Today in History


Today is Friday, April 14, the 104th day of 2023. There are 261 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth during a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre in Washington.

On this date:

In 1828, the first edition of Noah Webster’s “American Dictionary of the English Language” was published.

In 1902, James Cash Penney opened his first store, The Golden Rule, in Kemmerer, Wyoming.

In 1912, the British liner RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic at 11:40 p.m. ship’s time and began sinking. (The ship went under two hours and 40 minutes later with the loss of 1,514 lives.)

In 1910, President William Howard Taft became the first U.S. chief executive to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game as the Washington Senators beat the Philadelphia Athletics 3-0.

In 1935, the “Black Sunday” dust storm descended upon the central Plains, turning a sunny afternoon into total darkness.

In 1949, the “Wilhelmstrasse Trial” in Nuremberg ended with 19 former Nazi Foreign Office officials sentenced by an American tribunal to prison terms ranging from four to 25 years.

In 1960, Tamla Records and Motown Records, founded by Berry Gordy Jr., were incorporated as Motown Record Corp.

In 1981, the first test flight of America’s first operational space shuttle, the Columbia, ended successfully with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.

In 1994, two U.S. Air Force F-15 warplanes mistakenly shot down two U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters over northern Iraq, killing 26 people, including 15 Americans.

In 1999, NATO mistakenly bombed a convoy of ethnic Albanian refugees; Yugoslav officials said 75 people were killed.

In 2007, riot police beat and detained protesters as thousands defied an official ban and attempted to stage a rally in Moscow against Russian President Vladimir Putin’s government.

In 2021, A white former suburban Minneapolis police officer, Kim Potter, was charged with second-degree manslaughter for killing 20-year-old Black motorist Daunte Wright in a shooting that ignited days of unrest.

Ten years ago: Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro, won Venezuela’s presidential election by a narrow margin over challenger Henrique Capriles. Adam Scott became the first Australian to win the Masters, beating Angel Cabrera on the second hole of a playoff on a rainy day at Augusta National. Colin Davis, 85, former principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and one of Britain’s elder statesmen of classical music, died in London.

Five years ago: President Donald Trump declared “Mission Accomplished” for a U.S.-led allied missile attack on Syria’s chemical weapons program, but the Pentagon said the Assad government was still capable of using chemical weapons against civilians if it chose to do so. Gun rights supporters gathered at state capitols across the country to push back against efforts to pass stricter gun control laws. Czech filmmaker Milos Forman, whose American movies “Amadeus” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” won a deluge of Academy Awards including Oscars for best director, died at a Connecticut hospital at the age of 86.

One year ago: The flagship of Russia’s Black Sea fleet, a guided-missile cruiser that became a potent target of Ukrainian defiance in the opening days of the invasion, sank after it was heavily damaged. Ukrainian officials said their forces hit the Moskva with missiles, while Russia acknowledged a fire aboard the Moskva but no attack. Tesla CEO Elon Musk offered to buy Twitter, saying the social media platform he criticized for not living up to free speech principles needed to be transformed as a private company. (Musk would become Twitter’s owner about six months later.)

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Julie Christie is 83. Retired MLB All-Star Pete Rose is 82. Rock musician Ritchie Blackmore is 78. Actor John Shea is 75. Actor Peter Capaldi is 65. Actor-turned-race car driver Brian Forster is 63. Actor Brad Garrett is 63. Actor Robert Carlyle is 62. Rock singer-musician John Bell (Widespread Panic) is 61. Actor Robert Clendenin is 59. Actor Catherine Dent is 58. Actor Lloyd Owen is 57. Baseball Hall of Famer Greg Maddux is 57. Rock musician Barrett Martin is 56. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 55. Actor Adrien Brody is 50. Classical singer David Miller (Il Divo) is 50. Rapper Da Brat is 49. Actor Antwon Tanner is 48. Actor Sarah Michelle Gellar is 46. Actor-producer Rob McElhenney is 46. Roots singer JD McPherson is 46. Actor Claire Coffee is 43. Actor Christian Alexander is 33. Actor Nick Krause is 31. Actor Vivien Cardone is 30. Actor Graham Phillips is 30. Actor Skyler Samuels is 29. Actor Abigail Breslin is 27.

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