updated 4/13/2005 12:12:47 AM ET 2005-04-13T04:12:47

Today is Wednesday, April 13, the 103rd day of 2005. There are 262 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 13, 1970, Apollo 13, four-fifths of the way to the moon, was crippled when a tank containing liquid oxygen burst. (The astronauts managed to return safely.)

On this date:
In 1598, King Henry IV of France endorsed the Edict of Nantes, which granted rights to the Protestant Huguenots. (The edict was abrogated in 1685 by King Louis XIV, who declared France entirely Catholic again.)

In 1742, Handel’s “Messiah” was first performed publicly, in Dublin, Ireland.

In 1743, the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, was born.

In 1870, the Metropolitan Museum of Art was founded in New York.

In 1943, President Roosevelt dedicated the Jefferson Memorial.

In 1958, Van Cliburn became the first American to win the Tchaikovsky International Piano Contest in Moscow.

In 1964, Sidney Poitier became the first black performer in a leading role to win an Academy Award, for “Lilies of the Field.”

In 1965, 16-year-old Lawrence Wallace Bradford Jr. was appointed by New York Republican Jacob Javits to be the first black page of the U.S. Senate.

In 1986, Pope John Paul II visited a Rome synagogue in the first recorded papal visit of its kind.

In 1992, the Great Chicago Flood took place as the city’s century-old tunnel system and adjacent basements filled with water from the Chicago River.

Ten years ago: A federal appeals court opened the way for Shannon Faulkner to become the first woman to take part in military training at The Citadel. Bob Dornan became the seventh GOP presidential contender.

Five years ago: President Clinton, during a question-and-answer session with newspaper editors, heatedly said, “I’m not ashamed” about being impeached and “I’m not interested” in being pardoned for any alleged crimes in the Monica Lewinsky scandal and Whitewater investigation.

One year ago: Conceding a couple of “tough weeks in Iraq,” President Bush signaled he was ready to put more American troops on the front lines and use decisive force if necessary to restore order despite “gut-wrenching” televised images of fallen Americans. Barry Bonds hit his 661st homer, passing Willie Mays to take sole possession of third place on baseball’s career list. Swimmer Michael Phelps won the 2003 Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete.

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director Stanley Donen is 81. Actor Don Adams is 79. Former Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, R-Colo., is 72. Actor Lyle Waggoner is 70. Actor Edward Fox is 68. Playwright Lanford Wilson is 68. Actor Paul Sorvino is 66. Movie and TV composer Bill Conti is 63. Rock musician Jack Casady is 61. Actor Tony Dow is 60. Singer Al Green is 59. Actor Ron Perlman is 55. Actor William Sadler is 55. Singer Peabo Bryson is 54. Rock musician Max Weinberg is 54. Bluegrass singer-musician Sam Bush is 53. Rock musician Jimmy Destri (Blondie) is 51. Singer-musician Louis Johnson (The Brothers Johnson) is 50. Comedian Gary Kroeger is 48. Actress Saundra Santiago is 48. Rock musician Joey Mazzola (Sponge) is 44. Chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov is 42. Actress Page Hannah is 41. Rock musician Lisa Umbarger is 40. Reggae singer Capleton is 38. Actor Rick Schroder is 35. Singer Lou Bega is 30. Actress Courtney Peldon is 24.

Thought for Today: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” — Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826).

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