Today is Thursday, April 17, the 107th day of 2014 with 258 to follow.
The moon is waning. The morning stars are Mercury, Neptune, Saturn, Uranus and Venus. The evening stars are Jupiter and Mars.
Those born on this date are under the sign of Aries. They include American industrialist and financier J.P. Morgan in 1837; baseball Hall of Fame member Cap Anson in 1852; Danish author Karen Blixen ("Out of Africa"), who wrote under the name Isak Dinesen, in 1885; Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in 1894; novelist and playwright Thornton Wilder in 1897; actor William Holden in 1918; television journalist Harry Reasoner in 1923; music promoter Don Kirshner in 1934; musician Jan Hammer in 1948 (age 66); actors Olivia Hussey in 1951 (age 63), Sean Bean in 1959 (age 55) and Henry Ian Cusick in 1967 (age 47); musician Liz Phair in 1967 (age 47); and singer Victoria Beckham in 1974 (age 40).
On this date in history:
In 1421, the sea broke the dikes at Dort, Holland, drowning an estimated 100,000 people.
In 1521, Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church after refusing to admit to charges of heresy.
In 1524, Italian navigator Giovanni Verrazano discovered New York Harbor.
In 1790, American statesman, printer, scientist and writer Benjamin Franklin died in Philadelphia at age 84.
In 1961, a force of anti-Castro rebels began the Bay of Pigs attempt to overthrow Cuba's new communist government.
In 1964, Jerrie Mock of Columbus, Ohio, became the first woman to complete a solo flight around the world.
In 1970, with the world anxiously watching on television, Apollo 13, a U.S. lunar spacecraft that suffered a severe malfunction on its journey to the moon, safely returned to Earth.
In 1989, the Polish labor union Solidarity was granted legal status after nearly a decade of struggle and suppression -- clearing the way for the downfall of the country's Communist Party.
In 1993, a federal court jury convicted two Los Angeles police officers of violating Rodney King's civil rights in the black motorist's highly publicized 1991 arrest and beating.
In 2001, Mississippi voters, by a 2-1 ratio, decided to keep their state flag, which includes the Confederate battle cross in the upper left corner.
In 2003, billionaire philanthropist John Paul Getty Jr. died in London at the age of 70.
In 2004, the Israeli army confirmed it had killed Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi.
In 2006, a bus carrying Mexican tourists plunged nearly 800 feet off a cliff in eastern Mexico, between Vera Cruz and Mexico City, killing at least 63 people.
In 2010, vandals spray-painted graffiti on Rio de Janeiro's colossal Christ The Redeemer statue. It was the first incident of that kind since the 98-foot-tall statue was dedicated in 1931.
In 2012, U.S. investor Warren Buffett, one of the world's wealthiest people, said he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
In 2013, an explosion at a West, Texas, fertilizer plant killed 15 people, injured dozens and caused massive property damage in the community.
A thought for the day: Rudyard Kipling wrote, "Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind."