Events, birthdays and anniversaries from 15 April
1638: English settlers arrived at what is now New Haven, Connecticut, in the United States.
1755: Doctor Samuel Johnson’s dictionary was published, containing 40,000 words.
1793: £5 notes were first issued by the Bank of England.
1797: Naval personnel mutinied at Spithead, in the Solent.
1811: Chang and Eng Bunker, the most famous Siamese twins, were born, joined together at the breastbone. They married sisters and between them fathered 21 children.
1894: Thomas Edison’s “kinetoscope”, invented in 1887, was given its first public showing at 1155 Broadway, New York City.
1901: A motor hearse was used in Coventry, the first time at a British funeral.
1912: The Titanic struck an iceberg and sank with the loss of 1,513 passengers and crew on her maiden voyage. There were 732 survivors.
1923: Insulin, discovered by Sir Frederick Banting, JRR Macleod and Charles H Best, was made available for general use by diabetics.
1929: Sir James Barrie donated the copyright fee of his story Peter Pan to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children.
1942: The island of Malta was awarded the George Cross for its heroism during German and Italian bombardment.
1952: Boeing B-52 bomber made its maiden flight.
1961: England defeated Scotland 9-3 at Wembley in a record-scoring football match between the countries.
1970: The first hand-held electronic pocket calculator was announced by Canon Business Machines of Japan.
1974: Newspaper heiress Patty Hearst, 19, was kidnapped in California by members of the leftist Symbionese Liberation Army. She gained notoriety when she was filmed by a security camera brandishing an assault rifle and assisting her kidnappers in a robbery. She was later jailed for seven years, but was freed after two by US president Jimmy Carter and later pardoned by president Bill Clinton.
1989: Ninety-six supporters were crushed to death and 200 injured in Britain’s worst football disaster, at Hillsborough, Sheffield, at the start of an FA Cup semi-final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
1991: The 12 foreign ministers of the European Community agreed to lift the sanctions on South Africa imposed five years earlier.
2010: All flights in and out of the UK and several other European countries were suspended because of ash in the air caused by a volcanic eruption in Iceland. Up to 4,000 flights were cancelled.
Emma Thompson, actress, 54; Lord Archer of Weston-super-Mare, author, 73; Claudia Cardinale, actress, 75; Dave Edmunds, Welsh rock guitarist, 69; Samantha Fox, model and singer, 47; Marsha Hunt, singer and actress, 67;Baroness Linklater of Butterstone, 70; Sir Neville Marriner, conductor, 89; Sir Robert Smith, MP, 55; Michael Tucci, actor, 67; Marty Wilde, rock star and composer, 74.
Births: 1452 Leonardo da Vinci, artist and scientist; 1800 Sir James Clark Ross, Arctic explorer; 1924 Rikki Fulton, actor and entertainer; 1935 Alan Plater CBE, scriptwriter (Z Cars).
Deaths: 1764 Madame de Pompadour, courtier and mistress of Louis XV; 1865 Abraham Lincoln, 16th United States president (assassinated); 1984 Tommy Cooper, comedian; 1986 Jean Genet, dramatist; 1990 Greta Garbo, actress.