Today is Saturday, April 30, the 121st day of 2014. There are 245 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1657 – English fleet defeats Spanish fleet off Santa Cruz, Bolivia.
1789 – George Washington is inaugurated as the first president of the United States.
1803 – The United States doubles in size with the purchases of the Louisiana Territory and New Orleans from France.
1824 – Crete, in rebellion against Turkey along with the rest of Greece, is captured by Egyptian allies of the Turks.
1881 – France invades Tunisia from Algeria on a pretext, and later establishes a protectorate.
1900 – Hawaii becomes a territory of the United States.
1919 – World War I peace conference grants German concession in Shantung, China, to Japan, whereupon China leaves the conference.
1945 – Adolf Hitler commits suicide in his Berlin bunker with his new wife, Eva Braun.
1948 – The Organization of American States holds its first meeting, in Bogota, Colombia.
1953 – People’s Progressive Party wins first election in British Guyana.
1970 – U.S. President Richard Nixon announces he has ordered American troops into action against Vietnamese Communist sanctuaries inside Cambodia, a move that sparks widespread protests.
1973 – U.S. President Richard Nixon announces the resignations of his aides H.R. Haldeman and John Ehrlichman, along with Attorney General Richard Kleindienst and White House counsel John Dean.
1975 – Vietnamese Communist troops take over Saigon, ending Vietnam War.
1977 – Argentina’s Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo hold first weekly march to demand return of their disappeared children.
1986 – Soviet government says 197 people were hospitalized following Chernobyl nuclear power plant disaster, that plant’s reactor has been shut down and radiation levels are dropping.
1988 – University student hurls three homemade bombs into headquarters of President Roh Tae-Woo’s governing party in Seoul, South Korea, and is arrested.
1990 – American hostage Frank Reed is released in west Beirut, Lebanon, after 3 1/2 years in captivity.
1991 – Cyclone hits Bangladesh, killing at least 125,000 people.
1993 – Tennis star Monica Seles, the world’s No. 1 player, is stabbed with a kitchen knife in Hamburg, Germany, by a supporter of her German rival Steffi Graf.
1994 – Bosnian Serb soldiers attack British peacekeepers twice near Gorazde.
1995 – U.S. President Bill Clinton ends U.S. trade and investment with Iran, accusing the Tehran government of supporting terrorism.
1996 – In Liberia, shells and gunfire rip through central Monrovia and a diplomatic enclave. U.S. Marines shoot and kill three Liberians firing toward the U.S. Embassy.
1997 – An airlift starts to ship Rwandan refugees, trapped in Zaire and hunted by rebels, back to Rwanda.
1998 – Argentine police arrest Dinko Sakic, accused of committing atrocities while the commander of a concentration camp in Croatia during World War II.
2002 – The International Skating Union, figure skating’s world governing body, suspends two French skating officials from the sport for three years after the two are implicated in a judging scandal at the Winter Olympic Games in February.
2004 – Ten countries join the European Union bloc in a historic enlargement that brings in a region separated for decades from the West by barbed wire and Soviet ideology. The EU’s biggest expansion in its 47-year history adds the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia — along with Cyprus and Malta. Together, they boost the EU’s population to 450 million people.
2005 – Insurgents unleash another day of deadly bombings in Iraq’s capital and beyond, staging a series of assaults that kill at least 65 people over two days and appear timed to deflate hopes that the installation of the nation’s first democratically elected government would curb spiking violence.
2006 – Nepal’s Parliament calls for a cease-fire with communist rebels and elections for an assembly to rewrite the constitution.
2007 – A gasoline tanker crashes and bursts into flames near the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in the U.S. state of California, creating such intense heat that a stretch of highway melts and collapses. The driver walks away from the scene with second-degree burns.
2008 – DNA tests carried out by a U.S. laboratory prove that remains exhumed last year belong to two children of Czar Nicholas II, Crown Prince Alexei and his sister, Maria, putting to rest questions about what happened to Russia’s last royal family.
2009 – Iraq war formally ends for British forces as America’s main battlefield ally hands control of oil-rich Basra area to U.S. commanders and prepares to ship out its remaining 4,000 troops.
2010 – Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi insists that his government will serve out the remaining three years of its term, despite mounting infighting and trouble within his coalition.
2011 – Thousands of young people flood an ancient Roman field for an all-night prayer vigil honoring Pope John Paul II on the eve of his beatification, remembering his teachings, travels and his own suffering.
2012 – In fresh attacks on symbols of state power, twin suicide bombs explode near a government security compound in northern Syria and rockets strike the central bank in Damascus, killing nine people and wounding 100.
2013 — The leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group says Syrian rebelx will not be able to defeat President Bashar Assad’s regime militarily, warning that “Syria’s friends,” including his Iranian-backed military group, are ready to intervene on the government side.
Casimir III The Great, Polish king (1310-1370); Jacques-Louis David, French artist (1748-1825); Carl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician (1799-1855); Kaspar Hauser, German mystery youth (1812-1833); Corinne Calvet, French-born actress (1926-2001); Carl XVI Gustaf, King of Sweden (1946–); Kirsten Dunst, U.S. actress (1982–).
Thought For Today:
To die for a religion is easier than to live it absolutely — Jorge Louis Borges, Argentine author (1899-1986)
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