Notre Dame fire joins other historic April 15 tragedies
A massive fire burned Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris for several hours Monday, causing its iconic spire to collapse and the destroying much of its roof.
The fire will go down in history, joining a number of other tragic April 15 events.
On this day in history:
— 1865: President Abraham Lincoln died nine hours after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington.
— 1912: The British luxury liner RMS Titanic foundered in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland more than two hours and 30 minutes after hitting an iceberg; 1,514 people died, while less than half as many survived.
— 1974: Members of the Symbionese Liberation Army held up a branch of the Hibernia Bank in San Francisco; a member of the group was SLA kidnap victim Patricia Hearst, who by this time was going by the name “Tania” (Hearst later said she’d been forced to participate).
— 1989: 96 people died in a crush of soccer fans at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. Students in Beijing launched a series of pro-democracy protests; the demonstrations culminated in a government crackdown at Tiananmen Square.
— 2013: Two bombs made from pressure cookers exploded at the Boston Marathon finish line, killing two women and an 8-year-old boy and injuring more than 260. Suspected bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in a shootout with police; his brother, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was tried, convicted and sentenced to death.
— 2014: Boko Haram terrorists kidnapped some 276 girls from a school in northeastern Nigeria. Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the first anniversary of the attack with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s resilience.
— 2018: A seven-hour battle over territory and money broke out among inmates armed with homemade knives at the Lee Correctional Institution in South Carolina, leaving seven inmates dead and 22 injured in the worst U.S. prison riot in a quarter-century.
But that’s not to say that tragedies are the only historical events that have happened on April 15.
Also on this day:
— 1452: Artist and inventor Leonardo da Vinci was born in or near the Tuscan town of Vinci.
— 1945: During World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen.
— 1947: Jackie Robinson, baseball’s first black major league player, made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day at Ebbets Field. (The Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves, 5-3.)