On This Day April 15
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1452 – Renaissance artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci (d. 1519)
1933 – Country music singer-guitarist and former “Hee Haw” host Roy Clark (d. 2018)
1933 – Actress Elizabeth Montgomery (“Bewitched”) (d. 1995)
1951 – “Hints From Heloise” columnist Heloise Bowles Cruse (d. 1977)
1959 – Oscar and Golden Globe-winning actress Emma Thompson (“Howard’s End,” “The Remains of the Day,” “In the Name of the Father,” “Sense and Sensibility,” “Nanny McPhee,” “Saving Mr. Banks”)
1982 – Actor Seth Rogen (“The 40-Year-Old Virgin,” “Knocked Up,” “Superbad,” “Funny People,” “This Is The End,” “The Long Shot”, “The Disaster Artist”)
1990 – Actress Emma Watson, best known for playing Hermione Granger in the “Harry Potter” movie series and Belle in the live-action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast”
1865 – President Abraham Lincoln dies from the gunshot wound he sustained the night before while watching a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. Lincoln’s death comes only six days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army, effectively ending the American Civil War.
1912 – More than 1,500 lives are lost in the early morning hours when the luxury liner Titanic sinks after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City.
1947 – Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American in baseball’s major leagues when he debuts with the Brooklyn Dodgers. This becomes a landmark event not only for the sport, but for the U.S. civil rights movement.
1955 – The golden arches rise in Des Plaines, Illinois with the opening of the first McDonald’s restaurant. Customers pay just 15 cents for a hamburger. The restaurant is built for drive-through service only, with indoor seating eventually added in 1962.
1959 – Four months after leading a successful revolution in Cuba, Fidel Castro begins an 11-day U.S. visit. It comes amid escalating tensions between his regime and the American government.
1997 – On the 50 anniversary of his first Major League Baseball game, the league retires Jackie Robinson’s number, 42. Robinson becomes the only player in MLB history to have his number retired across all teams, a sign of the reverence with which he is regarded decades after leading the charge to integrate the major leagues.
2013 – Two bombs go off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three spectators and wounding more than 260 others. Four days later, after an intense manhunt, authorities capture one of the bombing suspects, 19-year-old Dzhohkar Tsarnaev. His older brother and fellow suspect, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, dies following a shootout with police earlier that same day.
1967 – Frank Sinatra and his daughter Nancy start a four-week run at No. 1 on the singles chart with “Somethin’ Stupid.” They are the only father-daughter act to ever score a chart-topping single.
1972 – Roberta Flack begins a six-week reign over the singles chart with “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” The track garners her Grammy Awards for Record and Song of the Year.
1978 – “Night Fever,” by the Bee Gees, blazes through a fifth week on top of the Billboard Hot 100. The disco smash, from the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack, remains a chart-topper for nine weeks.
1989 – “She Drives Me Crazy” by the Fine Young Cannibals is the No. 1 single. The song, from the band’s “The Raw & the Cooked” album, holds the top spot for a week.
1995 – One-hit-wonder Montell Jordan kicks off seven weeks on top of the pop chart with “This Is How We Do It.”
2000 – “Maria Maria,” by Santana featuring The Product G&B, is in the second of 10 weeks as a chart-reigning single. The track, off the “Supernatural” album, goes on to won a Grammy for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
2006 – Daniel Powter is in the middle of five weeks on top of the singles chart with “Bad Day.”