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This day in history

Friday, April 19, is the 109th day of 2013. There are 256 days left in the year.

Today’s birthdays: Actor Hugh O’Brian is 88. Actress Elinor Donahue is 76. Actor Tim Curry is 67. Recording executive Suge Knight is 48. Singer-songwriter Dar Williams is 46. Actress Ashley Judd is 45. Jazz singer Madeleine Peyroux is 39. Actor James Franco is 35. Actress Kate Hudson is 34. Actor Hayden Christensen is 32. Tennis player Maria Sharapova is 26.

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In 1775, the American Revolutionary War began with the battles of Lexington and Concord.

In 1861, President Lincoln authorized a blockade of Southern ports.

In 1943, tens of thousands of Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto began a valiant but ultimately futile battle against Nazi forces.

In 1993, the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Waco, Texas, ended as fire destroyed the structure after federal agents began smashing their way in; dozens of people, including sect leader David Koresh, were killed.

In 1995, a truck bomb destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people. (Timothy McVeigh was convicted of federal murder charges and executed.)

In 2005, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany was elected pope .

In 2012, Levon Helm, drummer and singer for The Band, died in New York City at age 71.

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