updated 4/18/2007 12:01:21 AM ET 2007-04-18T04:01:21

BC-History-April 18,0613

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, April 18, the 108th day of 2007. There are 257 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 18, 1906, a devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by raging fires; estimates of the final death toll stood at more than 3,600.

On this date:

In 1775, several post riders set out to warn colonists of the British attack that started the American Revolution. One patriotic myth that grew out of that movement began with a poem Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called “Paul Revere’s Ride.”

In 1857, American lawyer Clarence Darrow was born near Kinsman, Ohio.

In 1907, San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel opened, a year to the day after the earthquake.

In 1934, the first laundromat (called a “washateria”) opened, in Fort Worth, Texas.

In 1942, an air squadron from the USS Hornet led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities.

In 1945, famed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle, 44, was killed by Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima, off Okinawa.

In 1946, the League of Nations went out of business.

In 1955, physicist Albert Einstein died in Princeton, N.J., at age 76.

In 1980, the independent nation of Zimbabwe, formerly Zimbabwe Rhodesia, came into being.

In 1983, 63 people, including 17 Americans, were killed at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.

Ten years ago: President Clinton held a news conference in which he warned Republicans that a balanced-budget deal might not come quickly, while reassuring nervous Democrats that he would not abandon the party’s prized social programs.

Five years ago: Four Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan were killed when they were mistakenly bombed by an American F-16 pilot. Police arrested actor Robert Blake in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, nearly a year earlier (Blake was acquitted at his criminal trial but found liable in a civil trial). Amtrak’s Auto Train derailed near Crescent City, Fla., killing four passengers. Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl died near Colla Michari, Italy, at age 87.

One year ago: President Bush reshuffled his economic team, appointing Rob Portman his new budget chief. Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived in the Seattle area for talks with business leaders before heading to Washington. Suri Cruise, daughter of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, was born.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress Barbara Hale is 86. Actor Clive Revill is 77. Actor James Drury is 73. Actor Robert Hooks is 70. Actress Hayley Mills is 61. Actor James Woods is 60. Actress-director Dorothy Lyman is 60. Actress Cindy Pickett is 60. Country musician Walt Richmond (The Tractors) is 60. Country musician Jim Scholten (Sawyer Brown) is 55. Actor Rick Moranis is

54. Actress Melody Thomas Scott is 51. Actor Eric Roberts is 51. Actor John James is 51. Rock musician Les Pattinson (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 49. Actress Jane Leeves is 46. Talk show host Conan O’Brien is 44. Bluegrass singer-musician Terry Eldredge is 44. Actor Eric McCormack is 44. Actress Maria Bello is 40. Rock musician Greg Eklund (The Oolahs) is 37. Rhythm-and-blues singer Trina (Trina and Tamara) is 33. Actress Melissa Joan Hart is 31. Actor Sean Maguire is 31. Actress America Ferrera (“Ugly Betty”) is 23. Actress Alia Shawkat is 18.

Thought for Today: “One of the paradoxes of war is that those in the rear want to get up into the fight, while those in the lines want to get out.” — Ernie Pyle, American war correspondent (1900-1945).

© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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