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April 15, 1865


After having been shot in the head by the actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater last night, President Abraham Lincoln died at 7:22 this morning.

The outcome was never in doubt.  Attending physician Dr. Charles Leale determined very quickly that the wound was “mortal”.

After Lincoln was laid on a bed at the Petersen Rooming House on 10th Street, a “death watch” was begun.

Upon the pronouncement of death, one of the doctors placed coins on Lincoln’s eyes. Secretary of War Edwin McMasters Stanton then said: “Now, he belongs to the ages”.*

*Source: We Saw Lincoln Shot by Timothy S. Good (1995)

April 15, 1912


They said she was unsinkable.  There was no doubt the RMS Titanic was the most luxurious cruise ship in the world, but unsinkable she was not.

At 11:40 last night, the Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic causing 6 of her compartments to be ripped open.

On board were 2,206 souls including a crew of 898.

There were only enough lifeboats to hold about 700.

At 2:20 this morning, the Titanic sank beneath the waves.  About an hour later, the Carpathia arrived at the scene to take aboard 705 survivors.

The Titanic was in the process of making her maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City.

                         RMS Titanic 

April 15, 1947


Jackie Robinson, #42 for the Brooklyn Dodgers, took the diamond at Ebbets Field today to become the 1st African-American to play major league baseball.

Robinson, the 1st athlete to letter in 4 varsity sports at UCLA, was recruited by Brooklyn’s general manager Branch Rickey.*

*Jackie Robinson won the National League Rookie of the Year & in 1949 he won MVP as the league’s batting champion.  He led the Dodgers to 6 NL pennants & 1 World Series.  He was inducted in the Hall of Fame in 1962.

April 15, 1959


Just 4 months after his overthrow of Fulgencio Batista, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro has arrived in the United States, the invited guest of the American Society of Newspaper Editors.*

*Before departing for Cuba, Castro met with Vice-President Nixon who commented later that the Cuban premier was “either incredibly naive about communism or under communist discipline…”

      Fidel Castro & Vice-President Nixon


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