Today In History...
In 1770 Joseph Priestley discovers that a piece of rubber could erase lead made from pencils. He coined the word "eraser."
In 1817 The first American School for the deaf opens in Hartford, CT.
In 1850 The city of San Francisco is incorporated.
In 1861 Three days after the attack on Fort Sumter, President Lincoln declares a state of insurrection and called out Union troops.
In 1865 At 7:22am, President Lincoln dies, several hours after he was wounded at Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth. Andrew Johnson becomes the 17th U.S. president.
In 1878 Harley Procter develops Ivory Soap.
In 1892 General Electric, formed by the merger of Edison Electric Light Co., and other firms, is incorporated in New York City.
In 1912 Less than 3 hours after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland, the RMS Titanic sinks killing over 1500.
In 1923 Insulin becomes generally available for diabetics.
In 1927 The first celebrity prints are left in cement at Grauman's Theatre in Hollywood by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford and Norma Talmadge.
In 1938 The Walt Disney cartoon characters Huey, Dewey and Louie first appear in "Donald's Nephews."
In 1945 During World War II, British and Canadian troops liberate the Nazi concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen in northern Germany.
In 1945 President Franklin D. Roosevelt is buried at the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park, NY. (He died April 12.)
In 1952 The first bank credit card is issued.
In 1955 Ray Kroc starts the McDonald's chain of fast food restaurants in Des Plaines, Illinois.
In 1959 Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrives in Washington for a goodwill tour.
In 1964 Chesapeake Bay Bridge, the longest in the world at 17 1/2 miles, opens.
In 1980 Existentialist philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre dies in Paris at age 74.
In 1981 The Washington Post returns a Pulitzer prize after learning it's reporter had fabricated the winning story.
In 1983 Roy L. Williams agrees to resign as president of the Teamsters union as part of a bargain with federal prosecutors.
In 1985 South Africa announces it will eliminate legal barriers for racially-mixed marriages.
In 1986 The U.S. launches an air raid against Libya in response to the bombing of a Berlin discotheque on April 5; Libya said 37 people, most civilians, were killed.
In 1986 French dramatist Jean Genet dies in Paris at age 75.
In 1987 The U.S. and the USSR agree to cooperate on some space projects.
In 1987 A jury in Northampton, MA, finds Amy Carter, Abbie Hoffman and 13 other protesters innocent of charges stemming from a demonstration against CIA recruiters at the University of Massachusetts.
In 1988 Former White House spokesman Larry Speakes resigns from Merrill Lynch & Co. less than a week after disclosing that he had, on two occasions, fabricated quotations attributed to President Reagan.
In 1989 Students in Beijing launch a series of pro-democracy protests upon the death of former Communist Party leader Hu Yaobang.
In 1989 95 people die in a crush of soccer fans at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England.
In 1990 Actress, Greta Garbo dies at the age of 84.
In 1991 Turkey begins moving thousands of Iraqi Kurds from a border settlement to camps farther inside Turkey.
In 1992 Hotel magnate Leona Helmsley begins serving a four-year prison sentence for tax evasion.
In 1992 Russia's deeply divided Congress of People's Deputies formally endorses President Boris Yeltsin's economic reforms.
In 1992 Countries bar Libyan jets from their airspace and ordered diplomats to go home because of Libya's refusal to turn over suspects in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
In 1993 The Group of Seven nations unveils a $28.4 billion aid package for Russia at the conclusion of an emergency two-day meeting in Tokyo.
In 1994 Ministers from 109 countries sign a 26,000-page world trade agreement known as the "Uruguay Round" accords in Marrakesh, Morocco.
In 1996 President Clinton begins a week-long, round-the-world trip, heading for a 3-day visit to Japan after a brief stopover in South Korea.
In 1996 Funeral services are held in Pescadero, CA, for Jessica Dubroff, the 7-year-old girl who died trying to become the youngest person to fly across America.
In 1997 Fire destroys tent city outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia, killing hundreds of Muslim pilgrims and displacing thousands.
In 1997 Jackie Robinson's #42 is retired 50 years after he became first black player in major league baseball.
In 1998 Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge regime, dies at 73, evading prosecution for the deaths of 2 million Cambodians.
In 2000 Cal Ripken Jr. of the Baltimore Orioles becomes the 24th player to reach 3,000 hits.
In 2001 UN investigators arrest Bosnian Serb army officer Dragan Obrenovic in connection with the Serbian Army's slaughter of as many as 7,000 Muslim men and boys.
In 2002 Pope John Paul II summons American cardinals to Rome for talks about sex abuse scandals in the U.S. church.
In 2002 A Chinese jetliner crashes in South Korea killing 122 people.
In 2002 Retired Supreme Court Justice Byron R. White dies at age 84.
In 2003 Scott Peterson is arrested in San Diego in the death of his wife, Laci, who was eight months pregnant. (He was later convicted and sentenced to death.)