This Day in History – April 15

Today is the 105th day of 2021. There are 260 days left in the year.


1912: The passenger luxury liner SS Titanic sinks and more than 1,500 lives are lost.



1862: A Bill ending slavery in the US District of Columbia becomes law.

1865: Andrew Johnson becomes the 17th US president after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln.

1912: Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly across the English Channel.

1923: Insulin, discovered by Canadian Dr Frederick Banting, is made available for general use by diabetics.

1927: Chiang Kai-Shek organises Government at Nanking in China.

1945: British and Canadian troops liberate the Nazi concentration camp at Bergen-Belsen.

1959: Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrives in Washington, DC, to begin a goodwill tour of the US.

1974: Military coup in West African country of Niger overthrows Government of President Hamani Diori.

1989: Students in Beijing launch a series of pro-democracy protests upon the death of former Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang; the protests culminated in the Tiananmen Square massacre.

1994: More than 100 nations adopt a 26,000-page agreement reforming international trade.

1997: A fire sweeps across a pilgrims’ encampment outside Mecca as two million Muslims gather for one of Islam’s most sacred rituals, killing at least 343 people.

1998: Pol Pot, leader of the Khmer Rouge, dies at 73, evading prosecution for the deaths of 2 million Cambodians in the 1970s.

2000: Defying tear gas and police beatings, hundreds of supporters of jailed Malaysian politician Anwar Ibrahim mark the anniversary of his conviction with a protest that results in 46 arrests.

2003: US President George W Bush declares an end to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein’s regime, less than a week after US forces seized Baghdad and US and Kurdish forces entered Kirkuk and Mosul in northern Iraq.

2004: Two factions of the rebel National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT) in north-eastern India agree to halt their two-decade separatist campaign and hold peace talks with New Delhi. A third NLFT faction continues to reject peace talks.

2005: Flames and smoke send people jumping from windows of a budget hotel in Paris housing many African immigrants in an overnight fire that leaves 20 dead – half of them children.

2006: China announces tariff cuts on imports of fruit and fish from Taiwan, offering the self-ruled island new trade concessions in an effort to boost sentiment for uniting with the communist mainland.

2008: Nepal’s former rebels, now known as the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), win more than half of the directly elected seats that will shape the Himalayan nation’s political future.

2009: About 100 young Afghan women protesting a law that lets husbands demand sex from their wives are pelted with stones by angry men who call them “dogs”, in a confrontation that highlights the explosive nature of the women’s rights debate in Afghanistan

2010: An enormous ash cloud from a remote Icelandic volcano causes the biggest flight disruption since September 11, 2001 as it drifts over northern Europe and strands travellers on six continents. Officials say it could take days for the skies to become safe again in one of aviation’s most congested areas.

2012: Taliban insurgents strike the heart of the Afghan capital and three eastern cities, firing automatic weapons and grenades at embassies, government buildings and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) bases as they launch the spring fighting season with the boldest and most complex assault in years.



Nanak, guru and founder of Sikhism (1469-1539); Leonhard Euler, Swiss mathematician (1707-1783); Henry James, US author (1843-1916); A Philip Randolph, US civil rights leader/trade unionist (1889-1979); Bessie Smith, US blues singer (1898-1937); Kim Il-Sung, North Korean dictator (1912-1994); Emma Thompson, British actress (1959- ); Owen “Blakka” Ellis, Jamaican comedian/actor (1960- ); Seth Rogen, Canadian actor/writer (1982- ); Emma Watson, British actress (1990- ).


– AP/Jamaica Observer

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