Today in History

Published 12:01 am Saturday, April 14, 2018

Today is Saturday, April 14, the 104th day of 2018. There are 261 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth during a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater in Washington.

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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 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 1935, the “Black Sunday” dust storm descended upon the central Plains, turning a sunny afternoon into total darkness.

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 the first practical videotape recorder at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention in Chicago.

In 1968, the gay-themed play “The Boys in the Band,” by Mart Crowley, opened in New York.

In 1970, President Richard Nixon nominated Harry Blackmun to the U.S. Supreme Court. (The choice of Blackmun, who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate a month later, followed the failed nominations of Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell.)

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.

In 1994, two U.S. Air Force F-15 warplanes mistakenly 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 Ted Turner’s personal favorite, “Gone with the Wind.”

Ten years ago: Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. announced they were combining. Kidnapped British journalist Richard Butler, who worked for CBS News, was rescued by Iraqi troops from a house in Basra after two months in captivity. Taylor Swift won video of the year and female video for her smash “Our Song” while newcomer Kellie Pickler took home three awards during the Country Music Television awards.

Five years 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 (AHN’-hehl kuh-BREHR’-uh) 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.

One year ago: Pope Francis, at the end of a 90-minute Good Friday procession, read a prayer he had composed that alternated between expressing shame for humanity’s failings and hope that “hardened hearts” would become capable of forgiving and loving. Former NFL star Aaron Hernandez, already serving a life sentence for a 2013 murder, was acquitted in Boston in a 2012 double slaying prosecutors said was fueled by his anger over a drink spilled at a nightclub. (Five days later, Hernandez hanged himself in his prison cell.)

Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Loretta Lynn is 86. Actress Julie Christie is 78. Retired MLB All-Star Pete Rose is 77. Rock musician Ritchie Blackmore is 73. Actor John Shea is 69. Actor-turned-race car driver Brian Forster is 58. Actor Brad Garrett is 58. Actor Robert Carlyle is 57. Rock singer-musician John Bell (Widespread Panic) is 56. Actor Robert Clendenin is 54. Actress Catherine Dent is 53. Actor Lloyd Owen is 52. Baseball Hall of Famer Greg Maddux is 52. Rock musician Barrett Martin is 51. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 50. Actor Adrien Brody is 45. Classical singer David Miller (Il Divo) is 45. Rapper DaBrat is 44. Actor Antwon Tanner is 43. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 41. Actor-producer Rob McElhenney is 41. Roots singer JD McPherson is 41. Rock singer Win Butler (Arcade Fire) is 38. Actress Claire Coffee is 38. Actor Christian Alexander is 28. Actor Nick Krause is 26. Actress Vivien Cardone is 25. Actor Graham Phillips is 25. Actress Skyler Samuels is 24. Actress Abigail Breslin is 22.