Friday, April 16th
The 106th day of 2010.
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Today's Highlights in History
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On April 16, 1947, America's worst harbor explosion occurred in Texas City, Texas, when the French ship Grandcamp, carrying ammonium nitrate fertilizer, caught fire and blew up, devastating the town. Another ship, the Highflyer, exploded the following day. The explosions and resulting fires killed more than 500 people and left 200 others missing. (Go to article.)
On April 16, 1889, Sir Charlie Chaplin, the British-born actor and director who became internationally famous for his role in American silent movies, was born. Following his death on Dec. 25, 1977, his obituary appeared in The Times. (Go to obit. | Other Birthdays)
Editorial Cartoon of the Day
On April 16, 1887, Harper's Weekly featured a cartoon about heavyweight prizefighting champion John L. Sullivan. (See the cartoon and read an explanation.)
On this date in:
1789 President-elect George Washington left Mount Vernon, Va., for his inauguration in New York.
1862 A bill ending slavery in the District of Columbia became law.
1912 Harriet Quimby became the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
1917 Revolutionary Vladimir Ilyich Lenin returned to Russia after years of exile.
1947 Financier and presidential confidant Bernard M. Baruch said in a speech at the South Carolina statehouse, "Let us not be deceived. We are today in the midst of a cold war."
1962 Walter Cronkite succeeded Douglas Edwards as anchorman of "The CBS Evening News."
1964 "The Rolling Stones (England's Newest Hitmakers)," the band's debut album, was released.
1972 Apollo 16 blasted off on a voyage to the moon.
1992 The House ethics committee listed 303 current and former lawmakers who had overdrawn their House bank accounts.
1996 Britain's Prince Andrew and his wife, Sarah, the Duchess of York, announced they were getting a divorce.
2003 Michael Jordan played his last NBA game as his Washington Wizards ended their season with a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers.
2007 A student killed 32 people on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va., before taking his own life in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history.
2009 President Barack Obama issued a statement saying CIA officials who'd used harsh interrogation tactics during the Bush administration would not be prosecuted.
Pope Benedict XVI turns 83 years old today.
AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito Pope Benedict XVI turns 83 years old today.
75 Bobby Vinton
70 Queen Margrethe II
Queen of Denmark
63 Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Basketball Hall of Famer
63 Gerry Rafferty
58 Bill Belichick
57 Peter Garrett
Rock singer (Midnight Oil), Australia's environment minister
47 Jimmy Osmond
45 Jon Cryer
Actor ("Two and a Half Men")
45 Martin Lawrence
38 Peter Billingsley
Actor ("A Christmas Story")
Sir Charlie Chaplin
4/16/1889 - 12/25/1977
English-born American motion- picture actor and director
(Go to obit.)
70 Henry Mancini
4/16/1924 - 6/14/1994
73 Sir Kingsley Amis
4/16/1922 - 10/22/1995
English novelist, poet and critic
67 Nikolay P. Akimov
4/16/1901 - 9/6/1968
Russian scenic designer and producer
38 John M. Synge
4/16/1871 - 3/24/1909
Irish poetic dramatist
45 Wilbur Wright
4/16/1867 - 5/30/1912
American inventor and aviation pioneer
80 Anatole France
4/16/1844 - 10/12/1924
French writer; won the Nobel Prize for Literature (1921)
72 Ford Madox Brown
4/16/1821 - 10/6/1893
61 Sir John Franklin
4/16/1786 - 6/11/1847
English rear admiral and explorer
87 Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun
4/16/1755 - 3/30/1842
93 Sir Hans Sloane
4/16/1660 - 1/11/1753
English physician and naturalist
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SOURCE: The Associated Press
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