Today is Thursday, April 24, the 114th day of 2014. There are 251 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 24, 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin. (The rising was put down by British forces almost a week later.)
On this date:
In 1792, the national anthem of France, "La Marseillaise" (lah mahr-say-YEHZ'), was composed by Captain Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.
In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.
In 1898, Spain declared war on the United States. (The United States responded in kind the next day.)
In 1913, the 792-foot Woolworth Building, at that time the tallest skyscraper in the world, officially opened in Manhattan as President Woodrow Wilson pressed a button at the White House to signal the lighting of the towering structure.
In 1915, what's regarded as the start of the Armenian genocide began as the Ottoman Empire rounded up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople.
In 1932, in the Free State of Prussia, the Nazi Party gained a plurality of seats in parliamentary elections.
In 1953, British statesman Winston Churchill was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
In 1962, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology achieved the first satellite relay of a television signal, using NASA's Echo 1 balloon satellite to bounce a video image from Camp Parks, Calif., to Westford, Mass.
In 1970, the People's Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, "The East Is Red."
In 1974, comedian Bud Abbott, 78, died in Woodland Hills, Calif.
In 1980, the United States launched an unsuccessful attempt to free the American hostages in Iran, a mission that resulted in the deaths of eight U.S. servicemen.
In 1990, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.
Ten years ago: Suicide boat bombers attacked Iraqi oil facilities in the Persian Gulf, killing three Americans and disabling Iraq's biggest terminal for more than 24 hours. A U.N. plan to reunify the war-divided island of Cyprus collapsed when Greek Cypriots rejected the proposal in one referendum and Turkish Cypriots endorsed it in another. In Los Angeles, Vitali Klitschko stopped Corrie Sanders late in the eighth round to win the WBC heavyweight title vacated by the retirement of Lennox Lewis. Cosmetics queen Estee Lauder died in New York at age 97.
Five years ago: Mexico shut down schools, museums, libraries and state-run theaters across its overcrowded capital in hopes of containing a deadly swine flu outbreak. Back-to-back suicide bombers struck near a Shiite shrine in Baghdad, killing 71.
One year ago: In Bangladesh, a shoddily constructed eight-story commercial building housing garment factories collapsed, killing at least 1,129 people.
Today's Birthdays: Movie director-producer Richard Donner is 84. Actress Shirley MacLaine is 80. Author Sue Grafton is 74. Actor-singer Michael Parks is 74. Actress-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 72. Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 72. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 71. Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 69. Rock singer-musician Rob Hyman is 64. The Taoiseach (prime minister) of Ireland, Enda Kenny, is 63. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 61. Rock singer-musician Jack Blades (Night Ranger) is 60. Actor Michael O'Keefe is 59. Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 57. Actor Glenn Morshower is 55. Rock musician Billy Gould is 51. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 50. Actor Djimon Hounsou (JEYE'-mihn OHN'-soo) is 50. Rock musician Patty Schemel is 47. Rock musician Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) is 46. Actress Melinda Clarke is 45. Latin pop singer Alejandro Fernandez is 43. Country-rock musician Brad Morgan (Drive-By Truckers) is 43. Rock musician Brian Marshall (Creed; Alter Bridge) is 41. Actor Derek Luke is 40. Actor Eric Balfour is 37. Actress Rebecca Mader is 37. Country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard is 35. Country singer Danny Gokey is 34. Actor Austin Nichols is 34. Actress Sasha Barrese is 33. Contemporary Christian musician Jasen Rauch (Red) is 33. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 32. Rock singer-musician Tyson Ritter (The All-American Rejects) is 30. Actor Doc Shaw is 22.
Thought for Today: "Never practice what you preach. If you're going to practice it, why preach it?" -- Lincoln Steffens, American journalist-reformer (1866-1936).