Today in History

Today is Tuesday, April 14, the 104th day of 2015. 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 Theater in Washington.

On this date:

In 1775, the first American society for the abolition of slavery was formed in Philadelphia.

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

In 1890, the First International Conference of American States, meeting in Washington D.C., agreed to form the International Union of American Republics, a forerunner of the Organization of American States.

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

In 1939, the John Steinbeck novel “The Grapes of Wrath” was first published by Viking Press.

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 1956, Ampex Corp. demonstrated the first practical videotape recorder at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention in Chicago.

In 1965, the state of Kansas hanged Richard Hickock and Perry Smith for the 1959 murders of Herbert Clutter, his wife, Bonnie, and two of their children, Nancy and Kenyon.

In 1975, Academy Award-winning actor Fredric March, 77, died in Los Angeles.

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 1995, Oscar-winning actor-singer Burl Ives died in Anacortes, Washington, at age 85.

Ten years ago: The House passed and sent to President George W. Bush legislation making it tougher to erase obligations through bankruptcy (Bush signed the measure six days later). The Oregon Supreme Court nullified nearly 3,000 marriage licenses issued to gay couples a year earlier by Portland’s Multnomah County. Yankees right fielder Gary Sheffield got into a brief scuffle with a fan at Fenway Park during New York’s 8-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Five years ago: A magnitude-7 earthquake in a remote Tibetan region of China killed some 2,700 people and injured more than 10,000. The Eyjafjallajokul volcano in Iceland erupted, sending out an ash plume that led most northern European countries to close their airspace between April 15 and 20, grounding about 10 million travelers worldwide. Ultra marathoner and amputee Amy Palmiero-Winters won the Sullivan Award as America’s top amateur athlete.

One year ago: Speaking for the first time in more than two weeks, President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin showed little sign of agreement during a telephone call initiated by Putin, with Obama urging pro-Russian forces to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine and Putin denying that Moscow was interfering in the region. Suspected Islamic militants struck in the heart of Nigeria with a massive rush-hour bomb blast that killed 75 people in Abuja, the capital. The Washington Post and The Guardian won the Pulitzer Prize in public service for revealing the U.S. government’s sweeping surveillance efforts. Donna Tartt’s “The Goldfinch” won the Pulitzer for fiction; Annie Baker’s “The Flick” won for drama.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Bradford Dillman is 85. Country singer Loretta Lynn is 83. Actress Julie Christie is 75. Retired MLB All-Star Pete Rose is 74. Rock musician Ritchie Blackmore is 70. Actor John Shea is 66. Actor-turned-race car driver Brian Forster is 55. Actor Brad Garrett is 55. Actor Robert Carlyle is 54. Rock singer-musician John Bell (Widespread Panic) is 53. Actor Robert Clendenin is 51. Actress Catherine Dent is 50. Actor Lloyd Owen is 49. Baseball Hall of Famer Greg Maddux is 49. Rock musician Barrett Martin is 48. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 47. Actor Adrien Brody is 42. Classical singer David Miller is 42. Rapper DaBrat is 41. Actor Antwon Tanner is 40. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 38. Actor-producer Rob McElhenney is 38. Roots singer JD McPherson is 38. Rock singer Win Butler (Arcade Fire) is 35. Actress Claire Coffee is 35. Actor Christian Alexander is 25. Actor Nick Krause is 23. Actress Vivien Cardone is 22. Actor Graham Phillips is 22. Actress Abigail Breslin is 19.

Thought for Today: “Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” – Simone de Beauvoir, French author (born 1908; died this date in 1986).

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