Today in History

Today is Wednesday, April 14, the 104th day of 2021. There are 261 days left in the year.

Today’s highlight in history

On April 14, 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.)

On this date

In 1759, German-born English composer George Frideric Handel died in London at age 74.

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

In 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.

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 1935, the “Black Sunday” dust storm descended upon the central Plains, turning a sunny afternoon into total darkness.

In 1960, Tamla Records and Motown Records, founded by Berry Gordy Jr., were incorporated as Motown Record Corp. The Montreal Canadiens won their fifth consecutive Stanley Cup, defeating the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-0 in Game 4 of the Finals.

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.

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

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi rolled defiantly through the streets of Tripoli the same day NATO air strikes shook the city.

Five years ago

The first of two strong earthquakes struck southern Japan; the temblors killed at least 50 people.

One year ago

President Donald Trump announced that he was cutting off U.S. payments to the U.N. health agency, the World Health Organization; Trump said it had not done enough to stop the coronavirus from spreading.

Louisiana again delayed its presidential primary, rescheduling it for July 11. (The late date made the primary irrelevant to the selection of the nominees.)

NASCAR driver Kyle Larson was fired by the Chip Ganassi Racing team, two days after he used a racial slur on a livestream of a virtual race.

Hank Steinbrenner, the oldest son of George Steinbrenner and one of four siblings who owned controlling shares of the New York Yankees, died at 63.

Today’s Birthdays

Country singer Loretta Lynn is 89.

Actor Julie Christie is 81.

Retired MLB All-Star Pete Rose is 80.

Rock musician Ritchie Blackmore is 76.

Actor-turned-race car driver Brian Forster is 61.

Actor Brad Garrett is 61.

Rock singer John Bell (Widespread Panic) is 59.

Actor Catherine Dent is 56.

Baseball Hall of Famer Greg Maddux is 55.

Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 53.

Actor Adrien Brody is 48.

Classical singer David Miller (Il Divo) is 48.

Rapper Da Brat is 47.

Actor Antwon Tanner is 46.

Actor Sarah Michelle Gellar is 44.

Rock singer Win Butler (Arcade Fire) is 41.

Actor Claire Coffee is 41.

Actor Christian Alexander is 31.

Actor Nick Krause is 29.

Actor Vivien Cardone is 28.

Actor Graham Phillips is 28.

Actor Skyler Samuels is 27.

Actor Abigail Breslin is 25.