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Today in History

Associated Press Updated: April 8, 2015 at 12:01 am
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Today is Wednesday, April 8, the 98th day of 2015. There are 267 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 8, 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the Emergency Relief Appropriations Act, which provided money for programs such as the Works Progress Administration.

On this date:

In 1820, the Venus de Milo statue was discovered by a farmer on the Greek island of Milos.

In 1864, the United States Senate passed, 38-6, the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing slavery. (The House of Representatives passed it in January 1865; the amendment was ratified and adopted in December 1865.)

In 1904, Longacre Square in Manhattan was renamed Times Square after The New York Times.

In 1913, the 17th Amendment to the Constitution, providing for popular election of United States senators (as opposed to appointment by state legislatures), was ratified. President Woodrow Wilson became the first chief executive since John Adams to address Congress in person as he asked lawmakers to enact tariff reform.

In 1946, the League of Nations assembled in Geneva for its final session.

In 1952, President Harry S. Truman seized the American steel industry to avert a nationwide strike. (The Supreme Court later ruled that Truman had overstepped his authority, opening the way for a seven-week strike by steelworkers.)

In 1961, a suspected bomb exploded aboard the passenger liner MV Dara in the Persian Gulf, causing it to sink; 238 of the 819 people aboard were killed.

In 1974, Hank Aaron of the Atlanta Braves hit his 715th career home run in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, breaking Babe Ruth's record.

In 1975, "The Godfather Part II" won the Academy Award for best picture; Ellen Burstyn won best actress for "Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore" while Art Carney received best actor for "Harry and Tonto."

In 1981, General of the Army Omar N. Bradley died in New York at age 88.

In 1990, Ryan White, the teenage AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance had gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18. The cult TV series "Twin Peaks" premiered on ABC.

In 1994, Kurt Cobain, singer and guitarist for the grunge band Nirvana, was found dead in Seattle from an apparently self-inflicted gunshot wound; he was 27.

Ten years ago: With presidents and kings looking on, hundreds of thousands of pilgrims in St. Peter's Square sang, applauded and chanted for the Catholic Church to declare John Paul II a saint as the pope was laid to rest.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed the New START treaty in Prague. Authorities in Cancun, Mexico, found the body of Monica Beresford-Redman, the wife of "Pimp My Ride" and former "Survivor" producer Bruce Beresford-Redman, who was convicted by a Mexico court in March 2015 of murdering her and sentenced to 12 years in prison (he continues to maintain his innocence). Malcolm McLaren, 64, former manager of the Sex Pistols, died in Switzerland. Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the first black prime minister of an interim white-dominated government before Zimbabwe's independence, died six days before his 85th birthday.

One year ago: The U.S. said it would keep its current force of 450 land-based nuclear missiles but remove 50 from their launch silos as part of a plan to bring the U.S. into compliance with a 2011 US-Russia arms control treaty. Breanna Stewart scored 21 points and Stefanie Dolson added 17 points and 16 rebounds to help UConn beat Notre Dame 79-58, giving the Huskies a record ninth women's national championship.

Today's Birthdays: Comedian Shecky Greene is 89. Actor-turned-diplomat John Gavin is 84. Author and Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Seymour Hersh is 78. Former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan is 77. Basketball Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek is 75. "Mouseketeer" Darlene Gillespie is 74. Rhythm-and-blues singer J.J. Jackson is 74. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 74. Songwriter-producer Leon Huff is 73. Actor Hywel Bennett is 71. Actor Stuart Pankin is 69. Rock musician Steve Howe is 68. Former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay is 68. Movie director John Madden is 66. Rock musician Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) is 64. Actor John Schneider is 55. "Survivor" winner Richard Hatch is 54. Rock musician Izzy Stradlin is 53. Singer Julian Lennon is 52. Actor Dean Norris is 52. Rock singer-musician Donita Sparks is 52. Rapper Biz Markie is 51. Actress Robin Wright is 49. Actress Patricia Arquette is 47. Rock singer Craig Honeycutt (Everything) is 45. Rock musician Darren Jessee is 44. Actress Emma Caulfield is 42. Actress Katee Sackhoff is 35. Actor Taylor Kitsch is 34. Rock singer-musician Ezra Koenig (Vampire Weekend) is 31. Actor Taran Noah Smith is 31. Actress Kirsten Storms is 31. Rock musician Jamie Sierota (Echosmith) is 22. Actress Sadie Calvano is 18.

Thought for Today: "Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." — Pablo Picasso, Spanish artist (born 1881, died this date in 1973).

(Above Advance for Use Wednesday, April 8)

Copyright 2015, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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