Today in history: April 2

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Saturday, April 2, the 92nd day of 2005. There are 273 days left in the year. A reminder: Daylight-Saving Time begins Sunday at 2 a.m. locally. Clocks go forward one hour.

Today’s Highlight in History:
Two hundred years ago, on April 2, 1805, storyteller Hans Christian Andersen was born in Odense, Denmark.

On this date:
In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon landed in Florida.

In 1792, Congress passed the Coinage Act, which authorized establishment of the U.S. Mint.

In 1860, the first Italian Parliament met at Turin.

In 1865, Confederate President Davis and most of his Cabinet fled the Confederate capital of Richmond, Va.

In 1872, Samuel F.B. Morse, developer of the electric telegraph, died in New York.

In 1917, President Wilson asked Congress to declare war against Germany, saying, “The world must be made safe for democracy.”

In 1956, the soap operas “As the World Turns” and “The Edge of Night” premiered on CBS television.

In 1974, French president Georges Pompidou died in Paris.

In 1982, several thousand troops from Argentina seized the disputed Falkland Islands, located in the south Atlantic, from Britain. (Britain seized the islands back the following June.)

In 1992, mob boss John Gotti was convicted in New York of murder and racketeering; he was later sentenced to life in prison.

Ten years ago: Baseball owners accepted the players’ union offer to play without a contract, ending the longest and costliest strike in the history of professional sports. Members of the extremist group Hamas accidentally set off a bomb that tore through their hideout in the Gaza Strip, killing six people.

Five years ago: More than 600 people set out on a five-day, 120-mile protest march to Columbia, S.C., to urge state lawmakers to move the Confederate flag from the Statehouse dome. Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi suffered a debilitating stroke (he died more than a month later). Connecticut won its second women’s NCAA national championship with a 71-52 victory over Tennessee.

One year ago: A judge in New York declared a mistrial in the grand-larceny case against two former Tyco executives after a juror apparently received an intimidating letter and phone call for supposedly siding with the defense. (The defendants are being retried.) Flags of seven new NATO members from former communist Europe rose at alliance headquarters in Brussels for the first time, marking the biggest expansion in its 55-year history.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Dabbs Greer is 88. Actress Rita Gam is 77. Actress Sharon Acker is 70. Singer Leon Russell is 63. Jazz musician Larry Coryell is 62. Actress Linda Hunt is 60. Singer Emmylou Harris is 58. Actress Pamela Reed is 56. Actress Debralee Scott is 52. Country singer Buddy Jewell is 44. Actor Chris Meloni is 44. Singer Keren Woodward (Bananarama) is 44. Country singer Billy Dean is 43. Actress Jana Marie Hupp is 41. Rock musician Greg Camp (Smash Mouth) is 38. Rock musician Tony Fredianelli (Third Eye Blind) is 36. Actress Roselyn Sanchez is 32. Country singer Jill King is 30. Actor Jeremy Garrett is 29.

Thought for Today: “We crucify ourselves between two thieves: regret for yesterday and fear of tomorrow.” — Fulton Oursler, American journalist and author (1893-1952).