- The Washington Times - Sunday, April 5, 2009

Today is Palm Sunday, April 5, the 95th day of 2009. There are 270 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 5, 1621, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts on a monthlong return trip to England.

On this date:

In 1614, Pocahontas, daughter of the leader of the Powhatan tribe, married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia. (A convert to Christianity, she went by the name Lady Rebecca.)

In 1792, George Washington cast the first presidential veto, rejecting a congressional measure for apportioning representatives among the states.

In 1887, in Tuscumbia, Ala., teacher Anne Sullivan achieved a breakthrough as her blind and deaf pupil, Helen Keller, learned the meaning of the word “water” as spelled out in the Manual Alphabet. British historian Lord Acton wrote in a letter, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”

In 1895, Oscar Wilde lost his criminal libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry, who’d accused the writer of homosexual practices.

In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death following their conviction in New York on charges of conspiring to commit espionage for the Soviet Union; co-defendant Morton Sobell was sentenced to 30 years in prison. (He was released in 1969.)

In 1964, Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur died in Washington at age 84.

In 1975, nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek died at age 87.

In 1976, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes died in Houston at age 70.

In 1986, two American servicemen and a Turkish woman were killed in the bombing of a West Berlin discotheque, an incident which prompted a U.S. air raid on Libya more than a week later.

In 1988, a 15-day hijacking ordeal began as gunmen forced a Kuwait Airways jumbo jet to land in Iran.

Ten years ago: NATO missiles and aircraft blasted Serbian targets inside Yugoslavia for a 13th straight day. The United Nations suspended sanctions against Libya after Moammar Gadhafi surrendered two suspected Libyan intelligence agents for trial in the 1988 Pan Am bombing. In Laramie, Wyo., Russell Henderson pleaded guilty to kidnapping and felony murder in the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student. (Henderson was later sentenced to life in prison.)

Five years ago: A U.S.-Canadian task force investigating the massive power blackout of Aug. 14, 2003, called for urgent approval of mandatory reliability rules to govern the electric transmission industry. Flash floods killed some three dozen people in northern Mexico. The Los Angeles Times won five Pulitzer Prizes; the Pulitzer for fiction went to Edward P. Jones for “The Known World.” The Connecticut Huskies defeated Georgia Tech 82-73 to win the men’s NCAA basketball championship. Clyde Drexler was one of six former players, coaches and team executives announced as the newest members of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.

One year ago: President George W. Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin opened farewell talks at Putin’s heavily wooded retreat on the Black Sea. Actor Charlton Heston, big-screen hero and later leader of the National Rifle Association, died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 84.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Gale Storm is 87. Movie producer Roger Corman is 83. Country music producer Cowboy Jack Clement is 78. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell is 72. Country singer Tommy Cash is 69. Actor Michael Moriarty is 68. Pop singer Allan Clarke (The Hollies) is 67. Writer-director Peter Greenaway is 67. Actor Max Gail is 66. Actress Jane Asher is 63. Singer Agnetha Faltskog (ABBA) is 59. Actor Mitch Pileggi is 57. Rock musician Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) is 43. Country singer Troy Gentry is 42. Singer Paula Cole is 41. Actress Krista Allen is 38. Country singer Pat Green is 37. Rapper-producer Pharrell Williams is 36.

Thought for Today: “Time was invented by Almighty God in order to give ideas a chance.” _ Nicholas Murray Butler, American educator (1862-1947).

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