Today is Thursday, April 16, the 106th day of 2009. There are 259 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 16, 1789, President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Va., for his inauguration in New York.
On this date:
In 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed a bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia.
In 1879, St. Bernadette, who’d described seeing visions of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, died in Nevers, France.
In 1912, Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
In 1917, Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returned to Russia after years of exile.
In 1935, the radio comedy program “Fibber McGee and Molly” premiered on the NBC Blue Network.
In 1947, the French ship Grandcamp blew up at the harbor in Texas City, Texas; another ship, the High Flyer, exploded the following day. The blasts and resulting fires killed nearly 600 people.
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 1996, Britain’s Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced they were in the process of getting a divorce.
In 2007, in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history, student Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech before taking his own life.
Ten years ago: President Bill 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.
Five years ago: Videotape broadcast on the Arab TV station Al-Jazeera showed Army Pfc. Keith M. Maupin, abducted during an attack on a fuel truck convoy near Baghdad a week earlier. (Arab television reported June 29th, 2004, that Maupin had been killed; his remains were recovered last year.) President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair, meeting in Washington, endorsed giving the United Nations broad control over Iraq’s political future.
One year ago: The Supreme Court upheld the most widely used method of lethal injection, allowing states to resume executions after a seven-month halt. Pope Benedict XVI was welcomed by President George W. Bush as only the second pope to visit the White House and the first in 29 years. Mathematician-meteorologist Edward Lorenz, the father of “chaos theory,” died in Cambridge, Mass., at age 90.
Today’s Birthdays: Pope Benedict XVI is 82. Actor Peter Mark Richman is 82. Singer Bobby Vinton is 74. Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II is 69. Basketball Hall-of-Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is 62. Singer Gerry Rafferty is 62. Football coach Bill Belichick is 57. Rock singer-turned-politician Peter Garrett is 56. Actress Ellen Barkin is 55. Rock musician Jason Scheff (Chicago) is 47. Singer Jimmy Osmond is 46. Rock singer David Pirner (Soul Asylum) is 45. Actor-comedian Martin Lawrence is 44. Actor Jon Cryer is 44. Rock musician Dan Rieser is 43. Actor Peter Billingsley is 38. Actor Lukas Haas is 33.
Thought for Today: “Chaos is the score upon which reality is written.” _ Henry Miller, American author (1891-1980).