Saturday, April 13, 2013

This day in history

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[April 13, 2013]  (AP)  Today is Saturday, April 13, the 103rd day of 2013. There are 262 days left in the year.

Today's highlight in history:

On April 13, 1943, President Franklin D. Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., on the 200th anniversary of the third American president's birth.

On this date:

In 1613, Pocahontas, daughter of Chief Powhatan, was captured by English Capt. Samuel Argall in Virginia and held in exchange for English prisoners and stolen weapons. (During a yearlong captivity, Pocahontas converted to Christianity and ultimately opted to stay with the English. )

In 1742, Handel's "Messiah" had its first public performance in Dublin, Ireland.

In 1743, the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was born in Shadwell in the Virginia Colony.

In 1860, the Pony Express completed its inaugural run from St. Joseph, Mo. to Sacramento, Calif. in 10 days.

In 1861, at the start of the Civil War, Fort Sumter in South Carolina fell to Confederate forces.

In 1912, the Royal Flying Corps, a predecessor of Britain's Royal Air Force, was created.

In 1943, Radio Berlin announced the discovery of thousands of graves of massacred Polish officers in Russia's Katyn Forest; the Nazis blamed the killings on the Soviets, who in turn blamed the Nazis. (Post-Soviet Russia has acknowledged the massacre was carried out by Josef Stalin's much feared secret police.)

In 1958, Van Cliburn of the United States won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition for piano in Moscow; Russian Valery Klimov won the violin competition.

In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first black performer in a leading role to win an Academy Award for "Lilies of the Field." (Patricia Neal was named best actress for "Hud"; best picture went to "Tom Jones.")

In 1970, Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. (The astronauts managed to return safely.)

In 1986, Pope John Paul II visited the Great Synagogue of Rome in the first recorded papal visit of its kind to a Jewish house of worship.

In 1992, the Great Chicago Flood took place as the city's century-old tunnel system and adjacent basements filled with water from the Chicago River.

Ten years ago: U.S.-led forces announced the capture of Watban Ibrahim Hasan, a half-brother of and adviser to Saddam Hussein. After three weeks of captivity, seven U.S. POWs, including Army Spc. Shoshana Johnson, were released by Iraqi troops near Tikrit, Iraq. Mike Weir became the first Canadian to win the Masters after the first sudden-death playoff in 13 years.

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Five years ago: World Bank President Robert Zoellick (ZEL'-ik) urged immediate action to deal with mounting food prices that had caused hunger and deadly violence in several countries. Trevor Immelman won the Masters, becoming the first South African to wear a green jacket in 30 years. A construction worker's bid to curse the New York Yankees by planting a Boston Red Sox jersey in their new stadium was foiled when the home team removed the offending shirt from its burial spot. Physicist John A. Wheeler, who coined the term "black holes," died in Hightstown, N.J., at age 96.

One year ago: President Barack Obama arrived in Cartagena, Colombia, to attend the Summit of the Americas; however, the visit was overshadowed by a scandal involving Secret Service agents and prostitutes. North Korea's much-touted satellite launch ended in a nearly $1 billion failure. Jennifer Capriati was elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.

Today's birthdays: Movie director Stanley Donen is 89. Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., is 80. Actor Lyle Waggoner is 78. Actor Edward Fox is 76. Actor Paul Sorvino is 74. Poet Seamus Heaney is 74. Movie-TV composer Bill Conti is 71. Rock musician Jack Casady is 69. Actor Tony Dow is 68. Singer Al Green is 67. Actor Ron Perlman is 63. Actor William Sadler is 63. Singer Peabo Bryson is 62. Bandleader/rock musician Max Weinberg is 62. Bluegrass singer-musician Sam Bush is 61. Rock musician Jimmy Destri is 59. Singer-musician Louis Johnson (The Brothers Johnson) is 58. Comedian Gary Kroeger is 56. Actress Saundra Santiago is 56. Sen. Bob Casey Jr., D-Pa., is 53. Rock musician Joey Mazzola (Sponge) is 52. Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is 50. Actress Page Hannah is 49. Actress-comedian Caroline Rhea (RAY) is 49. Rock musician Lisa Umbarger is 48. Rock musician Marc Ford is 47. Reggae singer Capleton is 46. Actor Ricky Schroder is 43. Rock singer Aaron Lewis (Staind) is 41. Actor Bokeem Woodbine is 40. Singer Lou Bega is 38. Actor-producer Glenn Howerton is 37. Actor Kyle Howard is 35. Actress Courtney Peldon is 32. Pop singer Nellie McKay (mih-KY') is 31. Actress Hannah Marks is 20.

Thought for today: "The excursion is the same when you go looking for your sorrow as when you go looking for your joy." -- Eudora Welty, American author (1909-2001)

[Associated Press]

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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