Today's Highlight in History:
On this date:
In 1513, explorer Juan Ponce de Leon and his expedition began exploring the Florida coastline.
In 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for direct popular election of United States senators (as opposed to appointment by state legislatures), was ratified.
In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act, which provided money for programs such as the Works Progress Administration.
In 1946, the League of Nations assembled in Geneva for its final session.
In 1952, President Harry S. Truman seized the steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The U.S. Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority.)
In 1970, the Senate rejected President Richard M. Nixon's nomination of G. Harold Carswell to the U.S. Supreme Court.
In 1973, artist Pablo Picasso died at his home near Mougins, France, at age 91.
In 1988, TV evangelist Jimmy Swaggart resigned from the Assemblies of God after he was defrocked for rejecting an order from the church's national leaders to stop preaching for a year amid reports he'd consorted with a prostitute.
In 1990, Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18.
In 1994, Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead in Seattle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; he was 27.
Ten years ago: The Central Intelligence Agency confirmed that personnel action had been taken following the mistaken bombing of the Chinese embassy during the NATO war against Yugoslavia; one employee was reportedly fired. Oscar-winning actress Claire Trevor died in Newport Beach, Calif. at age 90.
Five years ago: With presidents and kings looking on, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter's Square sang, applauded and chanted for the Catholic Church to declare John Paul II a saint as the pope was laid to rest.
One year ago: Somali pirates hijacked the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama; although the crew was able to retake the cargo ship, the captain was taken captive by the raiders and held aboard a lifeboat. ( Richard Phillips was rescued four days later by Navy SEAL snipers who shot three of the pirates dead.) A Russian spacecraft carrying a crew of three, including U.S. billionaire space tourist Charles Simonyi, landed safely in Kazakhstan. David "Pop" Winans Sr., patriarch of the award-winning Winans gospel music family, died in Nashville, Tenn. at age 74.
Today's Birthdays: Former first lady Betty Ford is 92. Comedian Shecky Greene is 84. Actor-turned-diplomat John Gavin is 79. Author and investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is 73. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is 72. Basketball Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek is 70. "Mouseketeer" Darlene Gillespie is 69. Singer J.J. Jackson is 69. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 69. Songwriter-producer Leon Huff is 68. Actor Hywel Bennett is 66. Actor Stuart Pankin is 64. Rock musician Steve Howe (Yes) is 63. Former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay is 63. Movie director John Madden ("Shakespeare in Love") is 61. Rock musician Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) is 59. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Gary Carter is 56. Actor John Schneider is 50. Rock musician Izzy Stradlin is 48. Singer Julian Lennon is 47. Rock singer-musician Donita Sparks is 47. Rapper Biz Markie is 46. Actress Robin Wright Penn is 44. Actress Patricia Arquette is 42. Rock singer Craig Honeycutt (Everything) is 40. Rock musician Darren Jessee is 39. Actress Emma Caulfield is 37. Actress Katee Sackhoff is 30. Actor Taylor Kitsch is 29. Rock singer-musician Ezra Koenig ( Vampire Weekend) is 26. Actor Taran Noah Smith is 26. Actress Kirsten Storms is 26.
Thought for Today: "The truth is always something that is told, not something that is known. If there were no speaking or writing, there would be no truth about anything." - Susan Sontag, American author and critic (1933-2004).
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