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Today in History and Celebrity Birthdays

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Celebrity Birthdays for April 15: Actress Claudia Cardinale ("Son of the Pink Panther") is 86. British singer-songwriter Marty Wilde (born Reginald Smith) is 85. Author and politician Jeffrey Archer is 84. Singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 80.

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Today in History for April 15: On this date: In 1452, Leonardo da Vinci was born in Vinci, Italy. He would go on to paint some historic religious scenes, most specifically ``The Last Supper,'' as well as the iconic ``Mona Lisa.

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Today in Music History for April 15: In 1729, composer J.S. Bach conducted the premiere performance of his ``St. Matthew Passion'' at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, Germany.

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Today in History for April 14: On this date: In 73 AD, rather than face defeat at the hands of the Romans, Jews in the fortress of Masada committed mass suicide.

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Celebrity Birthdays for April 14: Actress Julie Christie is 84. Retired MLB All-Star Pete Rose is 83. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore is 79. Actor John Shea ("Gossip Girl," ''Lois and Clark") is 75. Country music songwriter Kostas is 75.

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Today in Music History for April 14: In 1759, German composer George Frideric Handel died at age 74 in London. He worked mainly in England and Italy, and his most famous work is ``The Messiah.

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Today in Music History for April 13: In 1742, George Frideric Handel's majestic oratorio, ``The Messiah,'' was first performed, in Dublin. The performance raised 400 pounds for charity.

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Celebrity Birthdays for April 13: Actor Edward Fox is 87. Singer Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers is 84. Movie-TV composer Bill Conti is 82. Musician Jack Casady of Jefferson Airplane is 80. Singer Al Green is 78. Actor Ron Perlman is 74.

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Today in History for April 13: In 655 (traditional date), Martin, pope from 649 to 655, died in banishment. He was the last pope venerated as a martyr.

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Celebrity Birthdays for April 14: Actress Julie Christie is 84. Retired MLB All-Star Pete Rose is 83. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore is 79. Actor John Shea ("Gossip Girl," ''Lois and Clark") is 75. Country music songwriter Kostas is 75.