1775 – The first abolitionist society in U.S. was organized in Philadelphia with Ben Franklin as president.
1793 – A royalist rebellion in Santo Domingo was crushed by French republican troops.
1828 – The first edition of Noah Webster’s dictionary was published under the name “American Dictionary of the English Language.”
1860 – The first Pony Express rider arrived in San Francisco with mail originating in St. Joseph, MO.
1865 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in Ford’s Theater by John Wilkes Booth. He actually died early the next morning.
1894 – First public showing of Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope took place.
1902 – James Cash (J.C.) Penney opened his first retail store in Kemmerer, WY. It was called the Golden Rule Store.
1910 – U.S. President William Howard Taft threw out the first ball for the Washington Senators and the Philadelphia Athletics.
1912 – The Atlantic passenger liner Titanic, on its maiden voyage hit an iceberg and began to sink. 1,517 people lost their lives and more than 700 survived.
1918 – The U.S. First Aero Squadron engaged in America’s first aerial dogfight with enemy aircraft over Toul, France.
1925 – WGN became the first radio station to broadcast a regular season major league baseball game. The Cubs beat the Pirates 8-2.
1931 – King Alfonso XIII of Spain went into exile and the Spanish Republic was proclaimed.
1939 – The John Steinbeck novel “The Grapes of Wrath” was first published.
1946 – The civil war between Communists and nationalist resumed in China.
1953 – Viet Minh invaded Laos with 40,00 troops.
1956 – Ampex Corporation of Redwood City, CA, demonstrated the first commercial magnetic tape recorder for sound and picture.
1959 – The Taft Memorial Bell Tower was dedicated in Washington, DC.
1969 – For the first time, a major league baseball game was played in Montreal, Canada.
1981 – America’s first space shuttle, Columbia, returned to Earth after a three-day test flight. The shuttle orbited the Earth 36 times during the mission.
1984 – The Texas Board of Education began requiring that the state’s public school textbooks describe the evolution of human beings as “theory rather than fact”.
1985 – The Russian paper “Pravda” called U.S. President Reagan’s planned visit to Bitburg to visit the Nazi cemetery an “act of blasphemy”.
1986 – U.S. President Reagan announced the U.S. air raid on military and terrorist related targets in Libya.
1987 – Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev proposed banning all missiles from Europe.
1988 – Representatives from the U.S.S.R., Pakistan, Afghanistan and the U.S. signed an agreement that called for the withdrawal of Soviet forces from Afghanistan starting on May 15. The last Soviet troop left Afghanistan on February 15, 1989.
1988 – In New York, real estate tycoons Harry and Leona Helmsley were indicted for income tax evasion.
1990 – Cal Ripken of the Baltimore Orioles began a streak of 95 errorless games and 431 total chances by a shortstop.
1994 – Two American F-15 warplanes inadvertently shot down two U.S. helicopters over northern Iraq. 26 people were killed including 15 Americans.
1998 – The state of Virginia ignored the requests from the World Court and executed a Paraguayan for the murder of a U.S. woman.
1999 – Pakistan test-fired a ballistic missile that was capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching its rival neighbor India.
2000 – After five years of deadlock, Russia approved the START II treaty that calls for the scrapping of U.S. and Russian nuclear warheads. The Russian government warned it would abandon all arms-control pacts if Washington continued with an anti-missile system.
2002 – U.S. President George W. Bush sent a letter of congratulations to JCPenny’s associates for being in business for 100 years. James Cash (J.C.) Penney had opened his first retail store on April 14, 1902.
2002 – Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez returned to office two days after being arrested by his country’s military.
2008 – Delta Air Lines and Northwest Airlines announced they were combining.