Tuesday, April 14, 2009

This Day in History

Have you noticed that some days are just packed with things that have happened in history. This just seems to be one of those days.

1828- Noah Webster published his American Dictionary of the English Language.

1865- John Wilkes Booth assassinates President Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater in Washington D.C. An excellent book to reading on the assassination and subsequent search for and death of John Wilkes Booth is Manhunt by James L. Swanson.

1912- The "unsinkable" Titanic, on her maiden voyage, hurrying to break an Atlantic crossing record, strikes an iceberg. She sinks within three hours with the loss of almost 1500 lives. A Night To Remember by Walter Lord may be an older book but is still a good one to read.

1939- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck is published.

1944- The cargo ship Fort Stikine explodes in the port of Bombay. India. Bales of cotton had been stored in the hold of the ship one level below a shipment of TNT, even though it was known that bales of cotton had a tendency to spontaneously combust. The blast killed 1300 people (everyone who was close to the ship) and injured 3000 others. The force of the explosion lifted a nearby, 4000 ton ship from the bay onto land.

1969- in a first for the Academy Awards, Barbara Streisand and Katherine Hepburn share the Oscar for Best Actress.

2004- Marine Corporal Jason Dunham gives his life for his fellow Marines in Iraq by throwing his Kevlar helmet and then himself on a grenade. His act of heroism contained the blast but left him mortally wounded. Cpl. Dunham became the first Marine to be awarded the Medal of Honor for service in Iraq. Michael Phillips has written a wonderful book on Jason Dunham, The Gift of Valor. It is well worth your time to read.


  1. I am kicking myself for not remembering that today is the 97th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic.

  2. I can't believe that you didn't remember!


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