Wednesday, April 24, the 114th day of 2019. There are 251 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 24, 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.

On this date:

In 1800, Congress approved a bill establishing the Library of Congress.

In 1877, federal troops were ordered out of New Orleans, ending the North’s post-Civil War rule in the South.

In 1915, in what’s considered the start of the Armenian genocide, the Ottoman Empire began rounding up Armenian political and cultural leaders in Constantinople.

In 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 five days later.)

In 1932, in the Free State of Prussia, the Nazi Party gained a plurality of seats in parliamentary elections.

In 1967, Soviet cosmonaut Vladimir Komarov was killed when his Soyuz 1 spacecraft smashed into the Earth after his parachutes failed to deploy properly during re-entry; he was the first human spaceflight fatality.

In 1970, the People’s Republic of China launched its first satellite, which kept transmitting a song, “The East Is Red.”

In 1990, the space shuttle Discovery blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida, carrying the $1.5 billion Hubble Space Telescope.

In 1995, the final bomb linked to the Unabomber exploded inside the Sacramento, California, offices of a lobbying group for the wood products industry, killing chief lobbyist Gilbert B. Murray. (Theodore Kaczynski was later sentenced to four lifetimes in prison for a series of bombings that killed three men and injured 29 others.)

In 2003, U.S. forces in Iraq took custody of Tariq Aziz (TAH’-rihk ah-ZEEZ’), the former Iraqi deputy prime minister. China shut down a Beijing hospital as the global death toll from SARS surpassed 260.

In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI formally began his stewardship of the Roman Catholic Church; the former Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger said in his installation homily that as pontiff he would listen to the will of God in governing the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics.

In 2013, in Bangladesh, a shoddily constructed eight-story commercial building housing garment factories collapsed, killing more than 1,100 people.

Ten 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.

Five years ago: An Afghan government security guard opened fire on foreign doctors at a Kabul hospital, killing three Americans in the latest of a deadly string of attacks on Western civilians in the capital. The tiny Pacific nation of the Marshall Islands took on the United States and the world’s eight other nuclear-armed nations with an unprecedented lawsuit demanding they meet their obligations toward disarmament and accusing them of “flagrant violations” of international law.

One year ago: Former police officer Joseph DeAngelo was arrested at his home near Sacramento, California, after DNA linked him to crimes attributed to the so-called Golden State Killer; authorities believed he committed 13 murders and more than 50 rapes in the 1970s and 1980s. (DeAngelo is awaiting trial.)

Today’s Birthdays: Movie director-producer Richard Donner is 89. Actress Shirley MacLaine is 85. Actress-singer-director Barbra Streisand is 77. Former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley is 77. Country singer Richard Sterban (The Oak Ridge Boys) is 76. Rock musician Doug Clifford (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 74. R-and-B singer Ann Peebles is 72. Rock singer-musician Rob Hyman is 69. Former Irish Taoiseach (TEE’-shuk) Enda Kenny is 68. Actor-playwright Eric Bogosian is 66. Rock singer-musician Jack Blades (Night Ranger) is 65. Actor Michael O’Keefe is 64. Rock musician David J (Bauhaus) is 62. Actor Glenn Morshower is 60. Rock musician Billy Gould is 56. Actor-comedian Cedric the Entertainer is 55. Actor Djimon Hounsou (JEYE’-mihn OHN’-soo) is 55. Rock musician Patty Schemel is 52. Actress Stacy Haiduk is 51. Rock musician Aaron Comess (Spin Doctors) is 51. Actor Aidan Gillen is 51. Actress Melinda Clarke is 50. Actor Rory McCann is 50. Latin pop singer Alejandro Fernandez is 48. Country-rock musician Brad Morgan (Drive-By Truckers) is 48. Rock musician Brian Marshall (Creed; Alter Bridge) is 46. Actor Derek Luke is 45. Actor-producer Thad Luckinbill is 44. Actor Eric Balfour is 42. Actress Rebecca Mader is 42. Country singer Rebecca Lynn Howard is 40. Country singer Danny Gokey is 39. Actress Reagan Gomez is 39. Actor Austin Nichols is 39. Actress Sasha Barrese is 38. Contemporary Christian musician Jasen Rauch (Red) is 38. Singer Kelly Clarkson is 37. Rock singer-musician Tyson Ritter (The All-American Rejects) is 35. Country singer Carly Pearce is 29. Actor Joe Keery is 27. Actor Jack Quaid is 27. Actor Doc Shaw is 27. Actor Jordan Fisher is 25. Golfer Lydia Ko is 22.

Thought for Today: “The door to the past is a strange door. It swings open and things pass through it, but they pass in one direction only. No man can return across that threshold, though he can look down still and see the green light waver in the water weeds.” — Loren Eiseley, American anthropologist (1907-1977).

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Today is Thursday, April 25, the 115th day of 2019. There are 250 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On April 25, 1507, a world map produced by German cartographer Martin Waldseemueller contained the first recorded use of the term "America," in honor of Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci (vehs-POO'-chee).

On this date:

In 1859, ground was broken for the Suez Canal.

In 1898, the United States Congress declared war on Spain; the 10-week conflict resulted in an American victory.

In 1915, during World War I, Allied soldiers invaded the Gallipoli (guh-LIHP'-uh-lee) Peninsula in an unsuccessful attempt to take the Ottoman Empire out of the war.

In 1945, during World War II, U.S. and Soviet forces linked up on the Elbe (EL'-beh) River, a meeting that dramatized the collapse of Nazi Germany's defenses. Delegates from some 50 countries gathered in San Francisco to organize the United Nations.

In 1959, the St. Lawrence Seaway opened to shipping.

In 1964, vandals sawed off the head of the "Little Mermaid" statue in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In 1972, Polaroid Corp. introduced its SX-70 folding camera, which ejected self-developing photographs.

In 1983, 10-year-old Samantha Smith of Manchester, Maine, received a reply from Soviet leader Yuri V. Andropov to a letter she'd written expressing her concerns about nuclear war; Andropov gave assurances that the Soviet Union did not want war, and invited Samantha to visit his country, a trip she made in July.

In 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope was deployed in orbit from the space shuttle Discovery. (It was later discovered that the telescope's primary mirror was flawed, requiring the installation of corrective components to achieve optimal focus.)

In 1993, hundreds of thousands of gay rights activists and their supporters marched in Washington, D.C., demanding equal rights and freedom from discrimination.

In 1995, show business legend Ginger Rogers died in Rancho Mirage, California, at age 83.

In 2002, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes of the Grammy-winning trio TLC died in an SUV crash in Honduras; she was 30.

Ten years ago: In her first trip to Iraq as America's top diplomat, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton tried to reassure nervous Iraqis that the U.S. wouldn't abandon them, even as she said the American troop withdrawal would stay on schedule. Finance ministers meeting in Washington said they saw signs the global economy was stabilizing but cautioned it would take until the middle of the next year for the world to emerge from the worst recession in decades. Actress Beatrice Arthur died in Los Angeles at age 86.

Five years ago: President Barack Obama, in a joint news conference in Seoul alongside South Korean President Park Geun-hye (goon-hay), said the U.S. stood "shoulder to shoulder" with its ally in refusing to accept a nuclearized North Korea. The United States and other nations in the Group of Seven said they'd agreed to "move swiftly" to impose additional economic sanctions on Russia in response to its actions in Ukraine.

One year ago: Ford Motor Co. said it would get rid of most of its North American car lineup as part of a broad plan to save money and make the company more competitive; the Mustang sports car and a compact Focus crossover vehicle would be the only cars sold in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Danish engineer Peter Madsen was convicted of murder for luring a Swedish journalist onto his homemade submarine before torturing and killing her; Madsen was later sentenced to life in prison.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Al Pacino is 79. Ballroom dance judge Len Goodman (TV: "Dancing with the Stars") is 75. Rock musician Stu Cook (Creedence Clearwater Revival) is 74. Singer Bjorn Ulvaeus (BYORN ul-VAY'-us) (ABBA) is 74. Actress Talia Shire is 74. Actor Jeffrey DeMunn is 72. Rock musician Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers) is 69. Country singer-songwriter Rob Crosby is 65. Actor Hank Azaria is 55. Rock singer Andy Bell (Erasure) is 55. Rock musician Eric Avery is 54. Country musician Rory Feek (Joey + Rory) is 54. TV personality Jane Clayson is 52. Actress Renee Zellweger is 50. Actress Gina Torres is 50. Actor Jason Lee is 49. Actor Jason Wiles is 49. Actress Emily Bergl is 44. Actor Jonathan Angel is 42. Actress Marguerite Moreau is 42. Singer Jacob Underwood is 39. Actress Melonie Diaz is 35. Actress Sara Paxton is 31. Actress Allisyn Ashley Arm is 23. Actress Jayden Rey is 10.

Thought for Today: "It's the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter." — Marlene Dietrich, German-American actress (1901-1992).

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