On This Day April 26

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On This Day April 15

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History Highlights
History Highlights

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.

On This Day April 8

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On This Day March 18

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On This Day January 28

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1915 – The American merchant ship William P. Frye becomes the first casualty of World War I as a German cruiser opens fire and sinks the vessel. Despite apologies from the German government, the attack sparks outrage in the U.S.

1922 – Ninety-eight guests are killed, 133 others are injured when the roof of Washington, D.C.’s Knickerbocker Theatre collapses under the weight of a heavy snowfall. The disaster ranks as one of Washington’s worst, and the “Knickerbocker Snowstorm,” as it is known, still holds the record for Washington’s single greatest snowfall.

1958 – The interlocking stud-and-tube plastic Lego brick is patented by Godtfred Kirk Christiansen, whose father founded the Lego toy company (“Lego,” from the Danish term “leg godt,” meaning “play well”). The colorful bricks have covered playroom floors for generations. In fact, it’s estimated that Lego has since produced the equivalent of 62 bricks for every human being on the planet.

1964 – The State Department accuses the Soviet Union of shooting down an unarmed Air Force trainer jet over East Germany, killing its three occupants.

1986 – A nation watches in horror as Space Shuttle Challenger (STS-51-L) explodes 73 seconds into flight, killing teacher Christa McAuliffe — who was to have been the first civilian in space — and fellow crew members Dick Scobee, Michael Smith, Judith Resnick, Ellison Onizuka, Ronald McNair and Gregory Jarvis.

1997 – Four apartheid-era police officers, appearing before a tribunal in South Africa, admit to the 1977 killing of Stephen Biko, a leader of the South African “Black consciousness” movement.

On This Day January 13

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On This Day December 16

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On This Day December 3

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On This Day November 28

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Musical Milestones
Musical Milestones

1925 – The Grand Ole Opry, one of the longest-lived and most popular showcases for country music, begins broadcasting live from Nashville, Tennessee. At the time, it is known as the WSM Barn Dance.

1960 – Elvis Presley scores his 15th chart-topping single when “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” reaches No. 1 on the pop chart. It holds the top spot for six weeks.

1970 – Ex-Beatle George Harrison makes his solo Billboard chart debut with “My Sweet Lord,” a song he is later found guilty of having “subconsciously plagiarized” from Ronnie Mack’s “He’s So Fine,” which was a smash for The Chiffons.

1974 – John Lennon joins Elton John on stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden for what becomes Lennon’s last concert appearance. He performs three songs: “Whatever Gets You Thru The Night,” “I Saw Her Standing There,” and “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds.”

1987 – The Bill Medley-Jennifer Warnes duet, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” from the movie “Dirty Dancing,” is No. 1 on the singles chart.

1998 – “Lately,” by one-hit-wonder Divine, tops the Billboard Hot 100 for a week.

2001 – Aretha Franklin sues the supermarket tabloid “Star” for $50 million dollars claiming that her reputation was damaged by a December 2000 article that alleged she had alcohol problems.

2007 – Kanye West and stuntman Evel Knievel settle a copyright dispute over West’s use of the name “Evel Kanyevel” in a music video. The 69-year-old daredevil claimed his image was harmed by the video’s “vulgar, sexual nature.” The clip for “Touch The Sky” shows the rap star attempting to cross a canyon on a rocket-powered motorcycle.

On This Day November 13

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