On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth while watching 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 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 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 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 1964, conservationist Rachel Carson, author of “Silent Spring,” died in Silver Spring, Md., at age 56.
In 1965, the state of Kansas hanged Richard Hickock and Perry Smith for the 1959 murders of four members of Herbert Clutter’s family.
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 1989, former winery worker Ramon Salcido went on a rampage in Sonoma County, Calif., killing seven people, including his wife and two of his daughters; he is currently on death row.
In 1994, two U.S. Air Force F-15 warplanes inadvertently shot down two U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters over northern Iraq, killing 26 people, including 15 Americans. Turner Classic Movies made its cable debut; the first film it aired was “Gone with the Wind.”
Ten years ago: In a historic policy shift, President George W. Bush endorsed Israel’s plan to hold on to part of the West Bank in any final peace settlement with the Palestinians; he also ruled out Palestinian refugees returning to Israel, bringing strong criticism from the Palestinians.
Five years ago: Somali pirates seized four ships with 60 hostages. North Korea said it was restarting its rogue nuclear program, booting U.N. inspectors and pulling out of disarmament talks in an angry reaction to the U.N. Security Council’s condemnation of its April 5 rocket launch.
One year 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.
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