Today is Palm Sunday, April 5, the 95th day of 2009. There are 270 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 5, 1621, the Mayflower sailed from Plymouth Colony in present-day Massachusetts on a monthlong return trip to England.
On this date:
In 1614, Pocahontas, daughter of the leader of the Powhatan tribe, married English colonist John Rolfe in Virginia. (A convert to Christianity, she went by the name Lady Rebecca.)
In 1792, George Washington cast the first presidential veto, rejecting a congressional measure for apportioning representatives among the states.
In 1887, in Tuscumbia, Ala., teacher Anne Sullivan achieved a breakthrough as her blind and deaf pupil, Helen Keller, learned the meaning of the word “water” as spelled out in the Manual Alphabet. British historian Lord Acton wrote in a letter, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men.”
In 1895, Oscar Wilde lost his criminal libel case against the Marquess of Queensberry, who’d accused the writer of homosexual practices.
In 1951, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were sentenced to death following their conviction in New York on charges of conspiring to commit espionage for the Soviet Union; co-defendant Morton Sobell was sentenced to 30 years in prison. (He was released in 1969.)
In 1964, Army Gen. Douglas MacArthur died in Washington at age 84.
In 1975, nationalist Chinese leader Chiang Kai-shek died at age 87.
In 1976, reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes died in Houston at age 70.
In 1986, two American servicemen and a Turkish woman were killed in the bombing of a West Berlin discotheque, an incident which prompted a U.S. air raid on Libya more than a week later.
Ten years ago: In Laramie, Wyo., Russell Henderson pleaded guilty to kidnapping and felony murder in the death of Matthew Shepard, a gay college student. (Henderson was later sentenced to life in prison.)
Five years ago: A U.S.-Canadian task force investigating the massive power blackout of Aug. 14, 2003, called for urgent approval of mandatory reliability rules to govern the electric transmission industry.
One year ago: Actor Charlton Heston, big-screen hero and later leader of the National Rifle Association, died in Beverly Hills, Calif., at age 84.
Thought for Today:
“Time was invented by Almighty God in order to give ideas a chance.” – Nicholas Murray Butler, American educator (1862-1947).