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Today in History: April 15, Titanic sinks; 1,500 dead

April 15, 2022 GMT

Today in History

Today is Friday, April 15, the 105th day of 2022. 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 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died nine hours after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre 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 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.

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

In 1955, Ray Kroc opened the first franchised McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois.

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 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 2 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. (A federal appeals court threw out the death sentence, but the Supreme Court reinstated it in March 2022.)

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.

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In 2020, the government reported that the nation’s industrial output in March registered its biggest decline since the U.S. demobilized at the end of World War II as factories shut down amid the coronavirus epidemic. The Treasury Department confirmed that, in an unprecedented move, President Donald Trump’s name would appear on the stimulus checks that the IRS would be sending to tens of millions of Americans.

Ten years ago: North Korea’s new leader, Kim Jong Un, gave his first public speech since taking power upon death of his father, Kim Jong Il, the previous December, portraying himself as a strong military chief unafraid of foreign powers. Passengers and crew of the cruise ship MS Balmoral said prayers at the spot in the North Atlantic where the Titanic sank 100 years earlier.

Five years ago: 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.

One year ago: Eight people were shot and killed at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis by a former FedEx employee who then took his own life. The White House announced the expulsion of 10 Russian diplomats and sanctions against dozens of people and companies; the moves were to hold the Kremlin accountable for interference in the 2020 presidential election and the SolarWinds cyber hacking of federal government agencies. The defense at the Minneapolis murder trial of former Officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd rested its case without putting Chauvin on the stand.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Claudia Cardinale is 84. Author and politician Jeffrey Archer is 82. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 79. Actor Michael Tucci is 76. Actor Lois Chiles is 75. Writer-producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is 75. Actor Amy Wright is 72. Columnist Heloise is 71. Actor Sam McMurray is 70. Actor-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 63. Bluegrass musician Jeff Parker is 61. Singer Samantha Fox is 56. Olympic gold, silver and bronze medal swimmer Dara Torres is 55. Rock musician Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) is 54. Actor Flex Alexander is 52. Actor Danny Pino is 48. Actor Douglas Spain is 48. Country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton is 44. Actor Luke Evans is 43. Rock musician Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) is 42. Rock musician Zach Carothers (Portugal. The Man) is 41. Actor-writer Seth Rogen is 40. Actor Alice Braga is 39. Americana singer-songwriter Margo Price is 39. Rock musician De’Mar Hamilton (Plain White T’s) is 38. Actor Samira Wiley is 35. Actor Leonie Elliott is 34. Actor Emma Watson is 32. Actor Maisie Williams is 25.