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Today in history: April 22

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, April 22, the 112th day of 2006. There are 253 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 22, 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush began at noon as thousands of homesteaders staked claims.

On this date:
In 1509, Henry VIII ascended the throne of England following the death of his father, Henry VII.

In 1864, Congress authorized the use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began invading Japanese-held New Guinea with amphibious landings near Hollandia.

In 1954, the televised Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began.

In 1964, President Johnson opened the New York World's Fair.

In 1970, millions of Americans concerned about the environment observed the first “Earth Day.”
In 1983, the West German news magazine Stern announced the discovery of 60 volumes of personal diaries purportedly written by Adolf Hitler. However, the diaries turned out to be a hoax.

In 1993, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington to honor the victims of Nazi extermination.

In 1994, Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, died at a New York hospital four days after suffering a stroke. He was 81.

In 2000, in a dramatic pre-dawn raid, armed immigration agents seized Elian Gonzalez from his relatives’ home in Miami; Elian was reunited with his father at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington.

Ten years ago: After 11 days of focusing on Hezbollah guerrillas, Israeli warplanes turned to a new target in Lebanon, attacking the heavily fortified base of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Homemaker humorist Erma Bombeck died in San Francisco at age 69.

Five years ago: Leaders of 34 Western Hemisphere nations meeting in Quebec agreed to stick with an ambitious plan to create the world’s largest free-trade zone by 2005 and penalize any country that strayed from the path of democracy. Two spacewalking astronauts, including Canadian Chris Hadfield, installed a massive Canadian-built robot arm on the international space station. In a boxing match in South Africa, Hasim Rahman stopped Lennox Lewis in the fifth round to capture the WBC and IBF heavyweight titles in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.

One year ago: Zacarias Moussaoui pleaded guilty in a federal courtroom outside Washington to conspiring with the Sept. 11 hijackers to kill Americans. President Bush named Gen. Peter Pace to be the new chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Today’s Birthdays: TV producer Aaron Spelling is 83. Actor George Cole is 81. Actress Charlotte Rae is 80. Actress Estelle Harris (“Seinfeld”) is 74. Singer Glen Campbell is 70. Actor Jack Nicholson is 69. Singer Mel Carter is 63. Country singer Cleve Francis is 61. Movie director John Waters is 60. Singer Peter Frampton is 56. Rock singer-musician Paul Carrack (Mike and the Mechanics; Squeeze) is 55. Actor Joseph Bottoms is 52. Actor Ryan Stiles is 47. Comedian Byron Allen is 45. Actor Chris Makepeace is 42. Actress Sheryl Lee is 39. Country singer-musician Heath Wright (Ricochet) is 39. Country singer Kellie Coffey is 35. Actor Ingo Rademacher is 35. Rock musician Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down) is 32. Rock singer-musician Daniel Johns (Silverchair) is 27.

Thought for Today: “Life is one long process of getting tired.” — Samuel Butler, British author (1835-1902).