On April 14:
In 1775, the first American society for the abolition of slavery was formed in Philadelphia.
In 1828, the first edition of Noah Webster's "American Dictionary of the English Language" was published.
In 1902, James Cash Penney opened his first store, The Golden Rule, in Kemmerer, Wyo.
In 1910, President William Howard Taft became the first U.S. chief executive to throw the ceremonial first pitch at a baseball game as the Washington Senators beat the Philadelphia Athletics 3-0.
In 1931, King Alfonso XIII of Spain went into exile, and the Second Spanish Republic was proclaimed.
In 1939, the John Steinbeck novel "The Grapes of Wrath" was first published by Viking Press.
In 1949, the "Wilhelmstrasse Trial" in Nuremberg ended with 19 former Nazi Foreign Office officials sentenced by an American tribunal to prison terms ranging from four to 25 years.
In 1956, Ampex Corp. demonstrated its videotape recorder at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention in Chicago.
In 1960, the musical "Bye Bye Birdie" opened on Broadway.
In 1981, the first test flight of America's first operational space shuttle, the Columbia, ended successfully with a landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
In 1986, Americans got word of a U.S. air raid on Libya (because of the time difference, it was the early morning of April 15 where the attack occurred.) Also, French feminist author Simone de Beauvoir died in Paris at age 78.
Ten years ago: Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit fell with unexpectedly light resistance, the last Iraqi city to succumb to overpowering U.S.-led ground and air forces. U.S. commandos in Baghdad captured Abul Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner Achille Lauro in 1985. (Abbas died in March 2004 while in U.S. custody.) Four Islamic militants were convicted in a deadly bombing outside the U.S. Consulate in Pakistan. Assailants armed with an AK-47 assault rifle and a handgun opened fire at John McDonogh High School in New Orleans, killing one youth and wounding three others. (Six people later received prison sentences in connection with the shooting.)
Five years ago: Delta Air Lines Inc. and Northwest Airlines Corp. announced they were combining. Kidnapped British journalist Richard Butler was rescued by Iraqi troops from a house in Basra after two months in captivity. Media billionaire Silvio Berlusconi won a decisive victory in Italy's parliamentary election. Carme Chacon was sworn into office as Spain's first woman defense minister. Taylor Swift won video of the year and female video for her smash "Our Song" while newcomer Kellie Pickler took home three awards during the Country Music Television awards.
One year ago: In Belfast, Northern Ireland, where the Titanic was built, thousands attended a choral requiem at the Anglican St. Anne's Cathedral or a nationally televised concert at the city's Waterfront Hall to mark the 100th anniversary of the sinking. Eleven Secret Service agents were placed on leave as a deepening scandal involving prostitutes overshadowed President Barack Obama's diplomatic mission to Latin America. Guns N' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Beastie Boys, folk icon Donovan, late singer-songwriter Laura Nyro and British bands the Small Faces and Faces were among those inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.
On April 14, 1939, the movie "Wuthering Heights," starring Merle Oberon and Laurence Olivier, premiered in New York.
In 1958, "Catch A Falling Star" by Perry Como became the first single certified as gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
In 1962, Bob Dylan recorded seven songs, including "Blowin' In The Wind," at Columbia Records studios in New York.
In 1969, "Oliver!" was named best picture at the Academy Awards.
In 1974, Pete Townshend appeared for the first time as a solo act at a concert in London, accompanied only by homemade tapes.
In 1976, Motown Records announced a $13 million contract renewal for Stevie Wonder. At the time, it was the largest contract ever negotiated.
Also in 1976, Eric Faulkner of the Bay City Rollers nearly died after swallowing Seconal and Valium at his manager's house in Scotland.
In 1980, "Kramer vs. Kramer" won the best picture and director Academy Awards, plus the best actor award for Dustin Hoffman. Meryl Streep, who also appeared in that movie, was named best supporting actress. Sally Field won the best actress award for "Norma Rae."
Also in 1980, musician Gary Numan released "The Touring Principle," a 45-minute concert video. It was the first commercially available home rock videocassette.
In 1983, Pete Farndon, formerly of The Pretenders, died of a drug overdose. He had been fired from the band the year before.
In 1995, actor-singer Burl Ives died at his home in Anacortes, Washington. He was 85.
In 2012, Guns N' Roses were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame without Axl Rose, who refused his induction. Rod Stewart was supposed to be inducted with The Small Faces but missed it because he had the flu. He missed his inducted as a solo artist in 1994 because of a massive earthquake in Los Angeles.
Today's Birthdays: Actor Bradford Dillman ("Falcon Crest") is 83. Country singer Loretta Lynn is 81. Actress Julie Christie is 73. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore is 68. Actor John Shea ("Lois and Clark") is 64. Actor-turned-racecar driver Brian Forster ("The Partridge Family") is 53. Actor Brad Garrett ("Everybody Loves Raymond") is 53. Actor Robert Carlyle ("Angela's Ashes," "The Full Monty") is 52. Singer-guitarist John Bell of Widespread Panic is 51. Drummer Barrett Martin (Screaming Trees) is 46. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 45. Actor Adrien Brody is 40. Singer David Miller of Il Divo is 40. Rapper Da Brat is 39. Actor Antwon Tanner ("One Tree Hill") is 38. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 36. Actor Rob McElhenney (MAK'-uhl-heh-nee) ("It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia") is 36. Singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire is 33. Actor Claire Coffee ("Grimm") is 33. Actor Nick Krause ("The Descendants") is 21. Actor Graham Phillips ("The Good Wife") is 20. Actress Abigail Breslin ("Little Miss Sunshine") is 17.
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