April 14 – In History

I’ve always been a “This Day in History” kind of guy. Even without looking at a list, two major historical events happened on this day. Both of these events fascinate me to this day. What is interesting about both events is that they both happen on April 14th and end sadly on April 15th.

1865

On the evening of April 14, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, a famous actor and Confederate sympathizer, assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. The attack came only five days after Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered his massive army at Appomattox Court House, Virginia, effectively ending the American Civil War. Lincoln died the following morning.

The rocking chair that he was sitting in when he was shot can be seen at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan.

1912

110 years ago tonight, RMS Titanic struck an iceberg during its maiden voyage. The following morning on April 15, 1912, it sunk bringing death to 1523 of the 2228 passengers and crew members aboard. Only 705 passengers survived. One of the most accurate and detailed books about the tragedy is “A Night to Remember” by Walter Lord. We read this book in a Survey of Non-Fiction class in high school.

I can still remember when Robert Ballard discovered the underwater wreckage in 1985. The photos were chilling.

I have read so many books about Titanic and continue to be fascinated by the story, the conspiracies, and the history of the ship. We had the chance to check out one of the artifact exhibits and I was awestruck. Each artifact reminded you that the tragedy not only involved the ship, but real people.

Wallace Hartley’s violin. The band kept playing as the ship sank.
Life vest worn by a passenger and name plates from a Titanic lifeboat.

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