IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Today in history: April 14

Celebrity birthdays, highlights in history, plus more facts about this day
/ Source: The Associated Press

Today is Good Friday, April 14, the 104th day of 2006. There are 261 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 14, 1865, President Lincoln was shot and mortally wounded by John Wilkes Booth while attending the comedy “Our American Cousin” at Ford’s Theater in Washington. (Lincoln died the following morning.)

On this date:
In 1775, the first American society for the abolition of slavery was organized by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

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, called “The Golden Rule,” in Kemmerer, Wyo.

In 1912, the British liner Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and began sinking.

In 1931, King Alfonso XIII of Spain went into exile, and the Spanish Republic was proclaimed.

In 1939, the John Steinbeck novel “The Grapes of Wrath” was first published.

In 1956, 50 years ago, Ampex Corporation demonstrated the first successful commercial videotape recorder, the VRX-1000 (later renamed the Mark IV), at the National Association of Radio and Television Broadcasters Convention in Chicago.

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 first 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.)

In 1986, French feminist author Simone de Beauvoir died in Paris at age 78.

Ten years ago: Israel’s four-day-old military campaign against Hezbollah guerrillas continued, with aircraft bombarding guerrilla strongholds in Beirut and southern Lebanon, provoking guerrilla vows to turn northern Israel into a “fiery hell.”

Five years ago: The 24 crew members of the U.S. spy plane who were held in China for 11 days landed at their home base, Whidbey Island Naval Air Station in Washington state, where they were greeted by thousands of friends, family members and other well-wishers.

One year ago: The House passed and sent to President Bush legislation making it tougher to erase obligations in bankruptcy. The Oregon Supreme Court nullified nearly 3,000 marriage licenses issued to gay couples a year earlier by Portland’s Multnomah County. Yankees right fielder Gary Sheffield got into a brief scuffle with a fan at Fenway Park during New York’s 8-5 loss to the Boston Red Sox.

Today’s Birthdays: Actor Bradford Dillman is 76. Actor Jay Robinson is 76. Country singer Loretta Lynn is 71. Actress Julie Christie is 66. Former baseball player Pete Rose is 65. Rock musician Ritchie Blackmore is 61. Actor John Shea is 57. Actor Brad Garrett is 46. Actor Robert Carlyle is 45. Rock singer-musician John Bell (Widespread Panic) is 44. Rock musician Barrett Martin is 39. Actor Anthony Michael Hall is 38. Actor Adrien Brody is 33. Classical singer David Miller is 33. Rapper DaBrat is 32. Actress Sarah Michelle Gellar is 29. Actress Vivien Cardone is 13.

Thought for Today: “As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master. This expresses my idea of democracy.” — Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865).