Today is Sunday, April 18, the 109th day of 2004 with 257 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Neptune, Uranus, Mercury and Pluto. The evening stars are Venus, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include Italian duchess Lucrezia Borgia in 1480; lawyer Clarence Darrow in 1857; symphony conductor Leopold Stokowski in 1882; actors Barbara Hale in 1922 (age 82), Hayley Mills in 1946 (age 58), James Woods in 1947 (age 57), Rick Moranis in 1954 (age 50), Eric Roberts in 1956 (age 48) and Jane Leeves ("Frasier") in 1961 (age 43); late night talk show host Conan O'Brien and actor Eric McCormack ("Will & Grace"), both in 1963 (age 41); and actress Melissa Joan Hart in 1976 (age 28).
On this date in history:
In 1775, American patriot Paul Revere began his famed ride through the Massachusetts countryside, crying out "The British are coming!" to rally the Minutemen.
In 1906, an earthquake struck San Francisco, collapsing buildings and igniting fires that destroyed much of what remained of the city. By the time it was over three days later, almost 500 people were dead and more than a quarter of a million were homeless.
In 1923, Yankees Stadium opened in New York.
In 1942, U.S. planes bombed the Japanese mainland for the first time during World War II.
In 1945, journalist Ernie Pyle, America's most popular World War II correspondent, was killed by Japanese machine-gun fire on the island of Ie Shima in the Pacific.
In 1949, the Republic of Ireland formally declared itself independent from Britain.
In 1980, Rhodesia became the independent African nation of Zimbabwe.
In 1983, the U.S. embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, was severely damaged by a car-bomb explosion that killed 63 people, including the suicide bomber and 17 Americans. The terrorist attack was carried out in protest of the U.S. military presence in Lebanon.
In 1987, Democrat Annette Strauss was elected the first woman mayor of Dallas.
In 1992, an 11-year-old Florida boy sued to "divorce" his natural parents and remain with his foster parents. The boy eventually won his suit.
In 1993, the U.N. Security Council voted to toughen sanctions against Serbia because of its support for Bosnian Serbs trying to carve an ethnically pure state out of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
In 1996, gunmen killed 18 people and wounded 15 more in an attack on tourists at the Egyptian pyramids.
In 2000, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights embarrassed the Clinton administration by refusing to criticize China's record on human rights.
In 2002, former Sen. Bob Kerrey, D.-Neb., revealed that at least 13 civilians were killed by his U.S. Navy unit in a Vietnamese village in 1969.
Also in 2002, actor Robert Blake was arrested in connection with the slaying of his wife in Los Angeles.
In 2003, Abu Dhabi TV aired videotape showing a man who appeared to be Saddam Hussein greeting a crowd of supporters as coalition forces entered Baghdad.
Also in 2003, The FDA issued new guidelines in which people potentially infected with severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, to be deferred in donating blood.
A thought for the day: Edward W. Howe said, "If you don't learn to laugh at troubles, you won't have anything to laugh at when you grow old."