History of 15 April
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 from 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 – In Urayasu, Chiba, Japan, the Tokyo Disneyland theme park 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 Tiananmen 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 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.
2010 – In Prospect Harbor, ME, the Stinson Seafood plant stopped sardine processing after 135 years in operation.
2013 – Two bombs exploded near the finish line at the Boston Marathon in Boston, Massachusetts, killing three people and injuring 264 others.
2013 – A wave of bombings across Iraq kills at least 75 people.
2014 – In the worst massacre of the South Sudanese Civil War, at least 200 civilians were gunned down after seeking refuge in houses of worship as well as hospitals.
2019 – The cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris in France is seriously damaged by a large fire.
Celebrating Birthday Today
- 1981 – Andrés D’Alessandro, the Argentinian footballer
- 1982 – Michael Aubrey, American baseball player
- 1982 – Anthony Green, American singer-songwriter
- 1982 – Seth Rogen, Canadian-American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter
- 1983 – Alice Braga, Brazilian actress
- 1983 – Matt Cardle, English singer-songwriter and guitarist
- 1983 – Dudu Cearense, Brazilian footballer
- 1983 – Andreas Fransson, Swedish skier (d. 2014)
- 1983 – Ilya Kovalchuk, Russian ice hockey player
- 1983 – Martin Pedersen, Danish cyclist
- 1984 – Antonio Cromartie, American football player
- 1984 – Cam Janssen, American ice hockey player
- 1984 – Daniel Paille, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1985 – Ryan Hamilton, Canadian ice hockey player
- 1986 – Tom Heaton, English footballer
- 1986 – Sylvain Marveaux, French footballer
- 1988 – Blake Ayshford, Australian rugby league player
- 1988 – Steven Defour, Belgian footballer
- 1988 – Chris Tillman, American baseball pitcher
- 1990 – Emma Watson, English actress
- 1991 – Daiki Arioka, Japanese idol, singer, and actor
- 1991 – Javier Fernández López, Spanish figure skater
- 1997 – Maisie Williams, English actress
- 1999 – Denis Shapovalov, a Canadian tennis player