This Day in History – April 14
Today is the 104th day of 2021. There are 261 days left in the year.
1993: On International Women’s Day, a Chinese newspaper asks 100 women what they would like to be. Sixty say they want to be men.
1629: Peace of Susa ends war between England and France.
1775: The first American society for the abolition of slavery is organised by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.
1828: The first edition of Noah Webster’s American Dictionary of the English Language is published.
1834: Republican uprising in France is crushed by army under Adolphe Thiers.
1849: Hungarians proclaim independence from Hapsburg empire with Lajos Kossuth as governor-president. The rebellion is put down by Russian troops in August.
1865: US President Abraham Lincoln is shot by actor John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington, DC, and dies the following morning.
1890: Delegates to Washington Conference of American States create what is to become the Pan-American Union; that North, South and Central America are all American nations.
1910: US President William Howard Taft throws the first ball to start the major league baseball season.
1912: The British liner Titanic collides with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and begins sinking.
1931: King Alfonso XIII flees Spain after Republicans win elections, and Alcala Zamora becomes president of provisional government.
1939: John Steinbeck’s novel The Grapes of Wrath is published.
1956: Ampex Corp demonstrates its first commercial videotape recorder.
1970: US Apollo 13 spacecraft heads back to Earth after moon mission that was aborted because of mechanical problems.
1981: Columbia, America’s first operational space shuttle, lands at Edwards Air Force Base in California after its first test flight.
1990: Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis says Lithuania will not revoke its declaration of independence, despite Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev’s threat of an economic embargo.
1992: UN warns Iraq it risks military confrontation by moving missiles to Kurdish areas.
1995: The UN Security Council votes to ease sanctions on Iraq, giving it easier terms in trading oil for food.
1996: Israeli aircraft bombard guerrilla strongholds in Beirut and southern Lebanon, doubling the tide of refugees to 400,000 and provoking guerrilla vows to turn northern Israel into a “fiery hell”.
1997: Hundreds of Iranian students clash with government troops outside the German Embassy in the first violence since a Berlin court blamed Iran for a 1992 assassination.
1999: North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) mistakenly bombs a refugee convoy heading out of Kosovo, killing 75 civilians according to Yugoslav sources.
2003: Indonesian prosecutors indict Abu Bakar Bashir, a 64-year-old radical Islamic cleric, on charges of treason for allegedly plotting to assassinate President Megawati Sukarnoputri and overthrow the Government.
2004: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director George Tenet and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director Robert Mueller go before the September 11 commission and say that enormous intelligence and law enforcement gaps that contributed to the attacks are being filled, but that it will take years more for America to build the needed systems to effectively combat terrorists.
2005: Afghan farmers challenge President Hamid Karzai’s plans to destroy the world’s largest narcotics industry, vowing to protect their opium crops from an eradication campaign led by US-trained drug police.
2006: Chad’s President Idriss Deby breaks off relations with neighbouring Sudan, threatens to expel 200,000 Darfur refugees, and parades more than 250 captured rebels through the streets of the capital after a violent attempt to overthrow him.
2008: Media billionaire Silvio Berlusconi wins a decisive victory in Italy’s parliamentary election, setting the colourful conservative and staunch US ally on course to his third stint as premier.
2009: Pirates hijack four ships and seize more than 60 hostages off the coast of Somalia just days after the US Navy liberated the abducted American Captain Richard Phillips and killed three of the brigands holding him.
2010: The head of the World Bank says it is time to stop using the term “Third World” to refer to developing countries and recognise they are an essential part of a new, fast-evolving international economy.
2011: Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi rolls defiantly through the streets of Tripoli, pumping his fists as he pokes through the sun roof of an SUV – the same day that NATO air strikes shake the city.
2012: Egypt’s election commission disqualifies 10 presidential hopefuls, including Hosni Mubarak’s former spy chief and key Islamists, from running.
Christian Huygens, Dutch mathematician-scientist (1629-1695); John Gielgud, English actor (1904-2000); Rod Steiger, US actor (1925-2002); Loretta Lynn, US country singer (1935- ); Julie Christie, British actress (1940- ); Brad Garrett, US actor (1960- ); Sarah Michelle Gellar, US actress (1977- ); Adrien Brody, US actor (1973- ); Anthony Michael Hall, US actor (1968- )