updated 4/12/2005 12:14:10 AM ET 2005-04-12T04:14:10

Today is Tuesday, April 12, the 102nd day of 2005. There are 263 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 12, 1945, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Ga., at age 63; he was succeeded by Vice President Harry S. Truman.

On this date:
In 1606, England adopted as its flag the original version of the Union Jack.

In 1861, the American Civil War began as Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter in South Carolina.

In 1934, “Tender Is the Night,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was first published.

In 1955, the Salk vaccine against polio was declared safe and effective.

In 1961, Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin became the first man to fly in space, orbiting the earth once before making a safe landing.

In 1981, the space shuttle Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., on its first test flight.

In 1983, Chicagoans went to the polls to elect Harold Washington the city’s first black mayor.

In 1985, Sen. Jake Garn, R-Utah, became the first senator to fly in space as the shuttle Discovery lifted off.

In 1989, radical activist Abbie Hoffman was found dead at his home in New Hope, Pa., at age 52.

In 1989, former middleweight boxing champion Sugar Ray Robinson died in Culver City, Calif., at age 67.

Ten years ago: In a move that stunned the business world, billionaire Kirk Kerkorian and former Chrysler Chairman Lee Iacocca made an unsolicited $22.8 billion bid to buy the nation’s third largest automaker; Chrysler responded that it wasn’t for sale.

Five years ago: Attorney General Janet Reno met in Miami with the U.S. relatives of Elian Gonzalez, after which she ordered them to bring the 6-year-old boy to an airport the next day so he could be taken to a reunion with his father in Washington. (Elian was seized by federal agents ten days after Reno’s order to turn him over.)

One year ago: A federal judge allowed a nationwide ban on dietary supplements containing ephedra to take effect, turning aside a plea from two manufacturers. A man and woman pleaded guilty in Houston to taking part in a smuggling scheme that resulted in the deaths of 19 illegal immigrants abandoned in a sweltering truck trailer. Barry Bonds hit his 660th home run to tie godfather Willie Mays for third on baseball’s career list. (Bonds hit a towering three-run shot in the fifth inning, sending the San Francisco Giants to a 7-5 win over the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.)

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Ned Miller is 80. Actress Jane Withers is 79. Opera singer Montserrat Caballe is 72. Actor Charles Napier is 69. Jazz musician Herbie Hancock is 65. Actor Frank Bank (“Leave It to Beaver”) is 63. Rock singer John Kay (Steppenwolf) is 61. Actor Ed O’Neill is 59. Author Tom Clancy is 58. Actor Dan Lauria is 58. Talk show host David Letterman is 58. Author Scott Turow is 56. Singer David Cassidy is 55. R&B singer JD Nicholas (The Commodores) is 53. Singer Pat Travers is 51. Actor Andy Garcia is 49. Movie director Walter Salles is 49. Country singer Vince Gill is 48. Actress Suzzanne Douglas is 48. Rock musician Will Sergeant (Echo & the Bunnymen) is 47. Rock singer Art Alexakis (Everclear) is 43. Country singer Deryl Dodd is 41. Folk-pop singer Amy Ray (Indigo Girls) is 41. Figure skater Elaine Zayak is 40. Rock singer Nicholas Hexum (311) is 35. Actor Nicholas Brendon is 34. Actress Shannen Doherty is 34. Rock musician Guy Berryman (Coldplay) is 27. Actress Claire Danes is 26.

Thought for Today: “Rules are not necessarily sacred, principles are.” — President Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1882-1945).

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