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Today in History

Tuesday April 09, 2002

Tuesday, April 9 is the 99th day of 2002. There are 266 days left in the year. 


Highlight in History: 

On April 9, 1942, American and Philippine defenders on Bataan capitulated to Japanese forces; the surrender was followed by the notorious “Bataan Death March” which claimed nearly 10,000 lives. 


On this date: 

In 1682, French explorer Robert La Salle reached the Mississippi River. 

In 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia. 

In 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after she was denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution. 

In 1940, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway. 

In 1947, a series of tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas claimed 169 lives. 

In 1959, NASA announced the selection of America’s first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton. 

In 1963, British statesman Winston Churchill was made an honorary U.S. citizen. 

In 1965, the newly built Houston Astrodome featured its first baseball game, an exhibition between the Astros and the New York Yankees. (The Astros won, 2-to-1.) 

In 1993, the Rev. Benjamin Chavis was chosen to head the NAACP, succeeding Benjamin Hooks. 

In 1996, in a dramatic shift of purse-string power, President Clinton signed a line-item veto bill into law. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the veto as unconstitutional in 1998.) 

Ten years ago: Former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega was convicted in Miami of eight drug and racketeering charges; he is serving a 30-year prison sentence. Britain’s Conservatives scored a come-from-behind national election victory, becoming the first British political party to win four straight elections this century. 

Five years ago: The CIA apologized to Gulf War veterans for failing to do a better job in supplying information to U.S. troops who blew up an Iraqi bunker later found to contain chemical weapons. Social Security officials pulled the plug on an Internet site that provided individual earnings and retirement benefit records amid privacy concerns. 

One year ago: President George W. Bush sent Congress details of his $1.96 trillion budget for fiscal 2002, in which he targeted scores of federal programs to make room for his 10-year, $1.6 trillion tax cut. American Airlines’ parent company acquired bankrupt Trans World Airlines, becoming America’s No. 1 carrier. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Willie Stargell died in Wilmington, N.C., at age 61. 


Today’s Birthdays: Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner is 76. Naturalist Jim Fowler is 70. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo is 69. Actress Michael Learned is 63. Country singer Margo Smith is 60. Country singer Hal Ketchum is 49. Actor Dennis Quaid is 48. Humorist Jimmy Tingle is 47. Golfer Severiano Ballesteros is 45. Actress-model Paulina Porizkova is 37. Actress Cynthia Nixon (“Sex and the City”) is 36. Rock singer Kevin Martin (Candlebox) is 33. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is 23. Actor Ryan Northcott is 22. Actress Kristen Stewart (“Panic Room”) is 12.