Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 9, 1942, during World War II, some 75,000 Philippine and American defenders on Bataan surrendered to Japanese troops, who forced the prisoners into what became known as the Bataan Death March; thousands died or were killed en route.
On this date:
In 1865, Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered his army to Union Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House in Virginia.
In 1939, singer Marian Anderson performed a concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., after being denied the use of Constitution Hall by the Daughters of the American Revolution.
In 1959, NASA presented its first seven astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Gordon Cooper, John Glenn, Gus Grissom, Wally Schirra, Alan Shepard and Donald Slayton. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright, 91, died in Phoenix, Arizona.
In 1963, British statesman Winston Churchill was proclaimed an honorary U.S. citizen by President John F. Kennedy. (Churchill, unable to attend, watched the proceedings live on television in his London home.)
In 1968, funeral services, private and public, were held for Martin Luther King Jr. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church and Morehouse College in Atlanta, five days after the civil rights leader was assassinated in Memphis, Tennessee.
In 1979, officials declared an end to the crisis involving the Three Mile Island Unit 2 nuclear reactor in Pennsylvania, 12 days after a partial core meltdown.
In 1983, the space shuttle Challenger ended its first mission with a safe landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1992, former Panamanian ruler Manuel Noriega was convicted in Miami of eight drug and racketeering charges; he served a 17-year U.S. prison sentence.
In 1996, Dan Rostenkowski, the once-powerful House Ways and Means chairman, pleaded guilty to two mail fraud charges in a deal that brought with it a 17-month prison term. (Rostenkowski served 15 months, and was pardoned by President Clinton in 2000.)
In 2003, jubilant Iraqis celebrated the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, beheading a toppled statue of their longtime ruler in downtown Baghdad and embracing American troops as liberators.
In 2005, Britain’s Prince Charles married longtime love Camilla Parker Bowles, who took the title Duchess of Cornwall.
In 2009, North Korea’s rubber-stamp parliament appointed Kim Jong Il to a third term as leader. Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Adenhart, 22, and two others were killed in a car crash by a suspected drunken driver. (Andrew Thomas Gallo was convicted of three counts of second-degree murder and sentenced to 51 years to life in prison.)
Ten years ago: Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens announced his retirement. (His vacancy was filled by Elena Kagan.) Meinhardt Raabe, who’d played the Munchkin coroner in “The Wizard of Oz,” died in Orange Park, Florida, at age 94.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama briefly visited Jamaica, where he met with Caribbean leaders and spoke at a town hall of young leaders; the president then flew to Panama City for a summit of Western Hemisphere nations and a historic encounter with Cuban President Raul Castro. Canadian-born filmmaker Paul Almond, 83, died in Los Angeles.
One year ago: Israelis voted in an election that would bring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a historic fifth term. Iranian lawmakers dressed in paramilitary uniforms chanted “Death to America” as they convened for an open session of parliament after the White House designated Iran’s Revolutionary Guard a foreign terrorist organization. Magic Johnson abruptly quit as the Los Angeles Lakers’ president of basketball operations; the announcement came before the final game of the Lakers’ sixth consecutive losing season.
Today’s Birthdays: Satirical songwriter and mathematician Tom Lehrer is 92. Actor Jean-Paul Belmondo is 87. Actress Michael Learned is 81. Country singer Margo Smith is 78. Country singer Hal Ketchum is 67. Actor Dennis Quaid is 66. Comedian Jimmy Tingle is 65. Country musician Dave Innis (Restless Heart) is 61. Talk show host Joe Scarborough is 57. Actress-sports reporter Lisa Guerrero is 56. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey is 56. Actor Mark Pellegrino is 55. Actress-model Paulina Porizkova is 55. Actress Cynthia Nixon is 54. Rock singer Kevin Martin (Candlebox) is 51. TV personality Sunny Anderson is 45. Rock singer Gerard Way (My Chemical Romance) is 43. Actress Keshia Knight Pulliam is 41. Rock musician Albert Hammond Jr. (The Strokes) is 40. Actor Charlie Hunnam is 40. Actor Ryan Northcott is 40. Actor Arlen Escarpeta is 39. Actor Jay Baruchel is 38. Actress Annie Funke is 35. Actor Jordan Masterson is 34. Actress Leighton Meester is 34. Actor-singer Jesse McCartney is 33. Rhythm-and-blues singer Jazmine Sullivan is 33. Actress Kristen Stewart is 30. Actress Elle Fanning is 22. Rapper Lil Nas X is 21. Actor Isaac Hempstead Wright is 21. Classical crossover singer Jackie Evancho (ee-VAYN’-koh) is 20.
Thought for Today: “Thinking is like loving or dying. Each of us must do it for ourselves.” — Josiah Royce, American philosopher (1855-1916).