updated 4/9/2005 12:08:09 AM ET 2005-04-09T04:08:09

Today is Saturday, April 9, the 99th day of 2005. There are 266 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 9, 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.

On this date:
In 1682, French explorer Robert La Salle reached the Mississippi River.

In 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after she was denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

In 1940, during World War II, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway.

In 1942, American and Philippine defenders on Bataan capitulated to Japanese forces; the surrender was followed by the notorious “Bataan Death March” which claimed nearly 10,000 lives.

In 1947, a series of tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas claimed 169 lives.

In 1959, NASA announced the selection of America’s first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton.

In 1963, British statesman Winston Churchill was made an honorary U.S. citizen.

In 1965, the newly built Houston Astrodome featured its first baseball game, an exhibition between the Astros and the New York Yankees. (The Astros won, 2-1.)

In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger ended its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

In 2003, jubilant Iraqis celebrated the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, beheading a toppled statue of their longtime ruler in downtown Baghdad and embracing American troops as liberators.

Ten years ago: Alberto Fujimori was re-elected president of Peru. Two suicide bombings on buses in the Gaza Strip killed seven Israelis and an American college student. Women’s rights supporters rallied near the U.S. Capitol to protest violence against women.

Five years ago: President Eduard Shevardnadze won a second term as leader of Georgia; Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori fell just shy of the majority needed to avoid a runoff for an unprecedented third term. Vijay Singh won the Masters, closing with a 3-under 69 for a three-stroke victory over Ernie Els.

One year ago: Four employees of Halliburton subsidiary KBR were killed in an attack on a fuel truck convoy near Baghdad; a U.S. soldier in the convoy was found dead later. Four people went missing, including Army Spc. Keith M. Maupin. The body of civilian truck driver William Bradley was found in January 2005; Thomas Hamill escaped his captors in May 2004; Timothy Bell remains unaccounted for.

Today’s Birthdays: Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner is 79. Naturalist Jim Fowler is 73. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo is 72. Actress Michael Learned is 66. Country singer Margo Smith is 63. Country singer Hal Ketchum is 52. Actor Dennis Quaid is 51. Humorist Jimmy Tingle is 50. Golfer Severiano Ballesteros is 48. Country musician Dave Innis (Restless Heart) is 46. Actress-model Paulina Porizkova is 40. Actress Cynthia Nixon is 39. Rock singer Kevin Martin (Candlebox) is 36. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is 26. Actor Ryan Northcott is 25. Actor-singer Jesse McCartney is 18. Actress Kristen Stewart is 15.

Thought for Today: “We are never more discontented with others than when we are discontented with ourselves.” — Henri Frederic Amiel, Swiss critic (1821-1881).

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