updated 4/7/2006 12:07:35 AM ET 2006-04-07T04:07:35

Today is Friday, April 7, the 97th day of 2006. There are 268 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 7, 1862, Union forces led by General Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.

On this date:
In 1927, an audience in New York saw an image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover in the first successful long-distance demonstration of television.

In 1939, Italy invaded Albania. (Less than a week later, Italy annexed Albania.)

In 1945, during World War II, American planes intercepted a Japanese fleet that was headed for Okinawa on a suicide mission.

In 1947, auto pioneer Henry Ford died in Dearborn, Michigan, at age 83.

In 1948, the World Health Organization was founded.

In 1949, the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical “South Pacific” opened on Broadway.

In 1953, the U.N. General Assembly elected Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden to be secretary-general.

In 1966, the United States recovered a hydrogen bomb it had lost off the coast of Spain.

In 1969, the Supreme Court unanimously struck down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material.

In 1994, civil war erupted in Rwanda, a day after a mysterious plane crash claimed the lives of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. In the months that followed, hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsi and Hutu intellectuals were slaughtered.

Ten years ago: Celebrating Easter Mass under a glorious spring sky, Pope John Paul appealed for support for the “artisans” of peace in Bosnia, Northern Ireland and the Holy Land.

Five years ago: NASA’s Mars Odyssey spacecraft took off on a six-month, 286 million-mile journey to the Red Planet. In Cincinnati, Timothy Thomas, an unarmed black man wanted on 14 misdemeanor warrants, was fatally shot by a white police officer, sparking three days of riots. Actress Beatrice Straight died in Los Angeles at age 86.

One year ago: The blockbuster painkiller Bextra was taken off the market, and the FDA said all similar prescription drugs should strongly warn about possible risk of heart attacks and strokes. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, a Shiite, was named Iraq’s interim prime minister; Kurdish leader Jalal Talabani was sworn in as interim president. Historic bus service began between the two parts of Kashmir, one controlled by India, the other by Pakistan.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor R.G. Armstrong is 89. Sitar player Ravi Shankar is 86. Actor James Garner is 78. Country singer Cal Smith is 74. Actor Wayne Rogers is 73. Actor Ian Richardson is 72. Media commentator Hodding Carter the Third is 71. Country singer Bobby Bare is 71. Rhythm-and-blues singer Charlie Thomas (The Drifters) is 69. Jazz musician Freddie Hubbard is 68. The mayor of Oakland, California, Jerry Brown, is 68. Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 67. Television personality David Frost is 67. Singer Patricia Bennett (The Chiffons) is 59. Singer John Oates is 57. Singer Janis Ian is 55. Country musician John Dittrich is 55. Rock musician Bruce Gary is 54. Actor Jackie Chan is 52. Football Hall-of-Famer Tony Dorsett is 52. Actor Russell Crowe is 42. Rhythm-and-blues singer Mark Kibble (Take 6) is 42. Actor Bill Bellamy is 41. Rock musician Dave “Yorkie” Palmer (Space) is 41. Actress Heather Burns is 31.

Thought for Today: “Only where there is language is there world.” — Adrienne Rich, American poet.

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