This Day in History

April 15th

1452 – Leonardo da Vinci is born

1755 – Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London.

1794 – “Courrier Francais” became the first French daily newspaper to be published in the U.S.

1865 – Abraham Lincoln, 16th President of the United States of America, died at 7:22 a.m. Lincoln had been shot in the back of the head the previous evening while attending a performance of “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The assassin, John Wilkes Booth, escaped, only to be hunted down and shot to death. Lincoln was carried to a boarding house across the street from the theatre. He never regained consciousness.

1892 – The General Electric Company is formed.

1912 – The ‘unsinkable’ luxury liner, “Titanic”, sank at 2:27a.m. The largest passenger vessel in the world went under off the coast of Newfoundland two and one-half hours after striking an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City. A young David Sarnoff, later of RCA and NBC, relayed telegraph messages to advise relatives on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean of the 700+ survivors. 1,517 lives were lost at sea. Many movies and documentaries about the monumental disaster have been filmed over the years. However, none had the exacting data gleaned by scientists from the 1986 expedition aboard “Atlantis II”. Dr. Robert Ballard headed a crew and a robot named Jason in a descent to the deck of the “Titanic” aboard “Alvin”, a submersible craft. They returned with information and photos that challenged and verified stories from the past. After years of studying the facts, the 1997 Academy Award-winning film, “Titanic”, recreated the ship to the tiniest detail including the design on the elegant china. Although the film’s love story is fictitious, the true tragedy of the Titanic can now be seen by the world some eight decades later.

1923 – Insulin becomes generally available for use by people with diabetes.

1947 – Jackie Robinson put on his first Brooklyn Dodgers uniform (number 42) and broke the Major League Baseball “color line”.

1955 – The national deadline for filing taxes, in accordance with the 16th Amendment to the constitution, was changed to April 15th

1955 – “Two all beef patties…” This is the anniversary of McDonald’s. Ray Kroc opened the first McDonald’s — in Des Plaines, IL. Kroc began his career by selling milk shake machines. Among his first customers were the McDonald brothers from Southern California. After selling them several machines and watching the efficiency of their drive-in restaurant, Kroc bought the rights to market the brothers’ good fortune and hired them to work for him. On his first day of business, sales of 15-cent hamburgers and 10-cent French fries totaled $366.12. Thirty years later, McDonald’s grossed a whopping $8.6 billion annually. There is no telling how many burgers have been served at McDonald’s. They stopped counting years ago, saying, “Billions and billions served.” The rest is McHistory with McDonald’s a common sight around the world. The first McDonald’s is no longer. It was torn down to build a newer McDonald’s restaurant across the street. The firm’s worldwide headquarters are located in Oak Brook, IL, the home of ‘Hamburger University’. Have a Big Mac today! You deserve a break.

1967 – Dara Torres, American swimmer, is born

1985 – Ozzie Smith was awarded a $2-million annual contract by the St. Louis Cardinals. Smith became the richest infielder in baseball with the contract. The highest paid player today, Alex Rodriguez, receives over $33-million per year.

1990 – Emma Watson, aka Hermione, is born

2010 – ABBY GLENNAN BRETHAUER TURNS 30! (Happy Birthday big Sis!)