- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Today is Wednesday, April 1, the 91st day of 2009. There are 274 days left in the year. This is April Fool’s Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 1, 1945, American forces launched the amphibious invasion of Okinawa during World War II.

On this date:

In 1853, Cincinnati established a fire department made up of paid city employees.

In 1918, the Royal Air Force was established in Britain.

In 1933, Nazi Germany began persecuting Jews with a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses.

In 1939, the United States recognized the government of Gen. Francisco Franco in Spain, the same day Franco went on radio to declare victory in the Spanish Civil War.

In 1946, tidal waves struck the Hawaiian islands, resulting in more than 170 deaths.

In 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a $1.85 billion emergency housing measure.

In 1960, the first weather satellite, TIROS-1, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

In 1963, most of New York City’s daily newspapers resumed publishing after settlement was reached in a 114-day strike.

In 1970, President Richard M. Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect after Jan. 1, 1971.

In 1984, recording star Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his father, Marvin Gay Sr., in Los Angeles, the day before his 45th birthday. (The elder Gay pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, and received probation.)

Ten years ago: The United States branded as an illegal abduction the capture of three U.S. Army soldiers near the Macedonian-Yugoslav border; President Bill Clinton demanded their immediate release. A New Jersey man was arrested and charged with originating the “Melissa” e-mail virus. (David L. Smith later pleaded guilty to various state and federal charges.)

Five years ago: President George W. Bush signed into law new protections for the unborn that for the first time made it a separate federal crime to harm a fetus during an assault on the mother. Michigan won the NIT championship with a 62-55 victory over Rutgers. Actress Carrie Snodgress died in Los Angeles at age 57.

One year ago: The Pentagon made public a legal memo dated March 14, 2003, that approved the use of harsh interrogation techniques against terror suspects, saying that President George W. Bush’s wartime authority trumped any international ban on torture. (The memo was rescinded in December 2003.) Top executives of the country’s five biggest oil companies told a skeptical Congress they knew record fuel prices were hurting people, but argued it wasn’t their fault and their huge profits were in line with other industries.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Jane Powell is 81. Actress Grace Lee Whitney is 79. Actress Debbie Reynolds is 77. Country singer Jim Ed Brown is 75. Actor Don Hastings is 75. Blues singer Eddie King is 71. Actress Ali MacGraw is 71. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rudolph Isley is 70. Reggae singer Jimmy Cliff is 61. Jazz musician Gil Scott-Heron is 60. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is 59. Rock musician Billy Currie (Ultravox) is 59. Actress Annette O’Toole is 57. Movie director Barry Sonnenfeld is 56. Country singer Woody Lee is 41. Rapper-actor Method Man is 38. Movie directors Albert and Allen Hughes are 37. Political commentator Rachel Maddow is 36. Tennis player Magdalena Maleeva is 34. Actor David Oyelowo is 33. Singer Bijou Phillips is 29. Actor Sam Huntington is 27. Country singer Hillary Scott (Lady Antebellum) is 25. Actor Josh Zuckerman is 24.

Thought for Today: “Si mi abuela tuviera ruedas seria una bicicleta.” (If my grandmother had wheels, she’d be a bicycle.) _ Spanish proverb.

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