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Today is Thursday, April 24, the 115th day of 2008. There are 251 days left in the year.

Highlight in History: In 1916, some 1,600 Irish nationalists launched the Easter Rising by seizing several key sites in Dublin, Ireland. (The rising was put down by British forces almost a week later.)

The Valley Then: In 1923, about 6,000 trees – half of them pitch pine and half Scotch pine – were planted on Irem County Club grounds near Hays Corners.

On this date: In 1792, the national anthem of France, “La Marseillaise,” was composed by Captain Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle.

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 1898, Spain declared war on the United States after rejecting America’s ultimatum to withdraw from Cuba.

In 1915, the Ottoman Empire began the brutal mass deportation of Armenians during World War I.

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

In 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.

In 1988, Greek cycling champion Kanellos Kanellopoulos pedaled the human-powered aircraft “Daedalus 88” over the Aegean Sea for nearly four hours.

Five years ago: U.S. forces in Iraq took custody of Tariq Aziz, the former Iraqi deputy prime minister. China shut down a Beijing hospital as the global death toll from SARS surpassed 260. In Red Lion, Pa., 14-year-old James Sheets shot and killed principal Eugene Segro inside a crowded junior high cafeteria, then killed himself.

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