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 January 8

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On This Day December 12

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History Highlights
History Highlights

1901 – Guglielmo Marconi successfully sends the first radio transmission across the Atlantic Ocean.

1917 – In Omaha, Nebraska, Irish priest, Father Edward J. Flanagan, opens the doors to Boys Town, a home for troubled and neglected children that continues to provide this service today.

1967 – “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” a groundbreaking movie about an interracial romantic relationship, starring Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and Sidney Poitier, opens in theaters. It is the ninth movie to pair Hepburn with Tracy, who died less than three weeks after filming ended.

1972 – The world turns upside down for cruise ship passengers when the epic disaster film “The Poseidon Adventure” opens, featuring a veritable Hollywood ‘Who’s Who’ of a cast, including Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters, Red Buttons, Roddy Mcdowall, Carol Lynley and Jack Albertson.

1980 – American oil tycoon Armand Hammer pays $5.1 million at auction for a notebook containing writings by artist-inventor Leonardo da Vinci. The manuscript, written around 1508, is among over two dozen books da Vinci produced during his lifetime.

1989 – The so-called “Queen of Mean,” hotel operator and real estate developer Leona Helmsley, who once quipped that “only the little people pay taxes,” receives a four-year prison sentence, 750 hours of community service and a $7.1 million fine for tax fraud.

2000 – General Motors (GM) announces that it will begin to phase out its Oldsmobile line of cars, the oldest automotive brand in the United States. The last Olds rolls off an assembly line about four years later.