IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in History — April 11

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

Today is Wednesday, April 11, the 101st day of 2007. There are 264 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 11, 1945, during World War II, American soldiers liberated the notorious Nazi concentration camp Buchenwald in Germany.

On this date:
In 1689, William III and Mary II were crowned as joint sovereigns of Britain.

In 1814, Napoleon Bonaparte abdicated as Emperor of the French and was banished to the island of Elba.

In 1898, as tensions with Spain continued to rise, President McKinley asked Congress to authorize military intervention in Cuba.

In 1899, the treaty ending the Spanish-American War was declared in effect.

In 1951, President Harry Truman relieved Gen. Douglas MacArthur of his commands in the Far East.

In 1953, Oveta Culp Hobby became the first Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare.

In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act of 1968, a week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1970, Apollo 13 blasted off on its ill-fated mission to the moon. (The astronauts managed to return safely).

In 1979, Idi Amin was deposed as president of Uganda as rebels and exiles backed by Tanzanian forces seized control.

In 2001, ending a tense 11-day standoff, China agreed to free the 24 crew members of an American spy plane.

Ten years ago: The Air Force announced that despite an intensive nine-day search, it couldn’t find a bomb-laden A-10 warplane that had disappeared with its pilot during a training mission over Arizona. (The plane’s wreckage was later found on a Colorado mountainside.) In Italy, fire damaged the 500-year-old San Giovanni Cathedral, home of the Shroud of Turin, which some consider Christ’s burial cloth.

Five years ago: U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr., D-Ohio, was convicted of taking bribes and kickbacks from businessmen and his own staff. (Traficant was later expelled from Congress and sentenced to eight years in prison.) The House responded to the Enron collapse by voting to add more worker protections to pension laws. Venezuelan police battled protesters demanding President Hugo Chavez’s ouster.

One year ago: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announced that his country had succeeded in enriching uranium on a small scale for the first time. Israel’s Cabinet declared Prime Minister Ariel Sharon permanently incapacitated, officially ending his five-year tenure. A suicide bombing during an outdoor Sunni Muslim prayer service in Karachi, Pakistan, killed more than 50 people. June Pointer, the youngest of the Pointer Sisters, died in Los Angeles at age 52.

Today’s Birthdays: Former New York State Gov. Hugh Carey is 88. Ethel Kennedy is 79. Actor Johnny Sheffield is 76. Actor Joel Grey is 75. Actress Louise Lasser is 68. Syndicated columnist Ellen Goodman is 66. Movie writer-director John Milius is 63. Actor Peter Riegert is 60. Actor Meshach Taylor is 60. Movie director Carl Franklin is 58. Actor Bill Irwin is 57. Country singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale is 50. Songwriter-producer Daryl Simmons is 50. Actor Lucky Vanous is 46. Country singer Steve Azar is 43. Singer Lisa Stansfield is 41. Rock musician Dylan Keefe (Marcy Playground) is 37. Actor Johnny Messner is 37. Actor Vicellous Shannon is 36. Singer Joss Stone is 20.

Thought for Today: “If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed, and color, we would find some other causes for prejudice by noon.” — U.S. Sen. George Aiken, R-Vt. (1892-1984).