Today is Good Friday, April 22, the 112th day of 2011. There are 253 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 22, 1864, Congress authorized the use of the phrase "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins.
On this date:
In 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush began at noon as thousands of homesteaders staked claims.
In 1898, with the United States and Spain on the verge of war, the U.S. Navy began blockading Cuban ports. Congress authorized creation of the 1st U.S. Volunteer Cavalry, also known as the "Rough Riders."
In 1930, the United States, Britain and Japan signed the London Naval Treaty, which regulated submarine warfare and limited shipbuilding.
In 1938, 45 workers were killed in a coal mine explosion at Keen Mountain in Buchanan County, Va.
In 1944, during World War II, U.S. forces began invading Japanese-held New Guinea with amphibious landings at Hollandia and Aitape.
In 1954, the publicly televised sessions of the Senate Army-McCarthy hearings began.
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 1990, pro-Iranian kidnappers in Lebanon freed American hostage Robert Polhill after nearly 39 months of captivity.
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.
Ten years ago: Leaders of 34 Western Hemisphere nations meeting in Quebec agreed to stick with an ambitious plan to create the world's largest free-trade zone by 2005 and penalize any country that strayed from the path of democracy. Two spacewalking astronauts, including Canadian Chris Hadfield, installed a massive Canadian-built robot arm on the international space station. In a boxing match in South Africa, Hasim Rahman (hah-SEEM' RAHK'-mahn) stopped Lennox Lewis in the fifth round to capture the WBC and IBF heavyweight titles in one of the biggest upsets in boxing history.
Five years ago: The Iraqi parliament elected Jalal Talabani to another term as president. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and Louisiana Lt. Gov. Mitch Landrieu won spots in a runoff election for Nagin's job (Nagin won the runoff). Italian actress Alida Valli died in Rome at age 84.
One year ago: The Deepwater Horizon oil platform, operated by BP, sank into the Gulf of Mexico two days after a massive explosion that killed 11 workers. The NCAA announced a 14-year, $10.8 billion deal with CBS and Turner Broadcasting under which every game during an expanded March Madness schedule would be broadcast live nationally for the first time in the tournament's 73-year history.
Today's Birthdays: Actor George Cole is 86. Actress Charlotte Rae is 85. Actress Estelle Harris is 79. Singer Glen Campbell is 75. Actor Jack Nicholson is 74. Singer Mel Carter is 68. Author Janet Evanovich is 68. Country singer Cleve Francis is 66. Movie director John Waters is 65. Singer Peter Frampton is 61. Rock singer-musician Paul Carrack (Mike and the Mechanics; Squeeze) is 60. Actor Joseph Bottoms is 57. Actor Ryan Stiles is 52. Baseball manager Terry Francona is 52. Comedian Byron Allen is 50. Actor Chris Makepeace is 47. Rock musician Fletcher Dragge (DRAH'-guh) is 45. Actor Jeffrey Dean Morgan is 45. Actress Sheryl Lee is 44. Actress-talk show host Sherri Shepherd is 44. Country singer-musician Heath Wright (Ricochet) is 44. Country singer Kellie Coffey is 40. Actor Eric Mabius is 40. Actor Ingo Rademacher (RAH'-deh-mah-ker) is 40. Rock musician Shavo Odadjian (System of a Down) is 37. Rock singer-musician Daniel Johns (Silverchair) is 32. Actress Michelle Ryan is 27. Actress Amber Heard is 25.
Thought for Today: "What's vice today may be virtue, tomorrow." -- Henry Fielding, English novelist (born this date in 1707, died in 1754).
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)