1715 – The Yamasee War begins in South
1775 – The first abolition society in
North America is established. The Society for the Relief of
Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage is organized in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin
1828 – Noah Webster copyrights the first
edition of his dictionary.
1846 – The Donner Party of pioneers
departs Springfield, Illinois, for California, on what will
become a year-long journey of hardship, cannibalism, and
1860 – The first Pony Express rider
reaches Sacramento, California.
1865 – U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is
shot in Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth (died April
1865 – U.S. Secretary of State William H.
Seward and his family are attacked in his home by Lewis
1881 – The Four Dead in Five Seconds
Gunfight is fought in El Paso, Texas.
1890 – The Pan-American Union is founded
by the First International Conference of American States in
1894 – The first ever commercial motion
picture house opened in New York City using ten Kinetoscopes,
a device for peep-show viewing of films.
1906 – The Azusa Street Revival opens and
will launch Pentecostalism as a worldwide movement.
1912 – The British passenger liner RMS
Titanic hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic at 23:40
(sinks morning of April 15th).
1935 – "Black Sunday Storm", the worst
dust storm of the U.S. Dust Bowl.
1939 – The Grapes of Wrath, by American
author John Steinbeck is first published by the Viking
1956 – In Chicago, Illinois, videotape is
1969 – At the U.S. Academy Awards there
is a tie for the Academy Award for Best Actress between
Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand.
1981 – STS-1 – The first operational
space shuttle, Columbia (OV-102) completes its first test
1986 – In retaliation for the April 5
bombing in West Berlin that killed two U.S. servicemen, U.S.
president Ronald Reagan orders major bombing raids against
Libya, killing 60 people.
1988 – The USS Samuel B. Roberts strikes
a mine in the Persian Gulf during Operation Earnest Will.
1994 – In a U.S. friendly fire incident
during Operation Provide Comfort in northern Iraq, two
United States Air Force aircraft mistakenly shoot-down two
United States Army helicopters, killing 26 people.
2003 – U.S. troops in Baghdad capture Abu
Abbas, leader of the Palestinian group that killed an
American on the hijacked cruise liner the MS Achille
Lauro in 1985.
2005 – The Oregon Supreme Court nullifies
marriage licenses issued to gay couples a year earlier by