updated 4/26/2005 12:01:58 AM ET 2005-04-26T04:01:58

Today is Tuesday, April 26, the 116th day of 2005. There are 249 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 26, 1986, the world’s worst nuclear accident occurred at the Chernobyl plant in the Soviet Union. An explosion and fire killed at least 31 people and sent radioactivity into the atmosphere.

On this date:
In 1785, American naturalist and artist John James Audubon was born in Haiti.

In 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Lincoln, was surrounded by federal troops near Bowling Green, Va., and killed.

In 1937, planes from Nazi Germany raided the Basque town of Guernica in the Spanish Civil War.

In 1945, Marshal Henri Philippe Petain, the head of France’s Vichy government during World War II, was arrested.

In 1964, the African nations of Tanganyika and Zanzibar merged to form Tanzania.

In 1968, the United States exploded beneath the Nevada desert a one-megaton nuclear device called “Boxcar.”

In 1970, the Broadway musical “Company” opened at the Alvin Theatre in New York.

In 1980, following an unsuccessful attempt by the United States to rescue the U.S. Embassy hostages in Iran, the Tehran government announced the captives were being scattered to thwart any future rescue effort.

In 1994, voting began in South Africa’s first all-race elections.

In 1994, a Taiwanese jetliner crashed in Nagoya, Japan, killing 264 people.

Ten years ago: One week after the Oklahoma City bombing, Americans observed a minute of silence in honor of the victims.

Five years ago: Vermont Gov. Howard Dean signed the nation’s first bill allowing same-sex couples to form civil unions.

One year ago: Following conservative criticism of his anti-war activities during the Vietnam era, Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry accused President Bush of failing to prove whether he’d fulfilled his commitment to the National Guard during the same period. The government unveiled its new, colorized $50 bill. Author Hubert Selby Jr. died in Los Angeles at age 75.

Today’s Birthdays: Actress-comedian Carol Burnett is 72. R&B singer Maurice Williams is 67. Songwriter-musician Duane Eddy is 67. Singer Bobby Rydell is 63. Actress Claudine Auger is 63. Rock musician Gary Wright is 62. Actor Giancarlo Esposito is 47. Rock musician Roger Taylor (Duran Duran) is 45. Actress Joan Chen is 44. Rock musician Chris Mars is 44. Actor-singer Michael Damian is 43. Actor Jet Li (Lee) is 42. Rock musician Jimmy Stafford (Train) is 41. Actor-comedian Kevin James is 40. Actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste is 38. Country musician Joe Caverlee (Yankee Grey) is 37. Rapper T-Boz (TLC) is 35. Country musician Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flats) is 34. Country musician Michael Jeffers (Pinmonkey) is 33. Rock musician Jose Pasillas (Incubus) is 29. Actor Tom Welling is 28. Actress Jordana Brewster is 25. Actress Marnette Patterson is 25. Actor Aaron Weeks is 19.

Thought for Today: “Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.” — Dr. Thomas F. Jones Jr., American college official (1916-1981).

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