Today in History

Article excerpt

TODAY is Tuesday, April 14, the 104th day of 2009. There are 261 days left in the year.

Highlights in history on this date:

* 1759 - Death of German composer George Frederick Handel.

* 1775 - The first American society for the abolition of slavery is organised by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

* 1865 - US President Abraham Lincoln is shot by actor John Wilkes Booth at the Ford Theatre in Washington DC. He dies the following morning.

* 1879 - First use of a parachute in Australia when Henri L'Estrange uses one to control the descent of his balloon which burst over Melbourne.

* 1894 - Motion picture 'peep show' device invented by Thomas Edison goes on public display in New York City.

* 1912 - The White Star passenger liner Titanic strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sinks early the next day on her maiden voyage; 1,523 of the 2,200 passengers and crew die.

* 1917 - Death of Ludovik Lazarus Zamenhof, creator of the language of Esperanto.

* 1939 - John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath is first published. …