Today in history: April 7

/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, April 7, the 97th day of 2005. 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 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 1955, movie actress Theda Bara died in Los Angeles at age 69.

In 1966, the United States recovered a hydrogen bomb it had lost off the coast of Spain.

In 1969, the Supreme Court 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: President Clinton threatened to veto a lengthy list of bills passed by the Republican-controlled House if they were not modified in the Senate. In a prime-time television address, House Speaker Newt Gingrich declared the GOP “Contract with America” was only a beginning.

Five years ago: Attorney General Janet Reno met in Washington with the father of Elian Gonzalez; Reno later told reporters that officials would arrange for Juan Miguel Gonzalez to reclaim his son, but she gave Elian’s Miami relatives one more chance to drop their resistance and join in a peaceful transfer.

One year ago: Mounir el Motassadeq, the only Sept. 11 suspect ever convicted, was freed after a Hamburg, Germany court, ruled that the evidence was too weak to hold him pending a retrial.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor R.G. Armstrong is 88. Sitar player Ravi Shankar is 85. Actor James Garner is 77. Country singer Cal Smith is 73. Actor Wayne Rogers is 72. Actor Ian Richardson is 71. Media commentator Hodding Carter III is 70. Country singer Bobby Bare is 70. R&B singer Charlie Thomas (The Drifters) is 68. Jazz musician Freddie Hubbard is 67. The mayor of Oakland, Calif., Jerry Brown, is 67. Movie director Francis Ford Coppola is 66. Television personality David Frost is 66. Singer Patricia Bennett (The Chiffons) is 58. Singer John Oates is 56. Singer Janis Ian is 54. Country musician John Dittrich is 54. Rock musician Bruce Gary is 53. Actor Jackie Chan is 51. Football Hall-of-Famer Tony Dorsett is 51. Actor Russell Crowe is 41. R&B singer Mark Kibble (Take 6) is 41. Actor Bill Bellamy is 40. Rock musician Dave “Yorkie” Palmer (Space) is 40. Actress Heather Burns is 30.

Thought for Today: “No date on the calendar is as important as tomorrow.” — Roy W. Howard, American newspaper publisher (1883-1964).