Today's Highlights in History:
On April 27, 1865, in America's worst maritime disaster, the steamer Sultana, carrying freed Union prisoners of war, exploded on the Mississippi River near Memphis, Tennessee; death toll estimates vary from 1,500 to 2,000. Cornell University was established as New York Gov. Reuben E. Fenton signed a measure approving its charter.
On this date:
In 1521, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan was killed by natives in the Philippines.
In 1777, the only land battle in Connecticut during the Revolutionary War, the Battle of Ridgefield, took place, resulting in a limited British victory.
In 1805, during the First Barbary War, an American-led force of Marines and mercenaries captured the city of Derna, on the shores of Tripoli.
In 1822, the 18th president of the United States, Ulysses S. Grant, was born in Point Pleasant, Ohio.
In 1925, the song "Yes, Sir! That's My Baby" by Walter Donaldson and Gus Kahn was published by Irving Berlin, Inc. of New York.
In 1938, King Zog I of the Albanians married Countess Geraldine Apponyi de Nagy-Apponyi.
In 1941, German forces occupied Athens during World War II. R. Murrow died in Pawling, New York, two days after turning 57.
In 1967, Expo '67 was officially opened in Montreal by Canadian Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson.
In 1973, Acting FBI Director L. Patrick Gray resigned after it was revealed that he'd destroyed files removed from the safe of Watergate conspirator E. Howard Hunt.
In 1982, the trial of John W. Hinckley Jr., who had shot four people, including President Ronald Reagan, began in Washington. (The trial ended with Hinckley's acquittal by reason of insanity.)
In 1994, former President Richard M. Nixon was remembered at an outdoor funeral service attended by all five of his successors at the Nixon presidential library in Yorba Linda, California.
Ten years ago: Touting technology as a way to solve the country's energy problems, President George W. Bush called for construction of more nuclear power plants and urged Congress to give tax breaks for fuel-efficient hybrid and clean-diesel cars. Russian President Vladimir Putin became the first Kremlin leader to visit Israel. The Airbus A380, the world's largest jetliner, made its maiden flight as it took off from Blagnac, France, and returned four hours later.
Five years ago: Defending his company against blistering criticism, the chief executive of Goldman Sachs, Lloyd Blankfein, told a Senate hearing that clients who'd bought subprime mortgage securities from the Wall Street powerhouse in 2006 and 2007 came looking for risk "and that's what they got." Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega was extradited from the United States to France, where he was later convicted of laundering drug money and received a seven-year sentence. Thomas Hagan, the only man to admit shooting Malcolm X, was freed on parole. University of Washington president Mark Emmert was selected as president of the NCAA.
One year ago: Two 20th-century popes who'd changed the course of the Roman Catholic church become saints as Pope Francis honored John XXIII and John Paul II; Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI joined him in the first celebration of Mass by a serving and retired pontiff in the church's 2,000-year history. In a rare acknowledgement, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called the Nazi Holocaust "the most heinous crime" of modern history. A tornado tore through parts of Arkansas, killing 16 people. Lydia Ko birdied the final hole for her third LPGA Tour victory and first as a professional in the inaugural Swinging Skirts LPGA Classic, three days after celebrating her 17th birthday.
Today's Birthdays: Actress Anouk Aimee is 83. Actress Judy Carne is 76. Rock musician Jim Keltner is 73. Rhythm-and-blues singer Cuba Gooding is 71. Singer Ann Peebles is 68. Rock singer Kate Pierson (The B-52's) is 67. Rhythm-and-blues singer Herbie Murrell (The Stylistics) is 66. Actor Douglas Sheehan is 66. Rock musician Ace Frehley is 64. Pop singer Sheena Easton is 56. Actor James Le Gros is 53. Rock musician Rob Squires (Big Head Todd and the Monsters) is 50. Singer Mica Paris is 46. Actor David Lascher is 43. Actress Maura West is 43. Actress Sally Hawkins is 39. Rock musician Patrick Hallahan (My Morning Jacket) is 37. Rock singer Jim James (My Morning Jacket) is 37. Rock singer-musician Travis Meeks (Days of the New) is 36. Actress Ari Graynor is 32. Rock singer-musician Patrick Stump (Fall Out Boy) is 31. Pop singer Nick Noonan (Karmin) is 29. Actor William Moseley is 28. Actress Emily Rios is 26. Singer Allison Iraheta is 23.
Thought for Today: "The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it." — Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965).