Today in History

Today in History

Today is Thursday, April 15, the 105th day of 2021. There are 260 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson, baseball’s first Black major league player, made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day at Ebbets Field. (The Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves, 5-3.)

On this date:

In 1452, artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci was born in or near the Tuscan town of Vinci.

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 1892, General Electric Co., formed by the merger of the Edison Electric Light Co. and other firms, was incorporated in Schenectady, New York.

In 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.

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 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 1990, legendary film star Greta Garbo died in New York at age 84. The comedy sketch show “In Living Color” premiered on Fox TV.

In 1998, Pol Pot, the notorious leader of the Khmer Rouge, died at age 72, evading prosecution for the deaths of two 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.

Ten 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.

Five years ago: House Republicans departed Washington, having missed a deadline to pass their long-stalled budget in an embarrassment for House Speaker Paul Ryan. A North Korea missile launch meant to celebrate the birthday of the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung, apparently ended in failure.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Claudia Cardinale is 83. Author and politician Jeffrey Archer is 81. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 78. Actor Michael Tucci is 75. Actor Lois Chiles is 74. Writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is 74. Actor Amy Wright is 71. Columnist Heloise is 70. Actor Sam McMurray is 69. Actor-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 62. Bluegrass musician Jeff Parker is 60. Singer Samantha Fox is 55. Olympic gold, silver and bronze medal swimmer Dara Torres is 54. Rock musician Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) is 53. Actor Flex Alexander is 51. Actor Danny Pino is 47. Actor Douglas Spain is 47. Country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton is 43. Actor Luke Evans is 42. Rock musician Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) is 41. Rock musician Zach Carothers (Portugal. The Man) is 40. Actor-writer Seth Rogen is 39. Actor Alice Braga is 38. Americana singer-songwriter Margo Price is 38. Rock musician De’Mar Hamilton (Plain White T’s) is 37. Actor Samira Wiley is 34. Actor Leonie Elliott is 33. Actor Emma Watson is 31. Actor Maisie Williams is 24.