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15th April

1852 The first screw-top bottles were patented by François Joseph Belzung of Paris.

1901 * Joe Davis, world snooker and billiards champion from 1927-1946.

1912 The liner Titanic sank with the loss of 1595 passengers.

1939 * Claudia Cardinale, Italian film actress.

1940 * Jeffrey Archer, English author, playwright and politician.

1942 The people of Malta are awarded the George Cross in recognition of their heroic struggle against enemy occupation.

1945 Nazi concentration camp Bergen-Belsen was liberated by Canadian and British forces.

1953 Reis Leming, a 22-year-old US airman, was awarded the George Medal for rescuing people trapped by winter floods.

1959 * Emma Thompson, English film actress.

1970 The first hand-held pocket calculator demonstrated by Canon Business Machines, Japan.

1989 Britain's worst soccer disaster happened at Hillsborough, Sheffield with 94 lives lost.

1998 The former Cambodian dictator, Pol Pot, whose regime led to the deaths of millions of his people, died.

2000 A white farmer in Zimbabwe was kidnapped and shot dead by squatters occupying his land.

xxxx * = Date of birth

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