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Monday April 15, 2002

In the early hours of April 15, 1912, the British luxury liner Titanic sank in the North Atlantic off Newfoundland, less than three hours after striking an iceberg. About 1,500 people died. 

On this date: 

In 1850, the city of San Francisco was incorporated. 

In 1861, three days after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter, President Lincoln declared a state of insurrection and called out Union troops. 

In 1865, President Lincoln died, several hours after he was shot at Ford’s Theater in Washington by John Wilkes Booth. Andrew Johnson became the nation’s 17th president. 

In 1892, General Electric Co., formed by the merger of the Edison Electric Light Co. and other firms, was incorporated in New York State. 

In 1945, during World War II, British and Canadian troops liberated the Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. 

In 1945, President Roosevelt, who had died April 12, was buried at the Roosevelt family home in Hyde Park, N.Y. 

In 1947, Jackie Robinson, baseball’s first black major league player, made his official debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers on opening day. (The Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves, 5-3.) 

In 1959, Cuban leader Fidel Castro arrived in Washington to begin a goodwill tour of the United States. 

In 1989, 95 people died in a crush of soccer fans at Hillsborough Stadium in Sheffield, England. 

In 1990, actress Greta Garbo died in New York at age 84. 

Ten years ago:  

Russia’s deeply divided Congress of People’s Deputies formally endorsed President Boris Yeltsin’s economic reforms. Countries barred 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. Hotel magnate Leona Helmsley began serving a prison sentence for tax evasion (she was released from prison after 18 months). 

Five years ago:  

The Justice Department inspector general reported that FBI crime lab agents produced flawed scientific work or inaccurate testimony in major cases such as the Oklahoma City bombing. In Saudi Arabia, fire destroyed a tent city outside Mecca, killing at least 343 Muslim pilgrims. Jackie Robinson’s number 42 was retired 50 years after he became the first black player in major league baseball. 

One year ago:  

U.N. investigators arrested Bosnian Serb army officer Dragan Obrenovic in connection with the Serbian Army’s slaughter of as many as 7,000 Muslim men and boys. (Obrenovic, who has pleaded innocent, is expected to face trial this fall.) Punk rock icon Joey Ramone died in New York at age 49. 



Actor Michael Ansara is 80. Country singer Roy Clark is 69. Rock singer-guitarist Dave Edmunds is 58. Actress Lois Chiles is 55. TV producer Linda Bloodworth-Thomason is 54. Actor Michael Tucci is 52. Actress Amy Wright is 52. Columnist Heloise is 51. Actress-screenwriter Emma Thompson is 43. Singer Samantha Fox is 36. Rock musician Ed O’Brien (Radiohead) is 34. Actor Flex is 32. Actress Emma Watson is 12.