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Today in History

By The Associated Press
April 22, 2012
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Today is Sunday, April 22, the 113th day of 2012. There are 253 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 22, 1912, the United States Chamber of Commerce had its beginnings with a National Commercial Conference held in Washington, D.C., at the behest of President William Howard Taft.

On this date:

In 1864, Congress authorized the use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins.

In 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush began at noon as thousands of homesteaders staked claims.

In 1930, the United States, Britain and Japan signed the London Naval Treaty, which regulated submarine warfare and limited shipbuilding.

In 1937, thousands of college students in New York City staged a "peace strike" opposing American entry into another possible world conflict.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began invading Japanese-held New Guinea with amphibious landings at Hollandia and Aitape.

In 1952, an atomic test in Nevada became the first nuclear explosion shown on live network television as a 31-kiloton bomb was dropped from a B-50 Superfortress.

In 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson opened the New York World's Fair.

In 1970, millions of Americans concerned about the environment observed the first "Earth Day."

In 1972, New York's Metropolitan Opera held a gala concert honoring Sir Rudolf Bing, who retired after 22 years as general manager.

In 1987, Joe Hunt, leader of a social and investment group called the "Billionaire Boys Club," was convicted by a jury in Santa Monica, Calif., of murdering Ron Levin, a con man whose body has never been found. (Hunt was sentenced to life in prison.)

In 1994, Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States, died at a New York hospital four days after suffering a stroke; he was 81.

In 1997, in Peru, government commandos stormed the Japanese ambassador's residence, ending a 126-day hostage crisis; all 14 Tupac Amaru rebels were killed, all 72 hostages were rescued (however, one died later of gunshot wounds).

Ten years ago: Actor Robert Blake was charged with murder, solicitation of murder and conspiracy in the shooting death of his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, outside a Los Angeles restaurant; Blake's bodyguard, Earle Caldwell, was charged with conspiracy to commit murder; both men pleaded not guilty. (Both were acquitted at criminal trial; Blake was later found liable in a civil trial.) Linda Boreman, formerly known as porn star Linda Lovelace, died in Denver of injuries from a car crash; she was 53.

Five years ago: In the first round of the French presidential election, conservative Nicolas Sarkozy (sahr-koh-ZEE') and Socialist rival Segolene Royal (seh-goh-LEHN' roy-AL') received enough votes to advance to a runoff, which Sarkozy won.

One year ago: Syrian security forces fired at protesters, killing at least 75 people around the country. Pope Benedict XVI consoled a 7-year-old Japanese girl, reassured a mother about her ailing son's soul and advised a Muslim woman that dialogue was the way to peace in Ivory Coast during an unusual, pre-recorded Good Friday appearance on Italian TV. A tornado ripped through Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, causing signifcant damage to the C Concourse.

Today's Birthdays: Actor George Cole is 87. Actress Charlotte Rae is 86. Actress Estelle Harris is 80. Singer Glen Campbell is 76. Actor Jack Nicholson is 75. Singer Mel Carter is 69. Author Janet Evanovich is 69. Country singer Cleve Francis is 67. Movie director John Waters is 66. Singer Peter Frampton is 62. Rock singer-musician Paul Carrack (Mike and the Mechanics; Squeeze) is 61. Actor Joseph Bottoms is 58. Actor Ryan Stiles is 53. Baseball manager Terry Francona is 53. Comedian Byron Allen is 51. Actor Chris Makepeace is 48. Rock musician Fletcher Dragge (DRAH'-guh) is 46. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is 46. Actress Sheryl Lee is 45. Actress-talk show host Sherri Shepherd is 45. Country singer-musician Heath Wright (Ricochet) is 45. Country singer Kellie Coffey is 41. Actor Eric Mabius is 41. Actor Ingo Rademacher (RAH'-deh-mah-ker) is 41. Rock musician Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down) is 38. Rock singer-musician Daniel Johns (Silverchair) is 33. Actress Michelle Ryan is 28. Actress Amber Heard is 26.

Thought for Today: "It is ideas, not vested interests, which are dangerous for good or evil." -- John Maynard Keynes, British economist (1883-1946).

(Above Advance for Use Sunday, April 22)

Copyright 2012, The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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