By The Associated Press
2014-03-26 09:01 AM
Today is Wednesday, April 2, the 92nd day of 2014. There are 273 days left in the year.
Highlights in history on this date:
1512 - Holy Roman Emperor Maximillian I and Swiss join Holy League against France.
1513 - In searching for the Fountain of Youth, Spaniard Ponce de Leon discovers Florida, but does not realize it is part of mainland North America.
1580 - Seventh War of Religion breaks out in France.
1792 - U.S. Congress passes the Coinage Act, which authorizes establishment of the U.S. Mint and allows the government to make its own money.
1801 - British fleet under Horatio Nelson is sent to Denmark because of Danish action on Elbe River and is victorious off Copenhagen.
1860 - The first Italian Parliament meets at Turin.
1917 - U.S. President Woodrow Wilson summons special session of Congress to declare war upon Germany.
1932 - Aviator Charles Lindbergh pays US$50,000 ransom in a New York cemetery to a man who promises to return his kidnapped son.
1937 - South Africa prohibits political activity by foreigners in Southwest Africa.
1947 - U.N. Security Council appoints United States as trustee for Pacific islands, formerly under Japanese mandate; Britain refers Palestine question to United Nations.
1976 - Portugal adopts its present constitution, which embraces Western European-style democracy.
1982 - Argentina seizes the disputed Falkland Islands from Britain. Britain takes the islands back the following June.
1986 - A bomb rips hole in TWA jetliner over southern Greece, and the blast blows a man, woman and child out of the plane to their deaths. The plane flying between Rome and Athens was carrying 121 people.
1990 - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein says he would use nerve agents -- outlawed since 1925 -- against Israel if attacked.
1992 - Mob boss John Gotti is convicted in New York of murder and racketeering; he is later sentenced to life in prison.
1993 - The United States and its NATO allies approve enforcement of a U.N.-imposed no-fly zone over Bosnia.
1994 - Vladimir Zhirinovsky is declared leader of the ultranationalist Liberal Democratic Party in Russia.
1995 - U.S. baseball owners accept the players' union offer to play without a contract, ending the longest and costliest strike in U.S. professional sports history. The strike began in August 1994.
1996 - Stung by a security crackdown, the militant Islamic group Hamas calls for more suicide attacks against Israelis.
1997 - With a rebellion engulfing the country, Zaire's President Mobutu Sese Seko accepts Parliament's nomination of Etienne Tshisekedi as the new prime minister.
1998 - Maurice Papon, a Vichy official and later Cabinet minister in postwar France, is sentenced to 10 years in prison for deporting Jews during World War II.
1999 - Serbian troops go house-to-house in the Kosovo town of Djakovia, making threats and killing men and sending thousands of ethnic Albanians fleeing.
2000 - French archaeologists announce the discovery of a 4,000-year-old queen's pyramid south of Cairo, complete with texts of special prayers previously found only with kings.
2002 - Pakistani President Gen. Pervez Musharraf meets with Afghanistan's interim leader Hamid Karzai, in the first visit by a Pakistani leader in more than 30 years. The two indicate they plan to mend relations and work together to promote stability in Afghanistan.
2003 - U.S. President George W. Bush's administration announces sanctions against a nuclear research laboratory in Pakistan for having helped North Korea to develop nuclear weapons. It also announced related sanctions against North Korea itself.
2004 - The director of Republic of Congo's national police, Jean-Francois N'Denguet, is placed under investigation in Paris for allegations of torture in the late 1990s. His arrest followed a complaint filed by five people who lost family members in the May 1999 disappearance of 350-450 newly returned refugees. The former exiles disappeared when they returned to the country during a cease-fire after 1998-1999 unrest.
2005 - Pope John Paul II, who helped topple communism in Europe and left a deeply conservative stamp on the church that he led for 26 years, dies at age 84 in his Vatican apartment, ending a long public struggle against debilitating illness.
2006 - Iran conducts its second major test of a new missile within days, firing a high-speed torpedo it says no submarine or warship can escape at a time of increased tensions with the U.S. over its nuclear program.
2007 - U.N. refugee agency reports that fierce fighting between Ethiopian-backed government forces and Islamic insurgents in Somalia's capital has killed nearly 400 people -- mostly civilians -- in the past four days, and some 47,000 people have abandoned their homes in the last 10 days.
2008 - President Robert Mugabe's long-ruling party lost its parliamentary majority, and Zimbabwe's opposition claimed victory for leader Morgan Tsvangirai in the country's presidential vote.
2009 - Anxiously assembled at the most perilous moment for the global economy since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the world's financial powers pledge more than $1 trillion for emergency loans to combat spreading chaos.
2010 - Rescue workers attempting to reach 153 miners trapped in a flooded coal pit in China's Shanxi province report "signs of life" including tapping, banging and shouting as relatives allege cover-up of incident.
2011 - Unknown attackers wielding machetes and guns kill more than 1,000 people in the neighborhood of a western Ivory Coast town controlled by forces trying to install the internationally recognized president. ukcers
2012 - Gulf states develop a plan to funnel millions of dollars a month to Syrian rebels who could use the amount as a blank check to build up their arsenals.
2013 - U.N. General Assembly approves first U.N. treaty regulating multibillion dollar international arms trade.
Charlemagne, Emperor of the West (742-814); Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer (1805-1875); William Holman Hunt, English artist (1827-1910); Emile Zola, French author (1840-1902); Max Ernst (1891-1976); Buddy Ebsen, U.S. actor (1908-2003); Sir Alec Guinness, British actor (1914-2000); Emmylou Harris, U.S. country singer (1947--).
Thought for Today:
Life is short. Live it up -- Nikita S. Khrushchev, Soviet leader (1894-1971).