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Saturday, April 24, 2004


Today is Saturday, April 24th.

The 115th day of 2004.

There are 251 days left in the year.


Today's Highlight in History:

On April 24, 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.


On this date:

In 1792, The national anthem of France, "La Marseillaise," was composed by Captain Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

In 1805, The U.S. Marines attacked and captured the town of Derna in Tripoli.

In 1833, Jacob Ebert of Cadiz, OH, along with George Dulty of Wheeling, WV, got together to patent something that became pure Americana. The two invented the soda fountain on this day.

In 1877, Federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North's post-Civil War rule in the South.

In 1886, Oil was discovered in the Middle East. The first well to come in was on the Egyptian shore of the Red Sea.

In 1888, Eastman Kodak formed.

In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States after rejecting America's ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.

In 1915, The Ottoman Turkish Empire began the brutal mass deportation of Armenians during World War I.

In 1916, Some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising (Rebellion) by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The rising was put down by British forces several days later.)

In 1928, The fathometer was patented; it measures underwater depths by using sound.

In 1944, In deciding the legal case "United States v. Ballard," the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the general principle that "the truth of religious claims is not for secular authority to determine."

In 1948, The "Berlin airlift" began to relieve the surrounded city.

In 1950 "Peter Pan" opened at Imperial Theater NYC for 320 performances

In 1950, The West Bank was annexed by Transjordan.

In 1950, Egypt established control of Gaza.

In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1961, President Kennedy accepted "sole responsibility" for the abortive Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.

In 1962, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, between Camp Parks, Calif., and Westford, Mass.

In 1967, Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov is the first person to die during a space mission when the Soyuz I craft crashes to earth.

In 1968, Leftist students at Columbia University in New York began a week-long occupation of several campus buildings.

In 1970, The People's Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, "The East is Red."

In 1974, Actor/comedian William "Bud" Abbott ("Abbott and Costello") died at the age of 78. He was born October 2, 1895 in Asbury Park, NJ.

In 1980, The United States launched an abortive attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen.

In 1981, The IBM Personal Computer was introduced.

In 1990, West and East Germany agree to merge their currency and economies in July. Full political reunification occurs in October.

In 1990, The space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla. It was carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.

In 1997, The U.S. Senate ratified the Chemical Weapons Convention. The global treaty banned the development, production, storage and use of chemical weapons

In 2000, A youth opened fire on a crowd of people in the National Zoo in Washington, wounding seven children, one seriously.

Ten years ago (1994):

Bosnian Serbs, threatened with NATO air strikes, grudgingly gave up their three-week assault on Gorazde, burning houses and blowing up a water treatment plant as they withdrew.

Five years ago (1999):

On the second day of a NATO summit, the alliance ran into objections from Russia and questions among its own members about enforcing an oil embargo against Yugoslavia by searching ships at sea. President Clinton urged Americans to be patient with the bombing strategy in the meantime.

One year ago (2003):

U.S. forces in Iraq took custody of Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister.

China shut down a Beijing hospital as the global death toll from SARS surpassed 260.

A U.S. official reported that North Korea had claimed to have nuclear weapons.

In Red Lion, Pa., a 14-year-old boy shot and killed his school principal inside a crowded junior high cafeteria, then killed himself.


Today's Birthdays:

Critic Stanley Kauffmann is 88.

Actor J.D. Cannon is 82.

Actress Shirley MacLaine (Beaty) is 70.

Author Sue Grafton is 64.

Actress-singer-director Barbra Joan Streisand is 62.

Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 62.

Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 61.

Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 59.

Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 51.

Actor Michael O'Keefe is 49.

Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 47.

Rock musician Billy Gould is 41.

Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 40.

Actor Djimon Hounsou is 40.

Rock musician Patty Schemel is 37.

Rock musician Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) is 36.

Actor Derek Luke is 30.

Country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard is 25.

Singer Kelly Clarkson ("American Idol") is 22.


Thought for Today:

"I know of no method to secure the repeal of bad or obnoxious laws so effective as their stringent execution." -

- Ulysses S. Grant, U.S. President (1822-1885).