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Today in History for April 14, 2013

Today is Sunday, April 14, the 104th day of 2013. There are 261 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight:

On April 14, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth during a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater in Washington.

On this date:

In 1775, the first American society for the abolition of slavery was formed in Philadelphia.

In 1828, the first edition of Noah Webster’s “American Dictionary of the English Language” was published.

In 1902, James Cash Penney opened his first store, The Golden Rule, in Kemmerer, Wyo.

In 1910, President William Howard Taft became the first U.S. chief executive to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game as the Washington Senators beat the Philadelphia Athletics 3-0.

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 1931, King Alfonso XIII of Spain went into exile, and the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed.

In 1939, the John Steinbeck novel “The Grapes of Wrath” was first published by Viking Press.

In 1949, the “Wilhelmstrasse Trial” in Nuremberg ended with 19 former Nazi Foreign Office officials sentenced by an American tribunal to prison terms ranging from four to 25 years.

In 1956, Ampex Corp. demonstrated its videotape recorder at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention in Chicago.

In 1960, the musical “Bye Bye Birdie” opened on Broadway.

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 1986, Americans got word of a U.S. air raid on Libya (because of the time difference, it was the early morning of April 15 where the attack occurred.) French feminist author Simone de Beauvoir died in Paris at age 78.

Ten years ago: Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit fell with unexpectedly light resistance, the last Iraqi city to succumb to overpowering U.S.-led ground and air forces. U.S. commandos in Baghdad captured Abul Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner Achille Lauro in 1985. (Abbas died in March 2004 while in U.S. custody.) Four Islamic militants were convicted in a deadly bombing outside the U.S. Consulate in Pakistan. Assailants armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and a handgun opened fire at John McDonogh High School in New Orleans, killing one youth and wounding three others. (Six people later received prison sentences in connection with the shooting.)

Five years ago: Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. announced they were combining. Kidnapped British journalist Richard Butler was rescued by Iraqi troops from a house in Basra after two months in captivity. Media billionaire Silvio Berlusconi won a decisive victory in Italy’s parliamentary election. Carme Chacon was sworn into office as Spain’s first woman defense minister. Taylor Swift won video of the year and female video for her smash “Our Song” while newcomer Kellie Pickler took home three awards during the Country Music Television awards.

One year ago: In Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the Titanic was built, thousands attended a choral requiem at the Anglican St. Anne’s Cathedral or a nationally televised concert at the city’s Waterfront Hall to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking. Eleven Secret Service agents were placed on leave as a deepening scandal involving prostitutes overshadowed President Barack Obama’s diplomatic mission to Latin America. Guns N’ Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beastie Boys, folk icon Donovan, late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro and British bands the Small Faces and Faces were among those inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Bradford Dillman is 83. Actor Jay Robinson is 83. Country singer Loretta Lynn is 81. Actress Julie Christie is 73. Retired MLB All-Star Pete Rose is 72. Rock musician Ritchie Blackmore is 68. Actor John Shea is 64. Actor-turned-race car driver Brian Forster is 53. Actor Brad Garrett is 53. Actor Robert Carlyle is 52. Rock singer-musician John Bell (Widespread Panic) is 51. Actor Robert Clendenin is 49. Actress Catherine Dent is 48. Actor Lloyd Owen is 47. Retired MLB All-Star Greg Maddux is 47. Rock musician Barrett Martin is 46. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 45. Actor Adrien Brody is 40. Classical singer David Miller is 40. Rapper DaBrat is 39. Actor Antwon Tanner is 38. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 36. Actor-producer Rob McElhenney is 36. Rock singer Win Butler (Arcade Fire) is 33. Actress Claire Coffee is 33. Actor Christian Alexander is 23. Actor Nick Krause is 21. Actress Vivien Cardone is 20. Actor Graham Phillips (TV: “The Good Wife”) is 20. Actress Abigail Breslin is 17.

Thought for Today: “Education . . . has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading.” – George Macaulay Trevelyan, English historian (1876-1962).

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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