Today is Friday, April 26, the 116th day of 2002. There are 249 days left in the year.
On April 26, 1986, the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl plant in the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire killed at least 31 people and sent radioactivity into the atmosphere.
On this date:
In 1607, an expedition of English colonists, including Capt. John Smith, went ashore at Cape Henry, Va., to establish the first permanent English settlement in the Western Hemisphere.
In 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Lincoln, was surrounded by federal troops near Bowling Green, Va., and killed.
In 1937, planes from Nazi Germany raided the Basque town of Guernica during the Spanish Civil War.
In 1945, Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, the head of France’s Vichy government during World War II, was arrested.
In 1964, the African nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.
In 1968, the United States exploded beneath the Nevada desert a one-megaton nuclear device called “Boxcar.”
In 1970, the Broadway musical “Company” opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York.
In 1980, following an unsuccessful attempt by the United States to rescue the U.S. Embassy hostages in Iran, the Tehran government announced the captives were being scattered to thwart any future rescue effort.
Ten years ago:
Finance officials from the Group of Seven nations, meeting in Washington, endorsed the broad outlines of an economic assistance package for the former Soviet Union. Worshippers celebrated the first Russian Orthodox Easter in Moscow in 74 years.
Five years ago:
In his Saturday radio address, President Clinton prepared for the opening of a community service summit by asking Congress to pay for a drive to ensure that every third-grader can read.
One year ago:
Ukraine’s communist-dominated parliament dismissed reform-oriented Prime Minister Viktor Yushchenko and his government, plunging the nation into political chaos.