April 15
1755English lexicographer Dr. Samuel Johnson publishes his Dictionary of the English Language.
1784The first balloon is flown in Ireland.
1813U.S. troops under James Wilkinson siege the Spanish-held city of Mobile in future state of Alabama.
1858At the Battle of Azimghur, the Mexicans defeat Spanish loyalists.
1871'Wild Bill' Hickok becomes the marshal of Abilene, Kansas.
1861President Lincoln mobilizes Federal army.
1865Abraham Lincoln dies from John Wilkes Booth's assassination bullet.
1912With her band playing on the deck, the ocean liner Titanic sinks at 2:27 a.m. in the North Atlantic.
1917British forces defeat the Germans at the battle of Arras.
1919British troops kill 400 Indians at Amritsar, India.
1923Insulin becomes generally available for people suffering with diabetics.
1923The first sound films shown to a paying audience are exhibited at the Rialto Theater in New York City.
1940French and British troops land at Narvik, Norway.
1945President Franklin D. Roosevelt is buried on the grounds of his Hyde Park home.
1948Arab forces are defeated in battle with Israeli forces.
1952President Harry Truman signs the official Japanese peace treaty.
1955Ray Kroc starts the McDonald's chain of fast food restaurants.
1959Cuban leader Fidel Castro begins a U.S. goodwill tour.
1960The Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) organizes at Shaw University.
1971North Vietnamese troops ambush a company of Delta Raiders from the 101st Airborne Division near Fire Support Base Bastogne in Vietnam. The American troops were on a rescue mission.
1986U.S. warplanes attack Libya.

Born on April 15
1452Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, sculptor, scientist and visionary
1684Catherine I, empress of Russia
1741Charles Wilson Peale, portrait painter and inventor
1800Sir James Clark Ross, Scottish explorer who located the Magnetic North Pole.
1832Wilhelm Busch, German painter and poet, created the precursor to the comic strip.
1843Henry James, writer and critic.
1874George Harrison Shull, American botanist, developer of hybrid corn.
1874Johannes Stark, Novel Prize-winning German physicist.
1880Max Wertheimer, Czech-born psychologist.
1889Thomas Hart Benton, painter, muralist.
1889Asa Phillip Randolph, American labor leader and Civil Rights advocate.
1898Bessie Smith, American blues singer.
1904Arshile Gorky, abstract painter.
1922Harold Washington, first black mayor of Chicago
1922Neville Mariner, conductor.
1932Eva Figes, British novelist.
1940Jeffrey Archer, English novelist and politician (Kane and Abel, Honor Among Thieves).

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