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Today in History — April 28

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

BC-History-April 28,0626

Today in History

By The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, April 28, the 118th day of 2007. There are 247 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 28, 1945, Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and his mistress, Clara Petacci, were executed by Italian partisans as they attempted to flee the country.

On this date:

In 1758, the fifth president of the United States, James Monroe, was born in Westmoreland County, Va.

In 1788, Maryland became the seventh state to ratify the U.S. Constitution.

In 1789, there was a mutiny on HMS Bounty as the crew of the British ship set Capt. William Bligh and 18 sailors adrift in a launch in the South Pacific.

In 1918, Gavrilo Princip, the assassin of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the archduke’s wife, Sophie, died in prison of tuberculosis.

In 1937, former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was born in the village of al-Oja near the desert town of Tikrit (he was executed in December 2006).

In 1947, a six-man expedition sailed from Peru aboard a balsa wood raft named the Kon-Tiki on a 101-day journey to Polynesia.

In 1952, war with Japan officially ended as a treaty that had been signed by the United States and 47 other nations took effect.

In 1967, heavyweight boxing champion Muhammad Ali refused to be inducted into the Army, the same day Gen. William C. Westmoreland told Congress the U.S. “would prevail in Vietnam.”

In 1987, Contra rebels in Nicaragua killed Benjamin Ernest Linder, an American engineer working on a hydroelectric project for the Sandinista government.

In 1996, a man armed with a semiautomatic rifle opened fire on tourists on the Australian island of Tasmania, killing 35 people; he was captured by police after a 12-hour standoff at a guest cottage.

Ten years ago: President Clinton and three of his predecessors — George Bush, Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford — began drafting a national army of community service volunteers during the Presidents’ Summit for America’s Future in Philadelphia.

Five years ago: Severe weather, including tornadoes in Missouri and Maryland, killed at least six people. Alexander Lebed, the gruff former general who’d helped defeat the 1991 hard-line Soviet coup, was killed in a helicopter crash near the Russian town of Abakan; he was 52.

One year ago: Attorneys for Rush Limbaugh, who had been accused by Florida prosecutors of “doctor shopping” for painkillers, announced a deal under which a single prescription fraud charge against the talk show host would be dismissed after 18 months provided he stayed drug-free and did not violate any laws. Storms battered eastern Texas with wind up to 100 mph and hail the size of baseballs. Ellen DeGeneres swept the Daytime Emmy awards, winning best talk show host for the second time and earning talk show honors for the third consecutive year.

Today’s Birthdays: Author Harper Lee is 81. Former Secretary of State James A. Baker III is 77. Actress-singer Ann-Margret is 66. Actress Marcia Strassman is 59. Actor Paul Guilfoyle (“CSI”) is

58. “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno is 57. Rock musician Chuck Leavell is 55. Actress Mary McDonnell is 54. Rock singer-musician Kim Gordon (Sonic Youth) is 54. Rapper Too Short is 41. Actress Simbi Khali is 36. Actress Bridget Moynahan is 36. Actor Chris Young is 36. Rapper Big Gipp is 34. Actor Jorge Garcia is 34. Actress Elisabeth Rohm is 34. Actress Penelope Cruz is 33. Actor Nate Richert is 29. Actress Jessica Alba is 26. Actress Aleisha Allen is 16.

Thought for Today: “It takes a long time to understand nothing.” — Edward Dahlberg, American author and critic (1900-1977).