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Thursday, April 15, 2004


Today is Thursday, April 15th

The 106th day of 2004.

There are 260 days left in the year.

Today is Tax Day.


Today's Highlight in History:

In the early hours (2:27 a.m) of April 15, 1912, the British luxury liner HMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland, less than three hours after striking an iceberg. 1,517 people died.


On this date:

In 1452, Painter, sculptor, architect, engineer, and scientist, one of the great masters of the High Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci was born in the small town of Vinci, in Tuscany (Toscana), near Florence. He died May 2, 1519 at the age of 67.

In 1738, The bottle opener was invented.

In 1770, Joseph Priestley discovered that a piece of rubber could erase lead made from pencils. He coined the word "eraser".

In 1793, Bank of England hands out 1st £5-note .

In 1813, U.S. troops under James Wilkinson attacked the Spanish-held city of Mobile which would be in the future state of Alabama.

In 1817, The first U.S. public school for the deaf, Connecticut Asylum for the Education and Instruction of Deaf and Dumb Persons (now the American School for the Deaf), was founded at Hartford, Conn.

In 1850, The city of San Francisco was incorporated.

In 1861, Three days after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, President Lincoln declared a state of insurrection and called out Union troops.

In 1865, President Lincoln died at 7:22AM, several hours after being shot at Ford's Theater in Washington by John Wilkes Booth. Andrew Johnson became the nation's 17th president.

In 1874, A compulsory education law is passed by New York Legislature.

In 1878, Harley Procter developed Ivory Soap, which when marketed later, made Procter and Gamble a multi-million dollar business

In 1892, The General Electric Company, formed by the merger of the Edison Electric Light Co. and other firms, was incorporated in New York state.

In 1912, The "fourth dimension" was spoken by Einstein as time.

In 1920, New Canadian small cent coin is released.

In 1923, Insulin (discovered in 1922) became available for general use.

In 1923, 1st sound on film public performance shown at Rialto Theater (NYC)

In 1927, Babe Ruth hits 1st of 60 homeruns of season (off A's Howard Ehmke)

In 1928, Alioto's on Fisherman's Wharf (San Francisco) forms

In 1945, During World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.

In 1947, Jackie Robinson becomes the first African American in the 20th century to play in a major league baseball game. He went hitless.

In 1952, U.S. President Harry Truman signed the official Japanese peace treaty.

In 1952, 1st B-52 prototype test flight

In 1955, Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald's in Des Plaines, Illinois. Kroc began his career selling milkshake machines. On his first day of business, sales of 15-cent hamburgers and 10-cent french fries totaled $366.12.

In 1956, The worlds’ first, all-color TV station was dedicated. It was WNBQ-TV in Chicago and is now WMAQ-TV.

In 1959, Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrived in Washington to begin a goodwill tour of the United States.

In 1960, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), organizes at Shaw University

In 1964, Chesapeake Bay Bridge opens (Bridge-Tunnel measures 17.6 miles (28.4 km) and is considered the world's largest bridge-tunnel complex)

In 1975, 1st appearance of the San Diego Chicken

In 1986, In retaliation for the terrorist bombing of a Berlin discotheque, the United States launches an air raid against Libya; nearly 40 people are killed.

In 1987, A jury in Northampton, Mass., found Amy Carter, Abbie Hoffman and 13 other protesters innocent of charges stemming from a demonstration against CIA recruiters at the University of Massachusetts.

In 1989, 95 people died in a crush of soccer fans at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England.

In 1989, Students in Beijing launched a series of pro-democracy protests following the death of former Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang; the protests culminated in the Tiananmen Square massacre.

In 1990, Actress Greta Garbo died in New York at age 84.

In 1997, The Justice Department inspector general reported that FBI crime lab agents produced flawed scientific work or inaccurate testimony in major cases such as the Oklahoma City bombing.

In 1997, Baseball honors Jackie Robinson by retiring #42 for all teams.

In 1998, Pol Pot, the notorious leader of the Khmer Rouge, died at age 73, evading prosecution for the deaths of 2 million Cambodians.

In 2002, Retired Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White died at age 84.

Ten years ago (1994):

Ministers from 109 countries signed a 26,000-page world trade agreement known as the "Uruguay Round" accords in Marrakesh, Morocco.

Five years ago (1999):

A gunman opened fire at the Mormon Family History Library in Salt Lake City, killing two people and wounding four others before being shot to death by police.

Astronomers from San Francisco State University, working at an observatory in Arizona, announced they had discovered evidence of a multi-planet solar system in the constellation Andromeda. It was the only known solar system other than our own.

One year ago (2003):

Looters and arsonists ransacked and gutted Iraq's National Library, as well as Iraq's principal Islamic library.

In the Netherlands, Volkert van der Graaf, the killer of politician Pim Fortuyn, was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

Umpire Laz Diaz was attacked by a fan during a game between the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox; the fan, Eric Dybas, was later sentenced to six months in jail and 30 months' probation.


Today's Birthdays:

Actor Michael Ansara is 82.

Country singer Roy Clark is 71.

Actress Claudia Cardinale is 65.

Actress Julie Sommars is 62.

Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 60.

Actress Lois Chiles (the "Bond girl" in Moonraker) is 57.

TV producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is 57.

Actor Michael Tucci is 54.

Actress Amy Wright is 54.

Columnist Heloise is 53.

Actress-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 45.

Singer Samantha [Karen] Fox is 38.

Rock musician Ed O'Brien (Radiohead) is 36.

Actor Flex is 34.

Actor Peter Billingsley is 32.

Actress Susan Ward is 28.

Actress Emma Watson ("Harry Potter" films) is 14.


Thought for Today:

"Patriotism is your conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it." -

- George Bernard Shaw, Irish-born playwright (1856-1950).