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This Day in History - April 4

Wednesday, April 04, 2012    

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Today is the 95th day of 2011. There are 271 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight 1902: The Rhodes scholarship is established by Cecil Rhodes, empire builder and founder of Africa’s Rhodesia. More than 100 Jamaicans have been awarded the prestigious prize since 1904.

Other Events

1949: The North Atlantic Treaty is signed in Washington by foreign ministers of the US, Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Portugal, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Canada for mutual assistance against aggression in the North Atlantic.

1959: The Ivory Coast signs a series of agreements with Niger, Upper Volta and Dahomey to form the Sahel-Benin Union.

1968: Civil rights leader Dr Martin Luther King is assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.

1979: Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the deposed prime minister of Pakistan, is hung after he is convicted of conspiring to murder a political opponent.

1986: Israel formally asks for access to UN War Crimes Commission file on former UN Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim.

1990: The National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, approves the Basic Law, the constitution that will govern Hong Kong after it reverts to Chinese sovereignty in 1997; Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev warns republic of Estonia to rescind independence declaration.

1993: Boris Yeltsin receives a $1.6-billion US aid package for Russia intended to help him fend off attacks from hard-liners before the April 25 referendum on his reforms.

1994: Serbs launch major attack on besieged Muslim enclave of Gorazde in Bosnia.

2000: West African intervention troops begin formally pulling out of Sierra Leone, amid fears the withdrawal may leave a security vacuum following the country’s brutal eight-year civil war.

2001: Sudan’s Defense Minister and 14 other military the northern Persian Gulf by an Iranian force who officers are killed when their plane crashes takeoff. The loss comes during a critical point in country's civil war

2002: Israel continues its sweeping military offensive in the West Bank, despite US calls to withdraw from Palestinian areas.

2004: Slovenes overwhelmingly vote against restoring the rights of thousands of minorities who were stripped of their citizenship when Slovenia broke away from Yugoslavia. More than 18,000 mostly Bosnians, Croats and Serbs were officially erased from state records after Slovenia declared its independence in 1991, effectively losing their right to permanent residency.

2005: Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, who took refuge in Russia after protesters raided his offices, formally resigns from office — a move seen as a major step toward restoring stability in his troubled country.

2007: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad announces the release of 15 captive British sailors and marines who were seized 13 days earlier in the northern Persian Gulf by an Iranian force who claimed they were trespassing.

2008: Child welfare officials following up on an abuse complaint take custody of 18 girls who lived at a secretive West Texas religious retreat built by polygamist leader Warren Jeffs. A total of 52 girls, ages six months to 17 years, are bused away to be interviewed.

2010: Nine miners are pulled to safety after spending more than a week trapped in a flooded coal mine in northern China, and state television reports more survivors may be found.

2011: A diplomatic push by Moammar Gadhafi’s regime runs into trouble as opponents at home and abroad reject any solution to the Libyan conflict that would involve one of his sons taking power.

Today’s Birthdays

Grinling Gibbons, English sculptor (1648-1721); Nicola Antonio Zingarelli, Italian composer (1752-1837); Edith Soedergran, Finnish poet (1892-1923); Marguerite Duras, French writer (1914-1996); Maya Angelou, US poet (1928-); Anthony Perkins, US actor (1932-1992); Craig T Nelson, US actor (1944-); Clive Davis, US music executive (1932-); Robert Downey Jr, US actor (1965-).

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