Today in History


By the Associated Press

Today is Friday, April 15, the 106th day of 2016. 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 1850, the city of San Francisco was incorporated.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died nine hours after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington; Andrew Johnson became the nation’s 17th president.

In 1920, a paymaster and a guard were shot and killed during a robbery at a shoe company in South Braintree, Massachusetts; Italian immigrants Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were accused of the crime, convicted and executed amid worldwide protests that they hadn’t received a fair trial.

In 1945, during World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died on April 12, was buried at the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park, New York.

In 1959, Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrived in Washington to begin a goodwill tour of the United States. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles resigned for health reasons (he was succeeded by Christian A. Herter).

In 1960, a three-day conference to form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) began at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. (The group’s first chairman was Marion Barry.)

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 1986, the United States launched an air raid against Libya in response to the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin on April 5; Libya said 37 people, mostly civilians, were killed.

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 73, evading prosecution for the deaths of two million Cambodians.

In 2013, two bombs packed with nails and other metal shards 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 and alleged accomplice, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR’ tsahr-NEYE’-ehv), was tried, convicted and sentenced to death.)

In 2014, Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped some 276 girls from a school in northeastern Nigeria.

Ten years ago: U.S.-led coalition forces using warplanes and artillery clashed with a small band of militants holed up in a house and a cave complex in eastern Afghanistan in fighting that killed at least seven Afghan civilians.

Five years ago: The first of three days of tornadoes to strike the central and southern U.S. began; according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, there were an estimated 177 twisters and at least 38 fatalities.

One year ago: Douglas Hughes, a postal carrier from Florida, flew a one-person gyrocopter onto the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol as a protest against money in politics; he later pleaded guilty to operating a gyrocopter without a license, a felony. Former New England Patriots star tight end Aaron Hernandez was convicted in Fall River, Massachusetts, of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison for a late-night shooting that claimed the life of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old landscaper who was dating the sister of Hernandez’s fiancee.

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Roy Clark is 83. Actress Claudia Cardinale is 78. Author and politician Jeffrey Archer is 76. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 73. Actor Michael Tucci is 70. Actress Lois Chiles is 69. Writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is 69. Actress Amy Wright is 66. Columnist Heloise is 65. Actor Sam McMurray is 64. Actress-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 57. Bluegrass musician Jeff Parker is 55. Singer Samantha Fox is 50. Olympic gold, silver and bronze medal swimmer Dara Torres is 49. Rock musician Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) is 48. Actor Flex Alexander is 46. Actor Danny Pino is 42. Actor Douglas Spain is 42. Country singer/songwriter Chris Stapleton is 38. Actor Luke Evans is 37. Rock musician Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) is 36. Actor-writer Seth Rogen is 34. Actress Alice Braga is 33. Rock musician De’Mar Hamilton (Plain White T’s) is 32. Actress Emma Watson is 26. Actress Maisie Williams is 19.

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