This Day in Pop Culture for April 15

2013: Boston Marathon Targeted for Terrorists

The 117th Boston Marathon was more eventful than previous runs due to the fact that on this day in 2013, two bombs went off near the finish line. More than 260 people were wounded but thankfully, only three were killed. Four days later, a large manhunt for the bombers and a city shutdown was held. Police were able to capture 19-year-old Dzhohkar Tsarnaev, but his older brother and fellow suspect, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, died following a shootout with police earlier that morning. Although, no one knows for sure, Investigators believe that the Tsarnaevs were motivated by extremist Islamic beliefs but were not connected to any terrorist organizations. Dzhohkar was found guilty on all 30 counts and a further verdict recommended that he be put to death. His lawyers appealed and on July 30, 2020 his death sentence was reversed by the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit which found that the District Court did not properly screen jurors on how much they had heard of the case during jury selection. Tsarnaev’s remaining convictions still carried multiple life sentences, assuring that he would remain in prison regardless of the results of the new trial. The case United States v. Tsarnaev  is expected to be heard in the 2020–2021 term. (Image: Wikimedia)

1947: First African American to Play in the MLB

Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color line on this day in 1947 when he played 1st base for the Dodgers. He was the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. That same year, Robinson was the recipient of the inaugural MLB Rookie of the Year Award. He later became an All-Star from 1949-1954 and won the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 1949. In 1997, the MLB retired Robinson’s uniform number of 42 across all major league teams. In 2007, April 15 was dubbed the first Jackie Robinson Day where every player on every team wore the number 42 in his honor, a tradition that continues today.


1892: The General Electric Company is formed


1924: Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas


1955: McDonald’s restaurant dates its founding


1923: Insulin becomes available for people with diabetes


  • 1892: Corrie ten Boom (Nazi resister)
  • 1933: Roy Clark (singer)
  • 1933: Elizabeth Montgomery (actress)
  • 1982: Seth Rogen (actor)
  • 1990: Emma Watson (actress)

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