Lawrence is 39.

Actor Jon Cryer is 39.

Rock musician Dan Rieser is 38.

Actor Peter Billingsley is 32.

Actor Lukas Haas is 28.


Thought for Today:

"Only the vanquished remember history." -

- Marshall McLuhan, Canadian communications theorist (1911-1980).