Today is Saturday, April 15, the 105th day of 2023. There are 260 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 15, 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.
On this date:
In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died nine hours after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre 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 1945, during World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who died on April 12, was buried at the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park, New York.
In 1947, Jackie Robinson, baseball’s first Black major league player of the modern era, made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day at Ebbets Field. (The Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves, 5-3.)
In 1955, Ray Kroc opened the first franchised McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.
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 1998, Pol Pot, the notorious leader of the Khmer Rouge, died at age 72, evading prosecution for the deaths of 2 million Cambodians.
In 2009, whipped up by conservative commentators and bloggers, tens of thousands of protesters staged “tea parties” around the country to tap into the collective angst stirred up by a bad economy, government spending and bailouts.
In 2013, two bombs made from pressure cookers 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.
In 2019, fire swept across the top of the Notre Dame Cathedral as the soaring Paris landmark underwent renovations; the blaze collapsed the cathedral’s spire and spread to one of its landmark rectangular towers, but fire officials said the church’s structure had been saved.
In 2020, the government reported that the nation’s industrial output in March registered its biggest decline since the U.S. demobilized at the end of World War II as factories shut down amid the coronavirus epidemic.
Ten years ago: Venezuela’s electoral council quickly certified the razor-thin presidential victory of Hugo Chavez’s hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro. North Koreans celebrated the birthday of their first leader, Kim Il Sung, by dancing in plazas and snacking on peanuts. The Denver Post won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, while The New York Times captured awards for reporting on a harrowing avalanche, the rise of a new aristocracy in China and the business practices of Apple and Wal-Mart. Adam Johnson’s “The Orphan Master’s Son” won the Pulitzer for fiction, while Ayad Akhtar’s “Disgraced” won the drama prize.
Five years ago: A seven-hour battle over territory and money broke out among inmates armed with homemade knives at the Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, leaving seven inmates dead and 22 injured in the worst U.S. prison riot in a quarter-century. At the Academy of Country Music Awards, held in Las Vegas six months after the deadly shooting at a country music festival there, Jason Aldean paid tribute to the 58 people killed; he spoke after he was named entertainer of the year for the third consecutive time. (Aldean had been performing at the Las Vegas festival when the shooting began.)
One year ago: It was revealed that more than 900 civilian bodies had been discovered in the region surrounding the Ukrainian capital following the withdrawal of Russian forces. Police said many were “simply executed.” Mississippi announced it was ditching a state song that was based on the campaign tune of a former governor who pledged to preserve segregation. Prince Harry and his wife Meghan visited Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on their first joint visit to the U.K. since they gave up formal royal roles and moved to the U.S. more than two years earlier. Liz Sheridan, who played doting mom to Jerry Seinfeld on his hit sitcom, died at age 93.
Today’s Birthdays: Actor Claudia Cardinale is 85. Author and politician Jeffrey Archer is 83. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 80. Actor Michael Tucci is 77. Actor Lois Chiles is 76. Writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is 76. Actor Amy Wright is 73. Actor Sam McMurray is 71. Actor-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 64. Bluegrass musician Jeff Parker is 62. Singer Samantha Fox is 57. Olympic gold, silver and bronze medal swimmer Dara Torres is 56. Rock musician Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) is 55. Actor Flex Alexander is 53. Actor Danny Pino is 49. Actor Douglas Spain is 49. Country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton is 45. Actor Luke Evans is 44. Rock musician Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) is 43. Rock musician Zach Carothers (Portugal. The Man) is 42. Actor-writer Seth Rogen is 41. Actor Alice Braga is 40. Americana singer-songwriter Margo Price is 40. Rock musician De’Mar Hamilton (Plain White T’s) is 39. Actor Samira Wiley is 36. Actor Leonie Elliott is 35. Actor Emma Watson is 33. Actor Maisie Williams is 26.