By the Associated Press
Today is Good Friday, April 18, the 108th day of 2014. There are 257 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 18, 1934, the first laundromat (called a “Washateria”) was opened by John F. Cantrell in Fort Worth, Texas; four electric washing machines were rented to members of the public on an hourly basis.
On this date:
In 1775, Paul Revere began his famous ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Mass., warning American colonists that the British were coming.
In 1831, the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa was officially opened.
In 1906, a devastating earthquake struck San Francisco, followed by raging fires; estimates of the final death toll range between 3,000 and 6,000.
In 1923, the first game was played at the original Yankee Stadium in New York; the Yankees defeated the Boston Red Sox 4-1.
In 1942, an air squadron from the USS Hornet led by Lt. Col. James H. Doolittle raided Tokyo and other Japanese cities. The first World War II edition of The Stars and Stripes was published as a weekly newspaper.
In 1944, the ballet “Fancy Free,” with music by Leonard Bernstein (BURN’-styn) and choreography by Jerome Robbins, premiered in New York.
In 1949, the Republic of Ireland was proclaimed.
In 1954, Gamal Abdel Nasser seized power as he became prime minister of Egypt.
In 1955, physicist Albert Einstein died in Princeton, N.J., at age 76.
In 1964, Hollywood screenwriter Ben Hecht, 70, died in New York.
In 1978, the Senate approved the Panama Canal Treaty, providing for the complete turnover of control of the waterway to Panama on the last day of 1999.
In 1983, 63 people, including 17 Americans, were killed at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, by a suicide bomber.
Ten years ago: Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero (zah-pah-TEH’-roh) ordered a withdrawal of Spanish troops from Iraq just hours after his government was sworn in, fulfilling a campaign pledge and trying to calm his uneasy nation after bombings that killed 191 people in Madrid.
Five years ago: President Barack Obama offered a spirit of cooperation to America’s hemispheric neighbors at the Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. The White House said President Barack Obama was “deeply disappointed” at news Iran had convicted American journalist Roxana Saberi of spying for the United States and sentenced her to eight years in prison. (Saberi was released on appeal the following month.) Emma Hendrickson, a 100-year-old great-great-grandmother from Morris Plains, N.J., became the oldest competitor in the history of the United States Bowling Congress Women’s Championships, rolling a 115, 97 and 106 for a 318 series during team competition at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno. (Hendrickson died in February 2012 at age 102.)
One year ago: A Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus police officer, Sean Collier, was shot to death while sitting in his cruiser; authorities said he was killed by two brothers suspected in the deadly Boston Marathon bombing. Randy Newman, Heart, Rush, Public Enemy, Donna Summer, Albert King, and producers Quincy Jones and Lou Adler were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame during a ceremony in Los Angeles.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Barbara Hale is 93. Actor Clive Revill is 84. Actor James Drury is 80. Actor Robert Hooks is 77. Actress Hayley Mills is 68. Actor James Woods is 67. Actress-director Dorothy Lyman is 67. Actress Cindy Pickett is 67. Country musician Walt Richmond (The Tractors) is 67. Country musician Jim Scholten (Sawyer Brown) is 62. Actor Rick Moranis is 61. Actress Melody Thomas Scott is 58. Actor Eric Roberts is 58. Actor John James is 58. Rock musician Les Pattinson (Echo and the Bunnymen) is 56. Author-journalist Susan Faludi is 55. Actress Jane Leeves is 53. Ventriloquist/comedian Jeff Dunham is 52. Talk show host Conan O’Brien is 51. Bluegrass singer-musician Terry Eldredge is 51. Actor Eric McCormack is 51. Actress Maria Bello is 47. Actress Mary Birdsong is 46. Rock musician Greg Eklund (The Oolahs) is 44. TV chef Ludovic Lefebvre is 43. Actor David Tennant is 43. Country musician Marvin Evatt (EH’-veht) is 40. Rock musician Mark Tremonti is 40. Rhythm-and-blues singer Trina (Trina and Tamara) is 40. Actress Melissa Joan Hart is 38. Actor Sean Maguire is 38. Actor Kevin Rankin is 38. Actor Bryce Johnson is 37. Reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian (kar-DASH’-ee-uhn) is 35. Actress America Ferrera is 30. Actress Alia Shawkat is 25. Actress Britt Robertson is 24. Actress Chloe Bennet is 22. Rock singer Nathan Sykes (The Wanted) is 21. Actor Moises Arias is 20.
Thought for Today: “I’ll tell you a secret. We live in a mad and inspiring world.” — Ben Hecht (1894-1964).