Today is Thursday, April 8, the 99th day of 2004. There are 267 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking Babe Ruth's record. The round-tripper was off pitcher Al Downing.

On this date:

In 1513, explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain.

In 1935, the Works Progress Administration was approved by Congress.

In 1946, the League of Nations assembled in Geneva for the last time.

In 1950, ballet dancer Vaslav Nijinsky died in London.

In 1952, President Truman seized the steel industry to avert a nationwide strike.

In 1970, the Senate rejected President 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 1981, Gen. Omar N. Bradley died in New York at age 88.

In 1990, Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18.

In 1993, singer Marian Anderson died in Portland, Ore., at age 96.

Ten years ago: 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. Japanese Prime Minister Morihiro Hosokawa announced his intention to resign in the wake of an ever-widening financial scandal.

Five years ago: At a White House news conference, President Clinton said NATO could still win in Kosovo by air power alone, and he expressed hope for an early release of three American POWs; also at the session with reporters was visiting Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji, who promised to cooperate in investigations of alleged nuclear-weapons spying and illegal campaign contributions by Beijing.

One year ago: Two journalists were killed when U.S. forces fired on their hotel in Baghdad. Connecticut won its second straight NCAA women's basketball championship, defeating Tennessee 73-68.

Today's Birthdays: Former first lady Betty Ford is 86. Comedian Shecky Greene is 78. Lyricist Fred Ebb is 68. Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is 67. Basketball Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek is 64. Singer J.J. Jackson is 63. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 63. Songwriter-producer Leon Huff is 62. Actor Hywel Bennett is 60. Actor Stuart Pankin is 58. Rock musician Steve Howe (Yes) is 57. Rock musician Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) is 53. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Gary Carter is 50. Actor John Schneider is 44. Rock musician Izzy Stradlin is 42. Singer Julian Lennon is 41. Rock singer-musician Donita Sparks (L7) is 41. Rapper Biz Markie is 40. Actress Robin Wright Penn is 38. Actress Patricia Arquette is 36. Rock singer Craig Honeycutt (Everything) is 34. Rock musician Darren Jessee is 33. Actor Taran Noah Smith is 20. Actress Kirsten Storms is 20.

Thought for Today: "The world has achieved brilliance without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants." - Gen. Omar N. Bradley (1893-1981).


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