Today in History

1775 – The first abolitionist society in US organized in Philadelphia

1828 – First American Dictionary: its author, Noah Webster, registered its copyright for publication

1836 – US Congress formed the Territory of Wisconsin

1841 – First detective story was published; Edgar Allan Poe’s “Murders in Rue Morgue”

1858 – Abolitionist John Brown met Harriet Tubman at a Constitutional Convention in Chatham, Ontario

1860 – First Pony Express rider arrived in San Francisco from St Joseph, Missouri

1863 – William Bullock patented the continuous-roll printing press

1865 – US President Abraham Lincoln was shot in the head by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington; he died the following morning

1865 – U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward and his family were attacked in his home by Lewis Powell as part of the same conspiracy to assassinate Abraham Lincoln

1881 – The Four Dead in Five Seconds Gunfight in El Paso, Texas.

1894 – First public showing of Thomas Edison’s kinetoscope (moving pictures)

1902 – J. C. Penney opened his first store, The Golden Rule Store, in Kemmerer, Wyoming

1903 – Dr. Harry Plotz discovered a vaccine against typhoid (NYC)

1912 – RMS Titanic hit an iceberg at 11:40 pm off Newfoundland

1918 – Douglas Campbell became the first US ace pilot after shooting down 5th German plane

1927 – The first Volvo car premiered in Gothenburg, Sweden

1928 – Maddus Airlines began first regular passenger flights between San Francisco and Los Angeles

1935 – Black Sunday: Severe dust storm ravaged the US Midwest, led to the region being named “the Dust Bowl”

1939 – John Steinbeck’s novel “The Grapes of Wrath” was published

1940 – RCA demonstrated its new electron microscope in Philadelphia

1941 – First massive German raid in Paris, 3,600 Jews rounded up

1943 – A JN-25 decrypt by American intelligence detailing a forthcoming visit by Marshal Admiral Yamamoto to Balalae Island resulted in his plane being shot down four days later

1944 – First Jews transported from Athens arrived at Auschwitz concentration camp

1944 – General Eisenhower became the Supreme Allied Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force

1956 – Ampex Corp demonstrated the first commercial videotape recorder

1958 – Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 with space dog Laika aboard burned up during reentry into Earth’s atmosphere

1960 – American record company Motown, founded by Berry Gordy Jr., was incorporated as Motown Record Corporation

1961 – First live television broadcast from Soviet Union

1963 – George Harrison was impressed by unsigned group “Rolling Stones”

1973 – Acting FBI director L Patrick Gray resigned after admitting he destroyed evidence in the Watergate scandal

1994 – US F-15 accidentally shot two US helicopters down over Iraq, 26 died

1994 – Branch Davidian cult leader David Koresh promised to surrender after completion of his Seven Seals manuscript

2000 – Metallica filed a lawsuit against P2P sharing phenomenon Napster. This lawsuit led the movement against file-sharing programs.

2012 – Beastie Boys inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame with Adam Yauch too ill to attend

2015 – Archaeologists announced they had found (at Lomekwi in Kenya) 3.3 million-year old stone tools, the oldest ever discovered and which pre-date the earliest humans

2018 – BeyoncĂ© was the first black woman to headline the Coachella Music Festival, her performance on this day was the most-watched performance ever on YouTube

2019 – 11 tornadoes hit US southern states killing eight in Mississippi, Texas and Louisiana