Today is Monday, April 12, the 103rd day of 2004. There are 263 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 12, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Ga., at age 63; he was succeeded by Vice President Harry S. Truman.
On this date:
In 1606, England adopted as its flag the original version of the Union Jack.
In 1861, the American Civil War began as Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.
In 1934, "Tender Is the Night," by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was first published.
In 1955, the Salk vaccine against polio was declared safe and effective.
In 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to fly in space, orbiting the earth once before making a safe landing.
In 1981, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral on its first test flight.
In 1983, Chicagoans went to the polls to elect Harold Washington the city's first black mayor.
In 1985, Senator Jake Garn of Utah became the first senator to fly in space as the shuttle Discovery lifted off.
In 1989, radical activist Abbie Hoffman was found dead at his home in New Hope, Pa., at age 52.
In 1989, former middleweight boxing champion Sugar Ray Robinson died in Culver City, Calif., at age 67.
Ten years ago: Senate Majority Leader George Mitchell declined to be nominated to the Supreme Court. Playwright Edward Albee won his third Pulitzer prize for "Three Tall Women"; the Pulitzer prize for fiction went to E. Annie Proulx for "The Shipping News"; the gold-medal award for public service journalism went to the Akron Beacon-Journal of Ohio.
Five years ago: U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright cited President Clinton for contempt of court, concluding that the president had lied about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky in a deposition in the Paula Jones case. A jury in Little Rock, Ark., acquitted Susan McDougal of obstructing Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr's Whitewater inquiry and deadlocked on two other charges, causing a mistrial.
One year ago: Finance officials from the seven richest industrial countries, meeting in Washington, agreed to support a new UN Security Council resolution as part of a global effort to rebuild Iraq and promised to begin talks on reducing Iraq's massive foreign debt burden. Rescued POW Jessica Lynch returned to the United States after treatment at a U.S. military hospital in Germany. Women's activists took their fight against the all-male Augusta National as close as they could get to the Masters tournament.
Today's Birthdays: Country singer Ned Miller is 79. Actress Jane Withers is 78. Opera singer Montserrat Caballe is 71. Actor Charles Napier is 68. Jazz musician Herbie Hancock is 64. Actor Frank Bank ("Leave It to Beaver") is 62. Rock singer John Kay (Steppenwolf) is 60. Actor Ed O'Neill is 58. Author Tom Clancy is 57. Actor Dan Lauria is 57. Talk show host David Letterman is 57. Author Scott Turow is 55. Singer David Cassidy is 54. Singer Pat Travers is 50. Actor Andy Garcia is 48. Country singer Vince Gill is 47. Actress Suzzanne Douglas is 47. Rock musician Will Sergeant (Echo & the Bunnymen) is 46. Rock singer Art Alexakis (Everclear) is 42. Country singer Deryl Dodd is 40. Folk-pop singer Amy Ray (Indigo Girls) is 40. Figure skater Elaine Zayak is 39. Rock singer Nicholas Hexum (311) is 34. Actor Nicholas Brendon is 33. Actress Shannen Doherty is 33. Rock musician Guy Berryman (Coldplay) is 26. Actress Claire Danes is 25.
Thought for Today: "Eternal truths will be neither true nor eternal unless they have fresh meaning for every new social situation." - President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1882-1945).