Today is Friday, April 2, the 93rd day of 2004. There are 273 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 2, 1917, President Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, "The world must be made safe for democracy."

On this date:

In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Florida.

In 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the U.S. Mint.

In 1805, storyteller Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark.

In 1860, the first Italian Parliament met at Turin.

In 1865, Confederate President Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va.

In 1872, Samuel F.B. Morse, developer of the electric telegraph, died in New York.

In 1932, aviator Charles A. Lindbergh and Dr. John F. Condon turned over $50,000 in ransom to an unidentified man in a New York City cemetery in exchange for Lindbergh's kidnapped son. (The child, however, was not returned, and was found dead the following month.)

In 1974, French president Georges Pompidou died in Paris.

In 1982, several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain. (Britain seized the islands back the following June.)

In 1992, mob boss John Gotti was convicted in New York of murder and racketeering; he was later sentenced to life in prison.

Ten years ago: President Clinton warned Americans against "demagogues of division" in his weekly radio address, while calling for greater personal responsibility and cooperation to overcome the nation's problems. Consumer reporter Betty Furness died in Hartsdale, N.Y., at age 78.

Five years ago: The Labor Department reported that the nation's unemployment rate fell to a 29-year low of 4.2 percent in March 1999.

One year ago: American forces fought their way to within sight of the Baghdad skyline; Iraqi soldiers discarded their military uniforms by the roadside to hide their identity. A bomb blast near a wharf in the southern Philippine city of Davao killed 16.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Dabbs Greer is 87. Actress Rita Gam is 76. Actress Sharon Acker is 69. Singer Leon Russell is 63. Jazz musician Larry Coryell is 61. Actress Linda Hunt is 59. Singer Emmylou Harris is 57. Actress Pamela Reed is 55. Actress Debralee Scott is 51. Country singer Buddy Jewell is 43. Actor Chris Meloni is 43. Singer Keren Woodward (Bananarama) is 43. Country singer Billy Dean is 42. Actress Jana Marie Hupp is 40. Rock musician Greg Camp (Smash Mouth) is 37. Rock musician Tony Fredianelli (Third Eye Blind) is 35. Country singer Jill King is 29. Actor Jeremy Garrett is 28.

Thought for Today: "No artist is ahead of his time. He is his time. It is just that others are behind the time." - Martha Graham, modern dance pioneer (1894-1991).

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