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Today In History

April 18, 2015 07:11 GMT

Today is Saturday, April 18, the 108th day of 2015. There are 257 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 18, 1945, during World War II, famed American war correspondent Ernie Pyle, 44, was killed by Japanese gunfire on the Pacific island of Ie Shima (ee-eh shee-mah), off Okinawa.

On this date:

In 1775, Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Massachusetts, warning American colonists that the British were coming.

In 1865, Confederate Gen. Joseph E. Johnston surrendered to Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman near Durham Station in North Carolina.

In 1906, a devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by raging fires; estimates of the final death toll range between 3,000 and 6,000.

In 1925, the first Woman's World's Fair, an eight-day event, opened in Chicago.

In 1934, the first laundromat was opened by John F. Cantrell in Fort Worth, Texas; the "Washateria," as it was called, rented four electric washing machines to the public on an hourly basis.

In 1942, an air squadron from the USS Hornet led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The first World War II edition of The Stars and Stripes was published as a weekly newspaper.

In 1944, the ballet "Fancy Free," with music by Leonard Bernstein (BURN'-styn) and choreography by Jerome Robbins, premiered in New York.

In 1949, the Republic of Ireland was proclaimed.

In 1955, physicist Albert Einstein died in Princeton, New Jersey, at age 76.

In 1978, the Senate approved the Panama Canal Treaty, providing for the complete turnover of control of the waterway to Panama on the last day of 1999.

In 1983, 63 people, including 17 Americans, were killed at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.

In 1995, quarterback Joe Montana retired from professional football. The Houston Post closed after more than a century.

Ten years ago: Cardinals meeting at the Vatican failed to select a successor to Pope John Paul II in their first round of voting. Defending champion Catherine Ndereba (dah-REH'-bah) of Kenya became the first woman to win a fourth Boston Marathon while Ethiopia's Hailu Negussie won the men's race. (Marathon grand marshal Jacqueline Gareau was given the chance to re-create her victory in the 1980 race, supposedly won by hoaxster Rosie Ruiz; Gareau ran the last 100 yards of the course and broke a tape at the finish line.)

Five years ago: Tens of thousands of Poles bade farewell to President Lech Kaczynski (lehk kah-CHIN'-skee) at a state funeral in Krakow. Brian Davis called a two-stroke penalty on himself on the first playoff hole to give Jim Furyk a victory at the Verizon Heritage. Rafael Nadal defeated Fernando Verdasco 6-0, 6-1 in an all-Spanish final to win the Monte Carlo Masters for the sixth straight year. Carrie Underwood became the first woman to win entertainer of the year twice at the Academy of Country Music Awards.

One year ago: An avalanche swept down a climbing route on Mount Everest, killing 16 Sherpa guides in the deadliest disaster on the world's highest peak.

Today's Birthdays: Actress Barbara Hale is 94. Actor Clive Revill is 85. Actor James Drury is 81. Actor Robert Hooks is 78. Actress Hayley Mills is 69. Actor James Woods is 68. Actress-director Dorothy Lyman is 68. Actress Cindy Pickett is 68. Country musician Walt Richmond (The Tractors) is 68. Country musician Jim Scholten (Sawyer Brown) is 63. Actor Rick Moranis is 62. Actress Melody Thomas Scott is 59. Actor Eric Roberts is 59. Actor John James is 59. Rock musician Les Pattinson (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 57. Author-journalist Susan Faludi is 56. Actress Jane Leeves is 54. Ventriloquist/comedian Jeff Dunham is 53. Talk show host Conan O'Brien is 52. Bluegrass singer-musician Terry Eldredge is 52. Actor Eric McCormack is 52. Actress Maria Bello is 48. Actress Mary Birdsong is 47. Actor David Hewlett is 47. Rock musician Greg Eklund (The Oolahs) is 45. TV chef Ludovic Lefebvre is 44. Actor David Tennant is 44. Country musician Marvin Evatt (EH'-veht) is 41. Rock musician Mark Tremonti is 41. Rhythm-and-blues singer Trina (Trina and Tamara) is 41. Actress Melissa Joan Hart is 39. Actor Sean Maguire is 39. Actor Kevin Rankin is 39. Actor Bryce Johnson is 38. Reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian (kar-DASH'-ee-uhn) is 36. Actress America Ferrera is 31. Actress Alia Shawkat is 26. Actress Britt Robertson is 25. Actress Chloe Bennet is 23. Rock singer Nathan Sykes (The Wanted) is 22. Actor Moises Arias is 21.

Thought for Today: "War makes strange giant creatures out of us little routine men who inhabit the earth." -- Ernie Pyle (1900-1945).

Copyright 2015, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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