On April 14, 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.)
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 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth during a performance of "Our American Cousin" at Ford's Theater in Washington.
In 1902, James Cash Penney opened his first store, The Golden Rule, in Kemmerer, Wyo.
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 1931, King Alfonso XIII of Spain went into exile, and the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed.
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 its videotape recorder at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention in Chicago.
In 1960, the musical "Bye Bye Birdie" opened on Broadway.
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 1986, Americans got word of a U.S. air raid on Libya (because of the time difference, it was the early morning of April 15 where the attack occurred.) French feminist author Simone de Beauvoir died in Paris at age 78.
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