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Thursday, April 9

April 1, 2015

Today is Thursday, April 9, the 99th day of 2015. There are 266 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

641 - An army commanded by Amr Ibn al-As conquers Egypt by seizing the Babylon fort in the Nile Delta. Alexandria capitulates the following November.

837 - Halley’s Comet makes its closest known passage to Earth: 5 million kilometers (3 million miles).

1609 - Spain signs nine-year truce with Holland.

1682 - French explorer Robert LaSalle, reaches the Gulf of Mexico after traveling down Mississippi River.

1783 - Tippoo of Mysore forces British to surrender Bednore.

1833 - First U.S. tax-supported public library is founded in Peterborough, New Hampshire.

1865 - Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrenders his army to Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, ending the American Civil War.

1940 - German forces invade Norway and Denmark in World War II.

1942 - American and Philippine defenders on Bataan capitulate to Japanese forces during World War II; the surrender is followed by the notorious Bataan Death March, which claimed nearly 10,000 lives.

1948 - Jewish militia attack the Arab village of Deir Yassin in what is now Israel, killing more than 100 Arabs and forcing the rest to flee.

1963 - Britain’s former Prime Minister Winston Churchill is made an honorary U.S. citizen.

1971 - Jordan’s King Hussein accepts Syrian proposal to end two weeks of fighting with Palestinian guerrillas in Jordan.

1974 - India, Pakistan and Bangladesh sign agreement to repatriate 195 Pakistani prisoners of war.

1986 - West Berlin expels two Libyan diplomats, says it suspects Libya of being behind bombing of Berlin discotheque.

1988 - China’s National Peoples Congress names Li Peng as premier.

1989 - Sixteen people are reported killed as Soviet troops rush crowd of protesters in a central square of Georgian capital, Tbilisi.

1990 - A three-decade ban on political activity is lifted in Nepal, and hundreds of thousands celebrate.

1992 - Sali Berisha is elected as Albania’s first noncommunist president since World War II; former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega is convicted in Miami of eight drug and racketeering charges.

1994 - U.S., French and Belgian troops arrive in Rwanda to evacuate foreigners from the country, torn by tribal warfare.

1995 - President Alberto Fujimori wins a second five-year term in Peru’s first peaceful election since 1980.

1998 - Some 150 Muslims are trampled to death in a stampede in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on the last day of the annual hajj pilgrimage.

1999 - Niger President Ibrahim Bare Mainassara is assassinated by his personal guard unit. The guard commander declares himself the new president two days later.

2002 - The funeral of Queen Elizabeth, the queen mother, is held in London’s Westminster Abbey.

2003 - U.S.-led forces take control of Baghdad, the Iraqi capital, after U.S. marines entered the city from the east to link up with U.S. soldiers controlling the western and southern approaches to the city.

2005 - Haitian police shoot and kill Remissainthe Ravix, a prominent rebel leader who helped force former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide into exile the previous year.

2009 - Britain’s top counter-terror police officer resigns after he was photographed carrying clearly visible secret documents about an operation against an alleged al-Qaida plot by Pakistani nationals to launch an attack in Britain.

2010 - Russia threatens to suspend all child adoptions by U.S. families after a 7-year-old boy adopted by an American woman was sent alone on a one-way flight back to Moscow with a note saying he was violent and had severe psychological problems.

2011 - Thousands of demonstrators barricade themselves in Cairo’s central square with burned-out troop carriers and barbed wire and demand the removal of the military council ruling Egypt, infuriated after soldiers stormed their protest camp overnight, killing at least one person and injuring 71 others.

2012 - Syrian forces open fire across two tense borders, killing a TV journalist in Lebanon and wounding at least six people in a refugee camp in Turkey on the eve of a deadline for a cease-fire plan that seems all but certain to fail.

2013 - Al-Qaida’s branch in Iraq and the most powerful rebel group in Syria have officially joined ranks against President Bashar Assad to forge a potent militant force in the Middle East.

2014 — President Vladimir Putin turns up the heat on Ukraine by threatening to demand advance payment for gas supplies, a move designed to exert economic pressure on Kiev as it confronts possible bankruptcy.

Today’s Birthdays:

Charles Pierre Baudelaire, French author (1821-1867); Leon Blum, French socialist statesman (1870-1950); Paul Robeson, U.S. singer (1898-1976); Sir Robert Helpmann, Australian ballet star-actor (1909-1986); Joern Utzon, Danish architect (1918-2008); Jean-Paul Belmondo, French actor (1933--); Paulina Porizkova, Czech model-actress (1965--); Hugh Hefner, Playboy creator (1926--); Cynthia Nixon, U.S actress (1966--).

Thought for Today:

There is no such thing as conversation. It is an illusion. There are intersecting monologues, that is all — Dame Rebecca West, Irish-born author and journalist (1892-1983).

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