Today is Saturday, May 1, the 122nd day of 2004. There are 244 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On May 1, 1960, the Soviet Union shot down an American U-2 reconnaissance plane near Sverdlovsk and captured its pilot, Francis Gary Powers.

On this date:

In 1786, Mozart's opera "The Marriage of Figaro" premiered in Vienna.

In 1893, the World's Columbian Exposition was officially opened in Chicago by President Cleveland.

In 1898, Commodore George Dewey gave the command, "You may fire when you are ready, Gridley," as an American naval force destroyed a Spanish fleet in Manila Bay during the Spanish-American War.

In 1931, New York's 102-story Empire State Building was dedicated.

In 1931, singer Kate Smith began her long-running radio program on CBS.

In 1941, the Orson Welles motion picture "Citizen Kane" premiered in New York.

In 1967, Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas. (They divorced in 1973.)

In 1971, Amtrak - which combined and streamlined the operations of 18 intercity passenger railroads - went into service.

In 1978, Ernest Morial was inaugurated as the first black mayor of New Orleans.

In 1998, Eldridge Cleaver, the fiery Black Panther leader who later renounced his past and became a Republican, died in Pomona, Calif., at age 62.

Ten years ago: Israeli and PLO delegates opened a final round of talks in Cairo, Egypt, on Palestinian autonomy prior to the signing of an agreement on self-rule.

Five years ago: Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic agreed to hand over three captured U.S. soldiers to the Reverend Jesse Jackson. Despite protests, the National Rifle Association held its annual meeting in Denver 11 days after the Columbine shootings. The "Liberty Bell Seven," the Mercury space capsule flown by Gus Grissom, was found in the Atlantic 300 miles southeast of Cape Canaveral, 38 years after it sank. An amphibious boat (known as a "duck") sank at Hot Springs, Ark., killing 13. "Charismatic," a 30-1 shot, charged to victory in the 125th Kentucky Derby.

One year ago: President Bush, speaking to the nation from the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln off the Southern California coast, declared major combat in Iraq over, but also said "difficult work" remained ahead. A magnitude 6.4 earthquake killed 177 people in Turkey.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Glenn Ford is 88. Actor Dan O'Herlihy is 85. Former astronaut Scott Carpenter is 79. Country singer Sonny James is 75. Jazz singer Shirley Horn is 70. Singer Judy Collins is 65. Actor Stephen Macht is 62. Singer Rita Coolidge is 59. Actor-director Douglas Barr is 55. Actor Dann Florek is 53. Singer-songwriter Ray Parker Junior is 50. Hall of Fame jockey Steve Cauthen is 44. Actress Maia Morgenstern ("The Passion of the Christ") is 42. Country singer Wayne Hancock is 39. Rock musician Johnny Colt is 38. Actor Charlie Schlatter is 38. Country singer Tim McGraw is 37. Rock musician D'Arcy is 36. Country singer Cory Morrow is 32. Actor Darius McCrary is 28.

Thought for Today: "Think much, speak little, and write less." - Italian proverb.


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