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Today in History — April 1

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

Today is Palm Sunday, April 1, the 91st day of 2007. There are 274 days left in the year. This is April Fool’s Day.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 1, 1945, American forces invaded Okinawa, Japan, during World War II.

On this date:

In 1853, Cincinnati established a fire department made up of paid city employees.

In 1918, the Royal Air Force was established in Britain.

In 1933, Nazi Germany began persecuting Jews with a boycott of Jewish-owned businesses.

In 1946, tidal waves struck the Hawaiian islands, resulting in more than 170 deaths.

In 1960, the first weather satellite, TIROS 1, was launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla.

In 1963, most of New York City’s daily newspapers resumed publishing after settlement was reached in a 114-day strike.

In 1970, President Nixon signed a measure banning cigarette advertising on radio and television, to take effect after Jan. 1, 1971.

In 1984, recording star Marvin Gaye was shot to death by his father, Marvin Gay Sr., in Los Angeles. (The elder Gay pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, and received probation.)

In 1987, in his first major speech on the AIDS epidemic, President Reagan told doctors in Philadelphia, “We’ve declared AIDS public health enemy number one.”

In 2003, American troops entered a hospital in Nasiriyah, Iraq, and rescued Army Private 1st Class Jessica Lynch, who’d been held prisoner since her unit was ambushed.

Ten years ago: Federal authorities cautioned that thousands of schoolchildren across the nation might have been exposed to the hepatitis A virus by eating frozen strawberries imported from Mexico and processed in the U.S.

Five years ago: Israeli tanks and bulldozers rumbled into more Palestinian towns and massed on the edge of Bethlehem in an expansion of a West Bank offensive. Maryland won its first NCAA men’s basketball championship with a 64-52 victory over Indiana.

One year ago: Former hostage Jill Carroll arrived in Germany, where she strongly disavowed statements she had made during captivity in Iraq and shortly after her release, saying she had been repeatedly threatened. Two American pilots were killed when their Apache helicopter was shot down near Baghdad.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor George Grizzard is 79. Actress Jane Powell is 79. Actress Grace Lee Whitney is 77. Actress Debbie Reynolds is 75. Country singer Jim Ed Brown is 73. Actor Don Hastings is 73. Blues singer Eddie King is 69. Actress Ali MacGraw is 69. Rhythm-and-blues singer Rudolph Isley is 68. Reggae singer Jimmy Cliff is 59. Jazz musician Gil Scott-Heron is 58. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito is 57. Rock musician Billy Currie (Ultravox) is 57. Actress Annette O’Toole is 55. Movie director Barry Sonnenfeld is 54. Country singer Woody Lee is 39. Rapper-actor Method Man is 36. Movie directors Albert and Allen Hughes are 35. Tennis player Magdalena Maleeva is 32. Singer Bijou Phillips is 27. Actor Sam Huntington is 25. Actor Josh Zuckerman is 22.

Thought for Today: “Pierre qui roule n’amasse pas mousse.” (A rolling stone gathers no moss.) — French proverb.