Today is Thursday, April 22, the 113th day of 2004 with 253 to follow.
The moon is waxing. 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 Taurus. They include Spanish Queen Isabella I, who funded the first voyage of Christopher Columbus to the New World, in 1451; English novelist Henry Fielding in 1707; German philosopher Immanuel Kant in 1724; Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, leader of Russia's 1917 Communist revolution, in 1870; pioneer nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer in 1904; actor Eddie Albert in 1908 (age 96); violin virtuoso Yehudi Menuhin in 1916; jazz bass player Charles Mingus in 1922; actress Charlotte Rae in 1926 (age 78); TV producer Aaron Spelling in 1928 (age 76); singer Glen Campbell and actor Jack Nicholson, both in 1936 (age 68); filmmaker John Waters in 1946 (age 58); pop singer Peter Frampton in 1950 (age 54); actor Ryan Stiles in 1959 (age 45); comedian/TV host Byron Allen in 1961 (age 43); and actor Chris Makepeace in 1964 (age 40).
On this date in history:
In 1500, Brazil was discovered by Pedro Alvarez Cabral.
In 1509, Henry VIII became king of England.
In 1889, some 20,000 homesteaders massed along the border of the Oklahoma Territory, awaiting the signal to start the Oklahoma land rush.
In 1914, Babe Ruth made his professional pitching debut, playing for the Baltimore Orioles.
In 1915, during World War I, German forces became the first to use poison gas on the Western Front.
In 1985, Jose Sarney was sworn in as Brazil's first civilian president in 21 years.
In 1987, a divided U.S. Supreme Court said capital punishment does not discriminate against blacks.
In 1990, Moslem extremists in Lebanon freed a U.S. hostage for first time in more than three years, releasing college professor Robert Polhill after 39 months in captivity.
In 1991, at least 70 people were killed and 500 more injured when an earthquake measuring 7.4 on the Richter scale struck Costa Rica.
In 1993, Gov. Guy Hunt, Alabama's first Republican governor since the Reconstruction, was removed from office after being convicted of felony ethics violations.
In 1994, Richard Nixon, the 37th U.S. president and the only U.S. president to resign his office, died four days after suffering a stroke. He was 81.
In 1997, a 126-day standoff at the Japanese embassy in Lima ended when Peruvian commandos stormed the building and freed 72 hostages who'd been held by the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. All 14 rebels were killed.
In 2000, in a predawn raid, armed U.S. immigration agents broke into the Miami house where Elian Gonzalez had been staying and took charge of the 6-year-old Cuban refugee, flying him to Washington to be reunited with his Cuban father.
In 2003, Hundreds of thousands of Shiites journeyed to Karbala for annual religious observances banned under Saddam Hussein and many called on Americans to go home.
A thought for the day: Confusius said, "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand."