Today in History - April 26

Sunday, April 26, 2009
By The Associated Press

MIAMI —  Today is Sunday, April 26, the 116th day of 2009. There are 249 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, was surrounded by federal troops near Bowling Green, Va., and killed.

On this date:

In 1607, English colonists went ashore at present-day Cape Henry, Va., on an expedition to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere.

In 1909, Abdul Hamid II was deposed as sultan of the Ottoman Empire.

In 1937, planes from Nazi Germany raided the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.

In 1945, Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, the head of France's Vichy government during World War II, was arrested.

In 1964, the African nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.

In 1968, the United States exploded beneath the Nevada desert a 1.3 megaton nuclear device called "Boxcar."

In 1970, the Stephen Sondheim musical "Company" opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York.

In 1986, the world's worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl plant in the Soviet Union.

In 1989, actress-comedian Lucille Ball died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles at age 77.

In 2000, Vermont Gov. Howard Dean signed the nation's first bill allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions.

Ten years ago: The head of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Cornelio Sommaruga, met with three U.S. soldiers held captive by Yugoslavia. BBC anchorwoman Jill Dando, host of a crime-fighting program, was fatally shot on the steps of her London home. (Barry George was convicted in July 2001 of killing Dando; however, he was acquitted in a retrial.)

Five years ago: Following conservative criticism of his anti-war activities during the Vietnam era, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry accused President George W. Bush of failing to prove whether he'd fulfilled his commitment to the National Guard during the same period. The government unveiled its new, colorized $50 bill. Author Hubert Selby Jr. died in Los Angeles at age 75.

One year ago: Police in Austria arrested Josef Fritzl, freeing his daughter Elisabeth and her six children, whom he had fathered while holding her captive in a cellar for 24 years. (Fritzl was later sentenced to life in a psychiatric ward.) Yossi Harel, the ship commander whose attempt to bring Holocaust survivors to Palestine aboard the Exodus 1947 built support for Israel's founding, died in Tel Aviv at age 90. Avant-garde composer Henry Brant died in Santa Barbara, Calif., at age 94.

Today's Birthdays: Actress-comedian Carol Burnett is 76. R&B; singer Maurice Williams is 71. Songwriter-musician Duane Eddy is 71. Singer Bobby Rydell is 67. Rock musician Gary Wright is 66. Actor Giancarlo Esposito is 51. Rock musician Roger Taylor (Duran Duran) is 49. Actress Joan Chen is 48. Rock musician Chris Mars is 48. Actor-singer Michael Damian is 47. Actor Jet Li is 46. Rock musician Jimmy Stafford (Train) is 45. Actor-comedian Kevin James is 44. Actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste is 42. Country musician Joe Caverlee (Yankee Grey) is 41. Rapper T-Boz (TLC) is 39. Country musician Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flats) is 38. Country musician Michael Jeffers (Pinmonkey) is 37. Rock musician Jose Pasillas (Incubus) is 33. Actor Jason Earles ("Hannah Montana") is 32. Actor Tom Welling is 32. Actress Jordana Brewster is 29. Actress Marnette Patterson is 29. Actor Channing Tatum is 29. Actor Aaron Weeks is 23.

Thought for Today: "Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate." _ Dr. Thomas F. Jones Jr., American college official (1916-1981).

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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