Today in History – April 15

1784 – The first balloon was flown in Ireland.

1794 – “Courrier Francais” became the first French daily newspaper to be published in the U.S.

1813 – U.S. troops under James Wilkinson attacked the Spanish-held city of Mobile that would be in the future state of Alabama.

1817 – The first American school for the deaf was opened in Hartford, CT.

1850 – The city of San Francisco was incorporated.

1858 – At the Battle of Azimghur, the Mexicans defeated Spanish loyalists.

1861 – U.S. President Lincoln mobilized the Federal army.

1865 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln died from injuries inflicted by John Wilkes Booth.

1871 – “Wild Bill” Hickok became the marshal of Abilene, Kansas.

1880 – William Gladstone became Prime Minister of England.

1892 – The General Electric Company was organized.

1899 – Thomas Edison organized the Edison Portland Cement Company.

1912 – The ocean liner Titanic sank in the North Atlantic after hitting an iceberg the evening before. 1,517 people died and more than 700 people survived.

1917 – The British defeated the Germans at the battle of Arras.

1923 – Insulin became generally available for people suffering with diabetes.

1934 – In the comic strip “Blondie,” Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead welcomed a baby boy, Alexander. The child would be nicknamed, Baby Dumpling.

1940 – French and British troops landed at Narvik, Norway.

1945 – During World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.

1947 – Jackie Robinson played his first major league baseball game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Previously he had only appeared in exhibition games.

1948 – The Arabs were defeated in the first Jewish-Arab battle.

1951 – The first episode of the “Adventures of Wild Bill Hickok” radio show aired.

1952 – U.S. President Harry Truman signed the official Japanese peace treaty.

1952 – The first B-52 prototype was tested in the air.

1953 – In Buenos Aires, six people were killed by a bomb at a rally addressed by President Peron.

1953 – Pope Pius XII gave his approval of psychoanalysis but warned of possible abuses.

1953 – Charlie Chaplin surrendered his U.S. re-entry permit rather than face proceedings by the U.S. Justice Department. Chaplin was accused of sympathizing with Communist groups.

1956 – The worlds’ first, all-color TV station was dedicated. It was WNBQ-TV in Chicago and is now WMAQ-TV.

1956 – General Motors announced that the first free piston automobile had been developed.

1959 – Cuban leader Fidel Castro began a U.S. goodwill tour.

1960 – The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) was organized at Shaw University.

1967 – Richard Speck was found guilty of murdering eight student nurses.

1983 – Tokyo Disneyland opened.

1984 – Ten members of a family were found murdered in their home in New York City. An infant was found crawling among the corpses.

1986 – U.S. F-111 warplanes attacked Libya in response to the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin on April 5, 1986.

1987 – In Northhampton, MA, Amy Carter, Abbie Hoffman and 13 others were acquitted on civil disobedience charges related with a CIA protest.

1987 – In New York City, Mbongeni Ngema’s “Asinamali!” opened as the first South African play on Broadway.

1989 – Students in Beijing launched a series of pro democracy protests upon the death of former Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang. The protests led to the Tienanmen Square massacre.

1989 – In Sheffield, England, 96 people were killed and hundreds were injured at a soccer game at Hillsborough Stadium when a crowd surged into an overcrowded standing area. Ninety-four died on the day of the incident and two more later died from their injuries.

1994 – The World Trade Organization was established.

1997 – Christopher Reeve received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

1998 – Pol Pot died at the age of 73. The leader of the Khmer Rouge regime thereby evaded prosecution for the deaths of 2 million Cambodians.

1999 – In Algeria, former Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Bouteflika was elected president. All of the opposition candidates claimed that the vote was fraudulent and withdrew from the election.

1999 – In Rawalpindi, Pakistan, a panel of two Lahore High Court judges convicted former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and her husband, Asif Ali Zardari, of corruption.

2000 – 600 anti-IMF (International Monetary Fund) protesters were arrested in Washington, DC, for demonstrating without a permit.

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