Today's Highlight in History:
On April 10, 1864, during the Civil War, Dr. Mary Edwards Walker, an assistant surgeon for the 52nd Ohio Volunteers, was captured by the Confederates and accused of being a Union spy; she was held until her release in August 1864 as part of a prisoner exchange. (Walker received the Medal of Honor in 1865, the only woman to date so recognized; although the citation was withdrawn in 1917, Walker continued to wear the medal until her death in 1919. President Jimmy Carter restored the citation in 1977.)
On this date:
In 1790, President George Washington signed the first United States Patent Act.
In 1864, Maximilian, archduke of Austria, was proclaimed emperor of Mexico.
In 1866, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was incorporated.
In 1912, the RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England, on its ill-fated maiden voyage.
In 1925, the novel "The Great Gatsby," by F. Scott Fitzgerald, was first published.
In 1932, German president Paul Von Hindenburg was re-elected in a runoff, with Adolf Hitler coming in second.
In 1947, Brooklyn Dodgers president Branch Rickey purchased the contract of Jackie Robinson from the Montreal Royals.
In 1953, the 3-D horror movie "House of Wax," produced by Warner Bros. and starring Vincent Price, premiered in New York.
In 1963, the fast-attack nuclear submarine USS Thresher (SSN-593) sank during deep-diving tests east of Cape Cod, Mass., in a disaster that claimed 129 lives.
In 1974, Golda Meir told party leaders she was resigning as prime minister of Israel.
In 1998, the Northern Ireland peace talks concluded as negotiators reached a landmark settlement to end 30 years of bitter rivalries and bloody attacks.
In 2010, Polish President Lech Kaczynski, 60, was killed in a plane crash in western Russia that also claimed the lives of his wife and top Polish political, military and church officials.
Ten years ago: The White House declassified and released a document sent to President George W. Bush before the September 11 attacks which cited recent intelligence concerning a possible al-Qaida plot to strike inside the United States.
Five years ago: Police in Tracy, Calif., arrested Sunday school teacher Melissa Huckaby in connection with the death of 8-year-old Sandra Cantu, whose body had been found in a suitcase. (Huckaby eventually pleaded guilty to kidnapping and murdering her daughter's playmate; she was sentenced to life without parole.) French Navy commandos stormed a sailboat held by pirates off the Somali coast, freeing four hostages; however, one hostage was killed in the operation.
One year ago: President Barack Obama proposed a $3.8 trillion budget that would raise taxes on smokers and wealthy Americans and trim Social Security benefits for millions. The financially beleaguered U.S. Postal Service backpedaled on its plan to end Saturday mail delivery. Robert Edwards, 87, a Nobel Prize winner from Britain whose pioneering in vitro fertilization research led to the first test tube baby, died near Cambridge, England.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Max von Sydow is 85. Actress Liz Sheridan is 85. Actor Omar Sharif is 82. Sportscaster John Madden is 78. Reggae artist Bunny Wailer is 67. Actor Steven Seagal is 63. Folk-pop singer Terre Roche (The Roches) is 61. Actor Peter MacNicol is 60. Rock musician Steven Gustafson (10,000 Maniacs) is 57. Singer-producer Kenneth "Babyface" Edmonds is 56. Rock singer-musician Brian Setzer is 55. Rapper Afrika Bambaataa is 54. Rock singer Katrina Leskanich is 54. Actor Jeb Adams is 53. Olympic gold medal speedskater Cathy Turner is 52. Rock musician Tim "Herb" Alexander is 49. Actor-comedian Orlando Jones is 46. Rock musician Mike Mushok (Staind) is 45. Singer Kenny Lattimore is 44. Rapper Q-Tip is 44. Blues singer Shemekia Copeland is 35. Actress Laura Bell Bundy is 33. Actress Chyler Leigh is 32. Pop musician Andrew Dost (fun.) is 31. Actor Ryan Merriman is 31. Singer Mandy Moore is 30. Actor Barkhad Abdi (Film: "Captain Phillips") is 29. Actor Haley Joel Osment is 26. Actor Alex Pettyfer is 24. Actress-singer AJ Michalka is 23. Actress Ruby Jerins (TV: "Nurse Jackie") is 16.
Thought for Today: "What is more unwise than to mistake uncertainty for certainty, falsehood for truth?" -- Cicero, Roman orator, statesman and philosopher (106-43 B.C.)