Today in History
Today is Sunday, April 15, the 105th day of 2018. There are 260 days left in the year.
Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 15, 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 died in a shootout with police; his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was tried, convicted and sentenced to death.
On this date:
In 1715, the Yamasee War began as members of the Yamasee tribe attacked English settlers in colonial South Carolina; the colonists were eventually able to defeat the Yamasee and their allies.
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 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 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 1943, the Ayn Rand novel “The Fountainhead” was first published by Bobbs-Merrill Co.
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 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 72, evading prosecution for the deaths of two million Cambodians.
Ten years ago: Pope Benedict XVI stepped onto U.S. soil for the first time as pontiff as he was greeted at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington by President George W. Bush, first lady Laura Bush and their daughter Jenna. Bombings blamed on al-Qaida in Iraq tore through market areas in Baghdad and outside the capital, killing nearly 60 people. Actress Hazel Court, who costarred with Boris Karloff and Vincent Price in horror movies of the 1950s and ’60s, died near Lake Tahoe, California, at age 82.
Five years ago: Venezuela’s electoral council quickly certified the razor-thin presidential victory of Hugo Chavez’s (OO’-goh CHAH’-vez-ihz) hand-picked successor, Nicolas Maduro (nee-koh-LAHS’ mah-DOO’-roh). North Koreans celebrated the birthday of their first leader, Kim Il Sung, by dancing in plazas and snacking on peanuts. The Denver Post won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado, while The New York Times captured awards for reporting on a harrowing avalanche, the rise of a new aristocracy in China and the business practices of Apple and Wal-Mart. Adam Johnson’s “The Orphan Master’s Son” won the Pulitzer for fiction, while Ayad Akhtar’s “Disgraced” won the drama prize.
One year ago: Thousands of chanting, sign-carrying protesters took to the streets in cities across the nation, demanding that President Donald Trump release his tax returns. North Korea paraded its intercontinental ballistic missiles in a massive military display in central Pyongyang as it celebrated the 1912 birthday of the country’s founder, Kim Il Sung, with his grandson, Kim Jong Un, looking on with delight.
Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Roy Clark is 85. Actress Claudia Cardinale is 80. Author and politician Jeffrey Archer is 78. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 75. Actor Michael Tucci is 72. Actress Lois Chiles is 71. Writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is 71. Actress Amy Wright is 68. Columnist Heloise is 67. Actor Sam McMurray is 66. Actress-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 59. Bluegrass musician Jeff Parker is 57. Singer Samantha Fox is 52. Olympic gold, silver and bronze medal swimmer Dara Torres is 51. Rock musician Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) is 50. Actor Flex Alexander is 48. Actor Danny Pino is 44. Actor Douglas Spain is 44. Country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton is 40. Actor Luke Evans is 39. Rock musician Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) is 38. Rock musician Zach Carothers (Portugal. The Man) is 37. Actor-writer Seth Rogen is 36. Actress Alice Braga is 35. Americana singer-songwriter Margo Price is 35. Rock musician De’Mar Hamilton (Plain White T’s) is 34. Actress Samira Wiley is 31. Actress Emma Watson is 28. Actress Maisie Williams is 21.
Thought for Today: “Freedom is what you do with what’s been done to you.” — Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher (born 1905, died this date in 1980).