Today is Wednesday, April 6, the 96th day of 2011. There are 269 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 6, 1909, American explorers Robert E. Peary and Matthew A. Henson and four Inuits became the first men to reach the North Pole.
On this date:
In 1830, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints was organized by Joseph Smith in Fayette, N.Y.
In 1862, the Civil War Battle of Shiloh began in Tennessee as Confederate forces launched a surprise attack against Union troops, who beat back the Confederates the next day.
In 1886, the Canadian city of Vancouver, British Columbia, was incorporated.
In 1896, the first modern Olympic games formally opened in Athens, Greece.
In 1917, Congress approved a declaration of war against Germany.
In 1945, during World War II, the Japanese warship Yamato and nine other vessels sailed on a suicide mission to attack the U.S. fleet off Okinawa; the fleet was intercepted the next day.
In 1965, the United States launched the Intelsat I, also known as the "Early Bird" communications satellite, into orbit.
In 1971, Russian-born composer Igor Stravinsky, 88, died in New York City.
In 1985, William J. Schroeder became the first artificial heart recipient to be discharged from the hospital as he moved into an apartment in Louisville, Ky.
In 1994, the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi were killed in a mysterious plane crash near Rwanda's capital; widespread violence and killings erupted in Rwanda over claims the plane had been shot down.
Ten years ago: Algerian national Ahmed Ressam, accused of bringing explosives into the United States just days before the millennium celebrations, was convicted twice in the same day -- first in France for belonging to a group supporting Islamic militants, then in Los Angeles on terror charges. Pacific Gas and Electric Co. filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in an offshoot of the California energy crisis. (It emerged from bankruptcy in April 2004.)
Five years ago: At the death penalty trial of al-Qaida conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani described his own harrowing experiences in lower Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001. U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., apologized for an altercation in which she'd entered a Capitol building unrecognized, refused to stop when asked by a police officer and then struck him.
One year ago: The White House announced a fundamental shift in U.S. nuclear strategy that called the spread of atomic weapons to rogue states or terrorists a worse threat than the nuclear Armageddon feared during the Cold War. Former Soviet diplomat Anatoly Dobrynin, 90, died in Moscow. Actor Corin Redgrave, 70, died in London. Former chief Wilma Mankiller, the first female leader of the Cherokee Nation, died in Oklahoma at age 64.
Today's Birthdays: Nobel Prize-winning scientist James D. Watson is 83. Composer-conductor Andre Previn is 82. Country singer Merle Haggard is 74. Actor Billy Dee Williams is 74. Actor Roy Thinnes is 73. Movie director Barry Levinson is 69. Actor John Ratzenberger is 64. Actress Marilu Henner is 59. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Janet Lynn is 58. Actor Michael Rooker is 56. Rock musician Warren Haynes is 51. Rock singer-musician Frank Black is 46. Author Vince Flynn is 45. Actress Ari Meyers is 42. Actor Paul Rudd is 42. Actor-producer Jason Hervey is 39. Rock musician Markku Lappalainen is 38. Actor Zach Braff is 36. Actress Candace Cameron Bure is 35. Actor Bret Harrison is 29. Actor Charlie McDermott (TV: "The Middle") is 21.
Thought for Today: "History is the ship carrying living memories to the future." -- Sir Stephen Spender, British poet and critic (1909-1995).
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)