— Today is Friday, April 26, the 116th day of 2013. There are 249 days left in the year.
Today's Highlight in History:
On April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, was surrounded by federal troops near Port Royal, Va., and killed. (Just before dying, Booth looked at his hands and gasped, "Useless, useless.")
On this date:
Ten years ago: A Soyuz rocket carrying American astronaut Edward Lu and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko (YOOR'-ee mal-ehn-CHEHN'-koh) blasted off for the international space station. Actor Charlton Heston, diagnosed with symptoms of Alzheimer's disease, made his last appearance as president of the National Rifle Association during a convention in Orlando, Fla., where he briefly thanked the membership.
Five years ago: Police in Austria arrested Josef Fritzl, freeing his daughter Elisabeth and her six surviving children, whom he had fathered while holding her captive in a cellar for 24 years. (Fritzl was later sentenced to life in a psychiatric ward.) Yossi Harel, the ship commander whose attempt to bring Holocaust survivors to Palestine aboard the Exodus 1947 built support for Israel's founding, died in Tel Aviv at age 90. Avant-garde composer Henry Brant died in Santa Barbara, Calif., at age 94.
One year ago: Former Liberian President Charles Taylor became the first head of state since World War II to be convicted by an international war crimes court as he was found guilty of arming Sierra Leone rebels in exchange for "blood diamonds" mined by slave laborers and smuggled across the border. Pakistan's Supreme Court convicted Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani (gee-LAH'-nee) of contempt but spared him a prison term for refusing to reopen a corruption case against his boss, President Asif Ali Zardari (AH'-seef ah-LEE' zahr-DAH'-ree).
Today's Birthdays: Movie composer Francis Lai ("Love Story") is 81. Actress-comedian Carol Burnett is 80. Rhythm-and-blues singer Maurice Williams is 75. Songwriter-musician Duane Eddy is 75. Singer Bobby Rydell is 71. Rock musician Gary Wright is 70. Actress Nancy Lenehan is 60. Actor Giancarlo Esposito is 55. Rock musician Roger Taylor (Duran Duran) is 53. Actress Joan Chen is 52. Rock musician Chris Mars is 52. Actor-singer Michael Damian is 51. Actor Jet Li (lee) is 50. Rock musician Jimmy Stafford (Train) is 49. Actor-comedian Kevin James is 48. United States Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey (TREHTH'-eh-way) is 47. Actress Marianne Jean-Baptiste is 46. Country musician Joe Caverlee (Yankee Grey) is 45. Rapper T-Boz (TLC) is 43. Country musician Jay DeMarcus (Rascal Flatts) is 42. Country musician Michael Jeffers (Pinmonkey) is 41. Rock musician Jose Pasillas (Incubus) is 37. Actor Jason Earles is 36. Actor Leonard Earl Howze is 36. Actor Tom Welling is 36. Actor Pablo Schreiber is 35. Actor Nyambi Nyambi is 34. Actress Jordana Brewster is 33. Actress Stana Katic is 33. Actress Marnette Patterson is 33. Actor Channing Tatum is 33. Actor Aaron Weeks is 27.
Thought for Today: "Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate." — Dr. Thomas F. Jones, Jr., American college official (1916-1981).