Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth during a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater in Washington.
On this date:
In 1759, German-born English composer George Frideric Handel died in London at age 74.
In 1902, James Cash Penney opened his first store, The Golden Rule, in Kemmerer, Wyo.
In 1912, the British liner RMS Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic at 11:40 p.m. ship’s time and began sinking. (The ship went under two hours and 40 minutes later with the loss of 1,514 lives.)
In 1935, the “Black Sunday” dust storm descended upon the central Plains, turning a sunny afternoon into total darkness.
In 1939, the John Steinbeck novel “The Grapes of Wrath” was first published by Viking Press.
In 1956, Ampex Corp. demonstrated the first practical videotape recorder at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention in Chicago.
In 1965, the state of Kansas hanged Richard Hickock and Perry Smith for the 1959 “In Cold Blood” murders of Herbert Clutter, his wife, Bonnie, and two of their children, Nancy and Kenyon.
In 1970, President Richard Nixon nominated Harry Blackmun to the U.S. Supreme Court. (The choice of Blackmun, who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate a month later, followed the failed nominations of Clement Haynsworth and G. Harrold Carswell.)
In 1981, the first test flight of America’s first operational space shuttle, the Columbia, ended successfully with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1994, two U.S. Air Force F-15 warplanes mistakenly shot down two U.S. Army Black Hawk helicopters over northern Iraq, killing 26 people, including 15 Americans. Turner Classic Movies made its cable debut; the first film it aired was Ted Turner’s personal favorite, “Gone with the Wind.”
In 1999, NATO mistakenly bombed a convoy of ethnic Albanian refugees; Yugoslav officials said 75 people were killed.
In 2004, in a historic policy shift, President George W. Bush endorsed Israel’s plan to hold on to part of the West Bank in any final peace settlement with the Palestinians; he also ruled out Palestinian refugees returning to Israel, bringing strong criticism from the Palestinians.
Ten years ago: A magnitude-7 earthquake in a remote Tibetan region of China killed some 2,700 people and injured more than 10,000. The Eyjafjallajokul (ay-yah-FYAH’-lah-yer-kuhl) volcano in Iceland erupted, sending out an ash plume that led most northern European countries to close their airspace between April 15 and 20, grounding about 10 million travelers worldwide.
Five years ago: The White House announced that President Barack Obama would remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, a key step in his bid to normalize relations between the two countries. Percy Sledge, 74, who soared from part-time singer and hospital orderly to lasting fame with his aching, forlorn performance on the classic “When a Man Loves a Woman,” died in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
One year ago: Pete Buttigieg, the little-known mayor of South Bend, Indiana, made his official entrance into the 2020 Democratic presidential race. Rep. Ilhan Omar said she had faced increased death threats since President Donald Trump spread around a video that purported to show her being dismissive of the 2001 terrorist attacks; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said she had taken steps to ensure the safety of the Democratic Muslim lawmaker from Minnesota. After going nearly 11 years since he won his last major tournament, Tiger Woods rallied to win the Masters for the fifth time, closing with a 2-under-par 70 for a one-shot victory.
Today’s Birthdays: Country singer Loretta Lynn is 88. Actress Julie Christie is 80. Retired MLB All-Star Pete Rose is 79. Rock musician Ritchie Blackmore is 75. Actor John Shea is 72. Actor Peter Capaldi is 62. Actor-turned-race car driver Brian Forster is 60. Actor Brad Garrett is 60. Actor Robert Carlyle is 59. Rock singer-musician John Bell (Widespread Panic) is 58. Actor Robert Clendenin is 56. Actress Catherine Dent is 55. Actor Lloyd Owen is 54. Baseball Hall of Famer Greg Maddux is 54. Rock musician Barrett Martin is 53. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 52. Actor Adrien Brody is 47. Classical singer David Miller (Il Divo) is 47. Rapper DaBrat is 46. Actor Antwon Tanner is 45. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 43. Actor-producer Rob McElhenney is 43. Roots singer JD McPherson is 43. Rock singer Win Butler (Arcade Fire) is 40. Actress Claire Coffee is 40. Actor Christian Alexander is 30. Actor Nick Krause is 28. Actress Vivien Cardone is 27. Actor Graham Phillips is 27. Actress Skyler Samuels is 26. Actress Abigail Breslin is 24.
Thought for Today: “I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first of which is to be flexible at all times.” — Everett Dirksen, American politician (1896-1969).