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TODAY IN HISTORY

on April 15, 2013 9:00 AM

Today is Monday, April 15, the 105th day of 2013. There are 260 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:

On April 15, 1912, the British luxury liner RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland at 2:20 a.m. ship’s time, more than 2οΎ½ hours after striking an iceberg; 1,514 people died, while less than half as many survived.

On this date:

In 1850, the city of San Francisco was incorporated.

In 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died, nine hours after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington. Andrew Johnson became the nation’s 17th president.

In 1874, an exhibition of paintings by 30 artists, including Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Paul Cezanne, opened in Paris. (A critic derisively referred to the painters as “Impressionists,” a name that stuck.)

In 1942, Britain’s King George VI awarded the George Cross to Malta for its heroism in the early days of World War II.

In 1943, the Ayn Rand novel “The Fountainhead” was first published by Bobbs-Merrill Co.

In 1945, during World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Ber- gen-Belsen.

In 1947, Jackie Robinson, modern baseball’s first black major league player, made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day. (The Dodgers beat the Boston Braves, 5-3.)

In 1959, Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrived in Washington to begin a goodwill tour of the United States. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles resigned for health reasons (he was succeeded by Christian A. Herter).

In 1960, a three-day conference to form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) began at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C. (The group’s first chairman was Marion Barry.)

In 1986, the United States launched an air raid against Libya in response to the bombing of a discotheque in Berlin on April 5; Libya said 37 people, mostly civilians, were killed.

In 1989, 96 people died in a crush of soccer fans at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. Students in Beijing launched a series of pro-democracy protests; the demonstrations culminated in a government crackdown at Tiananmen Square.

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

Ten years ago: Looters and arsonists ransacked 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.

Five years ago: Pope Benedict XVI stepped onto U.S. soil for the first time as pontiff as he was greeted at Andrews Air Force Base outside Washington by President George W. Bush, first lady Laura Bush and their daughter Jenna. Bombings blamed on al-Qaida in Iraq tore through market areas in Baghdad and outside the capital, killing nearly 60 people.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Michael Ansara is 91. Country singer Roy Clark is 80. Author and politician Jeffrey Archer is 73. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 69. Actor Michael Tucci is 67. Actress Lois Chiles is 66. Actress Amy Wright is 63. Columnist Heloise is 62.

Actress-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 54. Bluegrass musician Jeff Parker is 52. Singer Samantha Fox is 47. Rock musician Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) is 45.

Actor Danny Pino is 39. Actor Douglas Spain is 39. Rock musician Patrick Carney (The Black Keys) is 33. Actor-writer Seth Rogen is 31. Actress Alice Braga is 30. Rock musician De’Mar Hamilton (Plain White T’s) is 29. Actress Emma Watson is 23.

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