Today is Wednesday, April 23, the 114th day of 2008. There are 252 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

April 23, 1564, is believed to be the birthdate of English poet and dramatist William Shakespeare; he died 52 years later, also on April 23.

On this date:

In 1789, President-elect George Washington moved into the first executive mansion, the Franklin House, in New York.

In 1791, James Buchanan, the 15th president of the United States, was born in Franklin County, Pa.

In 1896, the Vitascope system for projecting movies onto a screen was publicly demonstrated in New York City.

In 1940, about 200 people died in the Rhythm Night Club Fire in Natchez, Miss.

In 1958, the film noir thriller "Touch of Evil," starring Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh and Orson Welles, who also directed, was released.

In 1968, student protesters began occupying buildings on the campus of Columbia University in New York; police put down the protests a week later.

In 1968, the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged to form the United Methodist Church.

In 1969, Sirhan Sirhan was sentenced to death for assassinating New York Sen. Robert F. Kennedy. (The sentence was later reduced to life imprisonment.)

In 1985, the Coca-Cola Company announced it was changing the secret flavor formula for Coke. (Negative public reaction forced the company to resume selling the original version).

In 1988, a federal ban on smoking during domestic airline flights of two hours or less went into effect.

Ten years ago: James Earl Ray, the ex-convict who'd confessed to assassinating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 and then insisted he'd been framed, died at a Nashville, Tenn., hospital at age 70.

Five years ago: Global health officials warned travelers to avoid Beijing and Toronto, where they might get the SARS virus and export it to new locations. U.S. negotiators met with North Korean and Chinese representatives in Beijing for the first three-way meeting by the governments since the Korean War. American Airlines reported a billion-dollar first-quarter loss.

One year ago: Boris Yeltsin, the first freely elected Russian president, died in Moscow at age 76. Congressional Democratic leaders agreed on legislation requiring the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by Oct. 1, 2007, with a goal of a complete pullout six months later; President Bush pledged to veto such a measure. Classes at Virginia Tech resumed a week after the killings of 32 victims by a suicidal gunman. Journalist and author David Halberstam died in a car crash in Menlo Park, Calif., at age 73.

Today's Birthdays: Actress-turned-diplomat Shirley Temple Black is 80. Actor Alan Oppenheimer is 78. Actor David Birney is 69. Actor Lee Majors is 69. Irish nationalist Bernadette Devlin McAliskey is 61. Actress Blair Brown is 60. Writer-director Paul Brickman is 59. Actress Joyce DeWitt is 59. Actor James Russo is 55. Filmmaker-author Michael Moore is 54. Actress Judy Davis is 53. Actress Jan Hooks is 51. Actress Valerie Bertinelli is 48. Actor Craig Sheffer is 48. Actor George Lopez is 47. Rock musician Gen is 44. U.S. Olympic gold medal skier Donna Weinbrecht is 43. Actress Melina Kanakaredes is 41. Rock musician Stan Frazier (Sugar Ray) is 40. Country musician Tim Womack (Sons of the Desert) is 40. Actor Scott Bairstow is 38. Actor Barry Watson is 34. Actor Kal Penn is 31. Actress Jaime King is 29. Actor Aaron Hill is 25. Actress Rachel Skarsten is 23. Actor Matthew Underwood is 18. Actor Camryn Walling is 18.

Thought for Today: "...We are such stuff/ As dreams are made on, and our little life/ Is rounded with a sleep." _ William Shakespeare (1564-1616), from "The Tempest."

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