updated 4/8/2005 12:03:00 AM ET 2005-04-08T04:03:00

Today is Friday, April 8, the 98th day of 2005. 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, Gen. Omar N. Bradley died in New York at age 88.

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

In 1993, singer Marian Anderson died in Portland, Ore., 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: Former secretary of defense Robert S. McNamara, in an interview with AP Network News and Newsweek magazine to promote his memoirs, called America’s Vietnam War policy “terribly wrong.”

Five years ago: The Central Intelligence Agency confirmed that personnel action had been taken following the mistaken bombing of the Chinese embassy during the NATO war against Yugoslavia; one employee was reportedly fired. Actress Claire Trevor died in Newport Beach, Calif.

One year ago: National security adviser Condoleezza Rice told the Sept. 11 commission “there was no silver bullet” that could have prevented the 2001 terrorist attacks. Iraqi insurgents released a videotape of three Japanese captives, threatening to burn them alive if Japan did not withdraw its troops from Iraq. (The hostages were later released unharmed.) Fred Olivi, who copiloted the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki, died in Lemont, Ill., at age 82.

Today’s Birthdays: Former first lady Betty Ford is 87. Comedian Shecky Greene is 79. Investigative reporter Seymour Hersh is 68. Basketball Hall-of-Famer John Havlicek is 65. Singer J.J. Jackson is 64. Singer Peggy Lennon (The Lennon Sisters) is 64. Songwriter-producer Leon Huff is 63. Actor Hywel Bennett is 61. Actor Stuart Pankin is 59. Rock musician Steve Howe (Yes) is 58. Rock musician Mel Schacher (Grand Funk Railroad) is 54. Baseball Hall-of-Famer Gary Carter is 51. Actor John Schneider is 45. Rock musician Izzy Stradlin is 43. Singer Julian Lennon is 42. Rock singer-musician Donita Sparks (L7) is 42. Rapper Biz Markie is 41. Actress Robin Wright Penn is 39. Actress Patricia Arquette is 37. Rock singer Craig Honeycutt (Everything) is 35. Rock musician Darren Jessee is 34. Actor Taran Noah Smith is 21. Actress Kirsten Storms is 21.

Thought for Today: “A highbrow is a person educated beyond his intelligence.” — James Brander Matthews, American author and educator (1852-1929).

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