Today in History
On April 17, 1970, Apollo 13 astronauts James A. Lovell, Fred W. Haise and Jack Swigert splashed down safely in the Pacific, four days after a ruptured oxygen tank crippled their spacecraft while en route to the moon.
In 1521, Martin Luther went before the Diet of Worms (vohrms) to face charges stemming from his religious writings. He was later declared an outlaw by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, AP reported.
In 1524, Giovanni da Verrazano reached present-day New York Harbor.
In 1861, the Virginia State Convention voted to secede from the Union.
In 1895, the Treaty of Shimonoseki ended the first Sino-Japanese War.
In 1941, Yugoslavia surrendered to Germany in World War II.
In 1961, some 1,500 CIA-trained Cuban exiles launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba.
In 1964, Ford Motor Co. unveiled its new Mustang model at the New York World's Fair. Jerrie Mock of Columbus, Ohio, became the first woman to complete a solo airplane flight around the world.
In 1969, a jury in Los Angeles convicted Sirhan Sirhan of assassinating Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. The First Secretary of Czechoslovakia's Communist Party, Alexander Dubcek (DOOB'-chek), was deposed.
In 1975, Cambodia's five-year war ended as the capital Phnom Penh fell to the Khmer Rouge, which instituted radical policies that claimed an estimated 1.7 million lives until the regime was overthrown in 1979.
In 1990, the Rev. Ralph D. Abernathy, the civil rights activist and top aide to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., died in Atlanta at age 64.
Ten years ago: World finance officials in Washington closed out a tumultuous meeting with renewed pledges to hasten debt relief for poor countries and increase support for fighting the AIDS epidemic. Kenya's Elijah Lagat (ih-LEE'-zhah lah-GAHT') won the Boston Marathon; Catherine Ndereba (deh-RAY'-bah) became the first female Kenyan winner.
Five years ago: Registered sex offender David Lee Onstott was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Sarah Michelle Lunde (LUHN'-dee), the 13-year-old Florida girl whose body had been found the day before. Onstott was later convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. A Swiss tourist bus plunged into an Alpine ravine, killing 12 people.
One year ago: A day after U.N. inspectors left North Korea, U.S. experts monitoring the communist country's nuclear program also departed after Pyongyang expelled them and threatened to restart its reactor in anger over U.N. criticism of its recent rocket launch. Richard Phillips, the cargo ship captain rescued by Navy snipers from the clutches of Somali pirates, made a triumphant return to his home state of Vermont where he said his rescuers were the true heroes.
Today's Birthdays: Rock promoter Don Kirshner is 76. Composer-musician Jan Hammer (yahn HAH'-mur) is 62. Actress Olivia Hussey is 59. Actor Clarke Peters is 58. Rock singer-musician Pete Shelley (Buzzcocks) is 55. Actor Sean Bean is 51. Rock singer Maynard James Keenan is 46. Actress Lela Rochon (LEE'-lah rohn-SHAHN') is 46. Actor William Mapother is 45. Actress Leslie Bega is 43. Actress Kimberly Elise is 43. Singer Liz Phair is 43. Rapper-actor Redman is 40. Actress Jennifer Garner is 38. Country musician Craig Anderson (Heartland) is 37. Singer Victoria Adams Beckham (Spice Girls) is 36. Actress-singer Lindsay Korman is 32. Actor Paulie Litt is 15. Actress Dee Dee Davis is 14.