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April 14, 2007 sat
April 14th, 2007

Birthdays: Sir John Gielgud, Menachem Schneerson- the late Grand Rebbi of Lubovitch, Papa Doc Duvalier- Haitian dictator 1907, Robert Doisneau, Rod Steiger, Loretta Lynn, Morton Sobotnick, Frank Serpico, Pete Rose, Greg Maddux, Julie Christie, Anthony Michael Hall, Steve Martin is 57, Sarah Michelle Geller is 30, Adrien Brody is 34.

1828- The first edition of Noah Webster’s Dictionary published. In the 70.000 entries Webster made it a point to separate American English from the King’s English. This is when “Colour” became “Color” Theatre became Theater and Checque became Check.

1883- Leopold Delibes’ opera Lakme premiered in Paris.

1912-RMS TITANIC SINKS- At 11:40PM The unsinkable luxury liner going too fast and 14 miles off course strikes an iceberg and goes down taking millionaires and immigrants alike. As the stricken liner went down the cruiser SS Californian watched a short distance away. They could have saved more people but their radio man had gone to bed and they thought the emergency flares lighting up the night sky were party skyrockets. No one was saved until the SS Carpathia arrived on the scene at dawn. John Jacob Astor IV upon being told only women and children were allowed in the lifeboats went back and dressed in his smoking jacket and had some champagne. Izadore Strauss, the creator of Macy's Dept. Store success ordered his wife onto the lifeboat. She said "Izzy, I've not followed you everywhere for 40 years to separate now!" . She put her fur coat on the shoulders of her maid and they went down to their cabin. The heroism of the wealthy was admirable but it was still the Age of Privilege- the poor immigrant passengers were kept from the upper decks by locked gates. 1,500 drowned while half empty boats were lowered. Another legend was when the rescue ships reached the site they found floating among the frozen corpses a kitchen mate who survived 4 hours in water so cold your life expectancy was only 20 minutes. His secret was he was drunk out of his skull and all the alcohol in his system acted like anti-freeze.
Another strange fact is in 1898 a writer named Morgan Robertson wrote a novel called Futility, in which a 880 ft luxury liner sank on her maiden voyage in the month of April. The fictitious ship was named the Titan.

1914-At a baseball game in Washington William Howard Taft becomes the first President to throw out the season's first ball.

1925- WGN broadcasts its first regular season baseball game. Quinn Ryan behind the mike as Grover Cleveland Alexander and the Cubs defeated the Pirates on Opening Day, 8-2.

1927- The first Volvo automobile rolled off the assembly line in Goteborg Sweden.

1935- THE DUST BOWL - The drought conditions and over farming in the plains states had been building for years but this storm climaxed the decade long event. On this day a big dust storm struck Cimmarron County Oklahoma. It blacked out the sun over five states. Cattle choked, calves and children disappeared in the drifts. Not even weeds would grow in it. The dust got through cracks in houses and when you awoke in the morning the only clean spot on your pillow was where your head lay. After this storm the migration of farmers rose until the estimate was 40% of the populations of the drought stricken areas. People from Oklahoma, Nebraska, Iowa, Texas and Missouri piled their worldly goods onto their jalopies and got on Route 66 West to California. They were nicknamed 'the Oakies, and their plight was dramatized in the songs of Woody Guthrie and John Steinbeck's novel The Grapes of Wrath.

1956- In Redwood City, Cal. Charles Ginsburg, Ray Dolby and Charles Anderson demonstrate the first videotape recording machine. They were going then for a mere $75,000 each.

1960- The musical Bye Bye Birdie opened on Broadway.

1962- Bob Dylan recorded “Blowing in the Wind”.

1963- Beatle George Harrison is impressed by an unsigned rock band he just heard called the Rolling Stones.

1999-Former Baywatch actress Pamela Anderson stunned the male population of the world by announcing she had her breasts implants removed. She soon had them put back.