Today is Wednesday, April 22, the 112th day of 2015 with 253 to follow.
This is Earth Day.
The moon is waxing. Morning stars are Neptune, Uranus and Saturn. Evening stars are Jupiter, Mars, Mercury and Venus.
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; novelist Vladimir Nabokov in 1899; pioneer nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer in 1904; actor Eddie Albert in 1906; violin virtuoso Yehudi Menhin in 1916; jazz bass player Charles Mingus in 1922; TV producer Aaron Spelling in 1923; actress Charlotte Rae in 1926 (age 89); singer Glen Campbell in 1936 (age 79); actor Jack Nicholson in 1937 (age 78); businessman/balloon-flight record setter Steve Fossett in 1944; filmmaker John Waters in 1946 (age 69); rock guitarist/singer Peter Frampton in 1950 (age 65); actor Marilyn Chambers in 1952: actor Ryan Stiles in 1959 (age 56); comedian/TV host Byron Allen in 1961 (age 54); actor Chris Makepeace in 1964 (age 51).
On this date in history:
In 1500, Brazil was discovered by Pedro Alvarez Cabral.
In 1889, about 20,000 homesteaders massed along the border of the Oklahoma Territory, awaiting the signal to start the Oklahoma land rush.
In 1915, during World War I, German forces became the first to use poison gas on the Western Front.
In 1970, Earth Day was first observed.
In 1985, Jose Sarney was sworn in as Brazil's first civilian president in 21 years.
In 1993, the Holocaust Memorial Museum was dedicated in Washington.
In 1994, Richard Nixon, the 37th U.S. president and the only one to resign from the office, died four days after suffering a stroke. He was 81.
In 1997, a 126-day standoff at the Japanese Embassy in Lima ended after Peruvian commandos stormed the building and freed 72 hostages held by the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. All 14 rebels were killed.
In 2004, former NFL star Pat Tillman, who turned down a lucrative contract with the Arizona Cardinals to join the U.S. Army Rangers, was killed in Afghanistan. (The U.S. military said later he was a victim of friendly fire.)
In 2006, Iraq's Parliament ratified the selection of Nouri al-Maliki as prime minister, ending a four-month political deadlock.
In 2010, Russia banned Scientology literature for "undermining the traditional spiritual values of the citizens of the Russian Federation."
In 2013, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was charged with conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction resulting in death. (Eventually, Tsarnaev faced 17 federal charges in the April 15 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He was convicted in April 2015 on all charges.)
In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Michigan law that bans preferential treatment on the "basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin" in admissions at public colleges and universities. It was a blow to affirmative action programs across the country.
A thought for the day: "Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television." -- Woody Allen