Today is Saturday, April 18, the 108th day of 2009. There are 257 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 18, 1906, a devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by raging fires; estimates of the final death toll range between 3,000 and 6,000.
On this date:
In 1775, Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Mass., warning American colonists that the British were coming.
In 1907, San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel opened, a year to the day after the earthquake.
In 1934, 75 years ago, the first laundromat (called a “washateria”) opened, in Fort Worth, Texas.
In 1942, an air squadron from the USS Hornet led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities.
In 1945, famed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle, 44, was killed by Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima, off Okinawa.
In 1946, the League of Nations went out of business.
In 1949, the Republic of Ireland was proclaimed.
In 1978, the Senate approved the Panama Canal Treaty, providing for the complete turnover of control of the waterway to Panama on the last day of 1999.
In 1980, the independent nation of Zimbabwe, formerly Zimbabwe Rhodesia, came into being.
In 1983, 63 people, including 17 Americans, were killed at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.
Ten years ago: NATO launched its most active day of airstrikes in its assault on Yugoslavia, pummeling refineries, bridges and dozens of other targets in the 25th straight day of attacks. Wayne Gretzky played his last National Hockey League game as his New York Rangers lost to Pittsburgh 2-1 in overtime at Madison Square Garden.
Five years ago: Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero ordered a withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq, fulfilling a campaign pledge and trying to calm his uneasy nation after bombings that killed 191 people in Madrid.
One year ago: Addressing the United Nations, Pope Benedict XVI said international cooperation needed to solve urgent problems was “in crisis” because decisions rested in the hands of a few powerful nations. Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin gave birth to her fifth child, a son named Trig.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Barbara Hale is 88. Actor Clive Revill is 79. Actor James Drury is 75. Actor Robert Hooks is 72. Actress Hayley Mills is 63. Actor James Woods is 62. Actress-director Dorothy Lyman is 62. Actress Cindy Pickett is 62. Country musician Walt Richmond (The Tractors) is 62. Country musician Jim Scholten (Sawyer Brown) is 57. Actor Rick Moranis is 56. Actress Melody Thomas Scott is 53. Actor Eric Roberts is 53. Actor John James is 53. Rock musician Les Pattinson (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 51. Author-journalist Susan Faludi is 50. Actress Mary Birdsong is 48. Actress Jane Leeves is 48. Talk show host Conan O’Brien is 46. Bluegrass singer-musician Terry Eldredge is 46. Actor Eric McCormack is 46. Actress Maria Bello is 42. Rock musician Greg Eklund (The Oolahs) is 39. Actor David Tennant is 38. Country musician Marvin Evatt is 35. Rhythm-and-blues singer Trina (Trina and Tamara) is 35. Actress Melissa Joan Hart is 33. Actor Sean Maguire is 33. Actress America Ferrera is 25. Actress Alia Shawkat is 20. Actor Moises Arias (“Hannah Montana”) is 15.
Thought for Today: “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” _ Albert Einstein (1879-1955).