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Today in History

Today is Wednesday, April 6, the 97th day of 2016. There are 269 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 6, 1896, the first modern Olympic games formally opened in Athens, Greece.

On this date:

In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith in Fayette, New York.

In 1886, the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia, was incorporated.

In 1909, American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson and four Inuits (IH’-noo-wits) became the first men to reach the North Pole.

In 1917, Congress approved a declaration of war against Germany.

In 1945, during World War II, the Japanese warship Yamato and nine other vessels sailed on a suicide mission to attack the U.S. fleet off Okinawa; the fleet was intercepted the next day.

In 1954, a month after being criticized by newsman Edward R. Murrow on CBS’ “See It Now,” Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy, R-Wis., was given the chance to respond on the program; in his pre-filmed remarks, McCarthy charged that Murrow had, in the past, “engaged in propaganda for Communist causes.”

In 1965, the United States launched Intelsat I, also known as the “Early Bird” communications satellite, into geosynchronous orbit.

In 1971, Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky, 88, died in New York City.

In 1980, 3M introduced its “Post-it Notes,” a re-branding of a product formerly known as “Press ‘n Peel.”

In 1996, actress Greer Garson died in Dallas at age 91.

In 1998, country singer Tammy Wynette died at her Nashville home at age 55.

In 2014, actor Mickey Rooney, 93, died in North Hollywood.

Ten years ago: At the death penalty trial of al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui (zak-uh-REE’-uhs moo-SOW’-ee), former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani described his own harrowing experiences in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001. U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., apologized for an altercation in which she’d entered a Capitol building unrecognized, refused to stop when asked by a police officer and then struck him.

Five years ago: Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi appealed directly to President Barack Obama in a letter to end what Gadhafi called “an unjust war”; he also wished Obama good luck in his bid for re-election. Portugal became the third debt-stressed European country to need a bailout as the prime minister announced his country would request international assistance.

One year ago: The Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at the University of Virginia announced it would “pursue all available legal action” against Rolling Stone, saying a Columbia Journalism School review showed the magazine acted recklessly and defamed its members by publishing a discredited article that accused them of gang rape. Kenyan warplanes bombed militant camps in Somalia after a vow by President Uhuru Kenyatta to respond “in the fiercest way possible” to the massacre of Kenyan college students by al-Shabab militants. Kentucky coach John Calipari and Spencer Haywood were among 11 new inductees named to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Duke scored a 68-63 victory over Wisconsin for the program’s fifth NCAA national title. Character James Best, 88, best known for his role as Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane on “The Dukes of Hazzard” comedy show, died in Hickory, North Carolina.

Today’s Birthdays: Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson is 88. Composer-conductor Andre Previn is 87. Actor Billy Dee Williams is 79. Actor Roy Thinnes is 78. Movie director Barry Levinson is 74. Actor John Ratzenberger is 69. Baseball Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven is 65. Actress Marilu Henner is 64. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Janet Lynn is 63. Actor Michael Rooker is 61. Former U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., is 60. Rock musician Warren Haynes is 56. Rock singer-musician Frank Black is 51. Actress Ari Meyers is 47. Actor Paul Rudd is 47. Actor-producer Jason Hervey is 44. Rock musician Markku Lappalainen (mar-KOO’ lap-uh-LAN’-en) is 43. Actor Zach Braff is 41. Actor Joel Garland is 41. Actress Candace Cameron Bure (buhr-RAY’) is 40. Actor Teddy Sears is 39. Jazz and rhythm-and-blues musician Robert Glasper is 38. Actress Eliza Coupe is 35. Folk singer-musician Kenneth Pattengale (Milk Carton Kids) is 34. Actor Bret Harrison is 34. Actor Charlie McDermott is 26.

Thought for Today: “Never think that you’re not good enough yourself. A man should never think that. My belief is that in life people will take you at your own reckoning.” — Isaac Asimov (1920-1992).

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