- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Today is Wednesday, April 22, the 112th day of 2009. There are 253 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 22, 1898, with the United States and Spain on the verge of formally declaring war, the U.S. Navy began blockading Cuban ports. The USS Nashville captured a Spanish merchant ship, the Buena Ventura, off Key West, Fla. Congress authorized creation of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, also known as the “Rough Riders.”

On this date:

In 1864, Congress authorized the use of the phrase “In God We Trust” on U.S. coins.

In 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush began at noon as thousands of homesteaders staked claims.

In 1938, 45 workers were killed in a coal mine explosion at Keen Mountain in Buchanan County, Va.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began invading Japanese-held New Guinea with amphibious landings at Hollandia and Aitape.

In 1954, the publicly televised sessions of the Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson opened the New York World’s Fair.

In 1970, millions of Americans concerned about the environment observed the first “Earth Day.”

In 1983, the West German news magazine Stern announced the discovery of 60 volumes of personal diaries purportedly written by Adolf Hitler. However, the diaries turned out to be a hoax.

In 1994, Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, died at a New York hospital four days after suffering a stroke; he was 81.

In 2000, in dramatic pre-dawn raid, armed immigration agents seized Elian Gonzalez from his relatives’ home in Miami; Elian was reunited with his father at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington.

Ten years ago: At Columbine High School in Colorado, investigators found a powerful bomb made from a propane tank, heightening suspicions that gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who killed 13 people before killing themselves, intended to destroy the school. NATO struck directly against Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, destroying his luxurious mansion.

Five years ago: NFL player Pat Tillman, who’d traded in a multimillion-dollar contract to serve as an Army Ranger in Afghanistan, was killed by friendly fire; he was 27. Sex abuse victims were awarded nearly $70 million dollars after suing part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. An explosion at a railway station in Ryongchon, North Korea, killed a reported 160 people.

One year ago: Hillary Rodham Clinton won the Pennsylvania Democratic primary, defeating Barack Obama and keeping her presidential hopes alive. At the close of a two-day North American summit in New Orleans, President George W. Bush chastised lawmakers for letting international trade deals falter and criticized Democratic presidential contenders for wanting to scrap or amend the vast North American free-trade zone. Singer-songwriter Paul Davis died in Meridian, Miss., a day after turning 60.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor George Cole is 84. Actress Charlotte Rae is 83. Actress Estelle Harris is 77. Singer Glen Campbell is 73. Actor Jack Nicholson is 72. Singer Mel Carter is 66. Author Janet Evanovich is 66. Country singer Cleve Francis is 64. Movie director John Waters is 63. Singer Peter Frampton is 59. Rock singer-musician Paul Carrack (Mike and the Mechanics; Squeeze) is 58. Actor Joseph Bottoms is 55. Actor Ryan Stiles is 50. Boston Red Sox manager Terry Francona is 50. Comedian Byron Allen is 48. Actor Chris Makepeace is 45. Rock musician Fletcher Dragge is 43. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is 43. Actress Sheryl Lee is 42. Actress-talk show host Sherri Shepherd is 42. Country singer-musician Heath Wright (Ricochet) is 42. Country singer Kellie Coffey is 38. Actor Eric Mabius is 38. Actor Ingo Rademacher is 38. Rock musician Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down) is 35. Rock singer-musician Daniel Johns (Silverchair) is 30. Actress Michelle Ryan is 25. Actress Amber Heard is 23.

Thought for Today: “History is an accumulation of error.” _ Norman Cousins, American editor (1912-1990).

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