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Today in History — April 7

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

Today is Saturday, April 7, the 97th day of 2007. There are 268 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 7, 1862, Union forces led by Gen. Ulysses S. Grant defeated the Confederates at the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee.

On this date:

In 1927, an audience in New York saw an image of Commerce Secretary Herbert Hoover in the first successful long-distance demonstration of television.

In 1939, Italy invaded Albania. (Less than a week later, Italy annexed Albania.)

In 1945, during World War II, American planes intercepted and effectively destroyed a Japanese fleet that was headed for Okinawa on a suicide mission.

In 1947, auto pioneer Henry Ford died in Dearborn, Mich., at age 83.

In 1948, the World Health Organization was founded.

In 1953, the U.N. General Assembly elected Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden to be secretary-general.

In 1957, shortly after midnight, the last of New York’s electric trolleys completed its final run from Queens to Manhattan.

In 1966, the U.S. Navy recovered a hydrogen bomb it had lost off the coast of Spain.

In 1969, the Supreme Court, in Stanley v. Georgia, unanimously struck down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material.

In 1994, civil war erupted in Rwanda, a day after a mysterious plane crash claimed the lives of the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi. In the months that followed, hundreds of thousands of minority Tutsi and Hutu intellectuals were slaughtered.

Ten years ago: The Pulitzer Prize for fiction went to Steven Millhauser for “Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer,” but no award was given for drama. The Times-Picayune of New Orleans won two journalism Pulitzers, including the public service prize, for a series examining how overfishing and pollution are devastating the oceans.

Five years ago: Israeli troops fought fierce battles with Palestinians in the West Bank, encountering stiff resistance in the Jenin refugee camp and in Nablus. Actor John Agar died in Burbank, Calif., at age 81.

One year ago: A suicide attack in a Shiite mosque in Baghdad killed 85 people. Tornadoes in Tennessee killed a dozen people. Dena Schlosser, charged with murder for cutting off her baby daughter Margaret’s arms in what her lawyers portrayed as a religious frenzy, was found not guilty by reason of insanity by a judge in McKinney, Texas. A British judge ruled that author Dan Brown did not steal ideas for “The Da Vinci Code” from a nonfiction work.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor R.G. Armstrong is 90. Sitar player Ravi Shankar is 87. Actor James Garner is 79. Country singer Cal Smith is 75. Actor Wayne Rogers is 74. Media commentator Hodding Carter III is 72. Country singer Bobby Bare is 72. Rhythm-and-blues singer Charlie Thomas (The Drifters) is 70. Jazz musician Freddie Hubbard is 69. California Attorney General Jerry Brown is 69. Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 68. Television personality David Frost is 68. Singer Patricia Bennett (The Chiffons) is 60. Singer John Oates is 58. Singer Janis Ian is 56. Country musician John Dittrich is 56. Actor Jackie Chan is 53. Football Hall-of-Famer Tony Dorsett is 53. Actor Russell Crowe is 43. Rhythm-and-blues singer Mark Kibble (Take 6) is 43. Actor Bill Bellamy is 42. Rock musician Dave “Yorkie” Palmer (Space) is 42. Former football player-turned-analyst Tiki Barber is 32. Actress Heather Burns is 32.

Thought for Today: “Vox populi, vox humbug.” (The voice of the people is the voice of humbug.) — Gen. William T. Sherman, Union military leader (1820-1891).