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Friday, April 4
By The Associated Press
Associated Press
2014-03-28 09:01 AM

Today is Friday, April 4, the 94th day of 2014. There are 271 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

1581 - England's Queen Elizabeth I knights Francis Drake, the first English captain to circumnavigate the globe.

1611 - Denmark's King Christian IV declares war on Sweden.

1687 - James II of England orders a pro-Catholic declaration read in church. Bishops refuse and the crisis culminates in the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

1841 - President William Henry Harrison dies of pneumonia one month after his inauguration, becoming the first U.S. president to die in office.

1844 - Germany occupies Southwest Africa, Togoland and Cameroons.

1902 - The Rhodes scholarship is established by Cecil Rhodes, empire builder and founder of Africa's Rhodesia.

1942 - Japanese naval forces sink three British warships in the Bay of Bengal during World War II.

1945 - U.S. forces liberate the Nazi death camp at Ohrdruf in Germany.

1949 - North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington by foreign ministers of United States, Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Canada for mutual assistance against aggression in the North Atlantic.

1959 - Ivory Coast signs series of agreements with Niger, Upper Volta and Dahomey to form the Sahel-Benin Union.

1964 - Archbishop Makarios abrogates 1960 treaty between Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, and heavy fighting erupts in northwest Cyprus.

1968 - Civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

1975 - A U.S. Air Force transport plane evacuating Vietnamese orphans crashes shortly after takeoff from Saigon, killing more than 130 people, most of them children.

1979 - Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the deposed prime minister of Pakistan, is hung after he is convicted of conspiring to murder a political opponent.

1986 - Israel formally asks for access to United Nations War Crimes Commission file on former U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim.

1988 - Iran hammers Iraq's vital oil centers with missiles and fighter-bombers.

1990 - The National People's Congress, China's legislature, approves the Basic Law, the constitution that will govern Hong Kong after it reverts to Chinese sovereignty in 1997; Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev warns republic of Estonia to rescind independence declaration.

1992 - More than 1,200 French troops, the first major contingent of a U.N. peacekeeping force, arrive in war-torn Croatia, as Bosnia mobilizes its national guard to quell violence.

1993 - Boris Yeltsin receives a $1.6-billion U.S. aid package for Russia intended to help him fend off attacks from hard-liners before the April 25 referendum on his reforms.

1994 - Serbs launch major attack on besieged Muslim enclave of Gorazde in Bosnia.

2000 - West African intervention troops begin formally pulling out of Sierra Leone, amid fears the withdrawal may leave a security vacuum following the country's brutal eight-year civil war.

2001 - Sudan's Defense Minister and 14 other military officers are killed when their plane crashes on takeoff. The loss comes during a critical point in country's civil war.

2002 - Israel continues its sweeping military offensive in the West Bank, despite U.S. calls to withdraw from Palestinian areas.

2004 - Slovenes overwhelmingly vote against restoring the rights of thousands of minorities who were stripped of their citizenship when Slovenia broke away from Yugoslavia. More than 18,000 mostly Bosnians, Croats and Serbs were officially erased from state records after Slovenia declared its independence in 1991, effectively losing their right to permanent residency.

2005 - Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, who took refuge in Russia after protesters raided his offices, formally resigns from office -- a move seen as a major step toward restoring stability in his troubled country.

2006 - In its most detailed report yet on alleged secret rendition flights of terror suspects, Amnesty International says three former detainees have lent support to the idea that eastern European countries may have been involved in secret CIA flights to so-called "black site" prisons.

2007 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces the release of 15 captive British sailors and marines who were seized 13 days earlier in the northern Persian Gulf by an Iranian force who claimed they were trespassing.

2008 - Child welfare officials following up on an abuse complaint take custody of 18 girls who lived at a secretive West Texas religious retreat built by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. A total of 52 girls, ages 6 months to 17 years, are bused away to be interviewed.

2009 - European leaders enthusiastically praise President Barack Obama's new Afghan strategy at a NATO summit but hold their ground on a central disagreement over troop levels and offer only military trainers and extra security forces for upcoming elections. Violent anti-war protests mar the alliance's 60th anniversary celebrations.

2010 - Nine miners are pulled to safety after spending more than a week trapped in a flooded coal mine in northern China, and state television reports more survivors may be found.

2011 - A diplomatic push by Moammar Gadhafi's regime runs into trouble as opponents at home and abroad reject any solution to the Libyan conflict that would involve one of his sons taking power.

2012 - The United States says that it will soon nominate an ambassador to Myanmar and ease some travel and financial restrictions on the formerly military-run Southeast Asian nation following historic elections that saw opposition gains in parliament.

2013 - The recently reopened Somali National Theater turns into a scene of screams, chaos and blood when a suicide bomber attacks, killing 10 people, wounding dozens and shattering a tentative peace in the capital of Mogadishu.

Today's Birthdays:

Grinling Gibbons, English sculptor (1648-1721); Nicola Antonio Zingarelli, Italian composer (1752-1837); Edith Soedergran, Finnish poet (1892-1923); Marguerite Duras, French writer (1914-1996); Maya Angelou, U.S. poet (1928--); Anthony Perkins, U.S. actor (1932-1992); Craig T. Nelson , U.S. actor (1944--); Clive Davis, U.S. music executive (1932--); Robert Downey Jr., U.S. actor (1965--).

Thought for Today:

You can kill a man but you can't kill an idea -- Medgar Evers, murdered American civil rights activist (1926-1963).

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