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Today in History — April 14

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

Today is Saturday, April 14, the 104th day of 2007. There are 261 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth while attending the comedy “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater in Washington. (Lincoln died the following morning.)

On this date:

In 1775, the first American society for the abolition of slavery was formed in Philadelphia.

In 1828, the first edition of Noah Webster’s “American Dictionary of the English Language” was published.

In 1890, the First International Conference of American States met in Washington, where delegates agreed to form the International Union of American Republics, a forerunner of the Organization of American States.

In 1902, James Cash Penney opened his first store, called The Golden Rule, in Kemmerer, Wyo.

In 1912, the British liner Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and began sinking.

In 1931, King Alfonso XIII of Spain went into exile, and the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed. In 1939, the John Steinbeck novel “The Grapes of Wrath” was first published.

In 1956, Ampex Corp. demonstrated the first successful videotape recorder at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention in Chicago.

In 1981, the first test flight of America’s first operational space shuttle, the Columbia, ended successfully with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

In 1986, Americans got first word of a U.S. air raid on Libya (because of the time difference, it was the early morning of April 15 when the attack occurred.)

Ten years ago: Attorney General Janet Reno rejected Republican calls to seek an independent counsel to investigate campaign fund-raising. James McDougal, who had agreed to cooperate with Whitewater prosecutors investigating President and Hillary Clinton, drew a three-year prison sentence for 18 felony fraud and conspiracy counts.

Five years ago: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned to office two days after being ousted and arrested by his country’s military. Tiger Woods became only the third player to win back-to-back Masters titles; he closed with a 1-under 71 to claim a three-stroke victory over Retief Goosen.

One year ago: President Bush rebuffed recommendations from a growing number of retired generals that he replace Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, saying, “He has my full support.” Kobe Bryant broke the Los Angeles Lakers’ single-season scoring record, getting 50 points to eclipse Elgin Baylor’s long-standing total of 2,719 points in a 110-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Bradford Dillman is 77. Actor Jay Robinson is 77. Country singer Loretta Lynn is 72. Actress Julie Christie is 67. Former baseball player Pete Rose is 66. Rock musician Ritchie Blackmore is 62. Actor John Shea is 58. Actor Brad Garrett is 47. Actor Robert Carlyle is 46. Rock singer-musician John Bell (Widespread Panic) is 45. Rock musician Barrett Martin is

40. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 39. Actor Adrien Brody is 34. Classical singer David Miller is 34. Rapper DaBrat is 33. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 30. Actor-producer Rob McElhenney is 30. Actress Vivien Cardone is 14. Actress Abigail Breslin (“Little Miss Sunshine”) is 11.

Thought for Today: “The Constitution does not provide for first and second class citizens.” — Wendell L. Willkie, American politician (1892-1944).