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April 2008 Archives

April 30, 2008

This Day In History: April 30

Today is the 121st day of 2008 and the 42nd day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1789, George Washington was inaugurated as the first president of the United States. In 1803, representatives of the United States and France concluded negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase. In 1945, Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide as Allied troops approached his bunker in Berlin, Germany. In 2003, Mahmoud Abbas took office as the first Palestinian Prime Minister.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Eve Arden (1908-1990), actress; Sheldon Harnick (1924- ), lyricist, is 84; Cloris Leachman (1926- ), actress, is 82; Willie Nelson (1933- ), singer, is 75; Isiah Thomas (1961- ), basketball player, is 47; Kirsten Dunst (1982- ), actress, is 26.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1993, a deranged fan ran stabbed tennis star Monica Seles at a tournament match in Hamburg, Germany.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "The magnitude and difficulty of the trust to which the voice of my country called me, [is] sufficient to awaken in the wisest and most experienced of her citizens a distrustful scrutiny into his qualifications..." - George Washington, in his inaugural address

TODAY'S FACT: Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun married on April 29, 1945, one day before their joint suicide.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 827,192 - number of square miles that the U.S. took possession of in the Louisiana Purchase, at a cost of less than three cents per acre.

TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter (April 28) and new moon (May 5).

April 29, 2008

This Day In History: April 29

Today is the 120th day of 2008 and the 41st day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1429, Joan of Arc lifted the siege of Orleans, France. In 1992, riots broke out in Los Angeles after four police officers were acquitted of beating Rodney King. In 2004, President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney met with the September 11 Commission in closed hearings.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Thomas Beecham (1879-1961), orchestra conductor; Duke Ellington (1899-1974), jazz musician; Jerry Seinfeld (1955- ), comedian, is 53; Daniel Day-Lewis (1957- ), actor, is 51; Michelle Pfeiffer (1958- ), actress, is 50; Andre Agassi (1970- ), tennis player, is 38.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1986, Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens became the first to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning game, a feat he repeated in 1996.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "The thing about performance, even if it's only an illusion, is that it is a celebration of the fact that we do contain within ourselves infinite possibilities." - Daniel Day-Lewis

TODAY'S FACT: Duke Ellington's father worked as a butler at a number of homes in Washington, DC, including the White House.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 19 - age of Joan of Arc at the time of her death.

TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter (April 28) and new moon (May 5).

A Nation of Roads

ben fry - all streets.jpgA terrific visualization from Ben Fry (who has also updated his Salary vs. Performance page for the current baseball season):

All of the streets in the lower 48 United States: an image of 26 million individual road segments. No other features (such as outlines or geographic features) have been added to this image, however they emerge as roads avoid mountains, and sparse areas convey low population. The pace of progress is seen in the midwest where suburban areas are punctuated by square blocks of area that are still farm land.

Also of note to World Almanac fans: Fry's zipdecode, an interactive map of ZIP codes in the U.S., which does a fantastic job of, yes, decoding the numbering scheme for postal codes. Click on the image, type "Z," and then start tapping in your favorite ZIP codes.

More at benfry.com

April 28, 2008

This Day In History: April 28

Today is the 119th day of 2008 and the 40th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1789, a mutiny broke out on the British trade ship Bounty. In 1945, Italian partisans executed dictator Benito Mussolini. In 2004, the first Abu Ghraib prison abuse photos were shown on CBS's 60 Minutes II.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: James Monroe (1758-1831), U.S. president; Lionel Barrymore (1878-1954), actor; Oskar Schindler (1908-1974), businessman; Harper Lee (1926- ), author, is 82; Ann-Margret (1941- ), singer/actress, is 67; Jay Leno (1950- ), TV personality, is 58; Penelope Cruz, (1974- ), actress, is 34.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1967, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the U.S. Army.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "A little flattery will support a man through great fatigue." - James Monroe

TODAY'S FACT: After the 1789 mutiny on the Bounty, the captain and 18 crewmembers were cast out on a 23-foot launch boat in which they safely traveled an astounding 3,618 miles to Timor.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 40 - The number of languages in which Harper Lee's classic To Kill A Mockingbird is available.

TODAY'S MOON: Last quarter (April 28).

April 23, 2008

This Day In History: April 23

Today is the 114th day of 2008 and the 35th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1908, U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt created the U.S. Army Reserve. In 1985, Coca-Cola introduced "New Coke," a product that fizzled with consumers quickly. In 2004, President George W. Bush eased economic sanctions against Libya--in place since the Reagan administration--in response to Libya's giving up its weapons of mass destruction program.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: William Shakespeare (1564-1616), playwright; Max Planck (1858-1947), physicist; Vladimir Nabokov, novelist, (1899-1977); Shirley Temple Black (1928- ), actress/diplomat, is 80; Lee Majors (1940- ), actor, is 68; Sandra Dee (1942-2005), actress; Michael Moore (1954- ), filmmaker, is 54; Andruw Jones (1977- ), baseball player, is 31.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1999, St. Louis Cardinal Fernando Tatis became the first baseball player to hit two grand slam home runs in one inning.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts." - William Shakespeare, As You Like It

TODAY'S FACT: Novelist Vladimir Nabokov was also known internationally as a lepidopterist (a scientist who studies moths and butterflies).

TODAY'S NUMBER: 77 - days that New Coke was on the market before Coca-Cola pulled it from shelves and replaced it with the soft drink's original formula, under the name Classic Coke.

TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (April 20) and last quarter (April 28).

April 22, 2008

This Day In History: April 22

Today is the 113th day of 2008 and the 34th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1500, Pedro Cabral became the first European to see modern-day Brazil. In 1889, Oklahoma was opened to settlers, who swarmed the state in a great land rush. In 1954, the first of the U.S. Senate's Army-McCarthy hearings were broadcast. In 1993, the U.S. Holocaust Museum was dedicated in Washington, DC. In 2000, immigration agents seized Elian Gonzalez from his relatives' house in Miami in order to return him to his father in Cuba.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Henry Fielding (1707-54), novelist; Immanuel Kant (1724-1804), philosopher; Vladimir Ilyich Lenin (1870-1924), Soviet leader; J. Robert Oppenheimer (1904-67), physicist; Charles Mingus (1922-79), jazz musician; Jack Nicholson (1936- ), actor, is 72; John Waters (1946- ), filmmaker, is 62; Peter Frampton (1950- ), rock musician, is 58.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1914, Babe Ruth, then a Baltimore pitcher, appeared in his first professional baseball game, shutting out Providence, 6-0.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "All our knowledge begins with the sense, proceeds then to understanding, and ends with reason. " - Immanuel Kant

TODAY'S FACT: The Army-McCarthy hearings were the first nationally televised congressional inquiry.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 69,898 - area (in square miles) of the state of Oklahoma.

TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (April 20) and last quarter (April 28).

April 21, 2008

This Day In History: April 21

Today is the 112th day of 2008 and the 33rd day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1836, Texas forces under Sam Houston defeated Mexicans at the Battle of San Jacinto. In 1918, Germany's "Red Baron," fighter ace Baron Manfred von Richtofen, was shot down and killed. In 1960, the new city of Brasilia officially became Brazil's capital. In 1992, murderer Robert Alton Harris became the first person executed by the state of California in 25 years.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Charlotte Bronte (1816-55), novelist/poet; John Muir (1838-1914), naturalist/environmentalist; Anthony Quinn (1915-2001), actor; Elizabeth II (1926- ), British monarch, is 82; Elaine May (1932- ), actress/writer, is 76; Patti LuPone (1949- ), actress/singer, is 59; Tony Danza (1951- ), actor, is 57; James McAvoy (1979- ), actor, is 29.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1974, Lee Elder became the first African American to be invited to the PGA Masters Tournament.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "The upward course of a nation's history is due in the long run to the soundness of heart of its average men and women." - Queen Elizabeth II

TODAY'S FACT: Brasilia was put on the UN's World Heritage List in 1987 in recognition of its innovative urban planning and design.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 54 - number of years Queen Elizabeth II has ruled Great Britain, ten less than Queen Victoria, Britain's longest-ruling monarch.

TODAY'S MOON: Between full moon (April 20) and last quarter (April 28).

April 18, 2008

This Day In History: April 18

Today is the 109th day of 2008 and the 30th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1775, Paul Revere began his famous ride, warning, "The British are coming!" In 1906, the great San Francisco earthquake struck. In 1942, U.S. planes, led by Gen. James Doolittle, bombed Tokyo and other Japanese cities. In 2002, Exiled Afghan King Mohammad Zahir Shah returned to Afghanistan.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Franz von Suppé (1819-95), composer; Clarence Darrow (1857-1938), lawyer; Wendy Barrie (1912-78), actress; Joseph Goldstein (1940- ), geneticist, is 68; Hayley Mills (1946- ), actress, is 62; James Woods (1947- ), actor, is 61; Conan O'Brien (1963- ), TV personality, is 45; America Ferrera (1984- ), actress, is 24.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1923, Yankee Stadium, known as the "House That Ruth Built," opened in the Bronx with a crowd of 74,200 people. Babe Ruth hit the stadium's first home run in the third inning.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free." - Clarence Darrow

TODAY'S FACT: Paul Revere did not complete his ride from Boston to Concord; one of the two men who accompanied him reached Concord to deliver the message after Revere was detained by scouts.

TODAY'S NUMBER: $400,000,000 - estimated property damage (in 1906 dollars) as a result of the San Francisco earthquake and fire.

TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter (April 12) and full moon (April 20).

April 17, 2008

This Day In History: April 17

Today is the 108th day of 2008 and the 29th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1524, Italian navigator Giovanni da Verrazano, sailing for France, led the first European expedition into New York Harbor. In 1861, Virginia became the eighth state to secede from the Union. In 1961, a group of CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched an unsuccessful invasion of Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. In 1993, a Los Angeles jury convicted two police officers of violating the civil rights of assaulted motorist Rodney King.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Nikita Khrushchev (1894-1971), Soviet political leader; Senor Wences (1896-1999), ventriloquist; Thornton Wilder, playwright/novelist (1897-1975); William Holden (1918-81), actor; Boomer Esiason (1961- ), football player/broadcaster, is 47; Jennifer Garner (1972- ), actress, is 36.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1953, 21-year-old Mickey Mantle hit a 565-foot homer over the wall of Griffith Stadium in Washington, the first "tape-measure" home run in baseball history.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Hope, like faith, is nothing if it is not courageous; it is nothing if it is not ridiculous." - Thornton Wilder

TODAY'S FACT: More Civil War battles were fought in Virginia than any other state.

TODAY'S NUMBER: -272 - temperature, in degrees Celsius, of the Boomerang Nebula, the coldest known place in the universe.

TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter (April 12) and full moon (April 20)

April 16, 2008

This Day In History: April 16

Today is the 107th day of 2008 and the 28th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1777, American forces defeated the British at the Battle of Bennington in Vermont. In 1917, Vladimir I. Lenin returned to Russia in a sealed train after years in exile. In 1947, the French vessel Grandcamp blew up in the harbor of Texas City, TX, killing at least 500 people. In 2007, a senior at Virginia Tech shot 27 students and 5 faculty members to death on the campus in Blacksburg, VA.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Anatole France (1844-1924), writer; Charlie Chaplin (1889-1977), actor/director/composer; Peter Ustinov (1921-2004), actor; Pope Benedict XVI (1927- ), Roman Catholic leader, is 81; Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (1947- ), basketball player, is 61; Bill Belichick (1952- ), football coach, is 56; Ellen Barkin (1955- ), actress, is 53; Peter Billingsley (1971- ), actor, is 37.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1999, Wayne Gretzky announced his retirement from professional hockey.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe." - Anatole France

TODAY'S FACT: Charlie Chaplin refused to use dialogue in his movies until The Great Dictator in 1940, 13 years after the first "talkie."

TODAY'S NUMBER: 20 - number of professional seasons Kareem Abdul-Jabbar played in the NBA before announcing his retirement.

TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter (April 12) and full moon (April 20).

April 15, 2008

This Day In History: April 15

Today is the 106th day of 2008 and the 27th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1912, the Titanic sank after hitting an iceberg. In 1924, Rand McNally published its first road atlas. In 1959, the new Cuban leader, Fidel Castro, visited the United States. In 1999, astronomers announced the discovery of another solar system--the first aside from our own--in the constellation Andromeda.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), artist/scientist; Henry James (1843-1916), novelist; A. Philip Randolph (1889-1979), activist; Bessie Smith (1894-1937), blues singer; Emma Thompson (1959- ), actress, is 49; Emma Watson (1990- ), actress, is 18.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1942, Hiram Bithorn became the first Puerto Rican to play Major League Baseball as a pitcher for the Chicago Cubs.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "It does not matter how small you are if you have faith and plan of action." - Fidel Castro

TODAY'S FACT: Titanic is the highest-grossing American movie of all time, having made more than $600 million at the box office.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 24 - number of hours after Germany's 1939 invasion of Poland that U.S. stores were completely sold out of Rand McNally maps of Europe.

TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter (April 12) and full moon (April 20).

April 14, 2008

This Day In History: April 14

Today is the 105th day of 2008 and the 26th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1865, John Wilkes Booth shot and fatally wounded President Abraham Lincoln. In 1939, John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath was published. In 1986, the U.S. launched air strikes against Libya. In 2002, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez regained power after a military coup overthrew him two days earlier.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Anne Sullivan Macy (1866-1936), educator; John Gielgud (1904-2000), actor; Rod Steiger (1925-2002), actor; Loretta Lynn (1935- ), singer, is 73; Julie Christie (1940- ), actress, is 68; Pete Rose (1941- ), baseball player, is 67; Greg Maddux (1966- ), baseball player, is 42; Adrien Brody (1973- ), actor, is 35; Abigail Breslin (1996- ), actress, is 12.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 2003, Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche became the first NHL goalie to win 150 playoff games.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Doctors tell me I have the body of a thirty year old. I know I have the brain of a fifteen year old. If you've got both, you can play baseball." - Pete Rose

TODAY'S FACT: The lowest point on earth is called Challenger Deep, located at the bottom of the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean—nearly 11,000 meters (36,000 feet) below sea level.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 7:22 a.m. - time of Abraham Lincoln's death, the day after he was shot.

TODAY'S MOON: Between first quarter (April 12) and full moon (April 20).

April 10, 2008

This Day In History: April 10

Today is the 101st day of 2008 and the 22nd day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1933, the U.S. government created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to put unemployed young men to work. In 1938, Nazi Germany annexed Austria. In 1972, famed film comedian and director Charlie Chaplin received an honorary Oscar. In 2003, Congress approved the Amber Alert system, which alerts the public to child abductions.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: William Hazlitt (1778-1830), writer; Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911), publisher; Max von Sydow (1929- ), actor, is 79; Omar Sharif (1932- ), actor, is 76; John Madden (1936- ), football coach/broadcaster, is 72; Steven Seagal (1951- ), actor, is 57; Haley Joel Osment (1988- ), actor, is 20.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers announced the purchase of Jackie Robinson's contract from the Montreal Royals.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

TODAY'S FACT: Residents of the small European country of Andorra enjoy the longest life expectancy in the world, at an average of 83.5 years.

TODAY'S NUMBER: .349 - Jackie Robinson's batting average in his last year with the Montreal Royals.

TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (April 5) and first quarter (April 12).

This Day In History: April 10

Today is the 101st day of 2008 and the 22nd day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1933, the U.S. government created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) to put unemployed young men to work. In 1938, Nazi Germany annexed Austria. In 1972, famed film comedian and director Charlie Chaplin received an honorary Oscar. In 2003, Congress approved the Amber Alert system, which alerts the public to child abductions.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: William Hazlitt (1778-1830), writer; Joseph Pulitzer (1847-1911), publisher; Max von Sydow (1929- ), actor, is 79; Omar Sharif (1932- ), actor, is 76; John Madden (1936- ), football coach/broadcaster, is 72; Steven Seagal (1951- ), actor, is 57; Haley Joel Osment (1988- ), actor, is 20.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers announced the purchase of Jackie Robinson's contract from the Montreal Royals.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself." - Joseph Pulitzer

TODAY'S FACT: Residents of the small European country of Andorra enjoy the longest life expectancy in the world, at an average of 83.5 years.

TODAY'S NUMBER: .349 - Jackie Robinson's batting average in his last year with the Montreal Royals.

TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (April 5) and first quarter (April 12).

National Geographic GeoBee

0804GeoBee.jpgNational Geographic will hold their annual Geography Bee on May 21. In the meantime, they have been providing daily quizzes online. Although the Geobee is for students grades four through eight only, the questions are far from elementary:
(1) Pearls are harvested in the Sulu Archipelago, a group of islands off the southwest coast of Mindanao in which country?
(2) Yellow fever slowed early development of Fort-deFrance, the capital city of which French overseas department?
(3) Rich reserves of bituminous coal are found in Upper Silesia, a region lying mostly in the southwestern part of which country?
(4) The city of Casper, which lies near the Teapot Dome oil fields, is located in which western state?

(answers are at the end of the entry)
Remember, spelling counts. That includes full terms in the answer (not just the relevant part) and plurality if necessary.

GeoBee Challenge Daily Quizzes [National Geographic]

A nun in New Bedford's Portuguese community teaches a geography lesson (1942) Library of Congress, Hispanic Division

Answers: (1) Phillippines, (2) Martinique, (3) Poland, (4) Wyoming


April 9, 2008

This Day In History: April 9

Today is the 100th day of 2008 and the 21st day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1865, Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House. In 1940, Germany invaded Norway and Denmark. In 2003, Iraqis celebrating the collapse of Saddam Hussein's regime tore down and beheaded the Hussein statue in downtown Baghdad.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Charles Baudelaire (1821-67), poet; Paul Robeson (1898-1976), athlete/actor/singer; Hugh Hefner (1926- ), publisher, is 82; Jean-Paul Belmondo (1933- ), actor, is 75; Dennis Quaid (1954- ), actor, is 54; Cynthia Nixon (1966- ), actress, is 42.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1965, the Houston Astros defeated the NY Yankees 2-1 in an exposition game--the first professional baseball game ever played indoors--at the Astrodome.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Everything considered, work is less boring than amusing oneself." - Charles Baudelaire

TODAY'S FACT: The Astrodome originally had a natural grass field; 'Astroturf' was installed only after the grass died due to a new coat of paint on the ceiling aimed at making pop flies more visible.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 15 - number of varsity letters that Paul Robeson received at Rutgers University for playing baseball, football, basketball, and track.

TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (April 5) and first quarter (April 12).

April 8, 2008

This Day In History: April 8

Today is the 99th day of 2008 and the 20th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1513, explorer Juan Ponce de Leon declared Florida a territory of Spain. In 1935, Congress approved legislation creating the Works Progress Administration (WPA). In 2005, Pope John Paul II was buried at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Harvey Cushing (1869-1939), surgeon; Mary Pickford (1893-1979), actress; Sonja Henie (1912-69), ice skater; Betty Ford (1918- ), former first lady, is 90; Shecky Greene (1926- ), comedian, is 82; Kofi Annan (1938- ), former UN Secretary General, is 70; Robin Wright Penn (1966- ), actress, is 42.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1974, Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run, breaking Babe Ruth's record for career home runs.

TODAY'S QUOTE: Make them laugh, make them cry, and back to laughter. What do people go to the theatre for? An emotional exercise." - Mary Pickford

TODAY'S FACT: Florida did not become a U.S. possession until Spain surrendered it in a treaty in 1819.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 10 - number of languages used at least once during Pope John Paul II's funeral mass.

TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (April 5) and first quarter (April 12).

April 7, 2008

This Day In History: April 7

Today is the 98th day of 2008 and the 19th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1712, a slave rebellion broke out in New York City. In 1862, Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at the battle of Shiloh. In 1994, a civil war ignited in Rwanda; millions were displaced and hundreds of thousands were killed in the next several months.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: William Wordsworth (1770-1850), poet; Billie Holiday (1915-59), jazz singer; Francis Ford Coppola (1939- ), filmmaker, is 69; Jackie Chan (1954- ), actor, is 54; Russell Crowe (1964- ), actor, is 44; Tiki Barber (1975), football player, is 33.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1963, at age 23, golfer Jack Nicklaus won the first of his six Masters titles.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "The eye--it cannot choose but see; we cannot bid the ear be still; our bodies feel, where'er they be, against or with our will." - William Wordsworth

TODAY'S FACT: Of the 16 million American adults who used online dating sites in 2006, 17% reported to have entered into long-term relationships with fellow online daters.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 800,000 - estimated number of Rwandans killed during the first 100 days of the 1994 genocide.

TODAY'S MOON: Between new moon (April 5) and first quarter (April 12).

April 2, 2008

This Day In History: April 2

Today is the 93rd day of 2008 and the 14th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1865, Jefferson Davis fled Richmond as Union forces closed in on the Confederate capital. In 1917, President Woodrow Wilson asked Congress to declare war on Germany. In 1982, Argentina invaded the British-held Falkland Islands. In 1992, Mafia boss John Gotti was found guilty of murder, racketeering, and other charges by a New York jury.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Hans Christian Andersen (1805-75), writer; Emile Zola (1840-1902), novelist; Max Ernst (1891-1976), artist; Buddy Ebsen (1908-2003), actor; Emmylou Harris (1947- ), singer, is 61; Christopher Meloni (1961- ), actor, is 47.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1931, Jackie Mitchell, a 17-year old female pitcher for the Chattanooga Lookouts, struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition match against the Yankees.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Life itself is the most wonderful fairy tale." - Hans Christian Anderson

TODAY'S FACT: Max Ernst created a new painting technique called frottage in which an object is covered with blank paper and rubbed with black chalk, creating a surreal image.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 3,105 - number of people who lived in the Falkland Islands in 2007.

TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter (March 29) and new moon (April 5).

April 1, 2008

This Day In History: April 1

Today is the 92nd day of 2008 and the 13th day of spring.

TODAY'S HISTORY: In 1945, U.S. troops landed on the Japanese island of Okinawa. In 1960, TIROS-1, the first weather satellite, was launched from Cape Canaveral. In 1987, Pres. Reagan gave his first speech on the AIDS epidemic, declaring the disease "public health enemy number one." In 1999, Nunavut officially separated from the Northwest Territories in Canada. In 2001, ex-Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic was arrested and jailed on corruption charges, after a 36-hour standoff with police.

TODAY'S BIRTHDAYS: Otto von Bismarck (1815-98), German political leader; Edmond Rostand (1868-1918), playwright; Sergei Rachmaninov (1873-1943), composer; Milan Kundera (1929- ), writer, is 79; Debbie Reynolds (1932- ), actress, is 76; Ali McGraw (1938- ), actress, is 70; Samuel Alito (1950- ), Supreme Court justice, is 58.

TODAY'S SPORTS: In 1973, veteran Boston Celtic John Havlicek scored a career-high 54 points against the Atlanta Hawks, setting a Celtic playoff record.

TODAY'S QUOTE: "Laws are like sausages. It's better not to see them being made." - Otto von Bismarck

TODAY'S FACT: In late 2007, the UN estimated there were 33.2 million people living with AIDS.

TODAY'S NUMBER: 19,389 - number of pictures TIROS-1 sent back to Earth during its 77 days in orbit.

TODAY'S MOON: Between last quarter (March 29) and new moon (April 5).

April 7, 2008

Collection of Native American Legends

0803Legends.jpgThe United Cherokee Ani-Yun-Wiya Nation in northeast Alabama has a small web presence, but they have accumulated a large collection of Native American legends; more than 2,000 tales organized by region. If you don't know where to start, I recommend some of the many Coyote stories. That most western tribes have a Coyote character reflects the range of the coyote population. In the myths and legends he is usually devilish or foolish but very human. Sometimes his intentions are good but at other times not so much.

United Cherokee Ani-Yun-Wiya Nation Online Collection of Legends
Coyote's Sad Song to the Moon (Pueblos)
Coyote And The Swallowing Monster (Sahaptin)


Coyote Leads the Salmon Upriver [Legend] from the Flickr page of Jim Carson

About April 2008

This page contains all entries posted to The World Almanac in April 2008. They are listed from newest to oldest.

March 2008 is the previous archive.

May 2008 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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