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On April 15th...
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1450 The French defeated the English at the Battle of Formigny.
1452 Artist Leonardo da Vinci was born.
1684 Empress Catherine of Russia was born.
1689 French King Louis XIV declared war on Spain.
1741 Portrait painter Charles Willson Peale was born.
1755 Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in London.
1788 Great Britain, the Netherlands, and Prussia signed a peace treaty.
1814 Historian John Lothrop Motley was born.
1817 The first American school for the deaf opened in Hartford, Connecticut.
1843 Novelist Henry James was born.
1844 Architect Charles Bulfinch died.
1850 The city of San Francisco, California, was incorporated.
1865 President Abraham Lincoln died, one day after being shot by John Wilkes Booth.
1877 The first telephone was installed, in Boston-Somerville, Massachusetts.
1878 Harley Procter introduced Ivory Soap.
1881 Hugh Hammond Bennett, the "father of soil conservation" was born.
1892 General Electric Company was incorporated in New York.
1896 The first modern Olympic Games closed in Athens, Greece.
1912 The ocean liner Titanic
sank after having struck an iceberg.*
1923 The first sound on film public performance was given at the Rialto Theater in New York City.
1924 Rand-McNally published its first road atlas.
1925 Painter John Singer Sargent died.
1933 Singer Roy Clark was born.
1943 The first production B-29 was completed at Boeing in Wichita, Kansas.
1944 Musician Dave Edmunds was born.
1945 The British
Army liberated the Nazi concentration camp at
1947 Jackie Robinson became the first black to play in a major league baseball game.
1949 Actor Wallace Beery died.
1955 The first McDonald's franchise* opened in Des Plaines, Illinois.
1964 The Chesapeake Bay Bridge opened.
1965 The NFL changed the penalty flag from white to bright gold.
1975 The San Diego Chicken* made his first appearance.
1983 Tokyo Disneyland opened.
1986 The United States launched
"Operation El Dorado Canyon" against Libya.
1989 Hu Yaobang, former leader of the Chinese Communist Party, died.
1990 "In Living
Color" premiered on Fox-TV.
1992 Jay Leno made his final appearance as the permanent guest host on "The Tonight Show."
1998 Former Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot died.
2002 U.S. Supreme Court Justice Byron White died.
2017 Physicist and inventor Leonard Reiffel.
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This page was last updated on April 28, 2017.