updated 4/8/2006 12:01:37 AM ET 2006-04-08T04:01:37

Today is Saturday, April 8, the 98th day of 2006. There are 267 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 8, 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. The round-tripper was off pitcher Al Downing.

On this date:
In 1513, explorer Juan Ponce de Leon claimed Florida for Spain.

In 1935, the Works Progress Administration was approved by Congress.

In 1946, the League of Nations assembled in Geneva for the last time.

In 1952, President Truman seized the steel industry to avert a nationwide strike.

In 1970, the Senate rejected President Nixon’s nomination of G. Harold Carswell to the U.S. Supreme Court.

In 1973, artist Pablo Picasso died at his home near Mougins, France, at age 91.

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

In 1990, Ryan White, the teen-age AIDS patient whose battle for acceptance gained national attention, died in Indianapolis at age 18.

In 1993, singer Marian Anderson died in Portland, Oregon, at age 96.

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: Stock prices plunged on Wall Street amid concerns over stronger-than-expected employment data. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 88.51 to end at 5594.37.

Five years ago: U.S. officials said President Bush was sending a letter to the wife of a missing Chinese fighter pilot as a humanitarian gesture. (The pilot’s plane had collided with a U.S. spy plane, forcing the spy plane to make an emergency landing in China.) Tiger Woods won the Masters for his fourth straight major title in a span of 294 days.

One year ago: World leaders joined pilgrims and prelates in St. Peter’s Square for the funeral of Pope John Paul II.

Today’s Birthdays: Former first lady Betty Ford is 88. Comedian Shecky Greene is 80. Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is 69. Basketball Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek is 66. Mouseketeer Darlene Gillespie is 65. Singer J.J. Jackson is 65. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 65. Songwriter-producer Leon Huff is 64. Actor Hywel Bennett is 62. Actor Stuart Pankin is 60. Rock musician Steve Howe (Yes) is 59. Rock musician Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) is 55. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Gary Carter is 52. Actor John Schneider is 46. Rock musician Izzy Stradlin is 44. Singer Julian Lennon is 43. Rock singer-musician Donita Sparks (L7) is 43. Rapper Biz Markie is 42. Actress Robin Wright Penn is 40. Actress Patricia Arquette is 38. Rock singer Craig Honeycutt (Everything) is 36. Rock musician Darren Jessee is 35. Actress Katee Sackhoff is 26. Actor Taran Noah Smith is 22. Actress Kirsten Storms is 22.

Thought for Today: “He who despises himself esteems himself as a self-despiser.” — Susan Sontag, American author and critic (1933-2004).

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