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This Day in History - April 15

April 15

1452 – Italian painter, sculptor, scientist and visionary Leonardo da Vinci is born

1684 – Catherine I, Empress of Russia, is born

1741 – Portrait painter and inventor Charles Wilson Peale is born

1755 – English lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson publishes his Dictionary of the English Language

1783 – The Continental Congress officially ratifies the preliminary peace treaty with Great Britain

1784 – The first balloon is flown in Ireland

1800 – Scottish explorer who located the Magnetic North Pole, Sir James Clark Ross, is born

1813 – US troops under James Wilkinson lay siege to the Spanish-held city of Mobile in the future state of Alabama

1817 – Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet opens the first free American school for the deaf in Hartford, Connecticut

1832 – German painter and poet who created the precursor to the comic strip, Wilhelm Busch is born

1843 – Writer and critic Henry James is born

1858 – At the Battle of Azimghur, the Mexicans defeat Spanish loyalists

1858 – French sociologist Emile Durkheim is born

1861 – President Lincoln mobilizes the Federal Army

1865 – Abraham Lincoln dies from the John Wilkes Booth’s assassination bullet

1871 – ‘Wild Bill’ Hickock becomes the marshal of Abilene, Kansas

1874 – American botanist and developer of hybrid corn, George Harrison Shull is born

1874 – Nobel Prize-winning physicist Johannes Stark is born

1877 – The first telephone is installed in Massachusetts

1880 – Psychologist Max Wertheimer is born

1889 – Painter and muralist Thomas Hart Benton is born

1889 – Priest and Flemish missionary Father Damien dies

1889 – American labor leader and Civil Rights advocate Asa Phillip Randolph is born

1894 – Singer, actress, and dancer, Bessie Smith is born

1894 – 7th Premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khrushchev is born

1896 – The first modern Olympic games close in Athens, Greece

1898 – American blues singer Bessie Smith is born

1904 – Abstract painter Arshile Gorky is born

1912 – The ocean liner Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic at 2:27 a.m., with her band playing on deck, and with it died many prominent figures. The “unsinkable Mrs. Brown,” aka Molly Brown, however, survived the tragedy and went on to enjoy worldwide notoriety as the woman who rescued drowning sailors and other victims and by keeping their spirits up on the lifeboat while waiting for help, by sharing stories of her life in the Old West

1917 – British forces defeat the Germans at the Battle of Arras

1918 – British forces evacuate Passchendaele Ridge with Germans approaching in Flanders, France

1920 – A paymaster and a security guard are killed during an armed robbery of a shoe company in South Braintree, Massachusetts leading to one of the most famous trials in American history and a landmark case in forensic crime detection. Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were executed for the crime despite a great controversy concerning ballistics testing. Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis issued a proclamation stating they didn’t receive a fair trial after their deaths

1922 – First black mayor of Chicago, Harold Washington is born

1922 – Conductor Neville Mariner is born

1923 – Insulin generally becomes available for people suffering from diabetes

1923 – The first sound films shown to a paying audience are exhibited at the Rialto Theater in New York City

1932 – British novelist Eva Figes is born

1935 – The Eastman Kodak Company launches Kodachrome

1940 – Novelist and politician Jeffrey Archer is born

1940 – French and British troops land at Narvik, Norway

1944 – The Soviet Red Army occupies Tarnopol, across from the Polish border

1945 – President Franklin Roosevelt is buried on the grounds of his Hyde Park home

1945 – The Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen is liberated by Canadian and British forces

1947 – Jackie Robinson steps out onto Ebbets Field in Brooklyn as a new Dodger

1948 – Arab forces are defeated in battle with Israeli forces

1952 – President Harry Truman signs the official Japanese peace treaty

1955 – Ray Kroc starts the McDonald’s chain of fast food restaurants

1959 – Cuban leader Fidel Castro begins a US goodwill tour

1960 – the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee organizes at Shaw University

1967 – Massive anti-war protests are held in New York and San Francisco

1970 – The 1st Infantry Division withdraws from Vietnam

1971 – North Vietnamese troops ambush the Delta Raiders from the 101st Airborne Division near Fire Support Base Bastogne in Vietnam

1980 – Philosopher and writer Jean-Paul Sartre dies

1986 – US warplanes attack Libya

1989 – A small group of students initiate a pro-democracy protest in Tiananmen Square in Beijing following the death of reformer Hu Yaobang

1990 – Swedish film star Greta Garbo dies

1996 – The 100th Boston Marathon is won by Moses Tanui of Kenya

1998 – The architect of Cambodia’s killing fields, 29th Prime Minister of Cambodia, Pol Pot, dies

2013 – Two bombs go off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and wounding over 260 others. The bomb was set off by Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, who were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs. Both men have been sentenced to death, while other accomplices have been charged with lesser crimes related to making false statements and falsifying records


Written by Crystal McCann

Crystal is the owner of Madison's Media, Madison's CPC and the Chief Administrative Officer for Lanterns. She lives in Texas with her husband and dogs and has two adult children. Writers seeking additional exposure: Ask how you can contribute!


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