Today is Palm Sunday, April 9, the 99th day of 2017. There are 266 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 9, 1942, during World War II, some 75,000 Philippine and American defenders on Bataan surrendered to Japanese troops, who forced the prisoners to travel on foot more than 60 miles to a prison camp in what became known as the Bataan Death March. (Thousands died or were killed en route.)
On this date:
In 1682, French explorer Robert de La Salle claimed the Mississippi River Basin for France.
In 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
In 1913, the first game was played at Ebbets Field, the newly built home of the Brooklyn Dodgers, who lost to the Philadelphia Phillies, 1-0.
In 1917, during World War I, Canadian forces launched a successful counter-offensive against German troops in the Battle of Vimy Ridge on the Western Front.
In 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. after being denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
In 1940, during World War II, Germany invaded Denmark and Norway.
In 1947, a series of tornadoes in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas claimed 181 lives.
In 1959, NASA presented its first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 91, died in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1965, the newly built Astrodome in Houston featured its first baseball game, an exhibition between the Astros and the New York Yankees, with President Lyndon B. Johnson in attendance. (The Astros won, 2-1, in 12 innings.)
In 1967, the first test flight of Boeing’s new 737 took place as the jetliner took off from Boeing Field in Seattle on a 2½-hour trip to Paine Field in Everett, Washington.
In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger ended its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1992, former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega was convicted in Miami of eight drug and racketeering charges; he served a 17-year U.S. prison sentence.
In 1996, in a dramatic shift of purse-string power, President Bill Clinton signed a line-item veto bill into law. (However, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the veto in 1998.)
Ten years ago: Tens of thousands of Shiites marched in Iraq to demand that U.S. forces leave their country; some ripped apart American flags and tromped across a Stars and Stripes rug. President George W. Bush visited the U.S.-Mexico border to tout a guest worker program for immigrants.
Five years ago: A Florida special prosecutor said a grand jury would not look into the Trayvon Martin case, leaving the decision of whether to charge the teen’s shooter in her hands alone. (Prosecutor Angela Corey ended up filing second-degree murder charges against George Zimmerman, who pleaded not guilty, claiming self-defense; Zimmerman was acquitted at trial.) Olympic gold medal diver Mark Lenzi died in Greenville, North Carolina, at age 43.
One year ago: After weeks of frantic searching, Belgian authorities announced they had identified recently detained Paris attacks suspect Mohamed Abrini as the “man with the hat” who was spotted alongside two suicide bombers who blew themselves up at Brussels Airport the previous month. Manny Pacquiao knocked down Timothy Bradley twice on his way to a unanimous 12-round decision in their welterweight showdown in Las Vegas.
Today’s Birthdays: Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner is 91. Satirical songwriter and mathematician Tom Lehrer is 89. Naturalist Jim Fowler is 87. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo is 84. Actress Michael Learned is 78. Country singer Margo Smith is 75. Country singer Hal Ketchum is 64. Actor Dennis Quaid is 63. Comedian Jimmy Tingle is 62. Country musician Dave Innis (Restless Heart) is 58. Talk show host Joe Scarborough is 54. Actress-sports reporter Lisa Guerrero is 53. Actor Mark Pellegrino is 52. Actress-model Paulina Porizkova is 52. Actress Cynthia Nixon is 51. Rock singer Kevin Martin (Candlebox) is 48. TV personality Sunny Anderson is 42. Rock singer Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) is 40. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is 38. Rock musician Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes) is 37. Actor Charlie Hunnam is 37. Actor Ryan Northcott is 37. Actor Arlen Escarpeta is 36. Actor Jay Baruchel is 35. Actress Annie Funke (TV: “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders”) is 32. Actor Jordan Masterson is 31. Actress Leighton Meester is 31. Actor-singer Jesse McCartney is 30. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazmine Sullivan is 30. Actress Kristen Stewart is 27. Actress Elle Fanning is 19. Actor Isaac Hempstead Wright is 18. Classical crossover singer Jackie Evancho (ee-VAYN’-koh) is 17.
Thought for Today: “I believe in God, only I spell it Nature.” — Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959).