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This Day In History: Apr. 26

This Day in History

1865: John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of Pres. Abraham Lincoln, is fatally wounded in a farmhouse near Washington, DC , after being hunted down by federal troops.
1937: German planes bomb the city of Guernica in Spain .
1964: The United Republic of Tanzania is formed by an Act of Union between Tanganyika, on the mainland, and the island of Zanzibar.
1985: The Warsaw Pact is renewed for 20 years.
1986: A major explosion occurs at the Soviet Union's Chernobyl nuclear power plant, sending radioactive material into the air that exposes many to dangerous radiation levels.
1994: South Africa begins holding multiparty elections in which blacks are allowed to vote for the first time in the nation's history.
2000: Vermont governor Howard Dean (D) signs a controversial bill granting same-sex couples the right to enter into "civil unions."

Today's Birthdays

1660: Daniel Defoe, writer (London, England; died 1731)
1711: David Hume, philosopher (Scotland; died 1776)
1785: John James Audubon, artist/naturalist (Haiti; died 1851)
1798: Eugène Delacroix, painter (France; died 1863)
1822: Frederick Law Olmsted, landscape architect/park designer (Hartford, CT; died 1903)
1875: Syngman Rhee, president of South Korea (Hwanghae Province, in present North Korea; died 1965)
1880: Michel Fokine, ballet dancer/choreographer (Russia; died 1942)
1889: Ludwig Wittgenstein, philosopher (Austria; died 1951)
1893: Anita Loos, author/playwright (Sisson, CA; died 1981)
1894: Rudolf Hess, Nazi leader (Alexandria, Egypt; died 1987)
1900: Charles Francis Richter, physicist/seismologist and developer of the Richter scale (near Hamilton, OH; died 1985)
1914: Bernard Malamud, writer (Brooklyn, NY; died 1986)
1916: Morris West, novelist (Melbourne, Australia; died 1999)
1917: I. M. Pei, architect (Canton, China)
1918: Fanny Blankers-Koen, Dutch athlete who was the only woman to win four gold medals in track and field at one Olympics (near Baarn, the Netherlands; died 2004)
1933: Carol Burnett, actress/comedian (San Antonio, TX)
1942: Bobby Rydell, singer (Philadelphia, PA)
1961: Joan Chen, actress (Shanghai, China)
1962: Michael Damian, actor (San Diego, CA)
1963: Jet Li, actor/martial artist (Beijing, China)
1965: Kevin James, actor (Mineola, NY)
1977: Tom Welling, actor (West Point, New York)
1983: Jessica Lynch, rescued Iraq war POW (Palestine, WV)

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