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Today in History - April 18

Today is Good Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2003. There are 257 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 18, 1775, Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Mass., warning American colonists that the British were coming.

On this date:

In 1906, a devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by raging fires. About 700 people died.

In 1921, Junior Achievement, created to encourage business skills in young people, was incorporated.

In 1923, the first game was played in Yankee Stadium. The Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox, 4-1.

In 1942, an air squadron from the USS Hornet led by Lt. Col. Colonel James H. Doolittle raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities.

In 1942, the first World War II edition of The Stars and Stripes was published as a weekly newspaper for U.S. troops in Northern Ireland.

In 1945, famed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle, 44, was killed by Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima, off Okinawa.

In 1946, the League of Nations went out of business.

In 1978, the U.S. Senate voted 68-32 to turn the Panama Canal over to Panamanian control on Dec. 31, 1999.

In 1983, 62 people, including 17 Americans, were killed at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.

In 1994, former President Nixon suffered a stroke at his home in Park Ridge, N.J.; he died four days later at a New York hospital.

Ten years ago: The government of Bosnia-Herzegovina agreed to a truce, effectively relinquishing besieged Srebrenica. Meanwhile, Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic threatened to boycott further U.N. peace talks if tougher U.N. sanctions against Yugoslavia went into effect.

Five years ago: Despite fierce internal dissent, Northern Ireland's main Protestant party, the Ulster Unionists, approved a peace agreement. The remains of Pol Pot were cremated, three days after the Khmer Rouge leader blamed for the killings of up to 2 million Cambodians died at age 73. Former North Carolina governor and U.S. senator Terry Sanford died in Durham at age 80.

One year ago: Four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan were killed when they were mistakenly bombed by an American F-16 pilot. Afghanistan's former king, Mohammad Zaher Shah, returned to his country after 29 years in exile. A small plane slammed into a landmark skyscraper in Milan, Italy, killing the plane's sole occupant and two other people. Police arrested actor Robert Blake in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, nearly a year earlier. Amtrak's Auto Train derailed near Crescent City, Fla., killing four passengers and seriously injuring 36 others. Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl died near Colla Michari, Italy, at age 87.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Barbara Hale is 82. Blues singer Clarence ``Gatemouth'' Brown is 79. Actor Clive Revill is 73. Actor James Drury is 69. Actor Robert Hooks is 66. Actress Hayley Mills is 57. Actor James Woods is 56. Actress-director Dorothy Lyman is 56. Actress Cindy Pickett is 56. Country musician Walt Richmond (The Tractors) is 56. Actor James Woods is 56. Actor Rick Moranis is 49. Actress Melody Thomas Scott is 47. Actor Eric Roberts is 47. Actor John James is 47. Rock musician Les Pattinson (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 45. Talk show host Conan O'Brien is 40. Actress Jane Leeves is 40. Actor Eric McCormack is 40. Actress Maria Bello is 36. Rock musician Greg Eklund (Everclear) is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Trina (Trina and Tamara) is 29. Actress Melissa Joan Hart is 27. Actor Sean Maguire is 27. Actress Alia Shawkat is 14.

Thought for Today: ``One of the paradoxes of war is that those in the rear want to get up into the fight, while those in the lines want to get out.'' - Ernie Pyle, American war correspondent (1900-1945).
 
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