Today in History
Today is Saturday, April 15, the 105th day of 2017. There are 260 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson, baseball’s first black major league player, made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day at Ebbets Field. (The Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves, 5-3.)
On this date:
In 1817, America’s oldest existing school for the deaf opened in Hartford, Connecticut.
In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died nine hours after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington; Andrew Johnson became the nation’s 17th president.
In 1892, General Electric Co., formed by the merger of the Edison Electric Light Co. and other firms, was incorporated in Schenectady, New York.
In 1912, the British luxury liner RMS Titanic foundered in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland more than 2 1/2 hours after hitting an iceberg; 1,514 people died, while less than half as many survived.
In 1920, a paymaster and a guard were shot and killed during a robbery at a shoe company in South Braintree, Massachusetts; Italian immigrants Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were accused of the crime, convicted and executed amid worldwide protests that they hadn’t received a fair trial.
In 1945, during World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died on April 12, was buried at the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park, New York.
In 1959, Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrived in Washington to begin a goodwill tour of the United States. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles resigned for health reasons (he was succeeded by Christian A. Herter).
In 1974, members of the Symbionese Liberation Army held up a branch of the Hibernia Bank in San Francisco; a member of the group was SLA kidnap victim Patricia Hearst, who by this time was going by the name “Tania” (Hearst later said she’d been forced to participate).
In 1989, 96 people died in a crush of soccer fans at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. Students in Beijing launched a series of pro-democracy protests; the demonstrations culminated in a government crackdown at Tiananmen Square.
In 1997, Jackie Robinson’s number 42 was retired 50 years after he became the first black player in major league baseball.
In 2002, retired Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White died at age 84.
In 2013, two bombs exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line, killing two women and an 8-year-old boy and injuring more than 260. (Suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev (TAM’-ehr-luhn tsahr-NEYE’-ehv) died in a shootout with police; his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv), was tried, convicted and sentenced to death.)
Ten years ago: Riot police beat and detained dozens of anti-Kremlin demonstrators in St. Petersburg, Russia, on a second day of protests against the government of President Vladimir Putin. Brant Parker, the original illustrator of “The Wizard of Id” comic strip, died in Lynchburg, Virginia, at age 86, just days after the passing of the strip’s writer, Johnny Hart.
Five years ago: Six people were killed by a tornado in the Woodward, Oklahoma, area. North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un, gave his first public speech since taking power upon death of his father, Kim Jong Il, the previous December, portraying himself as a strong military chief unafraid of foreign powers. Passengers and crew of the cruise ship MS Balmoral said prayers at the spot in the North Atlantic where the Titanic sank 100 years earlier.
One year ago: House Republicans departed Washington, having missed a deadline to pass their long-stalled budget in an embarrassment for House Speaker Paul Ryan. A North Korea missile launch meant to celebrate the birthday of the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung, apparently ended in failure.
Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Roy Clark is 84. Actress Claudia Cardinale is 79. Author and politician Jeffrey Archer is 77. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 74. Actor Michael Tucci is 71. Actress Lois Chiles is 70. Writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is 70. Actress Amy Wright is 67. Columnist Heloise is 66. Actor Sam McMurray is 65. Actress-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 58. Bluegrass musician Jeff Parker is 56. Singer Samantha Fox is 51. Olympic gold, silver and bronze medal swimmer Dara Torres is 50. Rock musician Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) is 49. Actor Flex Alexander is 47. Actor Danny Pino is 43. Actor Douglas Spain is 43. Country singer/songwriter Chris Stapleton is 39. Actor Luke Evans is 38. Rock musician Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) is 37. Actor-writer Seth Rogen is 35. Actress Alice Braga is 34. Americana singer-songwriter Margo Price is 34. Rock musician De’Mar Hamilton (Plain White T’s) is 33. Actress Samira Wiley (TV: “Orange is the New Black”) is 30. Actress Emma Watson is 27. Actress Maisie Williams is 20.
Thought for Today: “History would be an excellent thing if only it were true.” — Leo Tolstoy, Russian author (1828-1910).
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