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This Day In History: Apr. 17

This Day in History

1524: Explorer Giovanni Verrazano discovers New York harbor.
1861: Virginia becomes the eighth state to secede from the Union.
1956: The Communist Information Bureau (Cominform), an instrument of Stalin's policy towards European Communist parties, is dissolved by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.
1961: Cuban exiles--trained, armed, and directed by the United States--unsuccessfully try to invade Cuba's Bay of Pigs to overthrow Fidel Castro.
1969: Sirhan Sirhan is convicted by a Los Angeles jury of having assassinated Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.
1970: The crew of the Apollo 13 spacecraft successfully returns to earth using the lunar module after their mission was aborted because of a rupture of the service module oxygen tank.
1980: Zimbabwe becomes independent.
1989: The Polish government grants legal status to the Solidarity labor union.
1991: The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 3000 for first time.
2003: The panel investigating the breakup in February of the space shuttle Columbia issues its first recommendations.

Today's Birthdays

1741: Samuel Chase, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court (Somerset Co., MD; died 1811)
1837: John Pierpont Morgan, financier/philanthropist (Hartford, CT; died 1913)
1894: Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet leader (USSR; died 1971)
1896: Senor Wences, ventriloquist (Penaranda, Spain; died 1999)
1897: Thornton Wilder, playwright/novelist (Madison, WI; died 1975)
1918: William Holden, actor (O'Fallon, IL; died 1981)
1923: Harry Reasoner, TV anchor/journalist (Dakota City, IA; died 1991)
1928: Cynthia Ozick, writer (New York, NY)
1934: Don Kirshner, music producer/promoter (Bronx, NY)
1947: Ian McDiarmid, actor (Carnoustie, Tayside, Scotland)
1951: Olivia Hussey, actress (Buenos Aires, Argentina)
1958: Sean Bean, actor (Sheffield, Yorkshire, England)
1961: Norman ""Boomer"" Esiason, football player (West Islip, NY)
1964: Lela Rochon, actress (Torrance, CA)
1967: Liz Phair, musician (New Haven, CT)
1972: Jennifer Garner, actress (Houston, TX)

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