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April 2 - Today in History

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« on: April 02, 2009, 01:31:49 am »

Today in History - April 2
By The Associated Press The Associated Press 2 hrs 25 mins ago
Today is Thursday, April 2, the 92nd day of 2009. There are 273 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 2, 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the U.S. Mint.

On this date:

In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in present-day Florida.

In 1860, the first Italian Parliament met at Turin.

In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va., because of advancing Union forces.

In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, "The world must be made safe for democracy." (Congress declared war four days later.)

In 1932, aviator Charles A. Lindbergh and John F. Condon went to a cemetery in the Bronx, N.Y., where Condon turned over $50,000 to a man called "John" in exchange for Lindbergh's kidnapped son. (The child, who was not returned, was found dead the following month.)

In 1968, the influential science-fiction film "2001: A Space Odyssey," produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick, had its world premiere in Washington.

In 1974, French president Georges Pompidou died in Paris.

In 1982, several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain. (Britain seized the islands back the following June.)

In 1986, four American passengers were killed when a bomb exploded aboard a TWA jetliner en route from Rome to Athens, Greece.

In 2005, Pope John Paul II, who'd led the Roman Catholic Church for 26 years, died in his Vatican apartment at age 84.

Ten years ago: The Labor Department reported that the nation's unemployment rate fell to a 29-year low of 4.2 percent in March 1999.

Five years ago: A judge in New York declared a mistrial in the grand-larceny case against two former Tyco executives after a juror apparently received an intimidating letter and phone call for supposedly siding with the defense. (Former CEO L. Dennis Kozlowski and CFO Mark H. Swartz were convicted in a retrial of looting Tyco of more than $600 million in corporate bonuses and loans; each was sentenced to 8 1/3 to 25 years in prison.) Flags of seven new NATO members from former communist Europe rose at alliance headquarters in Brussels for the first time, marking the biggest expansion in NATO's 55-year history.

One year ago: President George W. Bush suffered a painful diplomatic setback when NATO allies rebuffed his passionate pleas to put former Soviet republics Ukraine and Georgia on the path toward membership. Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, who'd helped broker peace in Northern Ireland but couldn't survive a scandal over his collection of cash from businessmen, announced he would resign.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Rita Gam is 81. Actress Sharon Acker is 74. Singer Leon Russell is 67. Jazz musician Larry Coryell is 66. Actress Linda Hunt is 64. Singer Emmylou Harris is 62. Actress Pamela Reed is 60. Rock musician Dave Robinson (The Cars) is 56. Country singer Buddy Jewell is 48. Actor Christopher Meloni is 48. Singer Keren Woodward (Bananarama) is 48. Country singer Billy Dean is 47. Actor Clark Gregg is 47. Actress Jana Marie Hupp is 45. Rock musician Greg Camp is 42. Rock musician Tony Fredianelli (Third Eye Blind) is 40. Actress Roselyn Sanchez is 36. Country singer Jill King is 34. Actor Adam Rodriguez is 34. Actor Jeremy Garrett is 33. Rock musician Jesse Carmichael (Maroon 5) is 30. Actress Bethany Joy Lenz is 28. Actor Jesse Plemons is 21.

Thought for Today: "We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow." Fulton Oursler, American journalist and author (1893-1952).
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